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Old 24th July 2011, 15:44   #121
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

GPS trail of our path to Chang La
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-map-leh-changla.jpg

A series of photographs showing the road condition from Karu to Chang La

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Chang La and the Chang La Baba temple
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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-changla-15k100.jpg

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Words of caution! To be repeated as often as possible for travellers from the plains into high altitude areas
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Last edited by SS-Traveller : 24th July 2011 at 15:47.
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Old 24th July 2011, 22:09   #122
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

The following series of photographs describes the road condition and scenery during our drive after Chang La till just before the Pagal Nala.

GPS trail from Chang La to Lukung (Pangong Tso)
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Rocky road with plenty of marmot sightings (no more marmot pics being posted here!)
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Splashing through...
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Frozen lake
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Rear view
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Rocks and peaks
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The long and winding road
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Darbuk checkpost
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Ice hockey, anyone?
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More road
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God is a drummer
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Sun & shade
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26 km to destination
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And we drive on...
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...but not on this kind of horse power!
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Interesting formation on the mountainside - notice a face?
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Sandy road. 4H makes one run more stable, without fish-tailing all over the place - not that 2WD can't make it through.
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Old 24th July 2011, 22:33   #123
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

This is the road that leads up to...
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Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-pn-1k100.jpg

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...the bridge across pagal nullah. No more going mad over crossing a little rivulet, say the other seasoned Ladakh campaigners - and they are saddened by the reduced quantum of adventure available on the road now.
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See that sad face on the mountainside? That's as soon as you cross over the bridge and come out the other side.
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So we carry on...
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...to this oft-photographed point where every traveller to Pangong stops for the first view of Pangong Tso.
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Thanks for bearing with all my yakking. I hope to continue tomorrow.
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Old 25th July 2011, 06:28   #124
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Such beautiful pictures and what a landscape !! Will be there next week and am excited !!
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Old 25th July 2011, 13:11   #125
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

A series of photographs from Lukung on Pangong Tso.

Reaching the first stop - Garnet Hill
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Lake @ Lukung
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Seagulls are not easy subjects to shoot
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Lunch @ Lukung
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View from the restaurant tent

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She actually spoke very good English. Didn't expect to have our lunch order taken by someone who spoke so well in the language.
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This bottle of drinking water was purchased at Srinagar. By the time we reached Pangong (@14,000 ft), the bottle was inflated hard with the expanded air inside. It dropped, and leaked - from the base! Here's rideon trying to salvage some of the water into another bottle
Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-pangong-27k100.jpg
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Old 25th July 2011, 15:40   #126
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Time to part ways with rideon, and for us to ride on to Spangmik.

The route we took from Lukung to Spangmik, along the new road that goes into the mountains. Notice the other road along the lake.
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The diversion at the end on that track above, was where we went down to the edge of the lake to check out a group of tents.
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We did not have any prior booking at Spangmik, and were hoping to find accommodation after arriving there. Worst case scenario: we were mentally prepared to spend a night in the car. Thankfully, that did not happen.

Geotag of location where we stayed at Spangmik.
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The road from Lukung to Spangmik
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Cabins under construction on this road - not yet operational when we went there, but these offer a majestic view of the lake.
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No accommodation available here. :(
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Found a place to stay - this stone house with nothing fancy in it. Basic Indian-style loo, hot water in buckets, no electricity or generator however, but we got LED lanterns for the night. The other resorts run on generator from 7 pm till 11 pm - good enough to charge batteries etc. - but then the car inverter did its job all along and we had charged mobiles and camera batteries anyway.
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More photographs of Pangong Tso
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Kitchen & dining tent of the place we stayed in
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The lady is from England, the gentleman from Australia.
They landed in India at Cochin, travelled by train up to Rishikesh, bought a 2000-model Bullet for 30k INR, spent another 10k doing it up, and travelled from there via Srinagar to Ladakh. When we met them, their gearbox drain nut had fallen off near Lukung and they lost oil. We ended up asking all the taxis in the area whether they had spare oil, but no luck. They planned to ride back to Lukung again the next morning and ask the army folks for some oil. Their itinerary included selling the bike at Manali or Leh, and flying on to Sri Lanka to continue their holiday!Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip:  Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilver.-spangmik1-20k100.jpg

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Old 25th July 2011, 16:40   #127
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

As the sun settled into the west and a strong, cold wind started blowing, we wanted to enjoy the view of the lake for as long as possible. The view from the room was not as good as sitting in the car, so there we spent the evening till darkness descended, talking about life, enjoying each other's company and listening to this:


Another time, another place on this same trip, this song had us rolling in laughter. Shall describe that at the appropriate time.

Time to take out the camera...

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...and the tripod too.
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Inside the kitchen tent during dinner

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H-4® bathed in moonlight

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That night, it was only as cold as this
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The next morning, we would travel this road

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Last edited by SS-Traveller : 25th July 2011 at 16:48.
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Old 25th July 2011, 16:58   #128
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June 14, 2011
A few photographs at sunrise, before we started our journey. We travelled via Man, Merak, Chushul and Niyoma to Tso Moriri this day.

Dawn at Pangong Tso
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Weird cloud formation over the mountain peaks as the sun came up

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Red door wishes us bon voyage as we depart on an unknown road with zero traffic...
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...and this was playing on the ICE.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 25th July 2011 at 17:00.
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Old 25th July 2011, 17:15   #129
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Wondeful, I am confused, did you stayed in Spamgmik(that stoned house) or in Tent

Eagerly waiting for the next part
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Old 25th July 2011, 17:27   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
...I am confused, did you stayed in Spamgmik(that stoned house) or in Tent
In that stone house with the red door. Somehow, with a 70-y-o lady on board, we were not convinced about the comfort level in a tent, and wanted a more solid structure to sleep in. The pics from inside the tent are from the kitchen-cum-dining tent that was set up separately, for people staying in the building.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 25th July 2011 at 17:33.
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Old 25th July 2011, 18:55   #131
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I am now going to post a series of driver's-view photographs of the road along Pangong Tso, from Spangmik to Merak, which are pretty much self-explanatory. The only thing to do is to follow those tracks, and there are some points where the lake has come on to the track and one worries about getting stuck. 4WD gives one the peace of mind to carry on, but the road is definitely doable with a 2WD high-ground-clearance vehicle (and a good driver). The photographs were taken between 5:45 am and 7:30 am, during which we did not see one single vehicle or person on this road. We were on our own, rideon having returned to Leh the previous afternoon, and even BSNL did not have network.
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Unless you are 100% confident about your abilities as a get-me-home mechanic, and have 200% trust and faith in the car you drive, you would not be advised to venture on to this track alone, without another back-up car.
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Old 25th July 2011, 22:22   #132
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Continuing the journey here are a series of driver's-view photographs of the road from Merak to Tsaga, which are pretty much self-explanatory again. The lake disappeared to the left and into China, while we veered off gradually towards the right to go across desolate meadows (edit: on second thought, maybe meadows is not the right word to describe such barren lands!) towards Chushul.
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As we approached Chushul there was extensive road work in evidence, and the last 3 km were along a
tarred road.
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At the Chushul Police Post, where we deposited our permit, we were warned not to use cameras till we crossed Tsaga La, else they may be seized by the army - the only exceptions we made were at the Chushul War Memorial and the 13 Kumaon Rezang La War Memorial.
Quote:
The Rezangla feature, which dominates the approach to Chushul, was defended to the end by 112 men of 13 Kumaon against a Chinese advance in 1962. This memorial to those brave men, led by Major Shaitan Singh, Param Vir Chakra, was built near Rezangla by 13 Kumaon.
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All along the road from Chushul to Tsaga La, there were bunkers visible on the mountain tops. It's an eerie feeling to know you are being constantly watched, while all around you everything is so deserted!

Once we were across Tsaga La, the cameras came back into action, as we came down to the little village of Tsaga.
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Once again, a copy of the permit was required, this time by the ITBP guard at the barrier. While we were also filling out the register that the guard provided to us, along came a Head Constable with his typical Haryanvi accented Hindi. He lives in Gurgaon, he said, and had apparently got himself and his family treated by me many years ago at the clinic we used to visit in Gurgaon (up until the year 2000!). Small world! He insisted we stay for chai and lunch, but finally settled for presenting us with two tetra packs of juice!

Completely made our day.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 25th July 2011 at 22:29.
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Old 26th July 2011, 09:44   #133
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Excellent travelogue.
Where did you get the Oxygen cylinder from?
Medical shops around AIIMS sale 10 lt cylinder. The shopkeeper told me that the 10 ltr last for 2 minutes.

Big crowd at Pengong/Chang La. I guess June is becoming too crowded for Ladhak circuit. Aug-Sept are less crowded. Did you encounter the tourist crowd at any other place.

Thanks
Dinesh

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Old 26th July 2011, 11:26   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinesha View Post
Excellent travelogue.
Thank you.
Quote:
Where did you get the Oxygen cylinder from?
From a surgical supplies wholesaler at Sant Nagar, EOK.
Quote:
Did you encounter the tourist crowd at any other place.
Leh was too crowded for my liking, though at the other places we did not feel claustrophobic despite the other tourists. If there's one place that really bothered me because of the crowds, it was Rohtang Pass and Manali.
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Old 26th July 2011, 12:11   #135
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Default Re: Hawk-On-Fours® (H-4®) Roadtrip: Leh(t)'s go to Ladakh & Srinagar with QuickSilve

Thanks for a detailed account of the drive from Spangimik to Chushul. Great moral boost that 2WD cars can also do it.
Did they check your permits at Spangimik also or only at Chushul?
I guess teh entire drive from Spangimik to Chushul was more or less on plains?
Any stay facilities at Man, Merak or Chushul?
Do you think you can freely camp out anywhere en route? Or there are restrictions?
Homestays in Spangimik - I suppose there are many and one can walk in and get room?
No photos of the night sky at Pangong?
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