Day 9-10-11 Leh-Tanglang La-Pang 4th July(Concluding Part)
To read this travelogue from begining click HERE
As a self imposed rule and habit,I was out of bed and Guest House at 5 AM to kick my scooter.
With in few minutes,I was riding my scooter on deserted lanes of Sleepy town of Leh and Manali-Leh highway all mine.
Cold was unbearable and and piercing my finger tips and making them numb.I was near Karu when I had to replace my woolen gloves with proper riding gloves to curb the intensity of the cold.As expected,petrol pump at Karu was closed in early morning.So what!!!!!I had already procured my quota of petrol last evening itself while in Leh..I knew,I would not find pump open that early morning……
You all know that I was looking for a mechanic at Leh to service my scooter and didnt find one being it si a Sunday.Few kilometers post Upshai check post I felt the begining ascent to Tanglang La.This slight steepness gave me an Idea of longer length of ascent and that my scooter is going to suffer a long suffocating,agonizing slow ride for few hours…
Few kilometers after Upshi,civilization get left behind and remoteness sets in and one feels entering into a new unknown territory.Then appears Lato and Rumtse villages.After Rumtse,sighting of human species becomes extinct.Scooter felt being strangulated due to steep ascent of Tanglang La.All these signs were clear giveaways for me that Tanglang La is near by…..Over 17000 feet.
Windy…..Cold…..Deserted…Slushy…..Steep…Terrific Tanglang La,a gap in the Zanskar mountain range…..Get way to Leh from Himachal side……..
Would my scooter will prevail???Would my scooter summit Tanglang La???Would it surrender before mighty pass????Chances of surrender were high making me restless and nervous.
A huge amount of despair and fear had set in my psyche….It was high time to analyze the situation and act logically….
Suddenly appears a milestone which read–Tanglang La 25 kms..
At this point,I decided to drive only in first gear,very slowly at snail pace.This was the only option to rule out any breakdown.
Even I ride at 5 kmph speed,it would take 5 hours to reach at summit and after that downhill starts.Thing will be relatively easier at other side of Tanglang LA….
So,after Rumtse,a patient and slow ascent assault towards Tanglang La started and after 3 hours I somehow reached at the summit
Scooter prevailed here and defeated the slushy,rocky, water filled road of Tanglang La.
First thing I did was to offer a silent prayer at temple atop pass.
All alone on a high Ladakh pass,windy,very windy.It was 11 am.I took 5.30 hrs to reach Tanglang La from Leh,a distance of 100 km.
Those few moments at T La were very special.I was standing all alone on 17000 feet and could see far away in the horizon over.Really on top of the world.
Descent towards Moorey planes can easily be seen for miles from top of the pass.
After those awesome moments at top,It was time to move ahead, towards wonderful world of Moorey Planes.
Scooter started to roll down on its own,scooter felt rejuvnanted on this downhill incline.
Since snow at the top was melting at high rate,road was very muddy and slippery.A very slow and patient pace was the only way out of this section.
Within one hour,I was at Debring,a small place consists of 2-3 Changpa Tents and GREF Labors….
Even though It was flat but still it was 16000 feet altitude.
Drive through Moorey Planes was awesome and one could see many miles in front of him.Vehicles at miles away resemebled like a Matchbox,very tiny.
And very soon,Pang arrived,my night halt….
As soon as I reached Pang,I saw three bikers fixing punctures of of one of their bikes.They were having a very difficult time due to high velocity cold winds and breathlessness.They were using hand air pump to fill the air but in vain.That air filling circus was making them gasping for breath.One members of this group was also badly hit with AMS and lying beneath layers of quilts with a high fever.Pang is very nasty place ,i must say.Upon seeing them in trouble,I lent them my Foot pump in exchange they lent me tools to open my scooter.I wanted to fine tune my scooter.I cleaned the spark plug and carburator and closed the cover of Scooter.
It was getting dark,cold was also picking up,so everyone settle inside around fire stove inside for gup-shup and Old Monk……
After this minor repair work I to went inside the dhaba and waited for my dinner.Dhabas at Pang cost 150 per person for a bed in a common big size tent.Fod charges extra around 60-70 rs depending upon your kind of food of your order.Most of the dhabas at Pang are run by women from Chogalmsar.Liquor is also available in these dhabas.But alchohol must be avoided at high altitude to rule out AMS (Acute Mountains Sickness)
Next Morning after all the bikers had left for Leh I started my scooter and resumed journey towards Sarchu which is 75 kms from here after crossing Lachunlung La and Nakeela Pass.
But just after one kms,scooter showed a utter lack of power and stopped.I tried multiple times but scooter refused to move forward.
I waited for ten minutes and again tried,this time it came to life.After 100 meters it again stopped.Sensing some fatal error , I was little nervous,so instead of going towards Sarchu,I rode back to Pang….At least help was there and I was safe at Pang…I tried to rectify the problem but scooter was behaving strangely and was stopping after every 100 meters…
Around 10 am,I decided to seek help from army TCP men.Once again they proved helpful and deploy a soldier on road barrier and flagged down many trucks and asked them to carry my Scooter towards Keylong.After many attempts,one young trucker agreed to load my scooter till Mandi on his truck for 300 bucks.He was coming back from Leh after delivering 180 bags of Cement..
We loaded scooter and securely tied it with ropes.Rest of my Luggage was put in driver’s cabin.After a big thanks to Army men,around 11 am,I was again on a very long and bumpy ride towards civilization,towards Manali,towards Home…Exactly after 24 hours Long,Bumpy,Sleepless drive on Manali-Leh Highway,we reached Mandi and unloaded my scooter near a mechanic shop.I paid 500 bucks to trucker,he was very happy,so was I.I was finally out of that wilderness called Pang.Mechanic rectified the problem,refilled the engine oil and my scooter was roaring again.
Final assault towards Home had just begun……..After 14 hours long ride,I regained my Paradise…..Home sweet Home.Thus end my 2012 sols scooter ride to Ladakh.
Route=Leh-Karu-Upshi-Rumste-Tanglang La-Debring-Moorey Planes-Pang