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View Poll Results: What do you suggest?
Take the Safari, do a 8000km BLR-LEH-BLR trip with the usual places around. 16 34.04%
Do what my heart tells me, ride it out! Ship the bike to Delhi and do the ride with the wife and the baby. 0 0%
Ship the bike to Delhi. I ride to Leh and they join me there directly. We ride around places and then ride back to Delhi. 6 12.77%
Sit around and keep reading the T'logs instead of thinking of more crazy things 25 53.19%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 1st June 2011, 13:48   #16
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Default re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

"D"

Wait till your child grows up and can retain memories of the trip. I've done trips with my children which is a complete blank for them and spoils the fun when you recollect them. IMO >5 is the ideal age to start getting children along. They are reasonably independent, can communicate problems with ease and remember events!
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Old 1st June 2011, 15:53   #17
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Default re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

Agree, keep the 2yr old angel out of it dude. Too much for an infant to handle. If someone else has already done it & gotten away without any problems then that's an isolated case.
And like most opinions, think why you are taking the trip in the first place. Your child will enjoy a game of horsey as much at home. Overall, they will not have any recollection of the trip. Make a trip at an age where they are more likely to remember it, say post 5yrs.
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Old 1st June 2011, 16:30   #18
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

I'd suggest you post it on IndiaMike. There's a couple of senior folks like vistet.

There's alot of information there regarding leh travel with kids, and many more AMS stories
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Old 1st June 2011, 16:39   #19
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

why do you want to punish your child for your passion!!!

i know it sounds lil harsh.. but thats the truth. 'm not speaking about the car/bike ride but the very visit of Ladakh (Khardungla and Changla Pass). high altitude sickness (AMS) can attack anyone and if it does it can turn bad easily. i have seen babies crying incessantly at these altitudes and their parents thought its gonna be a fun trip.

i can say only this: at these heights it is just not a 'fun' trip it is a adventure trip which is dangerous.
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Old 1st June 2011, 17:55   #20
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

Firstly, I have not voted because I think the advice I want to give you here is not an option.

Secondly, I have two daughters 7month and 6years old and I love to travel a lot.

I was in a similar situation few months ago when I wanted to Kenya. Few points I will like to make to you:-

1. If you take this trip the baby is NOT enjoying LADAKH you two are. She will never ever remember this trip except pics. So, you might as well leave her if you can.

2. If you must take her, bike a total NO. SUV is ok. She will sleep most of the time vehicle is moving. When you halt to view/click pics she would be up with energy.

3. If something happens to her (god forbid) you will repent your entire life.

4. We all marry and crib we lose independence. Lose further independence with kids. But we love them. Wont you like to visit when you daughter is big enough to appreciate her Dad's dream visit!

5. I would even say this why dont you go alone and see. In that case the baby can stay with the mother. Dont tell your wife I gave this idea!

6. I have traveled a lot with my daughters. But those visits have not been taxing rather comfortable ones. In trains, flights, ships,. Walking around in good weather for not more than half a day and with all facilities at hand.

Think and make a wise decision.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 07:47   #21
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
I was worried about taking my daughter along for the last road trip to MP as well, but that trip taught me that kids are not fragile. They're naturally tough and can withstand a lot of stress than you can imagine. .
I agree they are not fragile, but better be safe than sorry. Give them exposure in stages and they would be fine. I am doing this trip in July with family (Although flying in rather than driving up) and am a little apprehensive about how the two girls (Kiddo and Mom) would take it. I am kinda sure about myself but you never know.

This trip is an exploration trip in figuring out how well we adapt. We might not be very adventures this time around, but there is always the next time right.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 11:31   #22
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I'd suggest you post it on IndiaMike. There's a couple of senior folks like vistet.

There's alot of information there regarding leh travel with kids, and many more AMS stories
Thanks for the lead Phamilyman, I did find some useful information on Indiamike.

Overall, after spending a lot of time reading through, there's no definite research that suggests that toddlers are more susceptible to AMS than adults. Moreover, the AMS issues are troublesome for the travelers but very rare instances of being dangerous. It may be very well possible that she has the similar chances of getting impacted when she's older. So if we take all precautions, we will have equal chances of accomplishing/abandoning the trip as 2-3 years later.

As far as the question of her remembering these trips, well its not the last time she'll be there so she neednt worry. She'll have many more of these trips even as she grows. And we dont take them around or do things for them because they will remember, we just do it anyways!

The key may be to keep the plan flexible to accommodate for route/itinerary changes as and when needed. Also, there needs to be a plan B just in case we need to switch over from the original plan. For now, Plan A is to do Bangalore - Delhi - Manali - Leh and then decide the go forward path. Plan B would be to keep Rohtang as a gate and test reactions to that altitude before taking the plunge. If things dont work out, take the right at gramphoo and do the spiti circuit instead.

If I'm taking the car, I dont need to make any bookings for the trip, so its going to be a 50-50 probability till the day I leave.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 11:50   #23
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

For now, I will say option 4. Option 2 and 3 should be best avoided. Assume that your motorbike is not a 3-seater. Option 1 is not bad, but I will say wait for another year or so. Kids have the natural tolerance, but this much of travel with a 20 months old can be a bit risky. Do this once your kid is 3+.

Alternately, why don't you fly to a nearby destination, and do a rent-a-car? Less stressful, and you still get to drive yourself.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 12:09   #24
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

A friend of mine "Col. Ajay Raina" did the trip on bike with his wife and 2 year old daughter.
LEH DIARY - Family and Pets - Page 88 - India Travel Forum, BCMTouring

They even got a "Limca record" for the same. So its doable, but then a lot depends on your wife and kid too!
Why not ask them also?
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Old 2nd June 2011, 12:53   #25
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
a lot depends on your wife and kid too!
Why not ask them also?
. Tsk you said the exact words I had. After all that is the most important factor to decide IMHO.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 14:24   #26
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
A friend of mine "Col. Ajay Raina" did the trip on bike with his wife and 2 year old daughter.

They even got a "Limca record" for the same. So its doable, but then a lot depends on your wife and kid too!
Why not ask them also?
Thanks Tsk, I've read about little Czia's trip and she's wonderful! I'm sure she'll grow up with a lot of interesting experiences by the time she hits high school.

As far as my wife and kid's consent goes:
  • The earlier plan we had was to keep this for the next year and then do a bike ride with her. But my wife is dying to do the trip, she's missed the last 2 years and cant wait to head out there.
  • My kiddo hasnt given us any trouble in around 15000 odd kms she's covered with us on various trips. She did her first 3000km road trip when she was 2 months old and a recent 3500kms when she was 16 months.
  • This is going to be around 8000kms round trip, but I know they're ready for it! In fact, I didnt want to drive into the mountains since I didnt enjoy it as much when I did the trip 2 yrs back, but may be that was because I was being driven and not driving myself around, so I'm okay to try it out.
I totally understand sentiments around taking a young one so far and in the harsh conditions etc, these are natural instincts when you see something that looks unusual, but I'm ready to take reasonable risks. Ladakh is harsh and unforgiving, if you dont prepare for it well. My trips have always had a failover plan and there have been no regrets so far! In the end, if its not an impossible task, you would never know if you could do it, unless you gave it a shot!
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Old 2nd June 2011, 14:37   #27
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

If possible fly to delhi and take a Safari. See if you carry a bike on the Safari to wander around
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Old 10th June 2011, 22:01   #28
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

You know what?
First: am solidly against the bike +wife+kid. Not necessary, dot do.
Second: Fly them to Leh, and get them to arrive one full day ahead of you.
You drive yourself to the moon and Leh- Imagine your wife sitting all day in the car with the child in her lap.Maybe she should drive and let you sit with the kid.

Drive back via Kargil, Srinagar (show them around), and southwards.
This advise in good spirit and splitting driving doesnt count, as you probably will have no idea what the kid eats and when, so its not 50/50- you know what i am hinting at.

Have a heart.

KD
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Old 11th June 2011, 12:43   #29
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

Amol, I negatived the idea when you toured MP and am negativing again for Leh.

However, it goes without saying that your daughter does have spunk. I won't be surprised if the military at Khardungla hauls you two guys (your friend) up and claims capture of some real dreaded, hardened characters kidnapping a small, beautiful girl...
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Old 12th June 2011, 13:30   #30
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Default Re: Ladakh Advice: How about a road trip with a 20 month old kid?

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Originally Posted by Hammer & Anvil View Post
You know what?
First: am solidly against the bike +wife+kid. Not necessary, dot do.
Second: Fly them to Leh, and get them to arrive one full day ahead of you.
H&A, this is not going to be our first trip for me to Leh. My wife and I have done the bike ride twice and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Then, I did a trip in the taxi with another friend and didnt really enjoy it since there is no involvement in touring like a regular tourist. Last year, I rode again and it felt like I was home!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer & Anvil View Post
You drive yourself to the moon and Leh- Imagine your wife sitting all day in the car with the child in her lap.Maybe she should drive and let you sit with the kid.
First, my daughter sits in her car seat through the journey. I think this is the hardest part for many people who travel with kids but not for us. Second, my wife and I have had thousands of kms together where she's been in the car or on the bike and never complained even once. So even if I want to drive to the moon, I'll have to have her next to me

As far as she driving and me sitting with the kid, I have no hassles with it either. I actually intend to let her drive in some parts of the journey and will be giving her some hands on practice with the safari on the highways before we go.

Its very natural of people to think that full day journeys are so taxing and a big no-no with family etc. But imagine a couple on a bike doing Mumbai-Mahabaleshwar-Mumbai as a day trip only to eat a pav bhaji at Mahabaleshwar, or Mumbai-Nasik-Mumbai only to have lunch and back. Or picturize a father and 16 month daughter going out on a 3500km road trip for 9 days leaving mommy behind. I dont think we're quite conventional, eh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer & Anvil View Post
Drive back via Kargil, Srinagar (show them around), and southwards.
This advise in good spirit and splitting driving doesnt count, as you probably will have no idea what the kid eats and when, so its not 50/50- you know what i am hinting at.

Have a heart.

KD
Leh-Srinagar isnt my preferred choice since there is no fun like Leh-Manali route. I might do this only to get my daughter acclimatized slowly to the altitude and also because we may plan to do Zanskar this time.

Splitting the driving in the mountains is out of question. I dont think I'd put my wife behind the wheel with the safari in that terrain. Again, this aint because she's a lady, but because she's learnt driving only a year back and hasnt really driven on the highways so far, let alone the mountains.

Oh and about managing the kids part, its a non-issue! Not only do I know when is her time to eat, but also what she eats, how much she eats and how to make her eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Amol, I negatived the idea when you toured MP and am negativing again for Leh.
No problem GD sir, I know that not everyone would think its a good idea. I'm really looking for experiences/precautions about traveling in Ladakh with my little darling!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
However, it goes without saying that your daughter does have spunk. I won't be surprised if the military at Khardungla hauls you two guys (your friend) up and claims capture of some real dreaded, hardened characters kidnapping a small, beautiful girl...
Well, she's an angel for sure! As far as the kidnapping charges, the last time I kept her passport with me just in case anything like this happened. But this time, I'd have the mother along, so things should be easy I guess.

Last edited by amolpol : 12th June 2011 at 13:32.
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