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Old 5th February 2012, 14:22   #1711
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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

It was yet another early, cold, hurried-up morning like any of the other days during the trip but something was wrong.

Everybody was moving slow, none of the people were really excited to leave from Tso Moriri...it was going to be our last day of travel all together as a team HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-img_1426-2.jpg

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He had finally reached the point where we had to split ....

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The team was no longer going to be together...we had to go different ways. Well this was going to happen someday somewhere but something inside said that the time had come too soon. We had now become a family.

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Pic..by Lalu...unfortunately he had to be behind the lens when such great pics were being clicked.

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This was the first time i got an opportunity to drive in the reverse direction (towards Manali) and it was going to be different for sure. More Planes was fun for sure and so were the Ghata Loops.

BUT we were running late...the Petrol Pump closing at Tandi was going to be a critical aspect in the progress we would have on the next day. If we wouldn't have reached there on time we would have had to either try and source some petrol in black from Keylong or worst case wait till the pump opened in the morning. Anyways we managed to make it just when the guys was about to close and get our fill for the next day.

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 5th February 2012 at 14:47.
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Old 5th February 2012, 15:15   #1712
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 15: TsoMoriri to Keylong 31st. August 2011

It was going to be another early morning start today! The howling wind and the barking dogs, did not provide a very good nights sleep to many of the IPHE team members. Today is the day when the IPHE team splits up in two groups, one heading back towards Leh and the return journey via Srinagar (JC-Bolero, Baby Alto), while the other group moves towards Keylong and then via the Sach Pass towards Mumbai (HVK_Scorpio, Mumbai Roadsters-Swifts, BB-Bolero).
Not a very pleasing prospect to anybody. We have all bonded so very well and are a family now! With heavy hearts we set off from the Nomadic Tent camps at around 6:15 am.

Nomadic Life Tent Camps
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We crossed NamshangLa at around 7:15am and PolakongkaLa at around 8:50am before reaching TsoKar at around 9:21am.

Kijangs near TsoKar
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TsoKar
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We reached Debring at around 9:50am. This is where the IPHE team had to split and move in two different directions. A very emotional moment for each and every member of the team! The previous night AR had taken a decision of flying back to Delhi from Leh itself. So he had to transfer himself and all his luggage into the Baby_Alto.
All the smiles that you may have seen in the earlier posted group photos at Debring were just for the sake of the camera! No one was very happy about this moment! But life, and the journey has to continue, one way or another!!!


to be continued.....
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Old 5th February 2012, 18:44   #1713
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 15: TsoMoriri to Keylong 31st. August 2011

continued...

So it was four cars, Scorpio, Bolero and two Swifts, that headed on from Debring toward the More plains and onwards to Keylong. The team now consisted of HVK, laluks, KSM-Vtec, Doctorque, Anku, yogen, SSj and BolBolero!

We crossed the More plains sometime after 11:40 am and some amount of offroading by the Bolero and one swift!

Interesting Formations on the Mountain just after More Plains!
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We crossed the dreaded Kanglajal at 12:30 pm, LachulungLa at 1:15 pm and NakeeLa at1:45 pm.

Ibex somewhere before the Gata Loops!
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We were at the start of Gata loops around 2:35 pm.

Gata Loops.
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Brief Stop before the descent!
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We reached Sarchu at around 3:00 pm and had a very delicious lunch at Himalayan Dhaba. Bought some diesel from the same shop and refuelled the Scorpio and the Bolero! Unfortunately no petrol was available!

We reached Suraj Tal at around 5:00pm after crossing BaralachaLa.

Chief taking a power nap at Suraj Tal!
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Suraj Tal
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Mountains across Suraj Tal
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BolBolero's Bolero
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Snow capped Mountain Top between Suraj Tal and Zing Zing Bar!
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Interesting colours on the mountain face somewhere after Patsio!
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The winding road alongside river Bhaga near Jispa
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River Bhaga @ Jispa
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Snow capped Mountain top
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River Bhaga and lots of greenery!
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Mumbai Roadsters Swift!
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Stream Flowing down a mountain!
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Rays of the setting Sun on the mountain!
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Swiss Village? Nah this is Himachal Pradesh a.k.a DevBhoomi!
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We reached Keylong at around 7:00 pm, but headed straight towards Tandi to refuel for the next days drive. On the way we manged to procure some distilled water for HVK's Scorpio battery!

Returned back to Keylong by 8:30 pm and settled our tired bodies into the HPTDC Hotel Chandrabhaga! SSj cajoled the manager to agree to serving us some Non-Veg food! While the food was getting prepared we all decided to go freshen up, which in most cases meant taking a PROPER bath!

After a very delicious Dinner and reminiscing about the past 20+ days, we all retired to our rooms for a well deserved sleep in a warm bed and surrounded by four walls!

If people who have crossed the Sach Pass before us are to be believed, we have one hell of a tough day before us!

Total Distance covered: 353 kms.
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Old 5th February 2012, 18:51   #1714
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

GPS Tracks

Day 15: TsoMoriri to Keylong


HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-15-tsomoriri-keylong.jpg

15 TsoMoriri to Keylong.kmz
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Old 9th February 2012, 10:33   #1715
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

So the next few posts from JeepCaptain & no_enthu_da will be new to HVK, Lalu, BolB, SS, doct, Yogen, Anku & myself since unfortunately we had to split the group on this day.

Another major post i am looking forward to is the one on the Leh festival. I am sure we will have some great pics on that.

Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 9th February 2012 at 10:35.
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Old 9th February 2012, 12:33   #1716
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

IPHE-B Team visited the Ladakh Festival which is held every year between Sep 1-15 in Leh, it is an impressive parade of local culture, including polo matches.

Let me upload some photos which DB shared with me of the Ladakh Festival:

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Old 9th February 2012, 15:00   #1717
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

One more photo from the Ladakh Festival in Leh, by TS

HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)-420520_3333232536448_1437590672_3240413_1230511431_n.jpg
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Old 9th February 2012, 16:41   #1718
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

A Question: I see the swift doing well all through the trip, did it go to all the places where the Mahindra went.

I am contemplating if i can take my Civic or Baleno that far and if the GC will play some havoc on the terrain, but if the Swift can make it, surely can Baleno/Civic?
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Old 9th February 2012, 16:46   #1719
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
A Question: I see the swift doing well all through the trip, did it go to all the places where the Mahindra went.

I am contemplating if i can take my Civic or Baleno that far and if the GC will play some havoc on the terrain, but if the Swift can make it, surely can Baleno/Civic?
No. Swift has small wheel base, but the longer wheel base (and not just GC) of the Civic and Baleno will make it difficult for them to do the same trails that the Swifts and Alto did.
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Old 9th February 2012, 16:48   #1720
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Guys,

I have been folllowing the TL and it is bringing back my old memories of ladakh trip we did in 2010. Hats off to all of you. Firstly for making the trip and secondly for documenting so beautifully. It is a pleasure to go through it. Keep it coming!!
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Old 10th February 2012, 16:03   #1721
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HVK Scorpio Car Camera video of Sarchu-Keylong sector across the Baralacha la, Suraj Tal & Darcha
on Aug 31, 2011


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Old 11th February 2012, 14:34   #1722
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I am sure after seeing some of the videos of the Tso M-Pang-Sarchu-Keylong drive, you must have formed your conclusions on how forbidding the terrain is and the total absence of people, settlements & facilities.

From Debring onwards, after you join the main Leh-Manali road, you will see some traffic, mostly trucks taking supplies to Leh, or transporting troops on transfer. Invariably, one way (back to Manali) the trucks are mostly empty, especially the oil tankers which are driven by maniacal drivers trying to get back as fast as possible to base for one more "savaari". These truckers are hardened characters who carry their own stoves to cook their own food and sometimes you can see lonely trucks broken down in the wilderness awaiting mechanics or parts!

The army trucks are omnipresent as are the BRO/GREF trucks repairing the roads. Occasionally, you see workers' camps, settlements of tents. Between Jispa & Upshi, you see only temporary (tent) buildings since this entire sector is devoid of any population during the winter months when the road from Darcha is cut off completely. During a previous trip, I made enquiries and found that almost all those who run the shops/ restaurants in Sarchu & Pang en route go back to their villages outside the region.There is only one couple who claimed that they lived in what they called the Sarchu village (not Sarchu camp, which is on the road) which is apparently populated through the harshest of winters.

There is one tyre puncture shop in Pang and another in Sarchu.
I could not get battery distilled water till I reached Keylong.
I managed to get "black" diesel at Sarchu, but no petrol. Don't bet on getting it always.

When you are coming down Gata Loops and some other steep pass sections, you will see "short-cuts" where the taxi operators have found "direct" steep descent paths which save you the bother of going round and round on the twisty roads. Typical OTR tracks, but mind you, this is not for everyone. Even if you are an expert OTR guy, remember that you are now driving without your support crew 3000 kms away from home. And if something goes wrong, you will have no solution but to tow your car back - assuming that you have not gone down tumbling into the valley. Please exercise caution on such roads, and caution demands that you stick to the main "road".

Witness ultimate test of endurance - and I am not talking of the motorcyclists for whom Ladakh is the ultimate adventure destination. But the bicyclists are the most determined and you see quite many on the Leh-Manali road. I guess it takes them 15 days+ t cover the 500-odd kms and these daring souls carry all that they need with them, no support vehicles for them. Bravo, guys! Most of them are foreigners, Indians are still not that yet there!

Dorm accommodation is available at Pang & Sarchu - expect to shiver in puny tents and shiver at the thought of going to the toilet "outside". Sarchu also has those luxury tents which are available till mid-end September. No advance booking is normally required, and you can stop by and bargain directly too.

The water crossings are aplenty - some like Kanglajal after Pang and many between Baralacha la & Keylong, including some nasty ones at Zing zing bar, Patseo, Stingri & even one just before Keylong. Not advised to come this way too late too early in the season when snow melt on a hot sunny makes for fiery streams sweeping away anything in their path. Do not take a chance crossing them unless you have assessed not just the dept but also the force of the water.
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Old 11th February 2012, 17:46   #1723
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I am sure after seeing some of the videos of the Tso M-Pang-Sarchu-Keylong drive, you must have formed your conclusions on how forbidding the terrain is and the total absence of people, settlements & facilities.

From Debring onwards, after you join the main Leh-Manali road, you will see some traffic, mostly trucks taking supplies to Leh, or transporting troops on transfer. Invariably, one way (back to Manali) the trucks are mostly empty, especially the oil tankers which are driven by maniacal drivers trying to get back as fast as possible to base for one more "savaari". These truckers are hardened characters who carry their own stoves to cook their own food and sometimes you can see lonely trucks broken down in the wilderness awaiting mechanics or parts!

The army trucks are omnipresent as are the BRO/GREF trucks repairing the roads. Occasionally, you see workers' camps, settlements of tents. Between Jispa & Upshi, you see only temporary (tent) buildings since this entire sector is devoid of any population during the winter months when the road from Darcha is cut off completely. During a previous trip, I made enquiries and found that almost all those who run the shops/ restaurants in Sarchu & Pang en route go back to their villages outside the region.There is only one couple who claimed that they lived in what they called the Sarchu village (not Sarchu camp, which is on the road) which is apparently populated through the harshest of winters.

There is one tyre puncture shop in Pang and another in Sarchu.
I could not get battery distilled water till I reached Keylong.
I managed to get "black" diesel at Sarchu, but no petrol. Don't bet on getting it always.

When you are coming down Gata Loops and some other steep pass sections, you will see "short-cuts" where the taxi operators have found "direct" steep descent paths which save you the bother of going round and round on the twisty roads. Typical OTR tracks, but mind you, this is not for everyone. Even if you are an expert OTR guy, remember that you are now driving without your support crew 3000 kms away from home. And if something goes wrong, you will have no solution but to tow your car back - assuming that you have not gone down tumbling into the valley. Please exercise caution on such roads, and caution demands that you stick to the main "road".

Witness ultimate test of endurance - and I am not talking of the motorcyclists for whom Ladakh is the ultimate adventure destination. But the bicyclists are the most determined and you see quite many on the Leh-Manali road. I guess it takes them 15 days+ t cover the 500-odd kms and these daring souls carry all that they need with them, no support vehicles for them. Bravo, guys! Most of them are foreigners, Indians are still not that yet there!

Dorm accommodation is available at Pang & Sarchu - expect to shiver in puny tents and shiver at the thought of going to the toilet "outside". Sarchu also has those luxury tents which are available till mid-end September. No advance booking is normally required, and you can stop by and bargain directly too.

The water crossings are aplenty - some like Kanglajal after Pang and many between Baralacha la & Keylong, including some nasty ones at Zing zing bar, Patseo, Stingri & even one just before Keylong. Not advised to come this way too late too early in the season when snow melt on a hot sunny makes for fiery streams sweeping away anything in their path. Do not take a chance crossing them unless you have assessed not just the dept but also the force of the water.
Thank you HVK (and others too!) for such a beautiful and detailed travelogue. Those tips and suggestions are truly invaluable, please do keep them coming! BTW, can you please post a video of the Zojilla Pass if you have it ?

Regards,
Aalok
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Old 11th February 2012, 18:28   #1724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aalokg View Post
Thank you HVK (and others too!) for such a beautiful and detailed travelogue. Those tips and suggestions are truly invaluable, please do keep them coming! BTW, can you please post a video of the Zojilla Pass if you have it ?

Regards,
Aalok
I did not go either way through Zoji la, since I went to Ladakh via Kaza-Keylong & returned via Keylong-Chamba. But BolBolero in our team came to Kargil via Zoji la & Jeep Captain returned via Zoji la. Let us see if they have videos of that route.
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Old 11th February 2012, 20:23   #1725
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I have a great video from my last trip....will try and pull it out soon
Quote:
Originally Posted by aalokg

Thank you HVK (and others too!) for such a beautiful and detailed travelogue. Those tips and suggestions are truly invaluable, please do keep them coming! BTW, can you please post a video of the Zojilla Pass if you have it ?

Regards,
Aalok
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar

I did not go either way through Zoji la, since I went to Ladakh via Kaza-Keylong & returned via Keylong-Chamba. But BolBolero in our team came to Kargil via Zoji la & Jeep Captain returned via Zoji la. Let us see if they have videos of that route.
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