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Indo-French Joint Venture 2010: Ride in North India, Leh and Beyond!

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  • Next part sirjee?? Not done, there should be daily updates..

    You leave it hanging at 4000 meters ASL for 2 days, when you are so close to the part I have been waiting for all this while
    " I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" - Kurt Cobain

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    • Originally posted by kurtrules View Post
      Next part sirjee?? Not done, there should be daily updates..

      You leave it hanging at 4000 meters ASL for 2 days, when you are so close to the part I have been waiting for all this while
      Coming up soon!

      As of now, I am going back to your log!
      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


      • DAY11Baralach La (In capitals!): or The Day of Reckoning or The Day we Attempt crossing the Big B!

        Despite the cold windy conditions of the night, despite the doors of our shack being forced open in the dead of the night during our much deserved sleep by a lovesick maniac, despite the thought of the horror stories of the coming day lingering heavy on top of our heads, we managed a good night’s sleep of 6 solid hours at an altitude of 4200mts. I woke up early at 0500 hours to avoid the embarrassment of taking a crap in front of the whole world since there were no toilets here! Nature was our great loo.

        It turned out that everybody is as intelligent as I am and most of the guys were out at the back relieving themselves squatting on their haunches with the trousers pulled down to the knees! As the old adage goes, when in Rome, I did the same!

        Sarchu


        Our Shack/shelter for the night


        Our Hostess, to the right who generously made the shack our only shelter for the night and made dinner and paranthas

        If you have read, you will know, she was a life-saver!

        Three Alu Paranthas later we were ready to take on the road on which not too many bikers had crossed over from the side of Leh. Soon we were doing good speeds of 80kmph on the Sarchu tarmac through the meadows. I could however see frozen rivulets on the sides indicating temperatures still well .

        Then came the first obstacle. Thankfully, just as I had calculated, most of the streams and snow was still frozen seeing the temperatures that were still prevailing. It was a narrow trickle with a lot of undulating bumps of well-packed gravel. The bumps were so high that one truck and two Qualises were stuck in it and my undercarriage scraped hard each time. I helped with Brigitte’s motorcycle as well. Lost a good half hour there. This was not all that tough. However, the guys coming across last night found the water levels here at nearly thigh level! For us it was nearly dry! This is what a good night's freezing can do!

        Then began our climb. We started to realize that the tarmac was no longer what it looked like. The melted snow of the previous day had frozen right on the road making a very treacherous black ice. We rode really slow at 20kmph, maintaining 3rd gear, with no jerks, no acceleration, no braking, using only engine braking without strong downshifts. We tried holding a straight line, even on the corners. There was nothing we could do to go any faster. There was nothing that one should have done either! At the slightest braking, skidding was evident. Even a one gear downshift sent my rear wheel sliding across uncontrollably!mentally tiring. We stopped for a break. Photos.

        Some Vistas




        Some example of a short stretch of Excellent road leading to the Big B about 20kms away! However, this was pretty rare






        By this time the snow was beginning to melt at places where the direct sun was beating down and much water had begun to flow on the tarmac. There were places which had been well exposed to the sun and had warmed up and we had to fight up against a relatively strong stream flowing down. At this juncture I was moving up quite fast and I lost Brigitte in my RV Mirror. But I did not want to stop because if I stopped, I might not be able to start again seeing the slippery and treacherous conditions of the road. This climb through the ice and snow and stream flowing down was not easy since the tarmac had disappeared leaving a lot of potholes and gravel. And then I came upon the famous twin bridges one of which was totally covered up in snow still. I took the one that had become “usable” and moved ahead. Crossing the bridge I suddenly saw a frozen puddle in front of me. I could not brake. I could not slow down. Too late, I plunged into the puddle. The front tyre cracked through the thin layer of ice and opened up the puddle. Thankfully it was not too deep or tough to cross. I came out the other side, still with a LOT of snow on the road! And I continued gradually as long as my tyres would take me. And then I came to a standstill in front of a truck stuck in the snow!

        I turned around and saw Brigitte appear from the slope bouncing up and down with the bike on the potholes and managing to cross the bridge and the puddle without too many problems but it was a sight worth watching yet again!

        The truck was stuck in the snow since the previous night! There was no road anymore. Just a track made by some vehicles crossing that place in the two feet deep snow! And this is where the truck was stuck leaning dangerously! And there was no way was I going past the truck on this “track”. And there had been vehicles behind the truck that have been vagaries of life.

        Then we walked back and we did the same with the Avenger! It was below freezing point, but I was sweating from the effort! We talked to the truck drivers stuck there for the whole night. They reassured us saying that just this stretch was difficult to handle and tough to get past. A little ahead and things get better all the way till Baralach La 8kms away on a tarmac that was clear and nearly clean, they said. I was worried about the interpretation of the part when they said “nearly”!



        The Avenger is waiting its turn. As you can see, one bridge is barely usable. The twin bridge is still completely snowed out!


        Anyway, we went ahead towards the Pass since we were not going back to “Godzilla”! After a point of time, the track did get cleaner with some patches of snow and ice on the road. At times the snow walls were 5mts high on the sides that the board saying “Baralach La” was buried underneath. In such a situation, we even encountered a Karol Bagh type situation, stuck between vehicles where suddenly we found ourselves and everybody else, riding/driving on the right side of the road! Anyway, we got past that too. Baralach La crossing was beautiful, memorable and fantastic.

        A short video of the climb to Baralach La
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75T7HP4wP2A

        The tarmac was newly laid and gorgeous all the way till Zingzing Bar. Curiously, at Zingzing Bar there is actually an Army BarBaralach La had been done! We were one of the first bikers to have done it. Maybe Spiderweb did it on the same day as us or a day earlier! But not many bikers, xBhp or otherwise have done it before us in 2010! We were pretty sure of that.

        We kept at our rhythms of riding. Took one break to regroup our sensitivities. Took another break for lunch. It had got warmer after Zingzing Bar. We had left the snowlines way behind us. We did numerous stream crossings. Each time was a difficult one for Brigitte. She has by now become an expert in crossing streams in the Himalayas on a Bajaj Avenger after having done 50 of those things, easy and tough ones!

        We did the climb to Rohtang in the afternoon. There were three landslides on the way that were being cleared by bulldozers from BRO. There was quite a bit of mud and slush and a lot of water flowing down on the gravel and rocks. There was practically no tarmac for long stretches. But compared to Godzila Pass, this was a cakewalk!

        Rohtang La






        Rohtang Pass was a huge mess. All of Delhi and Haryana had assembled there. From a hilltop view, I could estimate that there would be a minimum of 5000 cars parked at Rohtang Pass! There was no way I was going to spend my night at Manali. I really hate Manali. I seldom go there. During weekends and holidays, Manali becomes a replica of Nehru Place in rush hour! I always stay at the small quaint village 5kms removed from Manali at Vashist. You get hotels there overlooking the Beas. Most hotels have giant screens and you can watch off-beat world cinema movies, not your regular wham-bam-Bruce Willis-gun-toting-good-vs-evil type of mainstream Z-grade Hollywood movies! You can get to watch stuff like, “Perfume”, “Bladerunner”, “2001 Space Odyssey”. We settled down at the hotel for 600 INR for a night with our balcony overlooking an apple orchard and the mighty Beas in the distance.

        At the hotel, back to networks, back to bickering with family and near and dear ones, back to civilisation!


        What a day!

        Brigitte’s Impressions at EOD:

        “Just one sentence: We did it!
        Last edited by ken cool; 07-22-2010, 02:09 PM.
        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


        • vow.. awesome trip Ken..!! I remember u saying on our live updated thread, last year.. "Back to Civilization"
          Lovely narration..!!! Pix are super cool.. feel the chillness in my office here
          .... I will rather ride my Bike thinking about God, then sitting in a Temple thinking about my Bike.. ..

          Blog : Mumbai - Leh - Mumbai : 21 Days, 6500kms. Journey to Heaven..June'09
          GreatIndianRide - West India on a 110cc for over a month
          Mumbai-Leh-Mumbai - A Sequel : July'11 (Blog coming soon)

          Comment


          • amazing captures backed with lovely narration... loved it.. ken da...
            http://picasaweb.google.com/tilkusoni
            A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. lao tzu
            Travel HARD or STAY at Home........

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            • Superb log there Ken Da
              P.S : Showing six(still counting) pack ABs
              Fare thee well xBhp, All the best for being the biggest name in corporate world

              FAQs-RTR owners
              Helmet Range

              Your Friendly MotoVlogger


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              • Originally posted by rachitkohli View Post
                vow.. awesome trip Ken..!! I remember u saying on our live updated thread, last year.. "Back to Civilization"
                Lovely narration..!!! Pix are super cool.. feel the chillness in my office here
                And I am regretting being back!

                Originally posted by tilak_soni73 View Post
                amazing captures backed with lovely narration... loved it.. ken da...
                Hey Tilak, thanks. Good to see your comments here.

                Originally posted by prateek2210 View Post
                P.S : Showing six(still counting) pack ABs
                ROTFLMAO!!! Wait till you see me in real life!

                Ps
                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
                  ROTFLMAO!!! Wait till you see me in real life!
                  Seen you in real but won't you get more attention at Dhaba sitting like this

                  Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                  Ps
                  Reading all the LEH threads I finally convinced my mom to allow me to get Leh'ed
                  And Mael played a big role in that.
                  Thanks Mael
                  Fare thee well xBhp, All the best for being the biggest name in corporate world

                  FAQs-RTR owners
                  Helmet Range

                  Your Friendly MotoVlogger


                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by prateek2210 View Post
                    And Mael played a big role in that.
                    Thanks Mael
                    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


                    • Lovely narration, enjoyed reading through the text and looking through the photographs. The journey has been fantastic thus far. Waiting for the last part to unveal.

                      Originally posted by ken cool View Post
                      all in a day's work!
                      "All in a day's work" toh bujhlam, but it would be great if you could kindly approve my thread at tPin which is pending your "stamp" since late last night, sir!
                      :)

                      Comment


                      • Phewww ........ ssshhhh

                        Somethings are better hidden
                        Fare thee well xBhp, All the best for being the biggest name in corporate world

                        FAQs-RTR owners
                        Helmet Range

                        Your Friendly MotoVlogger


                        Comment


                        • Ah! Now we are talking! Well written Ken, again. Baralacha has given many nightmares this season and it must feel special to cross it and live to tell

                          Feel sorry for the truck drivers who get stuck at such inhospitable places for days. Some perish in the ordeal. That is what happened at Rohtang when it was blocked by a landslide last week.

                          All in all, I enjoyed your log thoroughly, but I also envy you as you managed to cross over and I coudn't
                          " I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not" - Kurt Cobain

                          Comment


                          • @Ken sir, appreciate if you could share the troubles, if any, of the carbs & spark plugs on Avenger, just curious. I'm sure P220's FI would've faired well.

                            CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS to three of you for crossing Baralach La.
                            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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                            • Baralach la

                              Great "Thank you "Ken for succeed to drive home a so inexperienced biker as me . I think that surelly you were apprehending each next hour and each next day because with me all was possible , the best as the worse

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by aargee View Post
                                @Ken sir, appreciate if you could share the troubles, if any, of the carbs & spark plugs on Avenger, just curious. I'm sure P220's FI would've faired well.

                                CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS to three of you for crossing Baralach La.
                                Thanks.

                                Will be coming up soon... detailed performance text on both the bikes, changes, etc..

                                Also the kind of equipment used for riding, staying warm etc.
                                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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