Day 13/14 Nyoma-Pang-Sarchu-Delhi
I woke up to a very cold morning in Nyoma Guest house and was shocked to see a moderate live snowfall outside.Everyone in the group was tired of cold and snow for last few days.This bad weather had caused a lots of pain in fingers and it felt like needles piercing thru my skin.Between Hanle and Nyoma yesterday,I had to constantly warm my fingers by touching the hot engine of bike after each 5/6 kilometers.Due to this painful cold weather,ride was very slow and frustrating. Snowfall is going on in front of our eyes and we are discussing our ride plan for today.Few members were not in mood to bear this punishing cold any longer and suggested we abandon our Tso Moriri plan and instead head for home means Tso Kar and Debring.I accepted their suggestion and we decided Sarchu as our destination for today i.e. 13th day of trip.
Starting bikes in cold was a long ritual we had to follow each day.My gloves were wet and causing a lots of needle piercing pain in my fingers and riding with wet gloves was a horrible experience.Luckily found a shop open in Nyoma and saw some rubber and wolllen gloves hanging in the shop.Everyone purchased rubber gloves and wore them.Some members felt less cold after wearing them,some complaint of zero effect.I personally found a reduced pain in my hands and found rubber gloves useful for some extent. After purchasing gloves,we started our ride towards Mahe,snowfall was still strong.Gloomy and deserted road were our companion and hardly anyone seen around.we kept riding and reached Mahe bridge.A checkpost is there,two shops are also there.Amit had a tea there and cop asked our permits,which we willingly presented.We spent around half an hour at Mahe bridge and after some time reached Sumdo village.A diversion is there.Here at this diversion,you have option to either go to Tso Moriri or go to Tso Kar,Debring,Moorey Planes and Manali. We opted for Tso Kar and reached in Sumdo village and asked for Petrol.A tibetan refugee guy opened his shop and we purchased petrol from him for 108 rs per litre.This shop is in Lower Sumdo village and located on the way to Tso Kar.
After Sumdo,road worsen and rocky tracks appear and ride become painful and slow.After a very bumpy ride,we reached Polongak La and had some foto session.Sumit was feeling some discomfort due to constipation and acidity.I was carrying few pouches of ENO and gave it Sumit bang on Polonganlk La.
Downhill begins after this pass and stones are everywhere on the road.Speed reduced to bad roads and suddenly we found ourselves riding inside a very big flat landscape and Tso Kar is visible on our left side.But road is still bad and snowfall is making matters worse hardly any scope of photography.I am very depressed inside.Imagine,you are right at one of the remotest and prettiest places and you are not able to take picture. Snowfall and grey coloured horizon was everywhere near Tso Kar and we were cruising towards Debring.Reached Debring (road bifurcates here for Leh via Tanglang La and Manali)and stopped in a Dhaba for rest and some hot tea.I was happy to found a place bang in the Moorey Planes to stay and relax.Pang is 50 kms from here and road is super flat and fast cutting through grand Moorey Plains.
Moorey Planes have always fascinated me and spending some moments is always an exciting for me.After spending some time at Debring dhaba,it was time to move towards Pang.Found a freshly laid thick black road and also found bumpy road made my bulldozers.Within on time,we were at Pang and ordered some Paranthas and replinshed our water supply for journey.Reaced Sarchu,75 kms from Pang without any issue.Journey between Pang and Sarchu was eventless and we only stopped for photos at Lachunglung La and Nakeela. Once we reached Sarchu around 7 in the evening,we hired an entire tin shed for our stay and dumped our luggage.We settled in our tin shed wrapped in the quilts and decided to have a booze party and procured a bottle of Bacardi and some packed juice to mix with rum.Since Sarchu is an AMS triggering place,I kept a close watch on the quantity of rum and drank only a very mild amount of it.Also cautioned everyone of side effects of alcohol at such a high altitude. After a dinner of Alo-Sabji at Nepali couple dhaba,we retired for the night and next morning at 5 am I found entire Sarchu whitewashed with a snowfall.Each vehicle parked was covered with snow.Dhaba owner informed told us that some trucks have stuck at Baralacha top and cops are not allowing vehicles beyond Sarchu check post.We had to spend entire day at Sarchu doing nothing.I also met Joginder,a Delhi friend, who later rode with us till Manali.
Next morning we went to cops and asked for their permission and they allowed us to pass and once we reached at Baralacha top we had to stop due a truck which refused to start due to its drained battery and somehow truck driver borrowed a battery from another truck and started it.This drama consumed 2/3 hrs and there was a huge trafic pile up for few kilometeres at both side up of top. We took advantage of small size of our bikes and kept moving slowly.As I was cris crossing thru traffic,I heard a loud voice calling,”masterji,masterji” from an SUV.I got puzzled looked at SUV and pleasatly surprised to see our very own Vicky in his Mercedes ML SUV with his family.He was leading a group of SUV to Ladakh.I stopped my scooter and talked to him for few seconds.While I was busy talking to Vicky a group of bulleeters kept honking so i could not talked to him for long but i was able to greet him.It was wonderful meeting Vicky at the top of Baralacha.He could recognize me due to my Scooter.
We left traffic Jam and reached Zingzing Bar.Ladakh was left behind and I was in Lahaul.Aman was already at Dhaba waiting for me.He told that Dhaba has Mutton-Chawal.Without giving a second thought,I ordered a plate of Mutton-Chawal.Last 10 days in Ladakh were pathetic food wise and Mutton-Chawal gave me a much needed relief.I finished a very big plate in no time.Mutton was damn tasty,I must say.
Darcha,Jispa,Keylong came and go.It was a relief to see greenery after 10 days of continuous barren mountains of Ladakh.
Reached Khoksar around 6 pm and started our difficult and slow ascent towards Rohtang top and thankfully there was no traffic and we found an empty Rohtang,Top was totally desereted due to removal of shops,Marhi was also deserted and each shop was closed.Reached Manali around 10 PM and hired a room in Nehru Kund area and settled for night.Tomorrow i will be riding for home,at last.
Next morning on 16th day of ride,Me and Aman choose to go to home and everyone decided to stay behind to explore Manali.
We settled our all money matters and said final good bye to each other and made a dash towards Home.It is gonna be long ride,a very long ride to home.But thankfully it was towards home. After 19 hrs at 3-4 AM,I finally entered in my housing society and my daughter,son and wife came down from our 3rd flower home to welcome me and found a Sun burned Me with heavily soiled clothes,red eyes due to dust,my grey hair were clearly visible due to absence of any hair colour for last two weeks and a grey beard had grown al over my face.
This is what a Ladakh ride do to you.It completely transforms you,internally and externally.
Total distance covered today-600 Kms
Inside Nyoma Guest House with caretaker
At Polongok La
Scooterist riding in Morrey Planes
Snowfall at Polongok La
In Moorey Planes
Scooterist riding Gata Loops
Lachunglung La on Leh Manali Highway