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Old 29th August 2011, 11:53   #16
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Days 5 & 6: Drass - Purtikchey (Zanskar)
We did another early morning start from Drass at 5am with the first planned pit-stop at the Drass Memorial, where we paid homage to the heroes of the Kargil war and then set out for Kargil. The outskirts of Kargil were filled with children selling fresh apricots which were really sweet and tasty. The plastic drum that we had filled up with petrol was now leaking and the fumes were getting to us. We reached Kargil in the afternoon and pushed off to Zanskar. The roads after Sanku were horrible and speed dropped to 15kmph. It was now hot and the heat coupled with the petrol fumes made it very uncomfortable. While the plan was to drive upto Rangdum, we made a great decision to stop at Purtikchey that day. Reached the JKTDC bungalow at 3pm checked in and the caretaker made us some delicious burji which we polished off and then crashed by 4pm only to wake up the next morning by 8am. At Rs 200 per day for the entire bungalow this was the best value for money acco in the entire trip. Feeling really refreshed we decided to drive around the valley see whatever we could and return back and spend one more day at the same place. We set off towards Panikhar saw the twin Glaciers of Noon & Koon from a distance crossed Tangole and continued until Parkachik after which the car started heating up from 3 hours of continual driving in first and second gear at 10kmph. We poured some water on the radiator and switched on the electric fan to cool the engine and then turned back taking a different route from Tangole. Here we encountered an Aussie, Mike Frazer who was nursing his broken down bullet trying to fix an accelerator cable. We helped with fixing that and were on our way. From there we drove past the bungalow to go visit the Maitreya Buddha statue which was situated at a 7km detour off the main road from Sanku at the place called Kartse Khar. We found the statue with some difficulty given that it isn’t visible from the road and there was no one in sight to ask. It was really beautiful with 2 angels at its side and the fact that it was carved into the mountain in such a desolate place made it even more endearing. After that we came back to Sanku made calls to family and then returned to the Dak bungalow. There Nitin asked the care taker Mr Noor Mohammed to set up a bonfire and we had dinner under the clear dark sky with the milky way clearly visible.
Some pics from those 2 days
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:03   #17
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Some more pics from Day 6
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:04   #18
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Dear Neville - thanks for this absolutely fantastic travelogue. I feel as if I was there. Missed this one, maybe some other time.

Best regards,

Behram
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Old 29th August 2011, 12:40   #19
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Neville - thanks for this absolutely fantastic travelogue. I feel as if I was there. Missed this one, maybe some other time.

Best regards,

Behram
Sure sir, one trip isnt enough to absorb the visual overload that the region throws at you. There will have to be more trips in the coming years.

One more thing I erroneously forgot which should've gone into the very first post. Vote of thanks to my friends that helped me prepare for this trip
1. Gev and his team of Syed and Asif, for modding and prepping the Gypsy
2. Rustom aka Rossi for the Hydraulic jack and tool kit (both of which were absolutely new and innaugurated on this trip)
3. Burgess for the tents & fire-extinguisher
4. Nosh for the inverter and vehicular fluids
5. Danny sir for the spares and the window visors
6. Rishad for tips on the routes and constant chats on Whatsapp
7. Myron for the jerry can and tips on road trips
8. Jay for keeping us constantly entertained and especially for that night we camped at Upshi. That was a great decision Jay and full credit to you!!
9. Last but not the least Nitin for coming along for a 6.5k+ km trip in a non A/C gypsy
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Old 29th August 2011, 16:17   #20
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

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8. Jay for keeping us constantly entertained and especially for that night we camped at Upshi. That was a great decision Jay and full credit to you!!

Dude, you could also thank me for saving you from petrol fumigation

Thats a wonderful start to the TL Neville. Will be adding my posts soon.

You actually pushed that huge rock out of the way... and is that the Atithi devobhava firang on the bike?? For a second I thought I saw John Lennon in long hair

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 29th August 2011 at 16:18.
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Old 29th August 2011, 16:31   #21
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

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Dude, you could also thank me for saving you from petrol fumigation

Thats a wonderful start to the TL Neville. Will be adding my posts soon.

You actually pushed that huge rock out of the way... and is that the Atithi devobhava firang on the bike?? For a second I thought I saw John Lennon in long hair
Ah, the man finally surfaces!!! Ok, Jay thank you for saving me from petrol fumigation with that sudden magnificient idea.. C'mon where is your post with the pics and vids.

Yes I had to push that rock out of the way and off the road to make space for our vehicle. You see I have this small pouch of magic potion that provides me with superhuman strength but the effect wears off pretty quickly .

And yes, that is the ADB firang on the bike
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Old 29th August 2011, 20:17   #22
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Amazing amazing Travelogue ! Super duper like

Pleasure was mine sir... keeping fingers crossed for my Zanskar expedition!

Jay! where are your pics? is Nitin on TBHP now??

Quote:
Originally Posted by satan View Post
Sure sir, one trip isnt enough to absorb the visual overload that the region throws at you. There will have to be more trips in the coming years.

One more thing I erroneously forgot which should've gone into the very first post. Vote of thanks to my friends that helped me prepare for this trip
1. Gev and his team of Syed and Asif, for modding and prepping the Gypsy
2. Rustom aka Rossi for the Hydraulic jack and tool kit (both of which were absolutely new and innaugurated on this trip)
3. Burgess for the tents & fire-extinguisher
4. Nosh for the inverter and vehicular fluids
5. Danny sir for the spares and the window visors
6. Rishad for tips on the routes and constant chats on Whatsapp
7. Myron for the jerry can and tips on road trips
8. Jay for keeping us constantly entertained and especially for that night we camped at Upshi. That was a great decision Jay and full credit to you!!
9. Last but not the least Nitin for coming along for a 6.5k+ km trip in a non A/C gypsy
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Old 30th August 2011, 11:19   #23
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Day 7: Purtikchey – Leh
We left by 6.30am after thanking our host Noor Mohammed. He was a real character and we will remember him for his ready supply of “Kaava” or black tea that he had prepped in a thermos and ready to drink anytime of the day. We reached Sanku in the morning only to find that a tree had just fallen across the road, blocking it. We backtracked for two kms and took a detour close to the army cantonment and finally joined the road ahead of Sanku. Reached Kargil by 10 am, had a very hearty breakfast at D’Zojilla where Jay and the gang had camped the previous night. Later we learnt that Jay had crossed us at Sanku the previous afternoon when we had gone to see the Maitreya Buddha. We had emptied the smaller 20ltr jerry can which was now deformed into the larger 50 ltr drum the previous night so, we just filled up the main tank at Kargil and left for Leh. We stopped at another temple of the Maitreya Buddha with an hour from Kargil and then crossed Namik La and Fotu La to decend into Lamayuru. The gompa with its surrounding Moonscape was filled with foreign tourists. After walking around and taking pictures we had Maggie n cheese at the canteen. After the gompa it was a quick drive towards the lovely roads at Nimmu and to the outskirts of Leh. We encountered the Magnetic Hill at ~ 7pm when it was fairly dark. The phenomenon did not work for us and it seemed like an optical illusion. Meanwhile Jay had reached Leh and had checked in. We took the directions, tanked up and reached the hotel at around 8.30 pm. While filling up fuel we also learnt that the next day was a complete bandh except for critical services as it was the first anniversary of the Cloud Burst last year. This meant that we would lose a day given that we were planning on getting the vehicles serviced the next day. While we were upset initially we decided to make the most of it while we were in Leh. Some pics
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Old 30th August 2011, 11:41   #24
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Few more pics from day 7 & 8
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Old 30th August 2011, 12:42   #25
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

More pics from Day 8 & 9 in Leh
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Old 30th August 2011, 12:59   #26
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

wonderful,

BTW what are you using to transfer fuel, is that some kind of 12V motor/pump?
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Old 30th August 2011, 22:50   #27
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

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wonderful,

BTW what are you using to transfer fuel, is that some kind of 12V motor/pump?
Rajiv, its an electric fuel pump normally used by mechanics to fix roadside fuelpump breakdowns.
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Old 31st August 2011, 09:03   #28
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

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Rajiv, its an electric fuel pump normally used by mechanics to fix roadside fuelpump breakdowns.
Thanks so it runs on normal 220V power and not the 12 Volt Car Socket. Actually it a very good idea. Because transferring fuel from Jerry cans at that height is a painful exercise. I was thinking of something on 12V Car socket.


BTW DC office looks all empty, surprisingly. Its is one buzzing place
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Old 31st August 2011, 10:14   #29
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

This does run on a standard 12v cigarette lighter that i have installed in the rear of the vehicle.

That day was the 1st anniversary of the cloud burst last year, so the entire Leh town wore a very deserted look with every single shop shut except for fuel pumps and chemists.
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Old 31st August 2011, 15:28   #30
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Default Re: An Unlikely Pair (Safari & Gypsy) do a 6600km circuit Mumbai – Srinagar- Leh - Mu

Day 8 : Leh Sightseeing + Permits
The plan for the day was to try and get the vehicles washed, permits organized and then visit the palace and the Gompas around Leh as every single shop/ restaurant was shut that day. We set off for Druk Auto which is Maruti’s authorized sales and service centre after breakfast. As anticipated it was shut for customers but there was a Xylo being washed at the service bay. We called out to the service personnel and tried our best to explain to them that we weren’t locals and it would save us a day if they washed our cars that day, but to no avail. The Xylo apparently was the foreman’s car and they had instructions to keep the gate shut. Just then a passerby advised us to try down the road where there were a few outfits that pressure washed cars. Hopeful we set out and did a 25 km round trip without any luck. We then went to town to check ATMs to withdraw cash. Both SBI ATMs were out of order but luckily the HDFC was operational. After we befriended a cop who allowed us to park out side the ATM we asked him for directions to the DC office. We reached the DC office only to be told that he had gone to attend someone’s funeral and would only be back in the afternoon post 1.30pm. We decided to go check out the Kings Palace that oversees all of Leh town. Spent around 2 hours there. The palace is in ruins and is in the process of getting restored. We reached the DC office by 2.15pm and his assistant asked us to fill out a special circuit form as we were originally planning a trip into the interiors of south east ladakh too. Getting the permissions was a piece of cake and is overhyped in some ways. The assistant was very helpful and even obliged us by removing 20 copies of the permit (10 per car)
Once that was done we went back to hotel took a nap and then set out in the evening to visit the Thiksey Gompa which was just about a 17km drive from Leh town. While we were reaching there we crossed Vinod leading a group of Mahindra Scorpios, Boleros and a couple of Thars, the Monastery Challenge vehicles. We reached there in time before it closed and the priest who saw us running up the starirs waited to allow us to have a glimpse of the smiling Golden Buddha sitting there. After the Darshan we decided to grab dinner at the restaurant adjacent to the Gompa. Infact the Gompa also provide accommodation for tourists akin to a home stay and we saw quite a few foreigners staying there. We chatted up with a Spanish woman who was serving the European Labour ministry trying to place people that had been laid off. She was very disappointed by the way China and India were plucking jobs out of Europe and so after a fairly heated but amicable debate we left with her feeling not so confident as she had been 45 mins ago.

Reached the hotel and did some inner wear washing and decorated the hotel room and windows with bright some bright coloured briefs before crashing for the night
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