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The Great Escape - Ladakh: A Journey beyond Reasons!

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Ananth View Post
    I forgot to mention in the first post, I also wanted to thank this family we met in Shyok. They offered us Butter Tea, Maggi, Biscuits, Sweets, and what not! We rested there for about 2 hours, ate for atleast 300 Rs. and they didnt even accept a penny from us, Not to mention they were a not so well off family - living with the gains from a small shop in Shyok. Hats off to their love, affection and care for a by-passer like us. May god give them a wonderful future.
    That's so nice of you to mention this here..

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Ananth View Post
      I forgot to mention in the first post, I also wanted to thank this family we met in Shyok. They offered us Butter Tea, Maggi, Biscuits, Sweets, and what not! We rested there for about 2 hours, ate for atleast 300 Rs. and they didnt even accept a penny from us, Not to mention they were a not so well off family - living with the gains from a small shop in Shyok.
      What the ....??? I just can't believe this!!! Who were those people...err...human...err...humanly Gods? Worth mentioning their names.

      Originally posted by Ananth View Post
      Hats off to their love, affection and care for a by-passer like us. May god give them a wonderful future.
      Yes very much. God Bless them & their children.

      I wish you narrate the incident Ananth.
      Skill is what keeps you on a Motorcycle
      Awareness + Skill is what keeps you out of harm's way
      ATGATT + Awareness + Skill means you might Live To Ride another day

      Comment


      • #48
        Day 1: In & Around Delhi

        Day 0:

        It was a very tough day at work. Faced some project related issues and it wasn't to be solved till 1900 hours. Came home and started packing, but still was to be on conference calls about the project delivery. Nothing was going right. Manager was very upset that i had to go on vacation in the middle of chaos at work. I could not help it. I just had my team work as a back up for what ever i was answerable for. 23 30 hours, The conference call was over and heaved a big sign of relief. Packed and cross checked whatever is required for the next two weeks. The happiness was tremendous and trust me - It was so different experience to know that i was going to Leh. I could see my nerves shrinking up in excitement. As though Something out of the world has happened.

        Day 1:

        The D-Day. 00 30 Hours - Still could not get to sleep. Had the mobile charged up. Kept alarm at 04 00 hours. I dozed off for a quick while. For a change, I woke up before the alarm rang. My Mom and Dad too were excited about my trip. They were more concerned of my safety & wished me a successful trip. Time passed by soon and I was still packing the Tank Bag with SLR, Point & Shoot and GPS i had put for charge last Night. Steve called up that he has already reached airport.

        0530 Hours - I Leave for the airport, Parents on the door - waving goodbye. The taxi driver was zipping past the odd traffic on the highway and I reached airport in No time. Me & Steve went to the Counter and show up with a number of Bags, 8 to be precise. They were amused. They asked me to handover my backpack & the tripod bag as a check-in baggage and all others in Hand Luggage. They were Skeptical of allowing the helmets, but thankfully - we didnt have any issues with the Security check - Thanks to the HUGE crowd. There were atleast couple of hundred gentlemen waiting their turn for security check & it turned out to be a bit lenient.

        0720 Hours - The flight took off casually waking up the lazy clouds and land up in a HOT & HUMID National Capital in few hours time. 1010 Hours - The flight landed smoothly - It took a while for the flight to be parked safe, and we were out looking for directions to Noida, to meet a Superhero called Born2Lead Delhi was HOT, It was so hot that we were sweating like Pigs! It was not comfortable and I wanted a AC Taxi. Booked one through Easy Cabs - Got into a Esteem, and another journey started. It almost took a hour to reach Noida, where we are to meet Imran. 11 20 hours - We reached Imran's house - and to much welcome I meet Imran again. After a quick round of introduction, we move in - there was his Ninja 250 welcoming us with a Smile What a way to welcome a guest - Ninja 250R on his Hall.

        Madhu, Our friend from Chennai - Who just got transferred to Gurgoan joined us at Imran's house soon. We ordered some nice paratha's and Sabji's for Lunch.

        Oops! Forgot to Mention the BAD NEWS! The ZMR has not landed in delhi, but Steve's ZMA R & Madhu's FZ were bough down from the train in Delhi yesterday. The ZMR could not be unloaded from the train and it was on its way to Dehradun and wont be back anytime soon! So we call up the transporter asking when the bike is expected, he said it could be there anytime - But when it comes he will give me a call! What the heck! Day 1 wasted!

        We patiently wait, After Lunch we just relax in the Air Conditioned room - Imran was speaking of his Spiti trip & showed us the Panaromas from there. It was just Spectacular. No wonder OF Sir did it 9 times! Speaking of it, Imran called up Old Fox and We decided to go meet him at his Office, The Writers Hut.

        1600 Hours - We leave up for The Writers Hut, and also to buy Engine Oil , and few other stuff for the trip. We spent some valuable time speaking about trips, OF Sir gave us a lot of tips, advices and so much gyaan about riding in the Himalayas. The Photos he showed of Pangong Tso, Chander Tal were just mind-blowing!! We had some Tea - Pepsi to quench the thirst and we later bid adieu to OF Sir and moved on.

        The HH Showroom was closed, and then we tried speaking to the Transporter for any signs of the train coming in. He asked us to call after a hour or so as the train was supposed to be a hour late. Imran then asked us to come to xBhp Dhabha to meet a few friends over Dinner. Met quite a few members there and had a SPICY Panneer Fried Rice. Called up the transporter again, He said the train has arrived - But the Bike was sent from Dehradun on another train! I was just pissed up! Could not do anything, One full day was wasted in waiting! The transporter said he will give it early morning tomorrow without fail, as long as the train comes on time. I just prayed the Bike reaches Delhi & In shape!

        We came back to Imrans house for the Night. Thanks again Imran for letting us stay and for wasting the lassi's & Parathas in your house With the Air Conditioner steaming for breathe we slept peacefully on a HUMID Delhi summer day, with dreams fully of leh, leh and leh! Damn! I havent even dreamt of my girl this much. Ladakh suddenly has become everything in front of me now! Hope the day changes tomorrow! We go off to sleeeeep...~!

        Pictures:

        Chennai - Delhi on a SpiceJET!



        At The Writers Hut:



        Onway to xBhp Dhabha:



        Imran & Madhu's Rides:



        Day 2: Finally, The Trip Begins!
        Last edited by Ananth; 07-03-2010, 12:00 AM.
        Photo Gallery[/B]

        Comment


        • #49
          @Ananth - Very excited to read & I feel part of it (talented in writing); keep up the pace, with the approaching weekend, we expect to see good inflow of the logs.
          Skill is what keeps you on a Motorcycle
          Awareness + Skill is what keeps you out of harm's way
          ATGATT + Awareness + Skill means you might Live To Ride another day

          Comment


          • #50
            Day 2: Finally, The Trip Begins!

            I was somehow sure, The Bike wont land up in Delhi before 0700 AM. But due to some reason or the other, We wake up soon. Called up the transporter, No signs of the Bike coming. Another day wasted i thought. We could not afford to waste any more days. Refreshed casually, Watched some TV, Imran had arranged for some cook to prepare some food for us. We ate some parathas for breakfast - sat around waiting for the transporter to call us. Atlast, Around 11 30 AM, The Transorter called saying the Bike has reached Delhi. And is to be collected from OLD DELHI. The news was so sweet, But god knows why it went to Old Delhi instead of Nizammuddin nor why it was delayed so long.

            We quickly take a shower and leave for Old Delhi. Mean while in all this excitement, I wont know where i kept the spare key!! Searched for a good 10 minutes, Still wont know where i kept the Spare Key. So we rode to Nizammudin to get the Original key from the Transporter, which took 45 minutes in the blistering delhi heat & traffic. After getting the keys, we searhed for the route to Old Delhi Railway station and then to know where my bike was unloaded to. The contact in Old Delhi was not responding to calls, Finaly - he said he was travelling and would be there in 15 minutes. We waited near the place he mentioned. 30 minues, no signs of him calling us.

            13 00 hours - We call him again, he said he will take another 10 minutes. God damn him. We were furious. Imran was even questioning why am so cool about all this. What could i possibly do? waiting game is what i could possibly do! I meanwhile wanted to get the petrol required for the Bike t start, so I take Imran to the petrol pump near Chandni Chowk and fillup a 2L Bottle with Petrol. Reached back the Parcel Office there. We went in to see if he was there, But he wasnt to be found. He had mentioned the Bike was already unloaded and SAFE. So go around looking for the Bike, for sometime we could not identify it, finally i find it up in the middle of a huge packages and It was SAFE. Just a bit dirty, No it was Dirty like hell.

            13 30: I start untying the Bike - Packed with all types of cloths & materials. I called up the contact at Old Delhi, No response. Again, God Damn him. Waited for 5 more minutes. Started the Bike, It started - No issues with the Bike, Lots of Scratches - Few rip offs on the edges and stickers peeled off. I really did not bother, Bike reached SAFE. Imran asked to just start the Bike and try to take it out of the compound.But, There is a couple of Policemen / a Watchmen taking bribe from every vehicle going out of the Parcel Office.

            I have the Bike's papers - But the Papers about transporting the Bike is with the contact / transporter - Not sure how to exit the compound, without getting caught. So i start the Bike, Move it around, 1st gear - 10 kmph - there goes a Lorry - Tuck Behind it - It stops - uuf , Not sure if i over take it, the guy will pop up and ask for the papers. It took some time, I slowly over take the lorry, engage 2nd gear - Move on fassssst!

            Steve was waiting right on the gate, other side of the watchman's room. Steve was shouting at me to stop and come back. To me it was as though the watchman was asking me to stop I speed and go some 200 meters away, take a U turn, ride on the pedestrian platform and come back. uuuf! So much for a grand Leh trip. We should come across all this, thats the best part of it.

            So, The Bike is here, I'm out. I'm all free, Nothing to stop us for starting the trip. I buy a mineral water bottle and empty it immediately. Delhi's heat is pouring on me. It was exhaustive. We proceed on, crossing Red Fort, On to the Highway, Imran parted us with a good bye and wishes for the trip.We owed him a lot for the success of the trip!

            1400 - We are on! We are to reach Pathankot for the night, It seemed possible, But still doable only if we could stretch. Since a day and a half is already wasted, Our initial plans to visit Amritsar / Wagah is wasted. I still somehow wanted to visit Amritsar, But steve was determined to make it to Pathankot. It took a while to make Steve agree for Amritsar, But on grounds of reaching Amritsar early - Which seemed Impossible

            15 30 - The Highway was not crowded much, contrary to what we have down south - I saw the highways HUGE and broad! As again we were getting exhausted, Steve wanted to rest, So we spot a McDonalds after karnal. We thought it would have been AirConditioned. To our disappointent it is one another, heavily crowded multi restaurant hall. We quickly empty a couple of burgers, french fries and a LARGE Coco Cola. Time to Move ON.

            17 30 - The Ride from Karnal till Ambala was tough. Heavy Heavy cross winds. I saw something like a cyclone on the road, huge dust waving up from right side of the road to the extreme left. Steve, with his luggage and weight moved on CASUALLY! I on the other side was pushed away from the right most lane to the left most lane and almost on the rails kept there for road work. If i had not stopped a second before i would have crashed on one of those hoardings. I stopped for a while, drank water and moved on. Still i could not cope up. May be the Full Fairing is doing the spoil sport. Uncleji's on a HH Splendor with triples were over taking me with ease. I wasn't bothered about some one over taking me over me riding safely. But still i was so perplexed of riding across cross winds. Some how i manage it through, riding not more than 40 kmph on a fast highway.

            We stopped by The Madras cafe for a shirt coffee break. Just to find that the shop has no link to the word Madras, The coffee was horrible - so drank some more water and moved on.

            1810 - Steve was waiting for me at the Punjab border, enjoying his SugarCane Juice. He just complaining that they add a masala to any drink he orders. I did not want to waste my taste buds and had some water. We decided to reach Ludhiana and then decide if we were to call it a day there or proceed on. I was still itching to ride to Amritsar, We started increading our average speed, I was maintaining around 90 and steve as usual in his 85 kmph mark, enjoying his music in iPod.

            1930 - We surpassed Ludhiana, and it was still Bright. I was told that Sun light would be there atleast till 7 PM, but it was 7 30 PM and still sun was shining bright, we decided to halt up at Jalandhar. We reached Phagwara around 2000 hours, where the sun began to be shy and went under the clouds and finally set immediately, the roads turned out to be crazy. Met a few more Bulleteers riding down to Leh. They told me that their group is of 36 members! I was shocked, 36 members to Leh - I did not see how good they will enjoy the trip or if it will really be so good to have so many bike thundering down on those small battered mountain roads. I left it to themselves and moved on.

            2030 - Finally reached Jalandhar. It was a quiet town, But not so many options for hotels, atleast not to my eyes. Found a couple of hotels - One was too costly and the other cheap, but no safe parking for the bike, so we passed through and we finally found one for 700 bucks. It was worth the money for us at that point of time. Air Cooler / Hot water 24 hours a Day, Open Parking and a garden to relax. The room was clean as well. We quickly untied the saddles, dumped it in the room and went out for dinner.

            Frankly, It was the best dinner i have ever had outside my home. Such tasteful food. I emptied a couple of sabji's myself. The parathas and roti's were just amazing too! If i myself ate so much, think yourself of steve With a full stomach, and a cool room - I hit the bed and crash sooon..

            Pictures:

            ZMR - At Old Delhi Railway Station:



            The Parcel Office:



            HH ZMR - All Loaded Up



            Tanking Up



            All set to go from Delhi



            Imran, Sending us off






            Madras Cafe, Near Ambala



            Too many Take Diversions, Gotta be Alert!



            Punjab Border:



            Beautiful Evening, Punjab



            Guest House, Jalandhar



            Aman Vaishno Dhabha, Would love to go there again!



            Day 3: The Rat Race
            Last edited by Ananth; 07-05-2010, 10:35 PM.
            Photo Gallery[/B]

            Comment


            • #51
              Ananth - Appreciate if you throw some light on motorcycle transportation. Here're my specifics, but feel to answer as much
              - Did you have to hand over the original keys to the transportation company when you hand over the motorcycle in Chennai?
              - What about the vehicle docos? I hope the photocopies should be provided when booking right?
              - What if someone decides to remove the fairings, turn lights, side shields, seats & tanks & then transport? Is that possible?
              Skill is what keeps you on a Motorcycle
              Awareness + Skill is what keeps you out of harm's way
              ATGATT + Awareness + Skill means you might Live To Ride another day

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by inder.cool View Post
                That's so nice of you to mention this here..
                It was so nice of them that i could not stop mentioning about them here!

                Originally posted by aargee View Post
                What the ....??? I just can't believe this!!! Who were those people...err...human...err...humanly Gods? Worth mentioning their names.

                Yes very much. God Bless them & their children.

                I wish you narrate the incident Ananth.
                Yes, More about them would come in the logs

                Originally posted by aargee View Post
                @Ananth - Very excited to read & I feel part of it (talented in writing); keep up the pace, with the approaching weekend, we expect to see good inflow of the logs.
                Thank You & I'm not well versed in writing. Just another blabber-er!

                Originally posted by aargee View Post
                Ananth - Appreciate if you throw some light on motorcycle transportation. Here're my specifics, but feel to answer as much
                - Did you have to hand over the original keys to the transportation company when you hand over the motorcycle in Chennai?
                YES.
                - What about the vehicle docos? I hope the photocopies should be provided when booking right?
                Photocopy is enough.
                - What if someone decides to remove the fairings, turn lights, side shields, seats & tanks & then transport? Is that possible?
                You can, provided you take the burden of getting these with you to the place you are transporting the Bike and then assemble it there!
                My answers in Bold.

                We sent it through a Private transporter, It was sent & RECEIVED safely, just with mainly scratches - But no major hardship to the Bike. It will cost you less if you send it on a train though the normal route - As is :

                1. Parcelling the Bike and send it as a luggage

                2. Take it in the same train as yours. - Bike gets loaded / unloaded in front of you - No major delay. This is a safer bet.
                Photo Gallery[/B]

                Comment


                • #53
                  I have no words after seeing these pictures.

                  You guys are amazing braving all the way to heaven.

                  I'm sure by now many would be thinking about a trip to Ladakh leh after going through this thread.
                  RX100 1996 | Karizma 2004 | Karizma-R 2011 | RXZ 1999 | RX 135 1998 | RX 100 1993 | CBF150 2005 - 2011

                  2012 - Meghamalai | Kuttralam | 2011 Ooty | Munnar | 2010 Point Calimere | Horsley Hills | Yercaud

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by SriramEfunds View Post
                    I'm sure by now many would be thinking about a trip to Ladakh leh after going through this thread.
                    Let alone Ananth & Steve talk about their difficulties!!!
                    Skill is what keeps you on a Motorcycle
                    Awareness + Skill is what keeps you out of harm's way
                    ATGATT + Awareness + Skill means you might Live To Ride another day

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Damn... i missed this one... Steve was kind enough trying to pull me in for this all day.. yet my bad not able to make this one...

                      Great going Ananth & Steve... Long live your touring spirits....
                      _________________________________________________
                      Yuv

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by SriramEfunds View Post
                        I have no words after seeing these pictures.

                        You guys are amazing braving all the way to heaven.

                        I'm sure by now many would be thinking about a trip to Ladakh leh after going through this thread.
                        Thank You.

                        Originally posted by yuv_biKING View Post
                        Damn... i missed this one... Steve was kind enough trying to pull me in for this all day.. yet my bad not able to make this one...

                        Great going Ananth & Steve... Long live your touring spirits....
                        Thanks machi, You really missed it. Steve was even saying after we left, heck - even once when we were crossing BarlaChala that you would have enjoyed it Anyway, Next time is always there - Hope you are having a wonderful time with the little boy

                        Anyway, One more teaser for the time being:

                        Roads towards North Pullu

                        Photo Gallery[/B]

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Day 3: The Rat Race

                          A weird irritating alarm wakes us up for a beautiful morning. Steve had kept the alarm at 0400 hours, just to see to that we are ahead of the schedule. Original plan was to cover Amrisar - Patnitop, But since we had to skip Amritsar, We were planning to ride ahead of Patnitop and stay somewhere midway to Srinagar.

                          Steve refreshed up soon and wake me up at 4 15 AM. I had a nice steaming bath, it refreshed up my nerves. 4 30 AM, We vacated the room, started tying in the saddles. The weather was nice, a bit cloudy. Steve suggested we rope in the tarpaulin covers as it seemed like it could rain. He was spot on, The moment i opened the saddle to open up the Swiss Knife, I had drops of water falling on to my sleepy eye lashes. I quickly cut the 6 x 6 tarpaulin cover i bought into two. Tied up my saddles and also the back pack with the extra dresses which i never used!

                          0500 AM - We were all set to go. There were hardly any on the streets, We had come a good 2 kilometers from the Highway onto the town to get a better accomodation. It took us a while, but finally we figured out the highway. Tanked up on a nearby petrol pump. Gosh! I had kept the cash on the backpack, so had to untie it and then take out the money from that. Back pack again goes into the shoulders! From here on, where ever we tanked up - The difference in mileage / petrol consumption was to a maximum of 1 - 2L for a tank up. So the FI is doing its bit, be it hills or plains. It started drizzling and we were enjoying the cool morning ride. The highway was somewhat smaller, with many oncoming trucks - But wonder why, not many like us overtaking them.

                          A hour passed, Steve was riding in comfortably, But for me the crosswinds was giving me nightmares. Overtaking was not so easy, and i could not speed more than 60 kmph. It was raining, with cross winds and skiddy roads - I did not want to risk anything. I took it easy once again riding around 60 kmph and steve in his usual 70 & 80 regardless of what ever road he rides on

                          Stopped by a Tea Shop, Time to relax. The Back Pack was proving a bit of a hindrance. It was a bit heavy, and ZMR weighing more than thrice my weight now!



                          The Rain gear - DuckBack - Absolute value for Money!



                          The rain seemed to subside a little and we started on towards Pathankot. After riding for a while, we came across the first up hill road. The road was nice, after a short while we saw a temple - with lord shiva's Idol. Infact it was Huge! I had never seen such a huge Idol of Shiva before. We again relaxed a bit, playing with lots of monkey's there and proceded towards Jammu.





                          The rains again started to lavish on us. We rode on. After a brief while - Steve was feeling a bit hungry, and we were starting to get a bit exhausted. We could not keep good speeds due to rain and cross winds. We crossed Pathankot amidst heavy rains. We did not stop anywhere for pictures, not even for a pee break. We stopped some 30 kilometers before Lakhanpur - the Jammu Kashmir border for Breakfast.

                          The Dhabha



                          Steve - Researching what makes the parathas different from state to state :P



                          Not only Nokia Connects people well, This cheap phone had a battery backup for upto 4 days!




                          We really did not enjoy the food. After having some delicious food in Punjab, the parathas were no match to it. We just stuffed the stomach with some butter roti and some sabji's. I had my usual tea and moved on. The rain again seemed to subside a bit. We moved on.

                          One amusing thing i saw in these parts of the world was the local rickshaws. I could not capture it because of rains, but these auto - rickshaws had the face of a lorry and the tail of a normal auto. It looked funny indeed. As again, the roads were decent, we could maintain around the 80 kmph mark. Soon, we reached Lakhanpur - The border of Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab.

                          The customary picture at the border :





                          For sometime, the roads in Jammu & Kashmir wasn't so good. Infact no roads the instant u cross into the border. It gradually becomes OK. Rode for another 50 kilometers, stopped somewhere for another tea. Steve has his share of some juice. Tried to call up HydBiker from Hyderabad, But he was too busy riding / I did not know. I could not listen to what he spoke and vice versa. Spotted a couple of R15's in the opposite side, thought it could have been them.



                          We crossed Jammu and the roads started to be a bit more broad and not much traffic. With rains relaxing a bit - it was time to maintain higher speeds.



                          We stopped by a Hero Honda Showroom to tighten the chain and to get the Engine Oil that we missed buying in Delhi. Alas! They wont stock Engine Oil in 1L cans, but can only fill it on the Bikes. We just tightened the chains and lubricated it and marched on.





                          Near the river Ravi:



                          NH1C - Which connects Jammu to Udhampur was covered in very less time. We reached Udhampur ByPass and decided to take it to avoid the city - we knew it wont affect us much, we just wanted to see if we could see any of the old country roads. At the end of the Bypass lies a small test for us. It was funny to see a highway turn into a place like Takeshi's Castle - That you gotta cross this mud path to pass through, else go back 12 kilometers - go into the city and ride through :P It was not difficult, but a pain in the ass for cars like Esteem / Alto that came in the opposite direction.





                          Does any one recognize the odd one out?



                          From here on, It was rain rain and more rain. Not sure if the weather turned out against us. The roads to Patnitop was scary. So many trucks, Skiddy roads and crosswinds to push me from one lane to the other. It started to be a bit grueling. This part of the world is supposed to be more beautiful. We could not enjoy the ride. We just kept on riding. We could not stop for pictures, heck! Not even open up the tank bag to take out the point and shoot!

                          The roads were narrow, and sharp corners - with my front tyre giving not much traction - I was really going in a snails pace! We would have ridden for about 8 - 9 hours now and covered 350 odd kilometers. That too in rains. Not bad i would say! We crossed Patnitop, Stopped for a coffee after a few kilometers. There was this HUGE traffic jam in front of us. I thought it could be because of the incessant rains. But No! A Bus just tripped off the hill :shock:

                          Accident near Batote: Picture Courtesy: daily excelsior



                          I saw a ARMY office coming into the tea stall to wash away the blood stain on his hands. He painfully said : two children, One women and the driver dead So many are hurt. I was feeling so bad for those souls who lost their life for no wrong of them! If only the driver had driven carefully on those slippery roads!

                          Before Patnitop:



                          One Photo please :



                          The Valley:



                          That's how green it was, But still nothing comes to the greenery we see and smell in the western ghats





                          We then rode on, crossed Batote, Ramban with more rain. I started to Shiver. Damn the Cramster Gloves Steve said. I told him it was not meant to be waterproof. But we had no other go. With water entering the shoes to my hands getting soaked - we were helpless. We did not also want to stop and waste time. We rode till we could, Original plan was to ride till Srinagar, But i could see Steve draining out fast.




                          We stopped somewhere for a pee break, and only now i recognize that there was a board: Graveyard Area





                          Crossing Jawahal Tunnel was another nightmare. There was not much lights inside the tunnel and with my puny ZMR's head lamps - i was asking for trouble. I was scared when i was riding in the middle of the tunnel - Not much vehicles in front of me, One Huge fast truck coming towards me from behind and i hear a loud Gun Shot. I was like, dont shoot at me We some how cross the tunnel and on to the other side of it. I was relieved only after crossing the 7 kilometers or so of that tunnel.

                          In-fact riding through the tunnel reminded me of the Movie : Fast & Furious where in they ride under a tunnel to escape to Mexico. It was fun to tuck behind a truck, keep maintaining the same speeds - no clue when to turn left / right - but you still make it when required. It was indeed fun.

                          We rode again till we reached the Titanic View Point. It was already around 6 30 PM when we reached this place. It was about to be getting dark. We really did not want to waste energy walking upto the viewpoint. We were getting more and more lazy to take photographs. It was as though riding was more blissful than taking photographs in the middle of a rainfall. But now how i wish i had taken so many picture of Patnitop & surroundings



                          Spoke to a few locals and they said there are places to stay in Qazigund. Steve was tired. He could not ride any further. With light dripping by, we were asking for trouble. But the very view of Snow peaked mountains gave me all the energy i needed. The roads were horrible. I could not ride. I could not even maintain 30 kmph. The loads of cabs were honking and taking my breath out. I gave way and stopped on the road side. Later i progressed in single digits and finally onto some speed. Our Steve was joyfully moving away in his own speed - Good for him he changed his front tyre which gave his all the traction in the world. Stopped by in a village called Ruzloo for filling up the air, the bike felt better. We then proceeded to Quazigund, Only to find that the sole hotel there does not have bike parking.

                          The locals adviced us to ride to Srinagar instead and the roads are good enough from there on. I was all for riding to Srinagar and to get up leisurely. But considering Steve's position, we had to call it a day - but ASAP. We then rode through the winding roads of Kashmir. It was fun, I was enjoying the ride. But right after i crossed Udhampur till now, I was not really comfortable with the way the Bike was handling. We soon reached a place near AnantNag. We were about 50 kilometers before Srinagar. Steve checked if there was any hotels nearby and there was one, just in front of us. It had a nice and large place to park the Bikes. Paid 450 for the room. But the saddest thing is that: The room is just enough for two people. Hardly any place for placing the bags, and the room was horrible. Steve had to accept it because he could not ride any further. I had to adjust and sleep , under the vision of so many insects, bed bugs, and some more crazy creatures tucking into our shoes on the floor. I slept on, with pains and numbness from the days ride. But it was totally worth it.

                          Tomorrow, We take a Shikara Ride on the Dal Lake, Cross SonaMarg, Push through Zozilla Pass and Stay on the World's Second Coldest Inhabitant Place

                          Day 4: Srinagar - ZoZilla - Drass
                          Last edited by Ananth; 07-05-2010, 10:36 PM.
                          Photo Gallery[/B]

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Ananth View Post
                            We reached Udhampur ByPass and decided to take it to avoid the city - we knew it wont affect us much, we just wanted to see if we could see any of the old country roads. At the end of the Bypass lies a small test for us. It was funny to see a highway turn into a place like Takeshi's Castle - That you gotta cross this mud path to pass through, else go back 12 kilometers - go into the city and ride through :P It was not difficult, but a pain in the ass for cars like Esteem / Alto that came in the opposite direction.

                            it seems you took some other route, the best way to bypass is just before Samba, Dayalchak route, u reach Udhampur. I dont recall facing any bad roads on that route.

                            I was relieved only after crossing the 7 kilometers or so of that tunnel.

                            2.7kms.... seems like you enjoyed it for quite long!
                            comments in bold..... :-)
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                            • #59
                              Whoa!!! Guys!!! want to know which is the right one!!!!
                              Crossing Jawahal Tunnel was another nightmare. There was not much lights inside the tunnel and with my puny ZMR's head lamps - i was asking for trouble. I was scared when i was riding in the middle of the tunnel - Not much vehicles in front of me, One Huge fast truck coming towards me from behind and i hear a loud Gun Shot. I was like, dont shoot at me We some how cross the tunnel and on to the other side of it. I was relieved only after crossing the 7 kilometers or so of that tunnel
                              Source - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/454537-post.html

                              Rode on towards Jawahar tunnel. This was an engineering marvel when it was built in 1956. It is 2.6 km long. When built, it was the longest in Asia
                              Source - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/447025-post.html

                              Once we were done with the those ghats..we were to enter Kashmir Valley via Jawahar Tunnel..!! Its a tunnel which connects the Jammu city to Kashmir Valley, and its about 2-2.5 kms long
                              Source - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/449407-post.html

                              Edit - I missed Aman's post; probably your single digit speeds made the tunnel look like 7.2 Kms instead of 2.7
                              Last edited by aargee; 07-05-2010, 01:40 AM.
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                              • #60
                                the ride from jalandar to pathankhot was good despite the rains. it became uncomfortable when we reached patnitop as it was getting very very cold. the cramster gloves were useless in this weather. to me the road leading to srinagar- about 80 kms before it(not sure what the ghat section is called) was scary. sharp turns and a lot of truck traffic thanks to the manali leh road being closed. i was getting drained as we kept riding. biggest problem i faced in this trip was the fact that i am not a coffee/tea drinker, only options for me were aerated drinks - this was not helping me as well. overall i would have to say one of the most tiring day in the whole trip. as the sun set it became ridiculously cold even after we decended from the ghats section and into the valley.

                                to add a couple of pics

                                the name of the hotel we stayed in jalander and its T.NO is in the last pic- it has parking space and was good enough for 700 rs.
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