Since '02 xBhp is different things to different people. From a close knit national community of bikers to India's only motorcycling lifestyle magazine and a place to make like-minded biker friends. Join us

Castrol Power 1

Check the helmet from inside.

Our Partners

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Great Escape - Ladakh: A Journey beyond Reasons!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #61
    Originally posted by steveburnside2001 View Post
    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.
    How about Gatorade or RedBull? Don't they work better than coffee/tea? - just asking out of curiosity.
    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


    • #62
      Originally posted by aargee View Post
      Whoa!!! Guys!!! want to know which is the right one!!!!

      Source - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/454537-post.html


      Source - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/447025-post.html


      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
      Could be. I thought i saw some where that it was 7 Kilometers. Would edit the post to 2.5 Kilometers

      Originally posted by aargee View Post
      How about Gatorade or RedBull? Don't they work better than coffee/tea? - just asking out of curiosity.

      I was adviced not to drink Aerated / Bottled drinks. The high altitude could have some adverse effects. That was what i was told of, Not sure what the reason is!
      Last edited by Ananth; 07-05-2010, 10:33 AM.
      Photo Gallery[/B]

      Comment


      • #63
        Day 3

        Day 3

        Our plan was to start as early as possible and view the sunrise at the Dal lake but lazy bums as we are, we could not get up that early in that weather. As we packed our bags and loaded then on the bikes we get another shock- the ZMR had a puncture. Now we were about 50 kms outside Srinagar and it was around 6 in the morning we did not expect the puncture guys to be open so soon. To our surprise we found one 5kms from our hotel – problem was he did not know how to repair a tubeless tyre and kept on persisting that we add a tube. We were not sure about the tube option and pushed ahead. the roads from here on till Srinagar resembled the forest road in Wayanad leading to Sultan Bathery. There were army personals posted every 500 meters on this highway as well. Finally found a puncture repair guy 10 kms outside Srinagar and got the rear tyre fixed. Reached Srinagar at around 7.30 in the morning and started looking for a shikara ride on the Dal lake. We could not find suitable parking spots for the bike so we planned to have breakfast at a hotel opposite to Dal lake leave the bikes there and go on the shikara ride. This plan was not successful as the guard would not allow our bikes with our saddle bags in their parking lot. My first reaction was WTF!!!. Then came to realize that bomb blasts happen time and again in Srinagar and this was the reason for his refusal. Went to a private parking lot and had our bikes parked. Jumped on the shikara and went on a ride for 1 hour. The ride was pleasant and relaxing (something we needed.). Once the ride was over we were off on the Srinagar – Leh highway. tanked up on the way and proceeded towards Sonamarg.



        The ride from here on was different. We began to see a lot of bikers heading on the same route. We stopped many time to capture the beauty of the Kashmir valley, the rivers, the meadows- all said and done one thing I found after seeing so many pictures of Kashmir – it still surprises you with its beauty and pics do not do justice to this place – you will have to experience it. As we headed towards Sonamarg it became obvious why the place is called heaven on earth. I will not talk anymore and let the pictures do all the talking.

        We stopped at Sonamarg to have lunch. Food was average and not even to close to what we had in Punjab. As we decided to proceed further, the weather gods had a different ball game for us. It started drizzling. We had our rain gear ready and did not realize the seriousness of the situation and proceeded towards our first mountain pass- the Zojilla pass.

        Zojilla pass is located about 10 kms from Sonamarg and our plan was reach Zojilla in 15 minutes and then Drass in an hour. Boy were we in for a surprise. As we kept proceeding the roads kept getting from decent to bad to worse. Just when we thought it could not get any worse, the road disappeared, it was due to a landslide and the trucks were stranded there. The bro was clearing the landslide to make it motorable (ladhaki terms). Bikers were allowed to ply through and we had about 8-9 bikes joining us as we were crossing this pass. As we kept going closer to the pass we say a huge traffic jam. Good thing for bikers is that we can squeeze in and head forward. Bad thing was if you miscalculate when you are squeezing in you have the cliff to play with. On a serious note this was not an easy pass at all. As crossed the traffic jam we were in for the next surprise- the drizzling became stronger and the roads were nothing but much and slush which is a bikers nightmare. Good thing for me was the tyres gave excellent traction and I managed to cross this section without any major hiccups. Ananth was struggling a little bit as his front tyre was not giving enough traction and the ZMR being a heavier bike did not help him either. Finally we were at the top. Zojilla was one of the toughest passes we crossed on this trip yet we were not tired- I guess this was due to the fact that we saw snow for the first time on the rod. Snow walls were 12 feet tall and the mountains had fresh snow which made the pass look majestic and astonishing. We could not get the customary pics next to the signboard stating Zojilla pass as the rain had intensified. We decided to proceed towards Drass. The ride from here on was tough – heavy rain, bad roads poor visibility, freaking cold weather- this has to be felt to know the pain we were in. we did not stop at all and were pushing ourselves- big mistake. Both of us were protected from the cold and the rain by our gear- the only gear which let us down was the Cramster gloves. After riding for (I am not sure but felt like ages) we stopped at a village and decided to ask for help. Sad thing was the village was deserted except for some truck drivers who were having lunch. Took shelter for about 15 minutes, go the news that Drass was 20 odd kms from there. Started the bikes and kept our hands next to the engine and the exhaust to get some heat. This did not work as the engines had cooled down in the 15 min break we had. The rain finally began to subside as we were riding towards Drass. Reached Drass and booked a room at the J&K tourism bungalow for 300 rs. The rooms were clean and worth every single penny. We could not even remove the saddles as our hands had gone numb. Finally dumped our luggage in our room and I decided to head into the market to get a decent pair of gloves for the ride. Picked up some woolen socks as well. Went to an STD booth, made some calls back home and hit the sack.

        Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world and we realized just that. I had 2 T shirts, my leather jacket, thick blanket and still found it ridiculously cold. Somehow caught some sleep as we had a big day tomorrow. We were going to get leh’d .

        Did we get leh’d the next day of did mother nature play a new game with us. Watch this space for more.

        Now that you guys have read this long log, enjoy the pics.more pics of this day will be posted by Ananth

        Sign board at the parking lot showing the situation the city is in


        first nalla crossing


        my fav pic of Dal lake taken by Ananth of the 1000d


        The roads at Zojilla


        The squeezing points I was talking about is to my right
        Leh
        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/1...d-reasons.html

        The Southern Sojourn
        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/best-tra...-remember.html

        Munnar - Kodai
        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/5...-page-6-a.html

        Goa
        http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/6...ers-8days.html

        Comment


        • #64
          I had ventilated gloves Steve. It was not rain proof as well. U can avoid the problem to a certain extent by wearing surgical gloves and ur riding gloves above them. Ur hand wont get wet that way.
          Democracy is when 2 wolves and a sheep meet to decide who is for dinner. Liberty is when the sheep has a gun.

          Comment


          • #65
            Interesting log. You guys talk about Nokia but you show the photograph of a Samsung!

            If you have crossed Zoji La, which Madame Brigitte had renamed "Godzilla", you have crossed the worst. For us, Zoji La was a nightmare! Slush, mud, water, lack of grip, slipping and sliding, the worst!

            Originally posted by aargee View Post
            Whoa!!! Guys!!! want to know which is the right one!!!!


            Edit - I missed Aman's post; probably your single digit speeds made the tunnel look like 7.2 Kms instead of 2.7
            It is indeed 2.7 kms for clarification since you seem to be ardently following the Kashmir-Ladakh trips!
            The Wheel was a great invention; Two Wheels with a Motor in between was even better!


            BMW Motorrad Days 2011

            Xbhp's Indo-French Kashmir-Ladakh Tour

            Comment


            • #66
              Great pics there Steve.

              Think the rains were a blessing in disguise for you people. It would have washed the mu/slush etc that you have accumulated in your bike while the ride.

              I think, even those plastic hand covers (worn by people serving food in restaurants) would have done a good waterproof job.
              CBZ Xtreme
              "Live Extreme"

              Comment


              • #67
                Day 4: Srinagar - Zozilla - Drass

                The room was clumsy, dirty and irritating. The night seemed to fade away some how and I woke up just as the sun came above the clouds.It was still gloomy, With wet shoes, wet pants and wet luggage I just hoped i had a brighter day. I wished i could sleep for long, but steve got ready before me and asked me to start soon. I refreshed up and went down to tie the saddles.I felt the rear tyre is running low on air. Steve as usual said i was just being paranoid. tied up the backpack, vacated the room and moved on. Handling was pathetic. It was dancing across the street - Rode for 10 kilometers to check the tyre pressure. The Puncture shop guy found a nail in the rear tyre and pressure almost down to 5 PSI. I just inflated the tyre and moved on as he did not have a Tubeless Puncture Repair Kit. Moved on till Srinagar and fixed the Puncture. Paid 50 Rs for the repair. Not bad, Back in Chennai they charge upto 100Rs. for a

                puncture!






                From there we moved on to see the Dal Lake. The very sight was soothing to the eyes, Not so clean but it was vast and beautiful. Stopped by a restaurant opposite to the Lake, Had some Bread and tea. Came out to the Lake, No space to park. Met a few Bikers who adviced us to drop the Bikes in the parking lot

                nearby. The Parking Lot was mainly for Cars, But they take in Bikes at 10Rs per Bike. Asked a Barber there to take care of the Bike & Saddle bags. Took the Tank Bag and moved on:

                The Board at the Parking Lot: He warns You that he is not responsible for any Bomb Blasts




                The First View:







                All in a days work:



















                Want Ice Cream?



                Self Portrait



                Ok, one more for a pose :P





                Large House Boats:



                The Beautiful Lake :





                Through the dirtiest lanes:





                Kids on way to their School, And how! Just felt, we were so much sophisticated in our lives



                And the Shikara ride comes to a end.




                We quickly hopped out of the boat, and went to take the bikes from the parking lot. The Bike was surrounded by n number of cars giving us no room to take it

                out. It took a while to get out of the parking lot, the care taker had to push atleast 3 - 4 cars to give way for the bikes to exit.





                The next hurdle was getting out of the Srinagar Market, with so much traffic moving towards Kargil - the small road was taking all the pains. The road that runs parallel to the Dal lake was a absolute beauty. It was so refreshing to ride along side for the lake, for it ended so soon and we had to deviate to the road moving to Kargil. Stopped by the market to buy some Snacks, water and chocolates. Steve dumped it all in his tank bag and we moved on. Met a lot of Bikers. Atleast 10 - 15 of them. And a few of them often across from Pathankot. It was good to see fellow bikers waving at you for no reason, it just cherishes the moment and you forget any pains you are on and wave back with a smile and thats the beauty of it!

                Tanked up in a nearby petrol pump, and moved on for a bit. Stopped by the country roads for a pee break. The place deserved one. Snow Capps on one side and

                green agricultural field on the other. It was pleasant!







                After the pee break, The rains started its own song again, We were dancing in the middle of the road - changing to the rain gear and that too with the thich

                Woodland boots on. The local kids were amused











                From here on, till the time we reached Drass, It was rain rain and more rain. What next? One of the most beautiful places on earth - The Sonamarg. It was

                covered with full of mist & the drizzle was not helping us take any pictures. We stopped by Sonamarg for Lunch. It was pathetic. Aloo was not fried and Gopi

                was not cooked! I was about to vomit. Just had a tea and moved on. Steve took a few shots around Sonamarg when i was just slowly moving on.



                Steve, Visualizing Zozilla



                First Water crossing..





                They have all rights to stop you from going









                Zozilla was next! We were not scared, but the very thought of ZoZilla was giving goosebumps. heck! Even now!! It was raining, visibility was low. And add 2

                - 3 feet of mud + slush on the roads. It was a challenge. I'm happy we made it through. The roads were not in a good shape, thanks to fresh landslides and incessant rains. Also the traffic on Kargil was piling up due to Manali road being closed. So the lorry traffic made deep roots on the road making a good 2 feet tyre track which we had to use. Crossing through them was a experience in itself. I skid a few times on the slush. But the rear was giving me all the traction i wanted. Giving no room for us to move on was these trucks, whom i wont blame. They hardly have any place to move on, but if we dont overtake them we would be stuck behind for hours in the rains. We overtook them with as much care as possible, losing which would see us thorugh a free fall over the cliff.

                We some how made it through, and only ONE Bullet came through from the 15 members that rode along with us. Few stopped for rest, few praying for the rains to stop and a few just could not make it through. I was feeling bad for a couple of the TBTS, which I'm sure could not have climbed all the way up - in mud +

                slush with a pillion. God knows how much kilometers the pillion had to walk across Zozilla!

                The Incessant rain:



                Mr.STEEEEVE!



                And Mr. Ananth



                The Roads:





                Thats the Space we would have to squeeze through - to Overtake



                and we did pass through these :P



                After Zozilla, We wanted to stop some where, some where dry. But there was no place as such! Rested on the other side of zozilla, which had concrete roads.

                The traffic jam on the other side was also evident. So many trucks waiting in queue for their turn!



                Bikes taking some rest. Im sorry for the clutch plates



                The View just openes up:



                It was still raining..



                I could not stand anymore, so let me relax :P



                The beauty!



                It was Ice.. Ice walls! Atleast 30 feet!



                Steve did not believe when i said they were Ice, he tested it :P



                Me Posing




                The ride till drass wasn't a best experience. It was raining all the way, we were numb. Nothing could be done. We rode on & on. A hour later we stopped by a village which was supposed to have some tea stalls. But the whole village was shut down or never opened for the year. It took me about 2 minutes to unbutton my Jean for a pee. The button got pealed off cutting in my numb thumb. Spoke to the truckers, who said Drass is just nearby and could be done in 1 - 2 hours.

                It was already 3PM. We moved on after warming us up. Steve suggested i place my hands on the engine and silencer to make it warmer. The Cramster got busted

                It was soggy and wet and definitely not usable until it was made dry. I just did not want to remove it and i just kept it on. I was feeling as cold as a refrigerator. We started riding and the landscape improved tremendously. The roads were free, no traffic and we enjoyed the ride for sometime..







                We rode on from there, and it took us around 30 minutes to reach drass. Stopped by the board for a picture. Steve wanted to rest ASAP. Asked me to check for

                hotels. There was one right behind him. I went in to ask, the caretaker shoed me a room which was warm.. clean, nicely maintained and told the rate in Hindi

                - I asked if it is 1000 or 1200. He laughed and said 300. I could not speak a word, removed my rain gear and told him ill give the money when it is warm

                enough tomorrow morning. Went back and got back steve. Untied the saddles and spread over all the dresses / luggage onto the floor to dry it up.

                The customary picture:



                The Room:



                A room with A View



                The room though was warm and clean - we were feeling cold. so cold. So cold that we missed a scotch. We tucked under a thick blanket, should have been at-least 5 kilo's, but still we were feeling cold. I put on the thermals, could of dresses and a woolen glove as Steve tucked up dresses after the other, a leather jacket and a woolen balaclava. We slept on comfortably yet with the numbness never giving up.
                Last edited by Ananth; 07-05-2010, 09:54 PM.
                Photo Gallery[/B]

                Comment


                • #68
                  I wrote the whole log fr Day 4 again. Damn the Back Space key! The page's history got vanished and i had to do all the typing again! It was tough!!


                  Originally posted by Aparajith View Post
                  I had ventilated gloves Steve. It was not rain proof as well. U can avoid the problem to a certain extent by wearing surgical gloves and ur riding gloves above them. Ur hand wont get wet that way.
                  Thanks. We got hold of one at MulBek. But it was not suiting the inner part of the glove.

                  Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                  Interesting log. You guys talk about Nokia but you show the photograph of a Samsung!

                  If you have crossed Zoji La, which Madame Brigitte had renamed "Godzilla", you have crossed the worst. For us, Zoji La was a nightmare! Slush, mud, water, lack of grip, slipping and sliding, the worst!

                  It is indeed 2.7 kms for clarification since you seem to be ardently following the Kashmir-Ladakh trips!
                  It was the same for us. Gosh! Zozilla was scary!!


                  Originally posted by cbz xtreme View Post
                  Great pics there Steve.

                  Think the rains were a blessing in disguise for you people. It would have washed the mu/slush etc that you have accumulated in your bike while the ride.

                  I think, even those plastic hand covers (worn by people serving food in restaurants) would have done a good waterproof job.
                  It wont be, You need proper rain cover - simpler things will tear away in the constrant strain - accelerate - De accelerate - clutch etc!
                  Last edited by Ananth; 07-05-2010, 07:22 PM.
                  Photo Gallery[/B]

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Awesome Ananth and Steve! It's great you two stuck together through out your trip. The photos are very motivating for others to get Leh'ed in the future.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Makky View Post
                      Awesome Ananth and Steve! It's great you two stuck together through out your trip. The photos are very motivating for others to get Leh'ed in the future.
                      Thank you! And what do you mean by Stuck together throughout the trip? I really did not get what you meant there!
                      Photo Gallery[/B]

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Ananth View Post
                        Thank you! And what do you mean by Stuck together throughout the trip? I really did not get what you meant there!
                        If you happen to check other logs, you will see that the riders would start together initially and later on they would split up due to lot many reasons(better if not revealed). However, you and Steve were great.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                          It is indeed 2.7 kms for clarification since you seem...
                          Thanks; you're perfect Mod

                          @Ananth & Steeve - Hats off to you guys; the Zoji La pass looks very dangerous with all those rains & slush. I'm damn sure that was one hell of an experience; nothing comes closer to it.

                          Though both you guys posted the same day's log (Srinagar-Sonmarg-Zoji La-Drass), Steeve mentioned it Day 3 & Ananth as Day 4!!! - lol. But it was great to hear the same experience from two different views.
                          Last edited by aargee; 07-06-2010, 10:57 PM.
                          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


                          • #73
                            @aarge - zojilla was tough and i am not sure if i will experience zojilla in the same way the next time i head to leh.
                            the reason i mentioned it as day 3 was it was our 3rd riding day , ananth has taken our first day in delhi as day and i have not.

                            @Makky - i know exactly what you are talking about , i gues we have ridden together for some time and know each others strengths and weaknesses. i do not recollect us fighting or getting into an unpleasent argument. good thing for us was everytime i felt sick ananth was full of energy and got me riding and when he was down and out i was up and runnign. all in all, could not have asked for a better riding partner
                            Leh
                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/1...d-reasons.html

                            The Southern Sojourn
                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/best-tra...-remember.html

                            Munnar - Kodai
                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/5...-page-6-a.html

                            Goa
                            http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/tourer/6...ers-8days.html

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              ^^

                              Its good to hear that everything was just superb in the trip. But from a planning perspective, just 2 riders on a first Leh trip, that too during the snow period sounds a little risky to me. At least 3 would have been much safer. This is not to point a finger, just a thought. However, I'm still glad you guys did it really safe.
                              sigpic

                              Thrills of Touring

                              A touring blog with tons of bike trips across India!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by xinfii View Post
                                ^^ Its good to hear that everything was just superb in the trip. But from a planning perspective, just 2 riders on a first Leh trip, that too during the snow period sounds a little risky to me. At least 3 would have been much safer. This is not to point a finger, just a thought. However, I'm still glad you guys did it really safe.
                                Praveen, I completely agree. But We had planned for June 2nd week - Thinking the roads to be open by Mid May and June 2nd week would not be a Big problem. But having said that, The weather was too harsh this year and we could not swap leaves further. We just took it as a point not to be over adventurous / take too many risks. As Steve told me, Its a very thin line that differentiates some one as being Adventurous and being Stupid. We took every effort to not being a Stupid & to Ride on as careful as possible.
                                Photo Gallery[/B]

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X