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Thread: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

  1. #1
    Addicted kaydee_bangalore's Avatar
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    Icon10 #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    Ride to the land of High Passes
    (kyunki #YahiToUmarHaiBe)



    Prologue


    “Mountains, according to the angle of view, the season, the time of day, the beholder's frame of mind, or any one thing, can effectively change their appearance. Thus, it is essential to recognize that we can never know more than one side, one small aspect of a mountain.”
    Haruki Murakami, A Wild Sheep Chase


    Ladakh , the land of high passes is a dream destination for all bikers. I am no different. It’s been 2.5 years since I started touring and the deep blue skies of Ladakh, the magnificent mountains and the tough terrains had been on the bucket list for too long.

    Every year from June to September I would see a lot of photos of the place on my news feed. The place was too enticing to ignore. I thought of riding there in 2013 itself, but I was not sure of my riding skills then and thought I would waste time of the group I ride with. So with that thought in mind I continued riding to different destinations and graduated slowly.

    In Feb 2014, itch to visit Ladakh grew stronger. But lack of funds, other personal commitments kept me away from this heaven.

    Fast forward to 2015 season. After 58000 kms on the ODO; most of it while touring, I was mentally prepared to ride in the tough terrains we might encounter in ladakh region and it was time to strike this item off the bucket list.

    3 riders, 4038 kms , 14 days on road, and priceless memories.

    No we did not conquer any La, or any mountain. Given the scale of mountains, we are too insignificant to conquer anything. It is too strong a word. We were just lucky enough to get a glimpse of one of the thousand possible views of these mountain ranges and the landscape around.

    Every year thousands of bikers visit the region and try to capture the beauty, this is just one such record of our small venture. People have done it before, we all have seen many photos of the place but experiencing it first hand was special; atleast for us.


    Some pics for now, loads more to go with the log.

    Ascent to Wari La



    Tsoltak on the way to Pangong




    Nubra valley camel ride



    Star Trail at Karu

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    ATGATT! There are many wonderful riders/drivers out there who would intrude in your riding space without any notice. Be prepared. Stay Safe.

    My True Wanderers Blog Entry :

    www.truewanderers.in/travelogues/entry/144.html

    True Wanderers Final Ride :

    http://http://truewanderers.in/trave...inalist/6.html

  2. #2
    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    Approved!

    Mind blowing captures.

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    You've set the tone with the fourth picture!
    Glued to this log!

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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    the bactrian camels and the last photograph are wallpaper material Awesome!

    My expectations are high in the photography section

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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    Wonderful pics man! Subscribed!
    kaydee_bangalore likes this.

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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    awesome!

    kaydee_bangalore likes this.
    Once I have donned my black helmet, I become anonymous. My face ceases to identify me. My black visor shields others from the rigours of my passing glance while shielding me from their attempts to peer into my soul. I am an anonymous rider shrouded in black. I am no longer a specific self. I am a passing Traveller.

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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    Nice pics..
    kaydee_bangalore likes this.

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    Thumbs up Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    Wow. This thread is going to get a lot of attention. Activating "FEVICOL MODE".
    kaydee_bangalore likes this.
    Phoenix Came, Saw and Conquer My Heart, Forever...

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    Still Learning© sajalsheth's Avatar
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    Default Re: #YahiToUmarHaiBe - Ride to the Land of High Passes

    Name:  c36.jpg
Views: 2230
Size:  12.7 KB Name:  c47.jpg
Views: 2344
Size:  7.0 KB

    Nice Start

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    Default Preparations-Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Approved!

    Mind blowing captures.
    Thanks for the quick approval

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    You've set the tone with the fourth picture!
    Glued to this log!
    Thanks, Always wanted to try star trails, what better place than LLadakh to try that

    Quote Originally Posted by neil9381 View Post
    the bactrian camels and the last photograph are wallpaper material Awesome!

    My expectations are high in the photography section
    Thanks, I tried to capture landscape carefully but missed on a lot of other aspects of life in Ladakh, need to revisit to capture those too.

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaynk15 View Post
    Wonderful pics man! Subscribed!
    Thanks Sanjay

    Quote Originally Posted by rajpal View Post
    awesome!

    Thanks !

    Quote Originally Posted by backlash4u View Post
    Nice pics..
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by AbhiAvvy13 View Post
    Wow. This thread is going to get a lot of attention. Activating "FEVICOL MODE".
    Haha, hope to keep it interesting and complete it on time

    Quote Originally Posted by sajalsheth View Post
    Name:  c36.jpg
Views: 2230
Size:  12.7 KB Name:  c47.jpg
Views: 2344
Size:  7.0 KB

    Nice Start
    Thank you sir



    Lets continue...


    Okay, a little history, in 2014 and 2015 my riding jacket and tank bag had visited Ladakh; courtesy my friends, and I was spending my summer in South Korea wondering :
    Mera number kab aayega ??

    The moment this plan got finalized I took some time out to create this (That's me sporting the beard) :



    Preparations

    Ladakh ride is different in a lot of ways. It requires meticulous planning. The way we approached it is as follows :


    1. Team
    2. Dates
    3. Flight bookings
    4. Route plan
    5. Bike transport choice( Gati / train / Agarwal, etc)
    6. Bike service and preparation
    7. Spares to be carried
    8. Luggage
    9. Preparations for the riders


    1.Team

    Team with which you ride plays a vital role in how your trip goes in such a long ride. I was in South Korea for 3 months working on a project and was scheduled to return by june end. July was when I seriously started planning for the trip. The first most important question was still unanswered. Who should I ride with ?

    *Naked Wolves, few people who I knew would be a great company*
    *Negative, no positive response. My fav bunch of bikers had prior commitments*

    *Mohit, my college junior, a sensible guy and more than that a crazy biker*
    *Ahaa, got a positive response. *

    It was me and Mohit who started dreaming about Ladakh.One fine day Mohit told me that another friend Akshit from Delhi wants to go. I had never ridden with Akshit, and I had heard horrible stories of people flipping on each other and making the trip unpleasant. Though, I knew about Akshit’s India ride of 8000 kms in 30 days. That cleared a lot of my doubts. As a guy who has done such a long trip definitely has that temperament and a cool head. And then there were three

    These two guys were the best riding partners one could have for such a trip.

    An instance I would like to share when we stopped for a tea break at Samba on our way to Udhampur.

    Me : There are two routes from here, either take the same 4 lane highway via Jammu to Udhampur, or…

    Akshit : Let’s take the other one.

    Me : Let me finish bhai, the other route has patchy roads to no roads at places.

    Mohit : But it has a lake on the way right ?

    Me : Yes.

    Both in unison : Ladakh ja rhe hai yaar, ye chhote se off road se darenge to kaise kaam chalega.
    (*we are riding to Ladakh dude, how can we be intimidated by a small off road diversion*)

    All smiles.

    PS : Akshit did justice to his twitter hashtag #TheRoadLessTaken

    None of us were cornering gurus( people who go batshit crazy when they see some smooth corners), though we all knew how to carve corners and how to move quickly around them. Our riding styles were compatible :

    *Take short breaks, instead of long ones (*matters a lot)
    *When roads are arrow straight cover distance quickly to spend time at scenic places.



    2. Dates

    When you know who you are riding with, discussing probable dates is easier. Mohit and I are corporate slaves but Akshit is his own boss, so he was okay with any date with only one condition; he could not be away from work for more than 2 weeks continuously. Me and mohit agreed to keep the ride in August end or Sept first week. After working out our project schedules and informing our managers we fixed the date as Sept first week.

    Till this point I wasn’t really sure that this is gonna happen.



    3. Flight tickets

    We both got 16-17 days leave. As we did not want to spend a lot of time in riding from Bangalore - Delhi,which will take a minimum of 5 days to n fro; we had agreed upon flying to Delhi and ride from there. Akshit works out of Delhi and we decided to start the ride together from there.

    Being the weird guy I am, I started cooking up another twist. I had done a Home Run (Bangalore - Haridwar - Nainital - Lucknow - Khajuraho - Bangalore) [ http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/2...tarakhand.html ] in 2013 Dec and a Kanyakumari ride from Bangalore earlier. So I just thought if I start my ride from Lucknow , then I would have ridden across Kanyakumari - Bangalore -Lucknow - Leh. A weird K2K in three parts :P .

    One lucky day, Yatra.com decided to give away cashback and discounts on domestic flight bookings. I reached office, called up Mohit and in no time we had booked our tickets. Delhi to Bangalore ticket costed us 3.6k. Thank You yatra.com.

    When we booked the tickets I could see the dream slowly materializing. This kinda sealed the deal. We all knew that this is happening, and happening in a month.

    *Excitement levels go up*



    4. Route Plan

    Next step was to chalk out a probable route. Believe me you cannot rely on Google Maps when it comes to Ladakh region. This was the time to get in touch with people who have been there, have taken guided tours there and are willing to help. I got in touch with Surojit Sadhu and Siddarth Bala from Naked Wolves. I trust Surojit with making plans for me. As he knows what I like and how much can I ride in a day. He gave a basic outline, but now was my time to delve into the details and understand the region. After a lot of confusion about places to stay, the names, the altitudes, multiple discussions on call with Surojit; I gained some confidence.

    There was only one thing going on in my mind. We had a plan of visiting Khardung la and Nubra Valley first and then return to Leh and continue to Pangong on the next day. The only problem with this plan was that I wanted to avoid taking the same roads to Leh from Nubra. I hate retracing the same route but love loops

    There are two other options to return from Nubra; one via Agham - Wari La to Sakthi, (50 kms lead on the Pangong route) and one via Shyok which will directly take us closer to Tangtse/Lukung. Then the expert was contacted. Phanikar sir from xBhp and Bangalore Bikers group to the rescue. He did a great Himalayan ride and explored a lot of inside roads last year. He asked to prefer Wari La route for the scenic beauty. But that route was closed due to landslides post monsoon. We cannot outsmart nature and have to respect the difficulties. But the will to ride on Wari La was stronger than ever. It was left as a last moment decision to be taken while we leave Nubra.

    A biker friend, Alok Singh got to know about my Ladakh trip and called up. He gave a few suggestions to add to the plan. We added Marsimik La then.

    Who can help us on the go and provide us update on the route ? Any guesses……, one and only “The Human GPS of India”, Mr. HV Kumar sir. With his network of seasoned travelers and reliable sources, he is the best chance of getting correct info when it comes to remote places.

    This is the executed schedule, plan was modified a little bit on the go :

    Day 0 : Lucknow - Delhi **
    Day 1 : Delhi - Amritsar
    Day 2 : Amritsar - Patnitop
    Day 3 : Patnitop - Srinagar
    Day 4 : Srinagar - Sonamarg
    Day 5 : Sonamarg - Leh
    Day 6 : Acclimatize in Leh and local sightseeing
    Day 7 : Leh - Khardung La - Hunder
    Day 8 : Hunder - Wari La - Karu
    Day 9 : Karu - Chang La - Spagmik (Pangong Tso)
    Day 10 : Spagmik - Phobrang - Marsimik La - Chang La - Leh
    Day 11 : Leh - Sarchu
    Day 12 : Sarchu - Manali
    Day 13 : Manali - Delhi

    ** I rode solo from Lucknow to Delhi to complete my K2K in parts

    5. Bike Transport Choice

    This part was difficult. We had to trust someone to take care of our bikes and deliver it safe. Internet is full of horrid reviews about GATI, train transport, BlueDart, etc. Upon checking other options we found out that Agarwal packers are probably the safest bet. Requested a quote and it was an exorbitant 8k one way per bike. Since we would not be traveling with the bike, train transport was not seriously considered. After negotiating with GATI the price was down to 5.5k which looked like a good option. We made sure that bike is packed properly before it is loaded on the truck. Luckily nothing major happened to my bike which was delivered in Lucknow, but Mohit had a broken clutch lever, upon receiving his bike in Delhi.

    This is how my bike was packed, looked satisfactory. (Looks like a mini ZX14R from the front )


    When we had to parcel the bikes from Delhi to Bangalore, we just avoided a trap which goes by the name of Gati. More on that later.


    A little teaser which shows how equipped I was while on the road :





    Writing the further points now, will update when its done.

    A couple of pics to try to make your visit to this blog worth :

    Golden hour at the Golden temple.




    As soon as you start riding towards Zozila from Sonamarg, this peaceful scene calms you before the treacherous Zozila.




    To be continued ...
    Last edited by kaydee_bangalore; 04-19-2016 at 01:30 AM. Reason: formatting
    ATGATT! There are many wonderful riders/drivers out there who would intrude in your riding space without any notice. Be prepared. Stay Safe.

    My True Wanderers Blog Entry :

    www.truewanderers.in/travelogues/entry/144.html

    True Wanderers Final Ride :

    http://http://truewanderers.in/trave...inalist/6.html

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