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Old 16th July 2011, 18:25   #106
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Now, why on earth did he have to pull over and stop, I was wondering...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-hunder2leh-23k100.jpg

...and then I saw rideon enjoying himself!
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-hunder2leh-24k100.jpg

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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-hunder2leh-26k100.jpg

Back to Khardung La top.
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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-hunder2leh-28k100.jpg

Now what exactly is a Siachen Toggler's Gate?
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H-4® reflections...
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Cyclists riding up to K-La. They've even got breath left to wave!
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Colourful Sierra!
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The BRO frog.
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-hunder2leh-35k100.jpg
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Old 16th July 2011, 19:05   #107
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

An interesting item we carried on the trip was a portable toilet enclosure called N-Circle, which we were field-testing for a friend. This is designed for use during mass disaster (floods, earthquakes etc.) relief, and can be folded up to a height of about 4 inches. The frame is made up of aluminium, and the green material is a tough but thin parachute cloth. Useful for the ladies, but the current design is a little fiddly to set up and fold away quickly, and needs to be made more refined, idiot-proof and user-friendly.

The enclosure packed into H-4®'s boot (the green square frame)
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-deljammuk100.jpg

Enclosure in use
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-hunder2leh-29k100.jpg
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Old 19th July 2011, 19:48   #108
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

I would like to describe a couple of incidents that happened at Khardung La on our way back.

Within 15 minutes of stopping at K-La, the wife started feeling acutely nauseous and breathless, and started developing cyanosis on the lips and extremities. We decided to start making our way down, while rideon wanted to stop a while longer and fill up the camera's memory card some more. She had felt a little uncomfortable on the way to Hunder, but the feeling passed shortly after we started on our way down. This time, she continued to feel ill, and had to be administered oxygen. We carried a 100-litre cylinder (our 70-litre cylinder developed a leak when tested just before we left Delhi), and 5 minutes of oxygen administered through a nasal cannula made her immediately feel better.

A note here:
If you are carrying an oxygen cylinder, do carry the type where gas flow can be controlled, and the cylinder is refillable. Also, it is more preferable to use a nasal cannula than a face mask, because the flow rate required to provide adequate oxygenation is less (about 1-2 litres per minute against a face mask's 4-5 lpm) - just that one has to perforce breathe through the nose. Face masks are good for unconscious people who do not have control over whether they are breathing through the nose or mouth. The disposable pressurized cans contain about 10 litres of gas and an in-built face mask, so the max they can be realistically used is for 2 minutes - which is often not enough. A 100-litre refillable cylinder can let you run oxygen for 45 minutes to an hour through a nasal cannula, which looks like this:
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The second incident was narrated to us by rideon, who is currently so busy he doesn't get time to log in here!

He was prevented at K La, by a Ladakhi tour operator escorting a group of Caucasian tourists, from taking his car out from the spot it was parked in, just so the tour group could finish taking photos in peace. An argument ensued, wherein the tour operator commented that Indians make bad tourists, and shouldn't come to Ladakh!!! Rideon lost his temper and shot back asking whether the man did not consider himself Indian - and the reply was No, he was a Ladakhi! The man used his camera to click pictures of rideon and his car, and threatened him with dire consequences at Leh. Rideon did not remember to shoot the man's pic, but we were told at Leh later that such behaviour by a tour operator are severely frowned upon by the JK Tourism Dept., and we should have reported the incident with a photo of the man.
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Old 20th July 2011, 11:23   #109
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
He was prevented at K La, by a Ladakhi tour operator escorting a group of Caucasian tourists, from taking his car out from the spot it was parked in, just so the tour group could finish taking photos in peace. An argument ensued, wherein the tour operator commented that Indians make bad tourists, and shouldn't come to Ladakh!!! Rideon lost his temper and shot back asking whether the man did not consider himself Indian - and the reply was No, he was a Ladakhi! The man used his camera to click pictures of rideon and his car, and threatened him with dire consequences at Leh. Rideon did not remember to shoot the man's pic, but we were told at Leh later that such behaviour by a tour operator are severely frowned upon by the JK Tourism Dept., and we should have reported the incident with a photo of the man.
Your experience is not unique.
Indian tourists are not really welcome in ladakh as much as foreigners.
The reason is that if somebody asks us 4000kms for a 30km taxi ride, we will protest, however, foreigners can be easily duped.
Indians will drive bargains.
Those of us in our own cars are even bigger thread, if more and more people start driving to leh, it will hit their bottom line.
Due to this reason they operate a mafia and do not allow taxis from other states, even if taxis have national permit.

If you go to restaurants in changspa area, you are made to feel unwelcome. Due to this reason, we try to do as little business in Leh town as possible, and avoid all the standard tourist eateries in town. would rather pay more to our hotel kitchen, atleast they treat us with respect.
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Old 20th July 2011, 12:24   #110
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Doc, Even i had the similar feeling when we ascended Chang la. Since we went first to Pangong , we stopped for may be 3-4 minutes only. But while return it was all fine. We spent a good 15-20 minutes there. Even had a tea there.

Same with Rohtang, my son was complaining headache while returning from Nubra. He was ok by South pullu. I thing post 15k ft + altitude effect is quicker and severe.
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Old 20th July 2011, 12:56   #111
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

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Originally Posted by v&v View Post
...Chang la...spent a good 15-20 minutes there. Even had a tea there.
Yes, we faced a similar problem the next day while crossing Chang La, where we also had the tea! However, this time the effect was not so severe, and wife felt just mildly breathless; but my 70-year-old MIL went visiting the Changla Baba temple and didn't have any effect due to altitude at all!
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Old 21st July 2011, 18:30   #112
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Default Around Leh

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
...they operate a mafia...
...and how!

Tanveer, you have been to Leh a number of times, and have you ever heard of this place, run by the LAHDC, about 20km from Leh city centre, where they breed double-humped Bactrian camels? They have arrangements for rides too, at charges that are much less than at Hunder. For folks who want to see the Bactrian camel but cannot go to Hunder for some reason, this would be a great place to go to, right?
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And we found the place completely deserted!
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Old 21st July 2011, 20:10   #113
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I know of this place, and many other things you can do for free, but awareness is so damn limited due to the mafia!
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Old 21st July 2011, 21:47   #114
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Map showing the camel farm
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Across this bridge, soon after one turns right after crossing Choglamsar
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Layout plan of the farm
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Supervisor of the farm
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More pics from the camel farm...

The cutest baby camel yet! From what the supervisor explained, a baby camel touched by a human is rejected by its mother. The keepers are hand-rearing the baby on a diet of cow's milk - about 15 litres per day!
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Humps and mountains...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
...things you can do for free...
Please enumerate only the ones that can be safely mentioned on the forum!
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Old 22nd July 2011, 16:19   #115
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Next stop for the afternoon: The Stok Palace.

Quote:
Stok or Stak, museum and gompa in village of the same name, situated in the Indus Valley 17 km south east of the Ladakhi capital, Leh. Stok is the current residence of the former royal family of Ladakh and the museum contains the shrines, crown, ceremonial dress and jewelry of the Ladakhi king.
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On the way

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Exterior views
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Inscribed rocks
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Old 22nd July 2011, 16:28   #116
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Some views from inside the Stok Palace

Great place to sit around and...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-stokpalace-22k100.jpg

...stare at the stairs...
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...and watch the vistas of the valley below.
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Entrance to museum. No pics allowed inside, so we make do with...
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-stokpalace-31k100.jpg

...close-ups of walls and doors!

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What the heck... how about a couple of ibex heads?
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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-stokpalace-33k100.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 22nd July 2011 at 16:31.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 17:13   #117
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Sir,
Wonderfully detailed TL with amazing pictures. Have been regularly following it and had noticed the N-circle packed in your vehicle when the picture was previously posted. Can you please let me know from where it can be procured.
Also how important is it to take an oxygen cylinder as we shall be travelling with a 5 year old kid.
I am worried about how AMS hits children.
TL rated 5*
Thanks and Regards
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Old 23rd July 2011, 11:22   #118
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
...N-circle...please let me know from where it can be procured.
Unfortunately, it's still not commercially available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
...how important is it to take an oxygen cylinder...
I would say, absolutely imperative. It's a kind of insurance policy that doesn't cost much (the cost of a 100-litre oxygen cylinder is about 2000 to 2500 INR), and it saves you a lot of worry and trouble in case there is any high altitude illness developing. Though the army does make a medical outpost and oxygen available at each of the high passes, it is always better not to wait for such help and carry your own cylinder for the times when there's no help at hand. And do keep it easily accessible, because with oxygen deficiency one can pass out in the time it takes to hunt for the cylinder in your baggage (happened to someone I know - the wife's a doctor, but the husband lost consciousness in the time it took her to find the cylinder they were carrying).
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TL rated 5*
Thank you.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 22:27   #119
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

A few random shots before we return from Stok to Leh...

What bird is this one?

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-stokpalace-0k100.jpg

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Seemed like a good hotel at Stok to put up in, what with the grand views all around and the huge Buddha statue on the premises, though I have no idea what the tariffs and facilities might be like.
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And back at Leh, I spent a lot of time trying to capture the Shanti Stupa lit up at night. This one is my best shot based on the camera I was using, and I do hope you like it.

Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-shy-4k100.jpg

The next morning (13th June) we would leave for Pangong Tso. Good night!
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Old 24th July 2011, 13:24   #120
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June 13, 2011
We left Leh fairly early (around 6 am) for Pangong Tso. This was the day H-4® and QuickSilver would part ways. We planned to go up to Spangmik, while rideon planned to return to Leh from Lukung. The parting of ways was based on the apprehension that QuickSilver may not be able to cope with the roads beyond Spangmik, carrying on to Man, Merak, Chushul etc. and onwards to Tso Moriri the next day.

But before we hit the road to Pangong Tso, we had a couple of sights to see near Leh:

(1) The 3 Idiots School, otherwise known as the Druk Padma Karpo or Druk White Lotus School. Destroyed by the Leh cloudburst last year, it has been rebuilt as Leh's first earthquake-proof building, running entirely on solar power.

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Remnants of last year's landslide on the school premises
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New construction in progress

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Shey monastery
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(2) The imposing Thiksey monastery aka the Mini Potala, the largest building complex in Ladakh, extending up 12 storeys.
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Time to take the road to Pangong, with a fuel stop at Karu / Kharu, before turning left.

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Quick car check
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In the excitement of coming back from Hunder, going to Stok and leaving the next morning for Pangong, we had completely forgotten to make additional photocopies of our permit. Karu was the only place to get them done, and the photocopy shop was open at 7:30 am. The cost per copy was Rs.10, but, well, the job was done!
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