Day 10-11-13 Pangong-Drass-Delhi

Day 10-11-12-13 End Part

Pangong-Drass-Udhampur-Delhi

To read this travelogue from start clickHERE

The night was very difficult in that tent but night but at the same time it was very satisfying for me. I was very content very satisfied and very happy after scaling my long pending dreams of riding my scooter to Mighty marsimik La Pass at almost 19000 feet very near to China border and a very steep, broken and difficult Road takes you to that high pass of Ladakh.
Next day when I wake up I found Pangong lake foggy and some rain. Weather was very cold gloomy and depressing type, coming out of my Sshed and preparing my scooter was very troublesome।
Around 6 7 a.m in the morning I started my scooter towards Changla pass and found almost 10-15 kilometers road before pass cover with snow. Road was wet and sleeping many vehicles were coming from Leh side and riding scooter was very difficult for me. But somehow I reached Changla top but ddi not stop and saw a crowd going towards Pangong Lake. I did not stop at Changla and keep going towards Karu as I was descending Chang La top someone from a moving Duster car wave towards me and ask me to stop I stop my car and I was happy to see one of my friend Manav Gill and Anil Gupta Sir going towards Lake. It was very nice meeting them and I told them my marsimik adventure after few minutes another friends Vikas Sharma and Reverend Rajdeep Singh Ji also reached there. It was very unexpected small get together near top, we talk for next few minutes and say goodbye to each other and continue towards our respective destinations. I crossed Leh town and kept going towards Lamayuru. I was surprised to see a very smooth plane and pothole free road. my speed was good and I was munching miles very fast. Kids were playing on the road and they wanted to shake hands with me. Around 5 in the evening I reached Lamayuru. I was double minded whether to stop here for night stay or continue towards Kargil.I gathered some courage and again started my ride towards target, few sections between lamayuru and Kargil very bad and slowed me down but somehow I reach Kargil around 8 in the night and straight away went to petrol pump ffor refuelling as I was refuelling, A man on a Bullet bike also entered into the pump and parekd his bike near me and said to me sir,” I saw you today at Pangong Lake lake.” I ask him about his plan for night stay.He said,he is a Kashmiri and he is going to Srinagar due to an emergency. I asked him whether we both can ride towards Drass,he said yes.So on that moonlit night,I spent one of the best 2 hours of my life riding in a shining highway totally empty and silent.It was a very thrilling ride. It was 11 P.M when we reached Drass.My new friend went towards Zozila and I checked into a very dirty hotel room for a price of 500 including mutton rice.

Next morning on 12 June ,I woke up very early and came out of hotel room there was a tea shop I ordered one cup of tea, sorry 2 cup of tea and recharge myself for next tough ride. I left Drass and reached Meenamarg post then came Gumri grasslands .Gumri was Green and there were many nomads huts. It was time to some photography and I clicked some beautiful photograph. Morning was very cold and I reached Zozila and stop for some snacks after spending of an hour I left Zozila Pass and reached Sonmarg. I did not stop there as I was in hurry to reach Srinagar and cross it as early as possible. I reached Srinagar and found it very crowded and took half an hour to cross the city. I was very homesick and wanted to cover as much distance as I could riding through Kashmir Valley and on Jammu Srinagar highway was very lonely but somehow around 7 8 p.m I reached Udhampur and settled into hotel and ordered two beer and one tandoori chicken for removing tiredness of 450 km. I slept peacefully. Next day on 13th June, I came out of the hotel at 4 A.M and started riding towards Pathankot it was around noon when I reached Pathankot I was nearing towards home journey from Pathankot toward home was uneventful but very lonely. Finally after 18 hours I reached my home in Delhi and United with my family. It was a very emotional moment when I finally saw my kids after 13 days of Ladakh ride.I was very weak but very content .Thus came to end of one of the very satisfying ride of my entire scooter riding in which I scaled mighty marsimik la,the Pinnacle of high passes of Ladakh. No scooter has ever reached at such Heights

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Thank you friends for reading my blog, thank you for encouraging me and boosting my morale.This journey was a very small part in the bigger journey of my life.I would like to be in constant nomadic state and would love to see unseen places,people,cultures of this world as much as I can.Here comes an end to my Ladakh 2016 Scooter Ride.

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Day 9 Leh-Pangong-Marsimik La

Day 9 Leh-DC Office-Chang La-Pangong Tso

9th June 2016

To read this travelogue from start click HERE

Previous day between Sarchu and Leh on Manali was very eventful and hard for me.Today on 9th day,I woke up in guest house located at Changspa Road in Leh.Lady owner of guest house was kind enough to me charge me only 500 bucks as I was solo other wise she was charging 800-900 rs from others.She had also leased out part of his guest house to a person who was charging 1500 Rs per room per night.I woke and lazily as i was not in hurry because DC office open around 10 am.So I kept engaging myself by reviewing pictures on my DSLR and also put all the batteries on charging as there would be no electricity for next 2-3 days.Somehow killed my time in guesthouse and reached DC office for getting permits for Marsimik La,Chushul,and Hanle.Clerks at the office were very strict about issuing permits for remote sensitive areas.Few clerks were also not aware about the exact location of Marsimik La.However they were freely issuing permits for Chushul and Hanle.I convinced them about my purpose and assured them I will not indulge in any kind of unwanted activity.After hearing out my reasoning,they issued me permit for Marsimik La,Chushul and Hanle.Now,I was armed with an Inner Line Permit in my hands which was valid for Marsimik La,Chushul,Tsaga,Loma,Hanle.Around 12 noon,I started my scooter and headed towards Pangong Lake which was 160 kms away.I knew,I was late and would be reaching late at lake.But before heading towards Pangong lake,I procured extra petrol as there is no petrol pump en route.Leh-Pangong-Leh round trip is almost 350 kms so i must carry fuel for above distance.Petrol is available at Pangong in black rates but supply is not guaranteed.So I got the tank full and also carried 10 liters in jerry can and turned towards Pangong route.To reached Pangong,I needed to cross mighty Chang La pass which is cousin of Khardung La and above 17 K feet altitude.Road to Chang La is steep and broken at many places and ride is very tiring.Around 3 PM,I reached Chang La top and was welcomed by a stormy weather.Fast winds were blowing and sky was black and gloomy.Temeprature dipped and entire place was heartbreaking for me.My loneliness was killing me.I reached at the top parked my scooter and staright way entered inside the cafeteria for saving myself from cold.I ordered tea.Entire cafe was full of tourists and everyone was inside for a cuppa.I sat among the crowd and observed them.Suddenly,snowfall started and everything became white.I knew,i was in big trouble now and further delay in reaching Pangong.I waited sometime for snowfall to stop but it did not.With heavy heart,i resumed my ride towards Pangong lake in a heavy snowfall.My finger were numb.Stopped in a army camp for some warmth on their fireplace.Snowfall had intensified.I proceeded further and after few kilometers finally found weather clear and road also improved.I gained speed and reached Tangaste and met 3 bikers who were also going towards Pangong Lake.It was almost dark when I reached Tangaste village.Pangong was still 40 kms.Somehow reached Pangong lake in pitch dark and instantly checked it first dhaba at lake….Rancho Dhaba.Ordered tea and sat around fire for heat.I was completely exhausted,tired and cold.Today was heavy day.Three bikers also arrived and we hired a tin shed for nigh stay.Around 8-9 pm,we retired for the night.Rain was still pouring outside making it impossible to stroll at the shore of lake.I knew this night is gonna be a long night wrapped in blanket all alone.Other 3 bikers were fast asleep and snoring.But I was worried about the weather.This weather can potentially jeoparadise my Marsmik La plan.

Next morning when I woke up and came out of my tin shed,i found Pangong Lake deserted and engulfed in foggy weather and overcast sky.Very few people were seen outside of their tents.It was still drizzling and whole scene made me depressed,dejected and disappointed.I feared that in such bad weather,I cant start my ride for Marsimik La.I went inside my cafe and ordered a tea and some eatables.Time was around 7 AM.My room mates also came out and joined me over morning.I utilized this free time to clean my scooter,warm it up,and also secured essential food for Marsimik La ascent.Me,my scooter was all set and ready.I waited rain to stop.Around 10 am,sky god took a pity on me and sun came out.I instantly started my scooter and reached the ITBP post which is 23 kms from Pangong lake.I requested In charge officer to allow me to go to Marsimik La.I also deposited my Inner Line Permit.ITBP staff also deposited my all cameras with them and gave me go ahead.I was super happy.Finally I was going to scale elusive Marsimik La pass,the highest pass.Initial few kilometers were smooth but soon road disappeared and only stone filled,very steep ascent.Scooter was suffocating and finding it difficult to ascend.But slowly I inched forward and reached a wide ground.There were tyre marks everywhere and it was very difficult to find the correct trail for pass.I lost my way many times but luckily i spotted fresh tire marks of an XUV and followed them and reached the right tracke and within in 2 minutes ,I was at mighty Marsimik La Pass.The pass that stands at 18953 feet altitude in the cold desert of Ladakh,The pass,gateway to Aksai Chin.The pass,where no scooter has ever reached.I was all alone and filled with adreline and goosebumps.I was very emotional.Finally after many Ladakh rides,I finally recahed at this pass and paid my prayers at the small temples of God Shiva.I thanked God for such moments.These moments were very few moments when I felt ecstatic in my life.Fast winds were blowing,it was total silence,felt scary also.I quickly snapped few pictures and started my scooter for return journey.I was overwhelmed and completely content at that moment after scaling high Marsimik La pass,the dream of every rider.It was now down hill and scooter was rolling down easily and suddenly my scooter stopped.I tried to start it again but it refused to start.I cleaned plug,i cleaned carburator but nothing worked.Staying at 18000 feet height is always life threatening.I used long breathing excersize i learned  from a soldier at Mana Pass.Scooter problem wasted my 2 hours.It was  now almost evening time.I pushed my scooter on down hill slopes for few kilometers and somehow covered half the distance towards ITBP post.Scooter was dead.Problem was still not detected by me.I left the scooter and started my downhill walk.ITBP post was still 10 kilometers away.I kept walking slowly and resting.There was no one in this wilderness.I was very terrified,tired and perplexed but was fully alert and healthy and there was no sign of any AMS.Thank God,my breathing skilled worked.Suddenly,I saw a truck coming towards me.It was god sent….I knew it was god sent.I waved them to stop and requested them to load my scooter in truck and bring it back to ITBP post.I gave my scooter keys to them and resumed my walk downhill.When i was 1-2 kms away from ITBP,I saw ITBP in-charge and 6-7 soldiers in a truck coming towards me.They were looking for me when I did not returned after many hours,I narrated the whole scooter episode.I came to ITBP post and officer completed some formalaties ,checked my medical vitals.They offered me tea and also offered me to stay overnight with food and all facility.Meanwhile local truck returned to the post with my scooter.ITBP officer directed them to carry my scooter till Pangong lake.I thanked ITBP staff for all their help and felt sorry that i put them in trouble.But ITBP officer was a gentleman and said that it can happen to anyone.Truck driver was asking for 1500 Rs but later agreed for 1000 rs.I sat in truck cabin and we reached Pangong Lake around 10 am.Truck drivers and his friends also repaired my scooter.Scooter electric coli has died.Luckily I was carrying a spare coil and it was replaced and scooter finally came to life.Thanks to local helpful people.Later I paid them and also threw a Rum party at 11 pm.A very successful ,hard,painful and eventful day came to the end.I can say one of the few memorable days of my life.But after all the pain,hardships and life threatening situations,God allowed me to put my scooter at Marsimik La pass,the 18953 feet high Ladakh mountain pass.My ride has already became success after this.I was a content person.I slept peacefully on that night.

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God Shiv,my protector at Marsimik La

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God Shiva at Marsimik La

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Day 8 Sarchu-Pang-Leh

Day 8 Sarchu-Pang-Debring-Tanglang La-Rumtse-Karu-Leh

8th June 2016

To read this travelogue from begining click HERE

I woke up to a very cold and silent morning at Sarchu dhaba and came out fof my tinshed for morning rituals.Dhaba owner had erected a katcha tin cubicle toilet and surprisingly it was clean and water was also available.Only problem was,it did not have any kind of locking system from inside.Lolwa….many female were also there and i had to complete the process inside the toilet hurriedly and full of anxiety.Lolwa..Sarchu and Pang stays are always like this.Either you go in open…and be seen many other same people in same pose or you end up in a tin made cubicle toilet.
After freshening up,it was time to recharge myself.So a black tea was ordered and i sipped it in open ground in front of dhaba.I watched entire Sarchu,and saw bikers preparing their bikes for further journey.Morning was silent and slow.High altitude of Sarchu doesnt let you move fast.Everyone was slow in activity.Leh was still 260  kms from here.I was few liters short of fuel so i buyed 5 liters petrol from dhaba owner. and after some photos,i resumed my ride towards Pang en route Leh.
Road was deserted and occassional truck was plying.I found few interesting places for photography.While i was clicking photographs,few bikers groups zoomed past breaking the silence of place.Weather was very cold and and painful.Riding during morning time is always very cold in Ladakh.I kept riding and reached Nakeela
pass.I was the only person at the pass,so i had to clicked myself using self timer.Within an hour,i reached Lachung La pass and started to make video and meanwhile
many bikers also reached there.One of them clicked my photos and also filmed me at the pass.Pass was cold around 10 Am.Sunlight was still absent and air was chilled.
After spending few minutes i started towards Pang and recahed around 10.30 am.It was breakfast time.Luckily found clear sunshine at Pang and sat in warm sunshine for sometime for warming my tired and cold body.I spent around half an hour at Pang.Pang is a very popular palce among riders on Manali highway.There are lots of dhabas and accomodations at Pang.But its altitude is also very high around 15500 feet which makes Pang a bad choice for night stay as chances of getiing hit by AMS
are very high here.Indian army has a transient camp at Pang and a TCP post also.Few medical facilities are also there in army camp.While I was sun bathing at Pang,I noticed that vehicles coming from Leh side had snow deposit on their windshileds suggesting that weather was bad ahead of Pang.I looked above in the sky and
noticed black thick dark clouds.Pang was still all sunshine.I reached Moorey Planes and as expected,found weather slowly converting into bad one.First it was overcast
and with in few minutes,snowfall started.Very fast snowfall and i was right in the middle of vast Moorey Planes.No shelter for 20-30 kilometers.I was very afraid at
this moment and my confidence was very low.Being solo sometimes is very heartbreaking and one feel weaker sometime during trouble.I had to wear rain coat.Snowfall was gaining speed.I started my scooter.Snowfalkes were hitting my face like splinters and sticking to spectacles and making me blind.Only 10 percent visibility sometime.I had to constantly remove snow from my spectacles and kept moving.The ride during this snowfall was very horrible and I was very terrified.Smooth
road and snowfall made me to ride fast and recahe Debring as fast as I could and during these hurried moments a water patch in the road apperaed and I applied brakes
and lsot control of my scooter and had a very grave and dangerous fall.The fall was deadly but luck played its part and no injury for me.God saved me at that moment.
I was comlpetely shattered and bottom low was my confidence.Scooter was lying in a ditch and i was unable to lift it and bring it out of the ditch.My condition  was completely hopeless at that time.Imagine,a deadly fall,scooter in a ditch and you are not able to pulll it out of the ditch.You are not sure wetaher it will  start or not.Very hopeless scenerio for me.Many bikers were coming from Leh side at great speed,I waved and a biker stopped his bike.Soon after few vehicles also  stopped and together we pull out the scooter.I thanked every one of their valuable help and with prayer on my lips,I started the scooter,thank god,it was working and started.My entire clothes were mud laced after the fall.I resumed my ride and reached Debring dhaba and had a sigh of relief.Finally after a hellish and  painful ride thru snowfall on 16000 feet,I was finally with some locals and inside a shelter.My fear allayed to some extent.
While sipping tea inside Debring dhaba,i was bewildered.That my 2016 ride is doomed and cursed.Firts,scooter broke down,2 days wasted in Keylong for repairing,
Sinku La failed,my riding partner had to leave me halfway and now this snowfall and accidental fall in the middle of nowhere where no medical aid was available
in case of an injury.Dhaba owner ladies were amazed to see my dirty clothes with mud all over my clothes.I asked them for a old cloth to wipe off the mud.Two
bikers were also inside the dhaba and they clicked few of my pics in mud laced condition.Lol..big Lolwa..:)
Snowfall was still raging outside the tent but intensity was low here.I was very hesitent to start my ride in this bad weather fearing that Tanglang must be
very difficult in such weather.I was thinking to wait for sometime and clear weather.I came outside the dhaba and saw many group of bikers going towards Tanglang
La pass.I gathered some courage and started my ride towrads 17000 feet steep Tanglang La pass,the gateway to Leh.A high pass in the Zanskar mountain range.
Few bad road patches made life worse.The ride to Tanglang was slow and cold due to bad weather but somehow I reached Tanglang La pass and when I reached there
I saw many bikers assembling there and clicking photos.It was a junction of bikers coming from both Pang side and Leh side.Weather was still bad fast cold winds were
making life worse.Few bikers were not even ready to remove their helmets and gloves for photo.Lol.They got themselves clicked wearing helmets.Such was the
weather.Very cold.I also spotted a tea shop at Tanglang La.First time.Few minutes at Tanglang La and it was time to move ahead towards Rumtse.Ride was downhill
and road was super smooth.Slowly altitude was lowering and when i reached Rumtse,snowfall converted into rain.I stopped at a dhaba and had few cups of tea,a parantha with other bikers.Tea shop was full and everyone coming from Tanglang side was stopping there due to rain.Rumtse stoppage was longer and i chatted with few other bikers.Rumste mean,i was out of troubled and remote area of Moorey Planes.I was bit relived finally in a village.Rain become little slow and i resumed towards
Karu on a very good road,crossed Lato village,Miru village,crossed Upshi check post and reached Karu market.First thing I did was to call Pragya and narrate her
the entire story what happened at Sinku La,Panakj had to left,snowfall and scooter fall and my shaken confidence.She talked to me in a positive way and  boosted me and advised me not worry.With her words,I somehow found my lost courage and came out of my shaken self and reached Leh late in the evening and settled in Guest House.All alone,lonely,tired.Luckily the guest was good and my room had running hot water.I had a heartfelt long hot bath to rejuvenate and went to a  Punjabi dhaba for dinner.A mix veg and two tandoori roti witH green sald worked like a charm and i felt alive again and ready for my further journey into Ladakh.
Again a very difficult day on a remote place ended in a small room at Leh.Sleep took over me in its grip.

Next-Getting Inner Line Permits and ride to Pangong Tso

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Day 6/7 Keylong-Darcha-Sinku La-Sarchu

Day 6/7 Keylong-Darcha-Zansakr Sumdo-Sinku La-Sarch

6 and 7th July 2016

To read this travelogue from begining click HERE

 
The trecheorous broken roads between Killad and Udaipur proved very costly to me and my scooter.The bumpy ride broke the rear brake drum and scooter wheel came off the scooter body just before Udaipur HP.Scooter had to be loaded  in a truck till keylong for repairing.I tried to find the drum in few shops but no shop had the drum.Mechanic told me that there are very few scooters in Keylong so no shop keep the good stock of scooter spares parts.They advised me to go to Manali/Kullu and bring a new drum
 
I had to fetch a wheel drum from Manali-Kullu.This would gonna take 1-2 days.I sent an SOS to all my friends on FB,called few of my friends in HP.Many people came forward and offered me to help and tried finding the rear wheel Drum.Finally after a few calls and some hardworking efforts Top Singh Bodh ji managed to find a new wheel drum from Kullu and sent it to me in Keylong bound cab from Kullu stand.Even though cab was meant to start its journey at 9 am  but shops were not opened yet.Top Singh ji made cab driver to wait for him and finally after around  10 am,Top Singh ji managed to find a drum and gave it to cab driver.Cab started  late.My friend Sameer Vaidya,a resident of Mandi also put great effort finding  the spare part.DK Pundit sir also made huge effort in cordinating and provided as much help as he could.Rashpal Singh Khalsa,who runs a bike repair shop in Manali also found a wheel drum and tried sending to me via bus.But i asked him that i had arranged the drum.It was a very nice gesture by him.I
appreciate him for helping me out in trouble time.Few of his biker friends Sohil Shah were also put a great effort to sent me the part.It was overwhelming response  and i was moved by everyone’s helping gesture.Finally on 6th June 2016,after waiting for entire day,the wheel drum was delivered to my hotel room by the cab driver around 7 pm.I hurriedly went to the mechanic shop and gave the drum to mechanic and he fitted it quickly.They were just about to close the shop.I was the last customer.My scooter was ready to roar again and I along with Pankaj straight  away went to Tandi Petrol pump for securing the fuel supply for next 300 kms.
Next day on 7th June,i quickly cleared the bill of Hotel and started my ride towards Darcha and then an attempt to reach Sinku La.Sinku La is a 5000 meters pass which connects Lahaul valley to Zanskar valley.This pass is a vital link between Lahauli and Zanskari natives.Govt is building a road across this pass to connect Darch to Padum.But road progress is very slow.But a dirt track has been made by BRO and one can still reach Sinku La if luck favors.We reached Zansakr Sumdo,the halfway point between Darcha and Sinku La.Road till Sumdo is super fine.Real fun begins after Sumdo where a very steep,full of hairpins and stoned filled road  goes towards Sinku La.Sinku La is approx 25 kms from Sumdo and 40 kms Darcha.We kept riding towards Sinku La.Labours were perplexed to see us going towards Sinku La.Suddenly a huge ice galcier stopped our speed.We lifted the scooter across this glacier and with very great difficulty,could managed to take scooter to the other side of glacier.Lifting,Pushing scooter at the height of 4500 meters made us breathless.Pankaj lost his confidence and decided to stay back .I alone went ahead towards Sinku La top hopping on big boulders and when I was very near to the Top,a huge Ice wall stopped me.This ice wall was very huge and there was no way I could cross it.My attempt to reach Sinku La was finished.An interesting and heart stopping moment happened here at this Ice wall point.
When I stopped my scooter here,I found my camera bag missing from rear seat.My heart skipped a beat here.Camera bag fell off few kilometers back.I forgot to tie it properly and loose camera bag containing 2 DSLR,2 lens and other valuable accessories was lying somewhere few kilometers back.Dont know where.I hurriedly turned back and slowly riding the scooter kept searching the bag.Finally,i spotted the bag 20 feet below lying a gorge.I was like dumbfounded and was sure that DSLRS and lens must be broken after this brutal  fall and rolling down 29 feet on sharp stones.I went down and retrieved the bag and checked the DSLRs.
They were scratch less and working.Thank God.After few minutes i rejoined Pankaj who was waiting and and we returned back to Darcha and after some snacks,we resumed our ride towards Baralacha Pass and then Sarchu.Pankaj was in very difficult condition.It was 7 th day of our ride and we were still 2 days short of Leh.
He was very anxious due to shortage of leaves and at ZingzigBar,he decided to end his Ladakh ride and return to home.Very poor situation for him.I was very sad for him.Now I was alone and time was around 4 pm and still i had to cross Baralacha and reach Sarchu before nightfall.Steep ascent to Baralacha pass
starts ar Zingzingbar.Scooter refused to climb further and made me very annoyed and worried.Imean,drum brake broken,Sinku La failed,partner left midway and now a new trouble.Scooter problem.I was really pissed off.Somehow i reached Bharatpur dhaba and ordered a black tea first.I opened scooter cover and cleaned the plug,cleaned the carburetor sipping my black tea.Closed the cover and started the scooter….voila….scooter ran like Milkha Singh and with a butter smooth speed crossed
Baralacha Pass.It was around 6 PM when I reached Baralacha Pass and found it completely deserted and lonely.Just hurriedly took few snaps and moved towards Sarchu which was still 60 kms away.Fast winds and falling night was making me somewhat worried and finally reached Sarchu just before dark and settled in Dhaba with 4 other bikers who were fast asleep after a tiring bike ride.Few of them were also suffering from AMS.Sarchu nights are always gloomy,restless and cold.I just hate this place…its very cold..AMS prone and entire night is spent awake in congested tin shed.Dhaba owner was kind enough to lit a bonfire for us.Fire made me feel comfy and infused a new energy.Other bikers also came out of their beds and opened their Old Monk bottles.We chatted long time and finally when bonfire was no more, we had to go inside for sleep.So a very eventful day,very difficult day came to an end.
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Day5 Killad-Cherry-Udaipur-Keylong​

Day5 Killad-Cherry-Udaipur-Keylong

5th June 2016

To read this travelogue from begining click HERE

Night at Chamunda hotel was normal.Next day prepared my scooter and went to adjacent shop for a morning tea with some rusk and matthi.Tea is utmost necessary to recharge me..LOL.Around 7 am,we left the Killad and resumed our journey towards Keylong via Udaipur.Road was still absent and all we had a kattcha road with lots of dust and pits and bumpy ride.The main feature of Pangi valley.But riding through desolate valley was invoking a feeling of goodness.Stillness and peace of the valley was relaxing.Morning was cold.Few village appeared but no tea shop opened en route.Scooter started to make some noise in rear tyre but after inspection,i could not found any problem and kept riding.Udapiur was still far away and take many hours to reach.Absence of any food en route was very annoying and soon tiredness and weakness affected the stamina.Luckily few biscuits came to rescue for reducing hunger.
After 2-3 hours,scooter started a strange noise of kut-kut-kut in rear wheels which made me worried and anxious.I stopped and inspected but found nothing broken or loose.Shook the wheel to check the tightness of nut bolts..but all well.Restarted the ride and noise again….but kept riding..riding…and when we were very near to Udaipur village,scooter suddenly sank down and stopped.Entire wheel came off the scooter due to broken stud.All 5 studs were cut.A very big damage to scooter.Luckily it all happened at a safe wide road before a house.Mobile signal were active.Pankaj had already moved ahead.I topped and called Pankaj.He came back and i asked him to bring a pik-up from Udaipur which was just few kilometers away.He came back and we loaded the scooter for Keylong.Rent 5000 Rs.Cab driver took us to few
repair shop but none had rear wheel drum.A long nightmare and testing time for me had just began for me.The whole scooter damage episode would gonna be a learning experience…bitter and very sweet experience both.

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दोस्तों, अपनी -अपनी बाइक,कार स्टार्ट करो और पहुंचो इस खूबसूरत जगह और इन खूबसूरत मनमोहक नज़ारों का लुत्फ़ उठाने । और हाँ ,जल्दी मत करना ,अपना फोटो जरूर खिँचवाना इस जगह।:)
Few hours had passed since I left Killad and found this place very photogenic.I was still in Pangi Valley and was just approaching Lahul valley towards Udaipur.

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Preparation for Posing for a Photo in Pangi Valley
Lets put the spectacles down and be ready for a photo on this wonderful waterfall location.Can you guys spot the difference between shoe colours due to wetness??Somewhere between Killad-Keylong in HP.

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Wait for next part………..Continued 🙂

Day 4 Gulabgarh-Ishtiyari-Killad

Day 4 Gulabgarh-Ishtiyari-Killad

4th June 2016

To read this travelogue from begining click HERE

Gulabgarh stay was a new and interesting experience for me.Spending night in that rudimentery katcha dimly lit room was different experience.Just a bed and few quilts to spend the night.Rent was 150 for 2 persons.Few other people were also staying in the adjacent room.Gulabgarh is a mixture of hindu and buddhist population.When we woke up next morning,we saw a buddhist monastery in front of our dhaba.
Today is the day of crossing famous cliffhanger section of this place.This is what i came for.It was 6 am in the morning and village was still asleep.Few people
were going to monastery for prayers.I brought down the luggage from room and started to load on the scooter so that we could leave early.No shop was open yet.I needed a cup of tea badly.Tea is must for me for recharging me and make me move.But sadly,i had to do without tea and started our journey towards Ishtiyari village.Road became off road after Gulabgarh and remoteness set in.Few farmers were seen with their livestock.It was very cold.The hilly road after Gulabgarh was deserted and remote and river deep below was a good companion.No village for many kilometers after Gulabgarh.I had started without Tea at Gulabgarh and was hoping to get a cup en route but no village.Then came Ishtiyari village,a shop was there and luckily the shop owner had arrangement for a tea.Thank God for hearing my prayers.Finally,i had a cuppa after many hours.My Tea drought ended at Ishtiyari village.Few people were chatting there.We resumed our ride and reached the famous cliffhanger section and road cut road and had a prolonged shoot there.Few kilometers after,a small waterfall with a small pond appeared on the road.The water was green and pure and refreshingly very cold.
It was a good place for refreshing ourselves in the water.That waterfall really removed my tiredness and infused a new energy for the tough road ahead.It was around noon when we reached that waterfall.Soon we reached at the Sansari bridge ,the border between JK and HP.Pangi Valley awaits us across the bridge.JK was left behind and we entered in the state of HP.After few kilometers,cops at Sansari check post thoroughly checked us and our vehicle.I asked cops about any dhaba en route.He said..no dhaba till Killad.We were very hungry since morning.Cops at post offered us food and asked us to serve ourselves food in the cop’s mess.We had a lunch in police post courtesy HP cops.We were nearing Killad around 3 pm when we were stopped by a BRO worker as a landslide had blocked the road and clearing work was going on.A very big size  rock was causing problem and dozers were unable to move that huge rock.So BRO workers planned a dynamite blast and asked everyone to leave the site  and go at least 1-2 kilometers away from blasting site.After blasting,they took 3-4 hours to clear the debris.An HPRTC bus was also held up at the landslide site and a sick woman had to be carried across the landslide.Very tough life in the Pangi valley.A cab waiting at the other side of landslide carried the sick woman to Killad side.It was very sad to see the woman in pain.Finally around 6 PM we reached Killad town and settled in Chamunda View hotel.Rent was 400 rs.The restaurant of Chamunda Hotel was full of locals people and they were boozing big time.Receptionist requested us that we should eat our food in our room as tables were occupied and ambience was full charged with loud voices of drunk locals.We decided to have our lunch in adjacent shop instead..A very tough day on absolute off road and bumpy road came to end.

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Day 3 Udhampur-Kishtwar-Gulabgarh

Day 3 Udhampur-Patnitop-Batote-Doda-Kishtwar-Gulabgarh

Date 3rd June 2016

To read this from start click HERE

The hospitality shown by Ludhiyana friends was very overwhelming for me.All friends made the day special for me.I am lucky to have such a nice bunch of like minded friends.Dhillon paaji prepared a stuffed poori breakfast and we took the leave for our onwards journey towards Udhampur.Heat as usual was unbearable in northern planes and forcing us to take many breaks.Lemon-Soda vendors carts were our favorite stoppage.I also saw some forest fires along the roads

Speed was slow.Somehow we reached Udhampur in night and stayed in hotel Praveen for 600 rs room rent non ac room.Dust and heat had made us condition worse,so first thing i did in hotel was a longer shower foloowed by a chilled beer accompanied by a roasted chicken to end the day and remove
tiredness of a long day riding.

Today,the 3rd Day is very important.We awake around 4 am in the morning and started our check out process.I wanted to leave as early possible so that we could reach Gulabgarh on time.I was not aware of this region..never been to Doda,Kishtwar and further.How is road condition,time taken to reach Gulabgarh???No idea in my mind.
So i called my friend Dr Arun Bhagat for assistance.Dr Arun is posted at Kistwar Govt Hospital and a native of Jammu.He provided me all the crucial info.Sadly,he was traveling in Leh on that day so could not meet him.:(
It was on this day that my DSLR came out of the bag.For 2 days it was resting in the bag.All photography was done on mobile.We left Srinagar highway at Batote and turned towards right and recahed a very crowded Batote market.Somehow came out of the city and enjoyed the wide empty roads along the Chenab river.Fun had just began and things were becoming interesting.
Around noon,we reached a diversion point at Doda pul.Asked the direction for Gulabgarh and also enjoyed some lemon water on roadside.Hunger was increasing so stop at a dhaba and ordered some Rajma-Chawal and had a prolonged break.Reached Kistwar around evening.And first thing was to secure petrol supply for next 2 days.
Kistwar has 2-3 petrol pumps and is a pretty big town on this route.Evening was slowly turning into night after we left Kishtwar.The section beyond Kishtwar was remote and villages were disappearing.People were disappearing and a wilderness was setting in making the entire evening ride was interesting and full of anxiety.
After 2-3 hours we left Kishtwar,nomadic shepheards with their livestock were seen.They were camping with their family and cooking.Entire scenerio was very very interesting and i began to enjoy the ride.Night engulfed the this region only thing visible was million stars studded sky and fire from nomadic tents.Oh man,what a sight and feeling.But Gulabgarh was still far and suddenly scooter gear wires snapped and my heart skipped a beat.Total darkness…and a busted scooter.I asked Pankaj to keep his bike’s headlight on and focus it on scooter and open the scooter front part and with a great difficulty Pankaj found a solution and we were able to fix the problem and resume our ride and reached Gulabgarh and stopped at a small dark Dhaba.Dhaba was full of local people who were enjoying their evening drink.We sat down and asked dhaba owner about staying room.He showed some very rudimentry basic room for 150 rs.I agreed to stay.Food was 50 rs per plate.
After dinner,we retired for the day in that dark,dingy and dimly lit room of a dhaba at distant town of Gulabgarh of Distt Kistwar,Jammu Kashmir.
Tommorrow, we will see the famous Cliffhanger road that connects JK to HP and remians open in winters too and provide a life saving link for people of Pangi Valley of Himachal.

 

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Day 1&2-Delhi-Ludhiana-Udhampur

Day 1&2-Delhi-Ludhiana-Udhampur

1/2 June 2016

To read this log from start,click HERE

So we set sail for our Ladakh Ride 2016 from Dhaula Kuan at 5.30 Am and reached on  NH 44 towards Sonipat.Till 8-9 am,ride   was bearable but as time passed,heat became
unbearable resulting in frequent water break.It was very very hot on the road.Target for day 1 was to reach Ludhiana and spend some time with Ludhiana friends.But
reaching Ludhiana,i had to take a detour towards Zirakpur for meeting a photographer friend Nishant.He runs a very Alishaan big and well equipped studio on the main
road.Nishant welcomed us in his big photo studio and i was in AWE….wow…whata a beautiful studio.Big.spacious,very nicely  decorated with personal touch.We talked
and discussed many matters while his staff served us nice coffee and chocolate cake.What a person Nishnat is.It was good meeting and after an hour we left for Ludhiana and received  by D S Dhillon Paaji at his residence.Soon after,many Ludhaian friends assembled and it was decided to have a dinner ata famous hotel Baba Chicken.Evening  was nice with so many friendly people around me.They all made that evening memorable for me and indebted me.Herartful thanks for DS Dhillon ji,Praveen Dua ji,Rajdeep Ji DJ Daman,Gaurav Chopra,Padam Ji,Vikas Sharma.

After dinner,we went to Dhillon paaji’s home and had a comfy sleep.Oh man..what a day it was with so much warmth by friends.

 

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Foreword to Ladakh 2016 Ride

Part 1 Foreword

My Scooter Ride to Ladakh June 2016

Prsenting my Roller Coaster Scooter Ride to Ladakh-2016.A ride with full of ups and downs,painful moments,meeting with strangers and then spending night with them,falling off  the scooter,riding on most dangerous road of Pangi Valley(however i found it quite easy),ride through dark snow blizzard,broken scooter brake drum,electricals failure in scooter,touching new heights on my scooter,putting my scooter on such  heights where no scooter has reached till date,witnessing the generiosity of Ladakhi people,their mechanical skills,witnessing big change in Ladakh,witnessing the rapid growth of tourism in Ladakh,first time saw a Marmot run over by a ever present traffic in Ladakh,not a single pic of Pangong even after spending 2 nights at  Panagong,a ride with full of friendly warmth and helped by my friends in the time of crisis.

On 10th of May 2016,schools were closed for summer vacations.These vacations give me an opportunity to travel solo and visit some unseen places which i cant visit with my family.June 2016 summer vacation was meant for dream mega ride to Kailash-Mansaovar but due to some reasons Kailash ride didnt happen and I had to go to my fav place-The Land of High Passes-Ladakh.This time a friend Pankaj from Gurgaon,who is also a member of BCMT accompanied me on his Hero Honda Splendor bike.

Leave are no problem for me but.Summer vacations in my schools provide me enough time a long ride.But managing home in absence is the biggest challenge for all of us in the family but nature of Pragya’s job(she is also a primary teacher) make sure my absence during ride doesnt impact home functioning much expect a emotional and safety concerns of my well being during my super adventerous ride.But Pragya handles all these troubles in a smooth way.Before going for my ride,i always stocked my entire kitchen for next 20 days,vegetable for at least 10 days,and store milk for 4-5 days in freezer so that in my absence my family remain self sustained for at least half duration of my ride.Family needs to fetch vegetable only 1 time,milk 2 times during my entire ride.This is how Pragya manages my absence as onus of fetching entire grocery/vegetables and other household stuffs is entirely on me during normal day to day life.

So 1st June was set for departure.This year,I wanted to experience camping so borrowed tents/sleeping bag etc form a friend.To rule out the power shortage,i purchased a 1×1 solar panel charger from Chandni Chowk for 600 Rs.Breaking the tradition of traveling light,this year I traveled heavy and also purchased a a Saddle Bag from Khanjanchi Karol Bag for 700 Rs.Very Good quality but very bad decision which costed me dearly later in the ride.I will cover that part as story progresses.:p.

As you all know ,my scooter has a very small capacity fuel tank of 5.5 liters approx.After every few hours(150-200 kms),i need to untie bags ,open the seat and refill the petrol and repeating the circus.Very time consuming,frustrating.There was no solution in sight for this refilling problem.But i really wanted to to do something to remove this trouble from my mind.So on a very hot afternoon,when entire appartment was relishing siesta,I was cutting my scooter seat in half.I dismounted the 2 cut out piece of seat and went to Cobbler for some cut-paste repair job to seal the exposed spunge of the seat.Job was average type but it worked and refueling problem completely solved.My gamble paid off.

Departure day arrived and call were made to my riding partner Pankaj and we decided to meet at Dhaula Kuan at 5 am.With a heavy heart,i started my scooter around 4 am and with a silent prayer,i started my 2016 Ladakh Scooter.These morning moments are always felt heavy.Kids were sleeping and with a kiss on their cheeks.i bade my kids good bye for 15 days

Pankaj arrived at Dhaula Kuan and i shifted few heavy items to his bike.Pankaj was carrying Alloo Sabji and Parantha,so we also relished that tasty breakfast at Dhaula Kuan itself.Morning was super hot and making me wet in sweat.Only relief was riding moments.The Game had just begun.

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