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The Great Escape - Ladakh: A Journey beyond Reasons!

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Ananth View Post
    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.
    We wanted to some snow but the quantity delivered was more than ample.

    Just a small difference between Champ & Chump. Keeping in mind that you are more than 2500 km away from your home helps in safe riding.
    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and then beat you with experience.

    Check out my Ladakh travelogue - Ladakh Ride 2010

    If you are getting bored with nothing to do in office check out my Rajasthan travelogue - Rajasthan Ride 2012

    Bank loans for used superbikes is possible - Bank loans for used superbikes

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    • #77
      Here a little video from the trip. Shot from a Olympus Point & Shoot. Taken around the better part of the road, from India Gate towards Kardung La.

      YouTube - Enroute to KardungLa - Ladakh
      Photo Gallery[/B]

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      • #78
        Awesome guys- snow snow - Congrats Steve and Ananth
        U.S on FZ6

        Wayanad- LEH 09 - Coorg - Muthathi - Bye Bye 2008 - First G2G - 07

        Photography

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Rockkyyy View Post
          Awesome guys- snow snow - Congrats Steve and Ananth
          Thanks Rockkyyy
          Photo Gallery[/B]

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          • #80
            Day 5: Drass - Kargil - Lamayuru - Leh



            A beautiful morning..





            At the Drass War Memorial..



            The road conditions were not that great, but with very less traffic - we really did not complain. The Snow Capped Mountains would peak out every now and then just to see us relish. Maintaining some decent speed, we wanted to reach Leh before 7 PM atleast. The landscape kept changing throughout. We rode across streams, parallel to great rivers, barren mountains, snow peaks, and a variety of roads & coloured mountains. The progress was slow but worth it.





            How is that for a place to relax







            Steve, taking a breather..



















            Right after we crossed Kargil, The roads became poor to worse to pathetic. With my front tyre as usual not giving any traction / grip - I rode with maximum care, slowly and steadily. Our next stop was to tank up, rightly did so at the Kargil Filling Station. Steve amazed me with his calculations that my Bike produces 45 kmpl I could not believe him, but laughed at myself if the ZMR will ever give such results, but it did!







            Butt Break - Snickers Time!



            The roads..





            The Mountains..















            Varying roads..



            Some colourful views..











            Whatte Place to pee :P



            Ok, Time to Pose



            The road..



            National Highway - NH 1D



            Time to practise some cornering?





            At the Fotula Top









            It was already around 4 PM when we started from Fotu La. Steve wanted to stay in Lamayuru and then start to Leh the next day morning. But the lazy me, said we will ride towards Leh til we could and stay in a nearby village if we could not ride any more. My only problem was cross winds in the hills and at night could be a problem and next, if we stay somewhere before leh, I gotta get up early the next day and ride again.





            What amazing colours!









            A tired looking Steve









            Marvelous











            As soon as we took the deviation, the ghat section started. The hairpin bends and the loops was limit less.The road was so small and without any tarmac, it was tough to cope up. With oncoming Army Convoy, we could not pass through them nor just wait and waste day light. the number of oncoming Army trucks were enormous. Steve wanted to wait, but i kept moving on, for if we wait we have to wait for a long time. I dont blame the convoys, but they hardly give any damn about the vehicle coming opposite especially if it is a motorcycle. May be its just me feeling that way, but i was thrown off the road a couple of times by the oncoming truck, where i had to jam on the breaks and climb on the rocks towards the left. I slipped a few times and some how made it through. The ride started to be tough with the roads being beaten up and worse than we thought. Had a few water crossings, roads similar to moore plains, and most of it in a very bad shape.









            A stop in the middle of no where!



            Not sure how, Steve started to ride briskly and that gave me some confidence. May be even he thought we could make it to Leh soon. We were still some 60 kilometers before Leh. We had already crossed the road towards alchi and riding towards Saspol. Saw few bikers getting into a hotel there, but we did not want to stop. We kept on riding. The roads improved and our hopes too. The light was still to be seen and it was on the other side of 6 PM. Reached Nimmu around 7 15 PM. I could see that my Nose has been busted by a Sun Burn. The highway to heaven has open up. It was just one straight road, No one to care for, long & straight. I was doing around 115 kmph and stopped after it because of crosswinds. Steve came right behind around 110 kmph (both, on the odo). It was nice, even after coming up 13000 feet above sea level, you could manage such speeds. What speed could the Suzuki Bandit had made if OF had taken the Srinagar route, You judge yourselves









            NH 1D - I really liked it, only in places like these









            We tried to tuck behind a Maruti Omni, but it was struggling to climb up - so we moved on, the oncoming trucks were well lit and some how we did not find it that difficult to ride around. The traffic started to increase, there by helping us navigate easily. It took us a hour to reach the outskirts of Leh. A long days ride but we got Lehied at last and Safe

            Got Lehied at last - 2100 Hours - 16 June 2010



            Reached Leh around 9 PM and our next hurdle was finding an hotel. Which even we enter into were asking a price of nothing less than 3000Rs.!! It took us some time, almost 30 minutes riding around the same street looking for cheaper hotels. Finally found one, at Rock Fort Road for 500 Rs. Decent enough room, we crashed in soon.

            So, Finally after extensive riding in plains, mountains, roads, no roads, rain, slush, sleet, water crossings, stream crossings beautiful valleys, meeting wonderful people - we got Lehied.
            Photo Gallery[/B]

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            • #81
              Day 6: In & Around Leh

              Day 6: In & Around Leh

              The agenda for the day was to : take ample rest , check the bikes, get money from the ATM and apply for permits. We had a sound sleep last night. I was content, nothing to worry of, and with a sigh of relief that we reached Leh. Woke up around 7 30 AM, Still earlier than we thought. Got refreshed, had a nice hot tea. Went out and checked with the guest house owner about getting permits. He said he could get it done, but getting permits to remote places like: Marsimik La, Turtuk & Shyok was a problem. And he did not guarantee all the places we tell him will be there on the permit. So we decided to go ourselves and face the music. Got ready, cleaned up the bikes a little and moved on.

              Guest House in Leh:









              Applied for the permit, we wrote every place we could mention - From Ktop to Nubra to Turtuk to Agam to Shyok to Lukung to Spangmik to Marsimik La to Wari La & Chang La. The officer was pissed up and asked us to write just: Nubra Valley, Pangang Tso, Marsimik La as writing these places alone would cover any adjoining places. Thanks to the extra two photo copies, we refilled the application and submitted. We were asked to come back after 3 PM. It was 1 PM when we submitted the application, couple of more hours to spend.





              Is this Leh Palace?



              Polo Grounds





              The view around..











              We were riding back to the Guest House, Steve was hungry and he wanted to try some more South-Indian food. we took the road we wanted, rode like a nomad - and finally got LOST We rode on and saw a hill and some shrine on top of it. I thought it could be a palace or some monastery. Steve was not ready to climb up the hill. We parked the Bike, not knowing that was Shanti Stupa.







              We relaxed a bit and moved on. Little further i see a board saying: Shanti Stupa up ahead. It was then we realised it was the same Shanti Stupa we were searching for since morning. But Steve would no way climb up the hill and i was also tired & hungry. We asked them for directions and rode back to the room. We could not find a decent hotel, but figured out the Shanti Stupa. But now seeing the pictures of it, I know what i missed seeing. The climb up hill would have been worth it.





              I did not know weather to reply or not, so i deleted the email and thought of a escape plan. I had taken leave that i have a wedding to attend in Singapore. I did not want to worry about it, I postponed the day to worry, a later time. I moved on back to the hotel with thousands of thoughts running in my mind.

              View around from the room:



              Want to buy some Ladakh TShirts?





              While going back, again met the guys we had seen in Dal Lake. Gave them some inputs about the permits and moved on. Went back to the room, I was again feeling hungry, so came back to the fort road to get some snacks, and water for the next days ride. Met the guys on a fortuner again. Invited them to the guest house to plan up the trip around Leh. Showed them the maps from BCMT / we downloaded off the web - they were thrilled. Discussed a lot and shared what ever info we had. They said they ll meet us near the deviation to K Top road in Leh the next morning and moved on.

              It was already dark, and we were a bit tired. A day reserved for rest was spent entirely roaming around Leh and eventually just roaming and never saw any places In & Around Leh. I slept in a world of thoughts, thinking how to avoid any rift with the manager and also what the whole of my office would be thinking. May be the posts i made on my FB was the culprit. More on that later
              Photo Gallery[/B]

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              • #82
                @Ananth - Yes the picture that you have posted is of Leh Palace.
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                My photography page: Gourab Das Photography

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by MG_Biker1806 View Post
                  @Ananth - Yes the picture that you have posted is of Leh Palace.
                  I did not know than when i clicked that picture
                  Photo Gallery[/B]

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                  • #84
                    Yes that is Leh Palace. They charge you for going in and visiting. The place holds almost nothing inside!

                    3 days without a shower!!!
                    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

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                      Yes that is Leh Palace. They charge you for going in and visiting. The place holds almost nothing inside!
                      Good that you pointed it out. I need not waste time , going inside a empty palace next time (If) i visit Leh.

                      Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                      3 days without a shower!!!
                      You can call me lazy, but the actual problem was to bath in the freezing water - I chose not to
                      Photo Gallery[/B]

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Ananth View Post

                        You can call me lazy, but the actual problem was to bath in the freezing water - I chose not to
                        Yes. I had figured when I had read that there was no hot water in Drass.
                        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

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                        • #87
                          When I hear of the Leh Palace... I remember the opening and the closing times!

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                          Thrills of Touring

                          A touring blog with tons of bike trips across India!

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                          • #88
                            Eagerly looking forward to knowing what your manager did to you when you returned

                            Great narration coupled with equally good pics. Waiting for your take on Agham - Durbuk!
                            " I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" - Kurt Cobain

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                            • #89
                              Leh Palace.. I didnt pay anything, and I found it worth a visit. Even trekked up to the castle, although the castle was closed, but the temple there was open. And that would be the highest point in Leh city.
                              | Judging a bike by a cubic capacity yardstick is like judging a female by her bra size |

                              My Leh 2010 Photo Log
                              My GQ 2010-11 Photo Log

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                                Yes. I had figured when I had read that there was no hot water in Drass.
                                Glad you read the log

                                Originally posted by xinfii View Post
                                When I hear of the Leh Palace... I remember the opening and the closing times!
                                Interesting. Sun rises around 5 30 AM and Sets around 8 PM. Thats a lot of time to trek up and go around the palace.

                                Originally posted by kurtrules View Post
                                Eagerly looking forward to knowing what your manager did to you when you returned

                                Great narration coupled with equally good pics. Waiting for your take on Agham - Durbuk!
                                Thanks Kurt!

                                Agham - Durbuk would take sometime, Would try to ride to Kardung la Tomorrow / day after
                                Photo Gallery[/B]

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