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Old 17th June 2011, 09:35   #106
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
So true.

BTW how was the raod between Lukung to Hanle. I think its not tarred at many place but dirt road, still pretty motorable road.

In 2009, From Lukung to Spangmik had stones all over the path which is in parallel to pangong lake. We had to turn back from that point, the other tarred road was broken.
Lukung to Spangmik is very bad. After that its fine, mostly a dirt track with minor water crossings. A few places has sand, so stick to the most used track and do not stop there if you have 2WD.
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Old 17th June 2011, 10:33   #107
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Lukung to Spangmik is very bad. After that its fine, mostly a dirt track with minor water crossings. A few places has sand, so stick to the most used track and do not stop there if you have 2WD.
I remember they we building the tarred road from Lukung to Spangmik in 2009, this goes on the higher side of the lake and not parallel to the lake, just forgot to check it in 2010.
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Old 17th June 2011, 10:53   #108
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by MohsinRoadster View Post
Driving along pangong must have been an out of the world experience.
Absolutely, and as said this is one of the track/road that is a must to be done in Ladakh.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Lukung to Spangmik is very bad. After that its fine, mostly a dirt track with minor water crossings. A few places has sand, so stick to the most used track and do not stop there if you have 2WD.
Thanks for the clarification, dont remember much however of significance of the track till Spangmik in particular but then it was definitely more gravel and stone than the rest of it. After that loose sand predominates along this track till Tsaga after which it become mettalled.




Some more pictures that got missed, particular lookout for the weird mountains beyond Tsaga and Loma.
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So, next we move from Hanle to Tso Moriri.

Last edited by adc : 17th June 2011 at 11:20.
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Old 17th June 2011, 11:07   #109
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by adc View Post
Some more pictures that got missed, particular lookout for the weird mountains beyond Tsaga and Loma.


So, next we move from Hanle to Tso Moriri.
Wonderful, you did not clicked much in Hanle?
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Old 17th June 2011, 11:19   #110
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
Wonderful, you did not clicked much in Hanle?
We reached late evening and the tired and hungry and cold that we were, the main issue was looking out for a place to stay after being told that the Hanle observatory guest house is no longer available for anyone who just drops by.

The major part of the evening went away on going out with the local employee in search of a very basic homestay but with a wonderful host lady as seen.

As such we missed out also the liquid nitrogen process of Hanle.

Next day morning we had a look around of Hanle as we left for Tso Moriri.

Last edited by adc : 17th June 2011 at 11:25.
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Old 18th June 2011, 05:01   #111
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Am still on the first page and could not resist posting! Just bowled over by the photos! You are the personification of "where theres a will, theres a way!"

Rated 5*
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Old 18th June 2011, 14:06   #112
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Hanle to Tso Moriri via Nyoma, Mahe Bridge

Early morning, saying goodbye to our lady host in Hanle, we set off for the observatory for some views before we leave Hanle.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_4972.jpg

Morning time, so naturally the telescope, which is remotely controlled from Bangalore is closed. We just had a look around.
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And it was time to say goodbye to Hanle
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A view from the observatory height
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and down
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And the Hanle monastery from the road.
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and in B/W
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And we moved on along the empty Hanle - Nyoma road.
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Nyoma BRO point
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Mineral coloured mountains around Mahe. We will be seeing the full catalogue of these mountains on our Leh to Demachok journey via Nyoma and Koyoul. So more of these mountains will be in that post.
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After check of papers at Mahe Bridge turning, we are now off towards Tso Moriri for sure.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_5113.jpg


contd...

Last edited by adc : 18th June 2011 at 14:23.
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Old 19th June 2011, 10:03   #113
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Hanle to Tso Moriri

And we moved on towards Tso Moriri
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And we reached the Lake around evening as it glistened evening in blue colours. After Pangong, again we were mesmerized by all that we see.
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As evening came to close and shadows became longer, the VTT-TMT also seemed to rest and enjoy the solitude
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With no tents available in mid October time, we found one very good with one of most wonderful host over there. Will be putting in the details in the next post. Had a wonderful meal and that's the end of the day for us, tiring yet another most well spent day in our lives.

VTT-TMT goes to rest as we rest for that day in Korzok [Tso Moriri]
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contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th June 2011 at 10:08.
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Old 19th June 2011, 11:50   #114
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

Tso Moriri to Leh via Debring, Tanglang la



Not that we mind staying in luxury resort camps, but the season and more importantly on truncated budget for staying options, we end up looking for basic yet clean rooms in all the places that we stay.

Similarly in Korzok [Tso Moriri], we soon found Mentok guest house and by the time you will leave after all the interactions with the host of Mentok, you will genuinely he is one of the nicest person that one has made in all their travels.



It was super cold in the night and Safari had its blanket
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_5231.jpg

Thats the wonderful owner of Mentok Guest House, helping me to fill the up the fuel.
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And some lasting views of Tso Moriri again in the morning
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And soon we have a wonderful intern doctor for a lift in the early morning.
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And we continued towards Tso Kar and Debring
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Now suddenly the 450D shutter then misfired and was not working, do not know if it was due to altitude or what - missed some photos in between but suddenly around Tso Kar, after coming down from the mountains, it began to work again. Good for us and it!



At Tso Kar, a better picture comes before coming down the mountains.
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A brief chai stop at this village near Tso Kar, the local gompa can be seen at the top
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And soon we reach Debring to connect to the Leh-Manali road again for Leh.
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At Debring, we find this local Changpa boy waiting since morning for a lift to Leh from the few trucks that cross this time of the month. He was going from his camp to Leh, where his brother is studying.

We soon chatted up and heard fascinating stories of how they go to graze animals in the winter months and how they stay.
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Tanglang la was reached fast in the evening, super cold and desolate - no one wants to get caught over here on this side of Tanglang la in mid October weather. But that does not leave Tanglang la of the election symbols. Local elections are to be held within the next 2 days.
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And we continued towards Leh
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While going towards Leh from Manali, due to the frequent stops in Sarchu and Pang, we crossed these areas in the dark. This time in sunlight we see the destruction of the road that it was due to the floods in August.
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So that ends Oct 14, 2010. It was back to Shanti Lodge hotel to another wonderful hosts for a warm dinner and a sound sleep. Tomorrow we have decided to rest for a day after this 3 nights 4 days fantastic loop.


contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th June 2011 at 12:18.
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Old 19th June 2011, 12:21   #115
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Am still on the first page and could not resist posting! Just bowled over by the photos! You are the personification of "where theres a will, theres a way!"

Rated 5*

Thanks for the stars and appreciation! Though any travel is good travel, this does remain one of the best family trips that we done till date along with the Western Arunachal and Bum la travel.

Last edited by adc : 19th June 2011 at 12:46.
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Old 19th June 2011, 14:18   #116
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Lukung to Spangmik is very bad.
Lukung to Spangmik involves a sharp climb and a small-radius downhill hairpin bend before climbing down to Spangmik. With a 2WD, if you get that turn wrong and have to reverse, it's tough on the clutch. The whole track is gravel and sharp stones, so negotiating it slowly is the best way to save tyres.
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...helping me to fill the up the fuel.
Point to be noted for future visitors - at Korzok / Tso Moriri, one can have access to diesel if required. We picked up 2 x 5-litre-cans filled to the brim (about 11.5 litres) for Rs.500 to be on the safer side, though we were carrying enough to make it back to Manali. The locals source the fuel in 20-litre jerrycans, as can be seen in adc's pic.

Diesel can also be accessed if required at Tsaga, Niyoma and Chushul. We asked whether diesel was available at the Tsaga ITBP checkpost, and the Head Constable we met there agreed it could be arranged through his senior if we were running on empty - since we had enough reserves anyway, we did not take it.
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Old 20th June 2011, 11:09   #117
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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...the Hanle observatory guest house is no longer available for anyone who just drops by...
How's one supposed to book the guest now?
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Old 20th June 2011, 11:11   #118
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Default Re: Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oc

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How's one supposed to book the guest now?
Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
We reached late evening and the tired and hungry and cold that we were, the main issue was looking out for a place to stay after being told that the Hanle observatory guest house is no longer available for anyone who just drops by.

The major part of the evening went away on going out with the local employee in search of a very basic homestay but with a wonderful host lady as seen.

As such we missed out also the liquid nitrogen process of Hanle.

Next day morning we had a look around of Hanle as we left for Tso Moriri.
Hanle guest house was never available to anyone who just walks buy. You need to know somebody in Leh adminstration etc., and they send a booking request. Since there are never more than 2-3 scientists staying, room availability chance is high, esp during tourist season when skies are not very conductive for astronomical observations.
Post october, it starts getting more scientific traffic.
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Old 20th June 2011, 23:00   #119
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Outstanding pictures ! Some of them are so beautiful they look almost unreal and like paintings. I've just come back from Kashmir and while it will take a lifetime to recover from the shock of such extreme beauty I can see that this landscape has a surreal reality which you actually have to be there to experience. Its truly wonderful that your family was a part of such a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing !

Hopefully I will visit this magnificent landscape in August.

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Old 21st June 2011, 12:48   #120
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Back to Leh and a hurried leave for Nubra

After that fantastic Leh-Pangong-Hanle-Tso Moriri-Leh loop, we thought of taking it easy on Oct 15, 2010, plus had some work emails to be sent and like that.

Now Leh was scheduled to hold the LAHDC [ Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) on October 16, 2010. This is an important election just like our state elections.

So on October 15, 2010, suddenly came to realise that with all the election busyness, the district administration is going to close down for the next 3-4 days as the officials become busy for election arrangements and oversee.

And suddenly that morning of Oct 15, 2010, that we thought would rest out began in a hurry.


Immediately we headed to the DC office for permits. By this time the permit persons has started recognizing us as someone who are coming up with unusual places and they helped me out with getting the permit anyhow from the busy DC office during election times just before it shut. Off-season travel does bring out many a personal interaction that would be otherwise be just straight faced official work.


Now with the permits in hand, something crazy again come down in my head. Why not drive to Siachen base camp.

Now we dont have any contacts anywhere and it had been just good luck for us with permits till now - whether it be in North and East Sikkim permits or the drive to Bumla Indo-China border in the Western Arunachal trip.

Headed from the DC office to the Leh Army GQ Headquarters with the very vague idea of getting the Siachan permit.

Now this was an adventure in itself!

Asking people around, reach Army Headquarters and just like any sensitive installation was stopped way before the main gate and on asked by the guard on whom we were planning to see, the reply was "anyone who can help us give the Siachen base camp permit"

Anyway as much as the guard was flummoxed and confused, we were let in and quite a hurry took place regarding our query! To cut the story short, one army gentleman really tried hard and we got the permit almost but got stuck at one higher level clearance whereby we were told to send some fax and papers to Delhi.

With time running out as we had to leave for Nubra by this evening only as there was going to be restriction on vehicles also during election day, we had to drop it, as the whole process was going to take another day, like sending an application, faxing identities and then whether the actual permission would have been given was not uncertain.

But our many thanks for the army gentleman who really tried hard and went about with our papers, so that we get the drive up to the Siachen base camp permit. That would have been a drive, surely next time/one day would be doing that!



Anyway after all these things, it was quite late we left for Khardung la and then for Nubra.

We reached the Khardungla pass at around 5 pm and luckily the weather was good. It was cold but no snow and by the time we were going for Hunder it was pitch dark.

Somehow found our way after seeing a signboard of Habib guesthouse of Hundar and again what wonderful hosts they were. I would of course recommend this guesthouse, a laid back yet clean and most wonderful people to interact with.

We reached something like 9 pm or around, as they were surprised to see guests at this hour, we were also relieved to find a place to stay. Met up with a group of tourists from Bengal and in dinner time after some gossip, it was time for sleep and much needed rest.


Next day, Oct 16, 2010, a lazy start and then drive till Turtok was done.



Up away to Khardung la for Nubra
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_5361.jpg


And at the pass
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The wonderful hosts of Habib guest house at Nubra
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Next morning, on the way to Turtok
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This was the day we just ambled around leisurely, so did not go the main market area of Turtok. A much better pictures of Turtok village per se can be seen in the vardhan.harsh's fantastic travelogue.



And the day ended with the guest house owner's son and our son sharing some kind of activity.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_5582.jpg



Next morning we meet the most inhabitants of Hunder, the double-hump camels.
Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10-img_5585.jpg




contd...

Last edited by adc : 21st June 2011 at 12:51.
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