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Old 29th January 2012, 08:19   #1651
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

We reached the small yet beautiful Tso Kiagar by 07:00AM

Tso Kiagar
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A Panorama
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Snow Peaks behind
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HVK Scorpio at Tso Kiagar
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Different hues with changing light
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Bol Bolero with HVK
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Parting shot
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Old 29th January 2012, 09:07   #1652
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long


We reached the fork where we took a detour to Karzok last day. Today we would be going ahead to Sumdo.
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Some greenery here
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A stream flows nearby
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Sumdo ahead
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Help the local economy
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We took some time to repack
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Old 29th January 2012, 09:37   #1653
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

We passed through some heavy chemically concentrated area.

Salt mining tools
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The whitish colour is due to salt deposits
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We stopped by to investigate
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Saltish everywhere
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The road cuts through the deposit
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That yellow is Sulphur. Boy - it smelled awful
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We moved on
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Reached another La
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Altitude of 16297 feet, not bad!
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HVK Scorpio waiting for the regrouping
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It was 08:45AM. We moved on.

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Old 29th January 2012, 10:06   #1654
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

Finally we reached the salt lake Tso Kar

Approaching Tso Kar
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Tso Kar with its Salt deposits on banks
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We found Kijangs here too
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Old 29th January 2012, 10:38   #1655
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

Some more views of the Salt Lake - Tso Kar
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Old 29th January 2012, 11:30   #1656
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

We moved on.

Some tent camps near Tso Kar
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The area near Tso Kar is marked as a wildlife sanctuary
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We drove on
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We reached Debring by 09:45AM
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The team will split now, with Jeep Captain and NED heading to Leh
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HVK, BolBolero and the Swifts will head to Pang, Sarchu and on to Key Long
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Old 29th January 2012, 12:30   #1657
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

The IPHE convoy reaches Debring.
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JP organising a group photo
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IPHE group after finishing the 20 days of great expedition
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The machines
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NED happy to finish the circuit
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The convoy splits, we move on leaving Baby Alto and Discovery Bolero
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TS waving us good bye
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We moved on
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Moore plains - we saw a lone cyclist
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Mind felt heavy, that we had to split and move on. But little did we know at this time that we will meet again soon!!


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Old 29th January 2012, 13:27   #1658
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

@ LALU ,fantastic going,looks to me that this will be the mother of all travelogues ,you guys are uploading faster than I can read.
what can i say to the pics?ultimate is not the word.I can feel the enjoyment and enthusiasm of all you people sitting at my desk.I'm stuck to this thread.
Its rightly said Himalayas is 'Dev bhoomi' the land of the Gods, and thanks to you all we are getting a minute to minute glimpse of the journey.Keep going .God bless you all
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Old 29th January 2012, 16:59   #1659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srinivaspai View Post
@ LALU ,fantastic going,looks to me that this will be the mother of all travelogues ,you guys are uploading faster than I can read.
what can i say to the pics?ultimate is not the word.I can feel the enjoyment and enthusiasm of all you people sitting at my desk.I'm stuck to this thread.
Its rightly said Himalayas is 'Dev bhoomi' the land of the Gods, and thanks to you all we are getting a minute to minute glimpse of the journey.Keep going .God bless you all

Thanks Srinivas. You have guessed it right, our enthusiasm has been so great before and after the trip.


Just now had a mini meet with BolBolero and SS at a nice joint in Bangalore. Relived all those moments again over some good food and heavy discussions.
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Old 29th January 2012, 17:26   #1660
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

Some adventures from Moore Plains

AP enjoying the dirt track
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Old 29th January 2012, 17:53   #1661
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011

Karzok - Debring - Key Long

BolBolero having fun , HVK obviously not
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Old 29th January 2012, 18:54   #1662
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 20
31st August 2011
Karzok - Debring - Key Long

HVK doesn't care about the dust kicked up. He is only interested in getting the Swift out safely.

Swift encountering the soft sand
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Old 29th January 2012, 19:06   #1663
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

As you can see from the photo here, I was desperately signalling to the KSM-vTEC Swift (which was following the BolBolero) to stop and divert since I found the sand too soft and definitely it would sink the Swift.




But I had under-estimated KSM-vTEC - oh man, this guy is someone you can pack off in a spacecraft to the Planet Pluto and he will be as cool as a cucumber He was not the type to say Die, and he decided to gun the Swift through the 2 feet deep sand, this is a photo which Maruti should be proud of, real pulsating OTR stuff - I guess this is what a man's Gypsy genes (KSM-vTEC used to own a Maruti Gypsy too!) can do to your confidence.....
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Old 29th January 2012, 19:38   #1664
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HVK Scorpio
Aug 12, Bombay-Behror, 1402 kms
Aug 13, Behror-Rampur, 692 kms
Aug 14, Rampur-Chitkul, 144 kms
Aug 15, Chitkul-Pooh, 207 kms
Aug 16, Pooh-Kaza, 178 kms
Aug 17-19, Kaza, 291 kms
Aug 20, Kaza-Jispa, 236 kms
Aug 21, Jispa-Leh, 374 kms
Aug 22, Leh-Kargil, 343 kms
Aug 23, Kargil-Padum, 248 kms
Aug 24, Padum-Kargil, 275 kms
Aug 25, Kargil-Leh, 259 kms
Aug 26, Leh, 148 kms
Aug 27, 2011, Leh-Turtuk, 241 kms
Aug 28, 2011, Leh-Pangong Tso, 445 kms
Aug 29, 2011, Pangong-Hanle, 203 kms
Aug 30, 2011, Hanle-Tso Moriri, 188 kms


Aug 31, 2011, Tso Moriri-Keylong, 375 kms

This was going to be a tightly scheduled drive today!
Key variables influencing the drive were, firstly, the challenge of driving over 300 kms and secondly, having to cross Baralacha la before dark and target either Jispa or Keylong for the night.

But that was only for the IPHE-A which was taking the Sach Pass route back to the plains, the IPHE-B was going back to Leh and taking the Srinagar route.

IPHE-A (4x8):
HVK Scorpio, BolBolero Bolero, Mumbai Roadsters Swifts of YP & AP

IPHE-B (2x6):
Jeep Captain Bolero, NED Baby Alto

AR defected from the BolBolero Bolero to the Jeep Captain Bolero since he decided to return to Bangalore via Srinagar.
Jeep Captain had an appointment at Leh which he could not refuse and had to regretfully miss out on the Sach Pass route
I guess Baby Alto had no other choice but to go with JC because both the Manali & Sach Pass routes would have been impossible for him to drive through because of the difficulties of the terrain.
The Mumbai Roadsters were determined buggers, they said they would do Sach Pass even if it meant they were the first sedan ever to do that route!

We were off from Karzok at 615 am, delay because of common toilets, cold and all that. I think we also got a cuppa tea.

By now, I knew my Scorpio would not start, so I had parked it in a slope the previous evening hoping to push start it, but that flopped and we had to eventually take the help of one of the Boleros to jump start the Scorpio. We had already noted that there is no way its own battery could start the vehicle because 3 of the plates were totally empty of distilled water and the plates had already started bulging indicating a dire impending battery failure situation. One of the day’s targets was to procure some distilled water from anywhere including the army camps en route!

I whizzed off and soon I found I was all alone – a chief with no army behind him, so to say! A short halt at Tso Kiagar 1 hour later and still the rest of the team could not catch up with us except for BolBolero. The moment I stopped the engine, I needed the jumpstarting again! So we both decided to carry on to Puga Sumdo.

In the meantime, unknown to us, the rest of the team reached Tso Kiagar a little later and one of the Swifts stepped out of the “road” and got bogged down in the loose sand around the road. Please note that this Tso Moriri-Tso Kiagar section is all dirt road and if you leave the well-tyred track of a road, you can land in serious trouble, something I had learned during the last trip in 2009 when we had some trouble. I had forewarned the IPHE team of the hazards of this trail, but yet the Swift got bogged down in the sand and the rest of the team had to push it out!

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We were in Puga Sumdo at 740 am and had to wait for nearly 30 minutes there for the rest of the team to catch up. Hee Hee, I parked the Scorpio in the sun under some premise that the ambient heat would help the battery! Since Karzok is a dead end road, Puga Sumdo is the junction where you branch off to Mahe (the way we had come the previous day) and to Tso Kar. Both roads can take you to Leh:
#1: Puga Sumdo-Mahe- Chumathang-Upshi-Leh
#2: Puga Sumdo-Tso Kar-Debring-Tanglang la-Upshi-Leh

If you recall, we had come on #1 via Mahe which also connects with the Hanle road.
#2 takes us to Debring from which junction IPHE-A could turn off and go to Keylong (on the Manali road) and IPHE-B could go back to Leh. This route had been thought through carefully earlier itself after evaluating how much of diesel/ petrol that would be required to get them back to Leh since there were no petrol pumps in between.

If you think you will get breakfast at the Puga Sumdo, then you have still not understand Ladakh despite reading 19 days of the drive! Yes, as usual, we did not find even a grocery shop in the village or a place to have a cuppa tea.

Leaving Puga Sumdo a little after 8 am after the entire team regrouped, the road ahead was truly spectacular. White salt to be picked up by the road side. Yellow Sulphur and not yellow flowers coating the mountain side. Rugged terrain all around with high peaks. Road winding up from the 14,300 feet at Puga to touch the highest point of almost 16,000 feet at the Polakongka la Pass, before descending into the vast Tso Kar plains – truly a big valley ringed by high mountains. Kijangs on the road. We were looking out for bird life, but unfortunately we were not so luck with that, although the salt marshland of the Tso Kar shelters many bird species.

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We marveled at the foreign couple who were hiking in the wilderness. We see no other human or vehicle till we reach the Tso Kar village which is on the banks of the Tso Kar Lake, a totally non-decrepit place. None of the “lodges” look fit enough for even a rat to patronize – it had the looks of a cow boy village from some classic Western movies – and we were now happy that the road was a lovely ribbon of tar even though it was so wavy that we felt we were chugging along on a motor boat on choppy seas. The Tso Kar Lake is mostly a dry lake bed with water in some places but with lots of salt depositions from the melted water. If you see a winter image on Google Earth, you will see that this entire region is completely covered with snow and I am sure the Lake must be a glorious sight when the ice thaws during spring.

During the last drive in this sector in 2009, I remember chasing a herd of Kijangs off the road Nat Geo style! This time though, wildlife sightings were disappointing.

The Tempo Traveller is surely one helluva nimble vehicle, very popular with the tour operators. One of them suddenly clambered up a steep slope (from the camp far down below in the valley) and almost hit one of our cars, but I guess that was unavoidable because there was no way he could have seen any of us when on full throttle at the lowest gear to do that ascent!

Debring, 945 am – the great cross roads on the Manali-Leh highway. You can see in the photo below the “highway” I still remember the first time when I came on this route in 2003 and someone hinted that there was this “junction” but at that time there was neither any signboard nor any definitive path. I missed the turning completely and had to examine my videos/ photos later on for traces of tyre marks disappearing into the horizon in between the mountains, looked very sinister indeed.

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This was our turning point. IPHE-A goes on towards Pang, Sarchu & Keylong, and IPHE-B goes on to Leh. Quite an emotional moment for all of us – this team of 14 had bonded very well, worked very well as a team and from total strangers become fast friends. We had our share of fights too, but this was the moment to forget all the disappointments and angst, if any, of the past few days. Even TS, the veteran globe-trotter, looked crestfallen that we were to part ways. JP took portraits of each of us, one for each person’s family album.
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Old 29th January 2012, 20:23   #1665
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The IPHE TEAM at the time of parting at Debring

arranged in no particular order



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VYAS KAUSHIK, Bombay ‎....without his Baby Alto, definitely perked up after the drive in Tso Moriri. Isn't there something missing - yes, where are the Perks, Mars & the 5 Stars?

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H V KUMAR, Bombay - The CHIEF, they called him... He is what he is... never wear any mask for the photos... The Director

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JAYASEKARAN PILLAI, Madurai - the inveterate learner, always loves life Screen Play, Dialogue & Cinematographer

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TADEUSZ SOKOLOWSKI, Warsaw -The Diplomat, on firm ground, not jumping off the car, running towards the photo point or chit-chatting with the ladies.... Such a 'Moving energy'

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ASHWIN RAO, Bangalore - Isn't he looking relieved to be flying back home the next day?

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GAUTAM BASAK, Bombay - Mr Handsome! ‎....and hence the HERO? gr8 team player

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KUNAL PATWA, Bombay - Wishes he had the Ducati, Lomborginis & the Porsches there. This guy so wanted to do the trip that he was ready to quit his job if he dint get leave..

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ANKIT PATEL, Bombay - Anku, trying his best to look like the Kashmiri terrorist, but **** scared of his uncle's daughter whose Swift he had snatched away

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SHASHANK SANADE, Bangalore - Ah ha, the Scot! look so young and athletic that any of us will have a complex. A fun loving guy on the move all the time...

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LALU KS, Bangalore - Glowering because he badly needs a shave - and does not like being photographed. Navigator, Art Director, Veteran, Writer

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SHIBU VARGHESE, Dubai - Mr Cool, Mr OTR, Mr Nice Guy, Mr Kerala. The Producer!

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YOGEN PAYYAR, Bombay - He is the KKKKK and the 4-letter guy, definitely we will wear out the K button in our keyboards. when he decided to do something he WILL do it for sure...

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KAUSHIK MANGHANI, Bombay - Smiling at the challenges up ahead - whichever way, it is either Rohtang or Sach - the truth is that the other 3 do not know what is coming! Co-Producer, Commercial Director, Negotiator, Team Leader, Mountain Climber too!

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-378804_311629838852098_100000152528640_1489312_159818321_n.jpg
NOBIN JACOB, Tiruvalla - the quietest of the team, also ran the most. 12000+ kms from Kerala to Ladakh & back, of which lots of it was alone! Very reliable, ever willing to help, lots of doses from his brother Shibhu (!!!), but what a drive it was! The Team Shibu owes a lot to him for keeping the BOlero running smoothly and without trouble all the way. And I am sure our small car guys & the Scorpio have a lot to thank him for his valiant efforts in "rescuing" us whenever we were stuck by being the first to tow out the others.
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