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Old 19th January 2012, 23:14   #1606
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
[b]

On that note we decided to call it a day and wrapped ourselves into the blankets and tried to sleep in that biting cold! Tomorrow is going to be another early start and a long day!
Well, this was also to be the last night the IPHE team was to spent together on this trip - but as it turned out, that was not to be.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
At a pinch you can use bottled / packaged drinking water or water from a reverse osmosis (RO) filter (but not mineral water / spring water, even if it is bottled) to top up the battery. The mineral content is negligible and no major harm will come to your battery (maybe a 5% reduction in life is about all one can expect - not bad considering one has got a working battery back again).
Yes, BolBolero was also of the same view, but I did not want to take a chance - since we anyway had the support of the other cars to jump-start every day

Quote:
Was it this little lookout point behind Nomadic Camp that the arrow points to?
No, that is not the place. We went a few kms away to the end of the road and climbed up a tall hill overlooking the Lake which is where all these sunset photos are from.
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Old 19th January 2012, 23:36   #1607
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Yes, BolBolero was also of the same view, but I did not want to take a chance - since we anyway had the support of the other cars to jump-start every day
HVK ji, jump starting is OK, but will running at lower electrolyte levels not harmful to the battery?
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Old 19th January 2012, 23:40   #1608
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
HVK ji, jump starting is OK, but will running at lower electrolyte levels not harmful to the battery?
Absolutely!

I had to replace the battery after I returned to Bombay.

As you must have guessed by now, the battery had low electrolyte levels and this eventually resulted in the plates bulging out.
Obviously, there was no way we could get distilled water, I did not want to take a chance with ordinary water, I decided to wait till I get distilled water which was not till the next day.

Last edited by hvkumar : 19th January 2012 at 23:46.
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Old 20th January 2012, 08:54   #1609
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
This decision to go direct to Tso M without going via Chumur was the saddest decision of this trip, but that also gives me one more reason to return to Ladakh later!!! You can go to Chumur from Hanle and then to Kyun Tso. There is a separate road from Nyoma (Hanle-Loma-Nyoma-Mahe-Tso M) side also. Contractor Patel Engg. is building the new road from Chumur to Tso M which joins the road coming from Mahe just before you reach Kazok/ Tso M.
Do I see the plan already forming in your mind Sir???

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Rendezvous with a Polish man: When we said good bye to TS at Merak Village exactly 24 hours ago, neither of us were sure if he could make it in time anti-clockwise to meet us on time at the Mahe check post. No signs of TS. The tea shop guy had not seen any foreigner roaming around. The register at the check post did not have any record of a lone foreigner reaching or passing it. But yes, the Leh-Nyoma bus was scheduled to arrive any time now, that bus was the most likely form of transport that TS should have taken. For a couple of hours, we ourselves levitated back to the '60s or '70s when travel was uncertain, telecommunications non-existent and time stood still. The girls waiting at the check post had been waiting - so they said - for a lift to Tso M last 2 days without success. They were prepared to wait longer. - and a little after 1 pm, the JKSRTC bus did arrive with TS in it!!!! How did TS get here on time as anticipated? YOu recall we had fixed him up in a Bolero Pick-up from Merak village? He got dropped in Lukung. There, he convinced one of the taxi drivers (Xylo from Leh to Pangong & back) - which was at the same tent camp we had stayed the previous night - to give him a lift in the last seat. He took that Xylo, photographing some Mormots on the way too, and got dropped off at Karu on the Leh-Mahe road late in the evening. From there, he took another passing vehicle to Upshi where he found himself some cheap room to stay the night. This morning, he had got onto the JKSRTC bus and after the bus had made countless long stops, he was finally here in the Mahe check post.
I can't imagine any of us managing to accomplish half of what TS was able to do! Hats off to his spirit and guts!

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
No Towels & soap, second-class citizenship: .....so the not-so-amused hotel lady keeper decided to treat us "Indians" like they were a bad dream just because we got ourselves a good rate for the tents (and maybe the foreigners were stupid enough to pay 3-5 times more because they were conned by some smart travel agents!). And also had that fascination for "Foreign" tourists and did not appear to like "Indian" tourists, haven't we seen this before? So we ask for towels - sorry, no towels. Soap - sorry, no soap. Dinner time - we will tell you after our "clients" have finished theirs. Hey, we are supposed to be your "clients"/ customers too and not some measly American tourists alone, we protested. At the dinner table, we had to point out that what they were giving us was not the same that others were getting, and that started another squabble and bad vibes. Overall, it was a very bad experience and I would NOT recommend the NOmadic Life Camps at Karzok to anyone else - too high tariffs, hostility & unacceptable partisan attitudes against Indians. And this resort is "recognised" by the Govt of J&K, which runs of our money and not American! Please pass the word around - and there are other tent camps and cheaper homestays in Karzok, don't worry.
This was the only downer of our visit to TsoMoriri. As soon as we dumped our luggage in the tent, we asked Lady keeper for some hot water to wash up, and she flatly refused, which actually bordered on the rude! After spending some wonderful time at the hill overlooking TsoMoriri, we came back expecting a good meal, but unfortunately what we got was some very basic and bland stuff, with half cooked vegetables, etc!
Saw some other tent camps on the way to the hill top, and they seemed to be all full of Indians (Oh those intrepid Bong travelers) who looked pretty happy with the arrangements!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Another point to be noted is that this was the straight third day when we could not use laptops - because we had stayed sequentially at Pangon, Hanle & Tso M, all of them being too high altitude to let a laptop operate safely. So we were downloading photos, GPS coordinates, etc in extra flash memories we had especially carried for this situation.
Another point to be noted was that this was the straight fourth day that I had not had a bath!!!
I was not so concerned about the batteries draining out (I had an invertor in the car too) as much as I was, about not having taking a bath ever since we left Leh and I actually took a bath the night before on the 26th. August!
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Old 20th January 2012, 15:26   #1610
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Missing out Chumur: That was the biggest disappointment of the trip. My original schedule envisaged our route to be Hanle-Chumur-Kyun Tso-Tso Moriri, a rugged route that means lots of offroading and excitement. Moreover, the Chumur Gompa has this ancient mummy (of a lama) and witch's severed hand, etc. Chumur is also right on the China border. Kyun Tso is one of those lonely lakes in the region, and now they are building a "proper" "dirt" road connecting Hanle with Tso Moriri, along the border, so to say. Local enquiries revealed that the 90 kms from hanle to Chumur was at least 5 hours+ of hard driving, the "road" was terrible and except for the Scorpio & the Boleros, the others could not definitely make it. And since we had 2 Swifts & 1 Alto, we knew we could not make it through that route as a full IPHE team (and I had already taken a permit for this sector too). Moreover, we had already scheduled a rendezvous with TS at Mahe Check Post (not on the above route) between 10-12, and we could not obviously skip him. This decision to go direct to Tso M without going via Chumur was the saddest decision of this trip, but that also gives me one more reason to return to Ladakh later!!! You can go to Chumur from Hanle and then to Kyun Tso. There is a separate road from Nyoma (Hanle-Loma-Nyoma-Mahe-Tso M) side also. Contractor Patel Engg. is building the new road from Chumur to Tso M which joins the road coming from Mahe just before you reach Kazok/ Tso M.
Ladakh springs up something new year after year

Some new routes for the coming years (and new expeditions) to ponder over:

Srinagar-Bandipore-Dras: skipping Sonmarg & Zoji la, along the border, road functional but permissions rarely given

Dras-Sankoo: skipping Kargil, direct into Suru Valley on the road to Padum

Agham-Shayok-Darbuk: the new road along the banks of the River Shayok to Pangong Tso, skipping both the Wari la & the Leh road

Loma-Fukche-Demcok-Photila-Hanle: again the road right on the border, longer route to get to Hanle, probably the highest pass in Photi la, now under a cloud because of Chinese incursions in Demchok region

Hanle-Chumur-Tso Moriri: road functional, bad condition, being laid, skipping both Nyoma & Mahe

Chumur-Kyun Tso-Nyoma: direct route avoiding Loma, along the banks of the Moon Lake

And of course, if we wait 3-5 more years, we can hope to see the following new routes:

Rohtang Tunnel: from Solang to Khoksar, avoiding Rohtang Pass & Gramphoo, promising an all-weather route to the Lahaul valley

Darcha-Padum road: this road will bring Leh closer to Manali and help make the Manali-Leh an all-weather road. Will mean the beauties of Baralachala la, Sarchu, Lachulung la, Pang, More Plains, Tanglang la will no more be the main road to Leh

Padum-Nimmu road: the final link to Leh to make it possible to drive to Ladakh even in winter from Manali

So there is no letting up on more Ladakh expeditions, although mine will wait for at least 1 more year to pass........
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:22   #1611
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 13: Pangong to Hanle 29th August 2011

This was going to be an exciting sector because it was know for its beauty and also i did not get a chance to do it in my previous trip due to time constraints.

Best is to let the pics do the talking from my side...

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To be cont.....
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:33   #1612
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 13: Pangong to Hanle 29th August 2011

The feeling when we reached Hanle after the adventurous drive that day was ecstatic and it was multiplied by the views we have seen around us in the last few hours of the days drive as you can see from the pics.

Completely unexpected fresh tarmac in the middle of nowhere surrounded by natures best gifts to road-trippers....

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Old 21st January 2012, 03:50   #1613
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 14: Hanle to TsoMoriri 30th August 2011

We got a chance to visit the observatory at Hanle in the morning and see the place and equipment in detail...we had to keep the time in mind as we had a time as we had to reach Mahe on time and pickup TS as per the plan. It was going to be a challenging journey for TS due to the various uncertainties discussed.This again was going to be something new to look forward to..and guess what it just gets better and better.

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To be cont...
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:58   #1614
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 14: Hanle to TsoMoriri 30th August 2011

Yes TS did make it to Mahe around the expected time and we were all set to drive further towards the very much talked about Tso Moriri Lake..i was told by many people that it is very different from Pangong it its a must visit. The excitement to see a lake different and may be even better that the great pangong to building and just then are welcomed by a huge dirt trackHumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_1292-2.jpg

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True to its fame.. Tso Moriri was a great place offering its own uniqueness

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 21st January 2012 at 04:14.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 02:18   #1615
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Excellent set of photographs in the above posts, KSM-Vtec. The framing is absolutely amazing and that brings out the beauty and the scale of the landscape in the most realistic manner. It is almost as if one is actually there.


PS : If you do not mind sharing, what was the equipment used?
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Old 22nd January 2012, 02:34   #1616
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Dras-Sankoo: skipping Kargil, direct into Suru Valley on the road to Padum
It goes over a pass called umba la
Quote:
Agham-Shayok-Darbuk: the new road along the banks of the River Shayok to Pangong Tso, skipping both the Wari la & the Leh road
4-5 hours from Diskit to pangong. Isn't that wonderful. However, due to frequent landslides, be prepared for river crossings, as well as rock crawling. The foot guard of the safari still bears hits from this route

Quote:

Hanle-Chumur-Tso Moriri: road functional, bad condition, being laid, skipping both Nyoma & Mahe

Chumur-Kyun Tso-Nyoma: direct route avoiding Loma, along the banks of the Moon Lake
The road from Hanle bifurcates at Kyun Tso into two. Left will take you to chumur, while right will take you to the second lake of Kyun Tso and then to nyoma. Lovely route. And I have now mapped hanle-kyun Tso-nidar-nyoma on openstreetmap too

If you have a 2WD and its sept/oct(no rain months), Hanle-Nyoma via kyun Tso is very much doable. Just don't leave the dirt track. The sandy and slushy sections are actually near Chumur, where chance of getting stuck is high.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 07:39   #1617
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4-5 hours from Diskit to pangong. Isn't that wonderful. However, due to frequent landslides, be prepared for river crossings, as well as rock crawling. The foot guard of the safari still bears hits from this route
Tanveer, did you manage to drive the full route (Agham-Shayok-Durbuk) or had to turn back from the spot where the bridge across the river was broken?

What is your current assessment of the route?
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Old 22nd January 2012, 12:53   #1618
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Excellent set of photographs in the above posts, KSM-Vtec. The framing is absolutely amazing and that brings out the beauty and the scale of the landscape in the most realistic manner. It is almost as if one is actually there.


PS : If you do not mind sharing, what was the equipment used?
Thanks a lot khoj!

i was using the Canon EOS 500D with the basic 18-55 kit lens.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 19:55   #1619
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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
NED was insisting that I take out my 500

Ibexes more nearer
Attachment 871895
the 500 got you closer to them!! see!??

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Now you know why?
Attachment 871940
NOOOO!! it's not what it's made out to be!! I was stretching out to see why HVK saar had stopped!! THAT'S IT!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Why no updates from "Baby_alto" has he gone back to hanle to give lift to someone
Quote:
Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
no_enthu_da/ BabyAlto, where art thou? Team-Bhpians are worried!!
not Hanle again.. beauty can be found closer home than that!!


Anyways! .. my clicks from when we got back to Leh (via Wari La).
Here goes!!

Thiksey Gompa (HDR attempt)
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Pangong Tso - 9:15 AM
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Pangong Tso - 10:15 AM
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Pangong Tso - from Merak
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Chushul Memorial
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Roll of Honour - 13 Field Regiment
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Gorkha Memorial
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Please read about the Battle of Chushul here.

Moving ahead.. Take the road, and paint it RED!
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Random Horse in the middle of nowhere!
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"Pul Kshatigrast Hai"
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Alto at Hanle (HDR attempt)
I couldn't tell which one looked better - colour or black&white. You decide!
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Hanle Gompa
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JC at Hanle
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The next day, soon after Puga (between Hanle and Karzok).
Leap of Faith
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Bar Headed Geese at Tso Moriri
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Tso Moriri
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Alto sits, while TS clicks in the background
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BolBolero doing a
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Prayer Stones at Tso Moriri
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laluks sitting on the cold ground. he sat there and clicked (for at least half an hour!)
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Last edited by no_enthu_da : 22nd January 2012 at 20:00.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 21:39   #1620
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_enthu_da View Post
the 500 got you closer to them!! see!??
Yes NED, without you insisting I wouldn't even have thought about it

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_enthu_da View Post
NOOOO!! it's not what it's made out to be!! I was stretching out to see why HVK saar had stopped!! THAT'S IT!!
I believe you

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_enthu_da View Post
Leap of Faith
Attachment 875672
Nice capture and Nice Caption

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_enthu_da View Post
Bar Headed Geese at Tso Moriri
Attachment 875673
I still eny how you clicked the barheaded geese through the window, and....

Quote:
Originally Posted by no_enthu_da View Post
laluks sitting on the cold ground. he sat there and clicked (for at least half an hour!)
Attachment 875678
Thanks NED. Its a nice souvenir for me.
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