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The Great Escape - Ladakh: A Journey beyond Reasons!

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  • AMS and Me @ K'La

    AMS and Me at K-Top

    Ever since I started reading threads on Ladakh , K’La has had a special place in my heart. Was all excited to ride to the highest motor able road in the world. Couple of things I missed out due to the excitement was skipped Breakfast and inhaled petrol fumes while tying the jerry cans – this was a mistake; maybe a blunder and cost me heavily. The ride till south pallu was good without any issues. I started getting signs of breathless as soon as we reached the check post. My thought was keep drinking water and I should be good. I should keep you guys informed about another habit of mine- I do not drink Tea/Coffee and this cost me dearly as well. Ananth had his share of Tea/Coffee when ever we skipped breakfast and this kept him going. As soon as we got the Sign to head to the K-top, I did not want to strain the bike and kept riding without pushing the bike. It was cold, so cold that you feel your balls might be frozen (excuse my language) but did not get better words for expressing myself. This was the coldest weather I have experienced in my life. Cold weather, bad roads, Ice, no Traction for the tyres, Dizziness, Weakness and a mild headache – this was the situation I was in. However did not want to let Ananth down and kept motivating myself. Every kilometer felt like a millennium. Soon we reached “India Gate” I came here first and asked Ananth to stop and get a picture of me with my bike out here. Now Ananth wanted a picture as well. I did not want to let him down by giving excuses and headed down about 10 meters to get the snap. Got a little pissed when he asked me go further down . Now I had to walk up at that altitude, this did not help me either but I am glad I got that shot. As I resumed the journey thinking things cannot get worse I get stuck at a massive traffic jam. We were stuck for quite some time and I am not sure how long as my condition was deteriorating, add to that every truck/Car in front of us was revving causing me to inhale diesel smoke. As soon as I reached the top, I knew I had to get down, called Ananth to get a picture so that I can move. Ananth was a little upset as I could not get his Picture. I could not explain the situation there and said meet you somewhere on the way to Nubra(Sorry Ananth for not getting your picture). The ride from K’La to the North Pallu section was a nightmare. Couple of reasons

    1. Number of vehicles passing through this route should be 1/10th the number of vehicles riding from Leh to K’la.(Most of the tourists turn back from K’la)
    2. As mentioned by Ananth this region does not receive a lot of sunlight.

    As I started riding down I realized that I was the only person traveling in this route and I was alone, fighting something I cannot see but only experience in some of the worst conditions imaginable (In layman’s terms – “I was Fc’uked). There no point in stopping as I had to get down ASAP. Roads were bad with a lot of fresh Ice, water and slush. Maintained a decent speed thanks to the tyres. I did not know how far the army camp was as there were no sign boards. This is on section I wished I had stopped to take pics as it was breathtaking(this coming from a guy who could not concentrate due to AMS). As I kept riding I faced an urge, an urge to pee. Now this is something I could not control. I did not know if I should stop and Pee or keep riding. After some time I did not have a choice. By the way Did I mention about my riding gear. I had my raincoat pants on which does have a Zipper. Getting that pant down at this situation was tough with an urge to Pee. Somehow answered natures call and headed towards a settlement(road workers I guess) and asked about the army camp. Good thing was I was out of the snow capped region. I saw a lot of squirrels(not sure what they were).Finally reached the North pallu check post. Did not even see the signboard Ananth was talking about and asked for help. The army guys were so helpful that they got me inside their canteen and gave me hot water and asked if I wanted Tea. Got the hot water and politely refused the tea and kept waiting for Ananth. I had some problems here, my headache was ok but I was feeling drowsy but did not want to sleep as the canteen was not on the road and I did not want Ananth to miss seeing my bike and get separated. The next 20 minutes kept fighting sleep by talking to the army guys and cursing Ananth for not coming soon. Finally I hear a motorbike sound which was not a bullet and found our an at the check post. He did not see the bike. I started shouting with whatever energy I had left and the army guy in the canteen helped me as well. Finally the Ananth joined me at the canteen. He had some food here and then we pushed off towards Diksit. I was still not Ok and was feeling sleepy and informed Ananth that we had to stop at the next village. Took a short nap and had a Sinkers bar- I think it is this small 40rs junk food which brought me back to life. After Khardhung I was normal and we proceeded towards Dikskit.

    This was my experience fighting AMS and riding on the highest motor able road in bad weather. To feel what I felt you will have to ride it. They say a picture can say a 1000 words, now that you have read this article look at the pic of me at K-top. Hope you guys enjoyed it.
    Last edited by steveburnside2001; 07-16-2010, 02:46 PM.
    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


    • Originally posted by ken cool View Post
      In the middle of the cold desert you were receiving calls from your office?
      Strange, But true. Diskit & Hunder has cellphone connectivity

      Originally posted by aargee View Post
      What is this black ice? Is it the slush of snow & dirt mixed together?
      This explains

      Originally posted by Aparajith View Post
      Black ice is nothing but a thin layer of ice on the road. Its called black as it cannot be seen from ur saddle and appears transparent thru which the BLACK TARMAC is visible. U know what happens when a tire hits thin hard ice!

      Originally posted by Tarc View Post
      Finally found some time to read...Day 7 log is superb..enjoyed reading it thoroughly..snow, mountains, deserts...Superb!!!!

      @Steve, Kudos to you for overcoming AMS and keeping the riding spirit..it seems you overcame it by just sleeping..didnt you take any medicines like Diamox or anything..

      And petrol for Rs55 at Diskit?..wow!! cheaper than Chennai!!!
      Thanks! Yeah Kudos to Steve for riding with so much grit, but he didnt have a choice, did he?

      Diamox? I guess we forgot where we kept Diamox, and found it only after reaching Keylong


      Originally posted by bikerfas View Post
      Again wonderful log full of your awesome experiences Ananth. Good to know that Steve rode against AMS to be there and do that - Get Leh'ed.

      Nice set of videos Steve.
      Thanks Dinesh!

      Originally posted by cbz xtreme View Post
      Wow Ananth,

      Super duper stuff.. Great log. But the high light was the videos. <applause>

      In the last video (posted in the Day 7 log), some dark clouds could be seen. Is it so..? (Or just my imagination).

      Anyways, CONGRATS again. Awesome stuff. Snow, Ice, Black Ice, sand dunes, desert, riding on road in pot holes... And that too all in one day, Marvelous...
      Thank you Deepak.

      Originally posted by ArniMarine View Post
      Finally got some time to read this thread and whoa..I had been missing something!

      Great trip and nice clicks Ananth....the best thing about another Leh log is that you cannot get bored seeing the same places again and again captured in different times or with different perspectives...
      Thank you so much

      Originally posted by steveburnside2001 View Post
      AMS and Me at K-Top

      Ananth was a little upset as I could not get his Picture. I could not explain the situation there and said meet you somewhere on the way to Nubra(Sorry Ananth for not getting your picture).
      I wasnt upset, I was in a fix - what do i do next, wait there or ride on. But it was fun at the top, it was snowing - meeting lots of new people and I almost spent 40 minutes at the Top :P
      Photo Gallery[/B]

      Comment


      • I think Steve was suffering from hypoglycemia more than anything else. Of course the altitude made things worse. I have always followed a golden rule, never travel on either an empty stomach or a full stomach! If there is nothing, have at least a banana. Even I do not have tea or coffee! Other than one occasional Kahwa a year!
        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


        • Superb Pics Guys - I am loving it !!
          U.S on FZ6

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

          Photography

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          • Originally posted by ken cool View Post
            I think Steve was suffering from hypoglycemia more than anything else. Of course the altitude made things worse. I have always followed a golden rule, never travel on either an empty stomach or a full stomach! If there is nothing, have at least a banana. Even I do not have tea or coffee! Other than one occasional Kahwa a year!
            Thats true... To be frank anything that increases ur acidity is not good - Tea/coffee/Lemonade etc. I have acidity and almost all of us had AMS after stopping at Bharatpur - wrong place but no choice! I had tea in the morning, hot water and then a Real fruit juice. Nothing helped... kept vomiting and finally the empty stomach caught on at Pang. All of us were drained and forced to stop. Cream biscuits help to an extent though.
            Democracy is when 2 wolves and a sheep meet to decide who is for dinner. Liberty is when the sheep has a gun.

            Comment


            • @Steve: If I visualize your situation, I think, my general health will go down.

              The 14th gives a clear picture of the amount of smoke you were forced to in hale.

              Congrats Brave Heart.

              I have a question, By covering your nose with the balaclava, won't that protect (to some extent) from the diesel smoke stuff..?
              CBZ Xtreme
              "Live Extreme"

              Comment


              • Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                I think Steve was suffering from hypoglycemia more than anything else. Of course the altitude made things worse. I have always followed a golden rule, never travel on either an empty stomach or a full stomach! If there is nothing, have at least a banana. Even I do not have tea or coffee! Other than one occasional Kahwa a year!
                Could be, But we were feeding the stomach with a lot of energy bars, wont that keep up the sugar level in the blood to some extent?

                Originally posted by Rockkyyy View Post
                Superb Pics Guys - I am loving it !!
                Thanks Ashwin

                Originally posted by cbz xtreme View Post
                @Steve: If I visualize your situation, I think, my general health will go down.

                The 14th gives a clear picture of the amount of smoke you were forced to in hale.

                Congrats Brave Heart.

                I have a question, By covering your nose with the balaclava, won't that protect (to some extent) from the diesel smoke stuff..?
                Balaclava we had were a bit thick, it would have protected us from cold, but breathing would have become a issue if its tight.
                Photo Gallery[/B]

                Comment


                • Day 8: Nubra Valley - Shyok - Pangong Tso

                  Day 8: Nubra Valley - Shyok - Pangong Tso

                  * Tring * Tring * Tring * Tring * rings my mobile. I wake up, with so much pain as though i was drunk last night. An unknown number, keeps ringing. In two minds, weather to accept the call or not. Steve too wakes up in the "classic bell" ring tone. I finally receive, It was Ken. Sense of relief, It wasnt my manager. I took a while for me to reply him, Spoke about road conditions & what we went through yesterday.
                  Couple of minutes and i went back to sleep again! 7 30 AM, the alarm rings up again, woke up like a kid, with my hairs springled across in all directions. I did not have a pleasant sleep last night, Severe Head ache, body pain and thousands of thoughs running in my mind. It wasn't any AMS, could have been some work - related syndrome :P Got refreshed quickly, came back to the room and relaxed for a bit, seeing the wonderful mountains through the window.
                  Ordered a tea, gasping at the unadulterated beauty of Ladakh - worries just carried away.

                  Tried calling Rakesh if they were ready for todays acid test. In fact we didn't have a clue about roads, err.. if there are any roads available, would there be any villages around it nor if there is gonna be a crazy ride on the river banks. With what ever energy we had, we packed on. We had left the saddlebags on the bike itself last night, just took the TankBag - so much trust on the villagers.
                  At 8 AM, Rakesh called in saying they will be at the Guest House in 15 minutes. Steve meanwhile got ready, I went out to settle off any pending bills and to have another tea. Enquired about the road to Shyok and we were assured that it is motorable most of it and only 12 - 15 kilometers are Bad. So in the 120 kilometers, Only a max of 20 kiloemeters would be bad we were told. That gave in a lot of confidence. Meanwhile Rajesh & Sajit joined in.
                  They were late because some mad driver had hit a donkey and ran away and the Donkey was battling for life & there wasn't any space available for the car to move on.

                  8 30 AM, We left the guesthouse. Unpacked the saddle bags and my backpack into the Fortuner. We just had a Tank Bag & the Jerry can with Petrol. They weren't sure of stocking in the petrol, I did not want to ask them twice. We moved on. Plan was to meet up at some village around Khalsar / Agham. Fortuner zipped ahead, We moved on ahead.
                  The small n cute pretty girl sitting near Julie Christ Medical Shop wasn't there, shop was closed - missed one last chance seeing her again :P Steve could have missed seeing the other girl he liked - may be, who knows :P

                  We rode on, gazing at the sand dunes of Nubra Valley for one last time. For the next 5 - 10 kilometers, My concentration for the most part was seeing the beautiful landscape towards the left.
                  It was a mix of dry river beds to smaller nalas to fast gushing streams to sand dunes. Nubra, still has a special place in my heart for its peculiar nature.






                  It was ONE straight road!



                  We climbed down the hill and passed Khalsar. Saw a couple of jeeps speeding ahead of us, and one of the drivers were waving at us. I thought it could have been Ken. It wasn't so. Reached the diversion to Agham, No sign of Fortuner, Steve thought they could be waiting for us at Agham itself.

                  The diversion to Agham:




                  The landscape dramatically changes after leaving Khalsar, there is more greenery, more dry river beds, few good roads and lots of Off-roading. The initial section of the road towards Agham was decent, newly laid roads made the progress better. I was told by KurtRules & Tanveer that it takes around 5 - 6 hours to reach Pangong from Nubra Valley. Knowing this we rode on casually, taking breaks every now & then and we wern't rushing towards the destination for the day.



                  Nice road eh?







                  After a while, the roads disappeared and It was all rocks, boulders & loose gravel. The roads were motorable indeed, But the ZMR could not keep up with the speeds of Steve's ZMA R which was easily cruising through. CrossWinds, loose sand + rocks on the road gave me very little traction. Crossed through a rough patch for sometime, later got accustomed for riding in that terrain.





                  Nice place to relax



                  We rode on ahead and saw the fortuner waiting for us. A couple of people were asking to take us to the next village, Agham. We could not, But the fortuner had the Middle seats empty and picked them up - Again the fortuner zipped ahead and we carried on slowly. The bike was feeling different to be ridden on, especially after removing all the luggages, It was light and the PULL was effectively better than yesterday.

                  The roads:





                  Every now and then, there will be a bridge to cross the river and also some newly laid tarmac. By now, we clearly understood that newly laid tarmac is not always complete - We wern't speeding at all. Casual 40's on tarmac and 10 - 20 kmph on off-roads.



                  Butt breaks, In the middle of no where









                  The mountains were different on these parts, more of loose sand and shooting stones. The roads that were built upon too were filled with fresh landslides. In some sections, even the fortuner too stuggled a bit. I'm not sure if it wasn;t driven properly / if they chose the correct 4 x 4 mode. A little further from where we stopped before, we came across one such newer landslide. Most part of it was covered with Big boulders.

                  Sajit & Rakesh cleared the boulders and tried to pass on the incline. They tried for some 10 - 15 minutes, but in vain. Finally, we reordered the stones and with a little more push on the 1st gear the fortuner moved on. It wasn't a big deal for the Karizma's though.

                  Fortuner getting stuck:







                  I was starting to feel hungry and a bit tired. Constantly riding on 1st & 2nd Gear for a long time, The weather was Hot, yes it was like riding in Chennai. My Thermals were wet from the sweat generated. Drank a lot of water, and moved ahead. Another 15 minutes of riding, got us to the village Agham. There was just ONE house and it was like a guest house and nobody was there! Met Rakesh & Sajit relaxing by the stream nearby.

                  The direction to Wari La & Shyok was clearly marked. So, From now on we have to ride on a trekking trail and No authentic road map was there. All 4 of us were charged up for the ride ahead. Had a energy Bar, went to the stream to get some more water. Meanwhile, they left ahead.







                  By passing through Shyok, We bypass Wari La & Chang La one of the tough passes in ladakh. There was no altitude problem, even the ascent was gradual and there is no steep hills to be worried off. The speeds were reduced to a considerable amount, err i mean 10 to 20 kmph max. After passing Agham, there was no proper road - most of the tracks were filled up with stones from landslides. For the fortuner, It wasn't a BIG DEAL!

                  When ever i try to speed a bit, my front tyre would give in and skid on, So i was careful not to ride too slow, nor ride too fast. Too bad for Steve that he could maintain better speeds than mine, and he had to wait every 5 kilometers to check if am tailing him. May be it was my bad day, I could not gather much strength - I did not eat properly for some days now and it started to take a toll on the body.

                  The scorching sun wasn't helping - I was sweating a lot and getting dehydrated. The water was almost over in all the bottles by now. We stopped by the newly constructed bridge across Shyok River. There was a Army camp, and lot of people working on the road. Rajesh & Sajit met their share of a Mallu there. The guy incharge was a Mallu and was happy to speak in Malyalam after a long time. Mallu's are there everywhere, aren't they?

                  Emptied whatever water we had, Shyok was said to be 15 kilometers from here. The roads were terrible. Infact, there were no roads - they were filling up gravel / rocks on a dirt track to facilitate the movement of vehicles next year. Saw a Bolero crossing by, that was perhaps the second car we saw on the whole route. The guy waved at us in excitement for seeing us in that route.





                  Good things always come to an end



                  There were such huge boulders, slippery rocks, sharp stones which give a real test for the man & the machine. Tanveer had already adviced through a PM to look out for Sharp Stones, With no foot pump, we had to be extra cautious. Stopped every now and then, resting the bike and the self. It was tiring. There would be a few steep inclines, rather it seemed to be steep with no proper track. No traction meant I had to be extra cautious.





                  Steve was riding behind me for a while & noticed that i slam the brakes when the tyre's skid. He adviced me to carry on with the same momentum, and let the tyre itself gain traction on its own. It proved to be a better advice, But the front tyre was hopeless for any traction - It was as though I'm using a bald tyre. No sight of fortuner ahead, and the roads suddenly seemed too long. The last 15 kilometers were the toughest.

                  No one to bother for miles & miles, thankfully the Bikes did not lose hope and carried us efficiently. I'm still so convinced for getting the Karizma. The Honda engines were really Bullet proof. I could happily vouch for it.

                  Soon, we reached Shyok, as usual not many houses were present in the village. The bolero guy was waving at me, Not sure why - i waved back and went ahead. Saw the fortuner parked by, but the guys were missing - honked a few times, no response. A small boy from a nearby house came running in, asking us to come to their home. He also mentioned that Sajit & Rakesh were there in their house. First, we were skeptical - but he requested to join in.

                  A typical Ladakhi house, or may be Tibetan. The guy we met mid way was happy to welcome us into their home. The house had its own charm & smell. It was authentic, traditional and you feel nostalic for no reason. Went in & sajit was lying down with some headache & body pain. He wondered how bad we would have been, riding that harsh route. We were offered Hot Butter Salt Tea. First time I'm drinking a Butter Tea - It was different and tasted good.

                  They then offered some maggi & biscuits. Steve was hungry, got hold of the lunch pack the fortuner guys had - emptied most of it and gave them a aloo paratha. Steve did not have the maggi too, so his hunger was increasing enormous. They had a plate full of Bread slices. Steve took some bread, asked for AMUL BUTTER :P Heck! They even gave us what ever Steve ordered. Such love, care and affection i have never seen before.

                  I was feeling full, had one more Slice - Mango juice and rested for sometime. We were speaking about Ladakh, the remoteness of the place.. how they live in the wilderness and how they settled here etc. The family was kind enough to speak every thing they had, we almost were like family friends for a long time - but the fact is we just met them once on the road and they treated us like a part of their own.

                  Sajit lyed down for sometime, he wasn't really feeling good. They had ridden without the AC for sometime, and the heat took a toll inside the car. Steve came back to life after filling in some food. The kid took us into the prayer room and showed us some drawings, idols and how they pray. It was again a welcome gesture. We thought of paying them, but they did not even bother to accept it.

                  We would have eaten for atlest some 300 Rs. Not to forget they were meeting their ends with a small petty shop in Shyok. Gave some money to the kid as his pocket money and started from there.


                  Their house:




                  Even Ladakh has a Katrina Kaif's poster everywhere!




                  A view to die for: The view from the house..




                  Their Kids..




                  Wide range of vessels: Tibetan Style




                  One more view from the window:






                  Rakesh & Sajit:




                  The family:




                  The bolero too started with us. He was mentioning about the Karakoram ranged & the traditional Silk route from China to India passes nearby. I had no clue what he was talking about. Later, He explained me that people used to bring in Silk from China to India and the route through the mountains was called "The Silk Route" They used to travel with horses & donkeys and trade Silk & other materials In & out of China to India.

                  This is what he mentioned as, the remains of the original Silk route:





                  Sajit tried his hands (& legs) with some trek up the hill and seeing a better view of it. The route has been almost broken off by landslides and making way for the newer roads and routes. The roads again were a mix, but it wasnt as bad as the Agham - Shyok route.

                  It was already 4 PM, too many breaks and time ran away. Knowing the Sun light would be present till 8 PM, we were a little casual and rode on with no sense of urgency. The road from Shyok to Durbuk had something like a pass, which doesn't have any info if it was a pass, but there were so many prayer flags & It was just on top of a hill and the road sloped down after it. It could be named a pass, it was around 13000 feet if i remember correctly.



                  Soon, we reached Durbuk. Saw the deviation to Chang La, so we have now successfully Bypassed Chang la & wari la and reached the other side of it. Another feather in the cap, but again the credit goes to the BRO & not us for just passing through

                  We were asked to meet the ARMY Camp at Durbuk for a special pass which facilitates tourists to take a boat ride in Pangong. There wasn't one in Durbuk exactly but we had to go another 6 -7 kilometers for it. Rakesh went in & spoke to the guard there, he in turn adviced to speak to the colonel. The colonel in charge wasn't available& he had gone to the firing range and no idea when he will return. The guard asked us to try in Lukung Army camp, but no one could guarantee the boat ride.

                  Nothing else to do, we carried on towards Tangtse. There was a shorter / similar route connecting the army base and the other end of tangtse, bypassing the small town. We took the route, no traffic - new roads and we were joyfully crusing around the 80's. Bypassing Tangtse meant we had to wait another few days to call back home. We had already passed tangtse for 10 kilometers, so came back to tangtse and looked around for Internet Cafe's & STD Booths. None of them were working.

                  Was asked to try the satellite phone in the army camp @ durbuk or use the one available in Muglub / spangmik. Most part of the roads were newly laid. So thankfully we could maintain better speeds.



                  It was then we figured out that Steve's Jerrycan has a leak, may be some stone had hit the jerry can on the way. We decided to move on as the leak wasn't much and also Steve did not want to smell petrol fumes again. We went ahead and missed the only house in Muglub which had the satellite phone. Me & Steve rode on ahead, as usual we did not stop much for pictures, and soon we came across the world famous pagal nalaa :P

                  There wasn't any naala, and there was a huge brigde built upon. The nalaa had almost no water, it was sad to see it in such a way. Steve tried to take the original pagal nalaa route, but it was broken up and the army has constructed the bridge in a higher level to make vehicles plyby without any issues.

                  En route to Pangong:





                  Bridge across the pagal nalaa:



                  The remains of the nalaa:



                  Some wild asses :P



                  We crossed the pagal nalaa and up ahead we come across the first view of Pangong Tso. It was a sight indeed. No amount of pictures will be able to capture the beauty of the lake.





                  Steve's jerry can started spilling out more and so it was time to remove it all and empty the can. I carefully removed the bungee chords / jerry can and emptied the petrol into the tank. Cleaned up the can, washed the hands with whatever water we had, and waited on for the other 2 to join in.

                  No sign of them coming by, I wanted to go back and check if they have any problem. The river bed too had sand dunes like that of Nubra valley. Rode a kilometer or two and spotted the Fortuner. They had stopped in Muglub for making phone calls. we missed it



                  So, we rode back to Lukung, The sun was already behind the clouds. 1900 hours the lake was in its original colour. It is the Sun's light that makes all the changes in the lake. No sign of any satellite phone in Lukung, so we just went near the lake for a quick picture. Fortuner had already started towards Spangmik, the abode for the night.

                  The first view:







                  The gulls were playing around the lake, a beautiful thing to watch for.









                  I didn't even look anywhere else, the mind was focussed on seeing the beautiful lake towards the left. Little did i know that Ken was calling us from the other side of the road.

                  Moved on a head, two tracks diverted - Not sure which one to take. The left goes into the lake and the right climbs up the hill. We took the Right one.

                  I was moving ahead of the other two vehicles, after a while - they weren't to be seen. Stopped by bike to look around, they were busy taking photos from the hill.





                  Waited for them to finish their photo ops and continued towards Spangmik. It was getting dark, and we wanted to get a room and crash soon. Tried a few home stays, nothing worked.

                  Sajit wanted to stay in a better hotel / tent. They took the private one on the other side of spangmik. We saw a few and finally decided on the last house on the lake.

                  It costed us 400 Rs. a night - 3 beds, and food would be delivered on order. The room was almost right on the lake, yet warm and comfortable. No saddles to untie for the day, so it was just the tankbags.

                  I had the petrol can stocked in the caretakers tent, We did not want to inhale petrol in the room it could be disastrous in the night. The lake was just behind us, and still were were lazy to open the cameras for a photo.

                  Had a tea & maggi and Steve ordered for dinner. We were so tired and Steve crashed as soon as he hit the bed. The rotis & sabjis came in. I could not eat more than 3 roti's and Steve slept off. I gave back the remaining and went to sleep.

                  The whole of Spangmik village:



                  A tiresome day, but lots of surprises & fun. No alarm to keep for the next day, tomorrow was a buffer day & so we wanted to stay one more day in Pangong. With lots of new memories, I slept off with some sigh of accomplishment.

                  Tomorrow, I ride to Marsimik La
                  Last edited by Ananth; 07-18-2010, 08:23 PM.
                  Photo Gallery[/B]

                  Comment


                  • So my call came as a relief. Still laughing when I read that!

                    It must have been an amazing experience going to the Ladakhi house and meeting them, touching experience surely. Yes this used to be one of the three "Silk Routes" that existed before the colonisation evidently. The two others are not in our country.

                    I was wary of going to Nubra and then proceeding towards Pangong from there. I am glad that I did not do it for Brigitte's sake. The roads that you have shown here would have been a nightmare for her, though I do not really mind. Believe me, from what I saw in your photos, Chang La was cakewalk!
                    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


                    • Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                      So my call came as a relief. Still laughing when I read that!

                      It must have been an amazing experience going to the Ladakhi house and meeting them, touching experience surely. Yes this used to be one of the three "Silk Routes" that existed before the colonisation evidently. The two others are not in our country.

                      I was wary of going to Nubra and then proceeding towards Pangong from there. I am glad that I did not do it for Brigitte's sake. The roads that you have shown here would have been a nightmare for her, though I do not really mind. Believe me, from what I saw in your photos, Chang La was cakewalk!
                      After doing Agam - Shyok - Tangtse, everything else seemed to be easy. And Changla was not tough at all, Or it was just US. It was cold and the progress was slow because of on coming traffic.
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                      • Day 9: Pangong Tso - Marsimik La - Pangong Tso

                        Day 9: Pangong Tso - Marsimik La - Pangong Tso



                        Pangong: Before Sunrise



                        Pangong: After Sunrise



                        Our Only Destination for the day: Marsimik La!







                        The tents where they stayed: 3500 INR a night!!





                        Riding along Pangong Tso for a short while: Spangmik - Lukung road



                        Take the Right (Or rather U Turn) to Phobrang Village from Lukung



                        roads! There were a few twisties, few nice corners and some straight roads connecting the village of Phobrang.













                        I went ahead & met them, told them how tough it was. They stil asked me to park the big and hop in. I just wont accept. Meanwhile, my lips gone bust for the nth time in the trip now. Took the lip guard Sajit got from London. Relaxed for sometime, drank water - had a pee and we moved on.















                        The gruelling ride continued on, we stopped by to take some snaps on snow. Sajit wanted some shots of the car riding on the snow. The snow was melting fast & I also did not want to wet my feet in Ice cold water. Steve still was not really comfortable, he was struggling hard to breathe - he was tired and badly needed rest! Steve did not even come out of the car many a times, and it could have been better if he had rested in room, but i wish he had taken his ZMA and ridden to the top which could have given him some boosters to recover him up!



                        The route:





                        The road









                        We kept moving on, with what ever track we could get / create towards the top. We could proceed only a kilometer from where we stopped before and after that there was no dirt track, just snow/ice. The ice was so deep, atleats 3-4 feet above the ground. No way the ZMR could ride on top of it & climb the incline to Marsimik la. I wish i could trek, but not with breatheless situation there. The GPS showed elevation around 181XX. We had to stop 2 kilometers from the top of Marsimik La, never mind - atleast i had what it takes to reach till here. If not a ZMR, why not the fortuner we thought, So we took the car around for a spin to see if it could traverse above. But even the car spun around and skid a lot. It could not even make any progress on the incline, we tried all possible ways we could to avoid the ice, but it was just Snow White there, and we could do nothing other than enjoy the beauty and go back!

                        The fortuner though, tried its very best. It took us a few hundred yards into ice, safe & stubborn. But in places with ice more than 4 feet, It could do a thing. May be chaining the tyres would help, but we dont have it and dont want to try it. We came back to the dirt track and stopped for a brief while. I took a few shots of the ZMR and we moved on back to Pangang Tso.

                        No track ahead!







                        Spot the ZMR contest :P



















                        Spot the brown road in the middle







                        The ride going down was even tougher than climbing up the incline. With the full weight of the bike landing on my wrists, I had to control the traction-less front tyre to navigate safely. I could ride only by around 5 - 10 kmph max. It was tough. After the initial struggle, i look up to see the fortuner zooming away in full glory on the other end of the mountain. I was pissed up. Now i will have no one to help for the next 16 kilometers atleast. That leaves me with even lesser speeds and more concentration. With so much pain, I pass through those mud paths, to slush and carefully negotiating black ice stretches. I took a break. I was tired, so was my bike. The crosswinds started to blowup, Steve had already mentioned that we should be back from the top by 11/12 max to avoid heavy cross winds. It was already 12 30 PM and I was still just 4 - 5 kilometers from the top.

                        Somehow, I made it through all the hurdles there and came down. The Ice age is over, now back to the barren beauty. I was still not so confident after the last two skids and wheel spins i did not over rev, trying the best to have the rear wheel move on. Then came the same incline , 40 - 45 degree while climbing up. Now, I need to climb down the descent, it was steep. I carefully gave in the front wheel, It skid and kept moving on. Front disk, no change - it kept skidding on. I somehow gather strength and make the bike straight. Nothing else to do, I again rest. No water, No one around for miles & miles. I started the bike, 1st gear - 3kmph, slowly moved on - The bike wont move on straight, I apply breakes and it again skids, this time i could not control it, the steepness was more than my liking - bang the bike skids and falls off to the right. My left leg is stuck under the bike, and its in a awkward position that i cant even move it an inch.













                        I sat back on the saddle, started the bike, engaged the first gear - it wont! I looked down, only to see that the gear lever is bent! I tried pulling it straight, but it wont budge. It was in Second gear and so carried on in the same gear.So, I have to pass through another 10 kilometers of off-roading, without a first gear! The problem arises when i had to go slow on a loose sand track and eventually gain torque for the incline up ahead.





                        Met Sajit & Rajesh on the way, they were starting back to Leh as they had some stuff to be picked up the same day. Bid them goodbye & it was nice to be travelling with them. Reached back to the room, Steve was lying around still tired and I went and crashed onto the bed. But, when i think about it - there is more of smiles than the pain than i experienced. It was definitely worth it , but If i had to do it again - I wont! Its more of an achievement & physical torture for man & machine than anything else. I took rest for a while, slept for a hour or so. I was very very tired.



                        Our Room:





























































                        Thanks for reading
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                        • Originally posted by Aparajith View Post
                          Black ice is nothing but a thin layer of ice on the road. Its called black as it cannot be seen from ur saddle and appears transparent thru which the BLACK TARMAC is visible. U know what happens when a tire hits thin hard ice!
                          Isn't that called as sleet?
                          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

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                          • WOW. Amazing pictures and determination here. I am now sorry that I did not bother with Marismik La. Have to do it some time.
                            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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                            • Looking through that, I find that part really well written. I really wish you guys had chains! Amazing feat nonetheless. Remember Rossiter? Last year, he could not make it all the way till Marsimik La either on his rented bike! He did the last km or so on foot.

                              Golden Rule of Off-roading: Do not use your front brakes! It will destabilise you. I was taught, keep the front wheel stable, do not bother about the rear, the rear wheel will follow!

                              Vivek and Nitin try and teach me these things.

                              Originally posted by aargee View Post
                              Isn't that called as sleet?
                              That is called black ice! Sleet is smaller and finer hail.
                              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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                              • when you talk face to face you have the quality to understate things but the written words capture the sentiments beautifully.

                                some nice pics & a brilliant attempt of grit & determination.{adamant for some people }
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