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Old 24th November 2011, 21:59   #1066
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Kumar Village and Lalu Village
and the PUNTO Village near Kumar Village!!


next time you're passing by these villages, you should let the locals know who those places are named after!!

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Old 24th November 2011, 23:28   #1067
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Kumar sir has a village named after him! The Batalik route gives us another celebrity who has a village named after him - LALU!! Look close and you'll see Lalu Village as one climbs up Unnamed La at 4000+ metres above sea.
I am scrolling through some of the villages we went through, and I have an unusual pick of names:

CHA-roti - on NH8 between Bombay & Vapi. I believe it is named after Chai & Roti, because it was a popular tea-stop for truckers

sHONG-KONG - near Powari, HImachal, not too far away from teh China border.

Some English names!
DUBLIN Bridge, near Pooh, not in Ireland
HAMLING - do I see Robin Hood somewhere?
TWING TWING Bridge, after Sarchu
MANOR, on NH8 after Bombay, but definitely no large mansions

Some verbal exercises:
HURLING, Spiti Valley, Tabo-Kaza road
LARI, Spiti Valley, Tabo-Kaza road
SICHLING, Spiti Valley, Tabo-Kaza road
KYATO, Spiti Valley, Kaza-Losar road, reminds me of the Kyoto Prtocol!
KOMIK, sounds COMICal


POOH, Kinnaur Valley
POH, Spiti Valley, Tabo-Kaza road

Child's Play:
SIS-SOO, Lahual Valley, Gramphoo-Keylong road
SOO, Zanskar Valley, at least it is not Soo Soo!

These place names were misonomers - we were in T-shirts and not shivering at TANDI, Lahaul Valley, near Keylong, and CHILLING, near Nimmu in Ladakh

Looks like the KILLAR - Pangi Valley, Himachal ran away to KILLING SARAI, after descending Baralachala to Sarchu. BOth places are perched atop deep valleys, easy to kill & dispose of anyway!

First comes the ZING-ZING BAR, - after Keylong, which sounds like a Cadbury chocolate, but then you go on, you get the point at BRANDY NULLAH and WHISKY NULLAH but these were clear waters!

We went past SKURU and thought it was someone with a screw loose, but then when we came to SKURU Bachan, we used a Big B! Later we went via PAGAL NULLAH - near Pangong Lake.

In a trip like this, the stars cannot be too far off, as we discovered at SANI - near Padum - and at MOON-ing

Did you know that the
THOISE Airfield actually means Transit Halt Of Indian Soldiers Enroute?


The tSAGA - after Chushul - of MAN - after Pangong Lake, maybe that is what Travelogues like this are about

They are running out of names - why then a SUMDO in Spiti Valley, Himachal, and also a Puga SUMDO near Tso Moriri?

Can you identify the DOOMwali running away from CHORtal wearing a PALLU?
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Old 25th November 2011, 08:59   #1068
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Servicing vehicles in Ladakh

Leh is the big place to attend to your vehicles which may have taken a severe beating on the way to Ladakh - in fact, for me, that is the biggest reason to spend a day in Leh, since shopping & "food"ing does not hold any attraction for me and the local sightseeing can be done in half a day. Maruti has an official service centre in Lehling Nawang Auto Engg/ 01982-250005 / 9419178065 , Jigmet 9906971759, which is on the main road leading to the Airport (also the Kargil road, but just 1 km from the petrol pump-round junction with the Manali road). Surprising, it is also the "official" M&M centre although I see only a small board to that effect at the entrance. I have visited them all times when I have been there, and they service all vehicles including my Matiz during the earlier visits. I found them quick and competent and they give fast service to outs-station travellers like us. No formalities of job cards, etc, they work like a Friendly Neighbourhood Garage. They appear to have good stocking of all parts, are experts in M&M vehicles and costs are very reasonable compared with what we pay in our cities. In fact, I was so impressed that I told our friends that I must plan a visit to Leh every year simply to get some major work done in the car.

I had a good experience this time too, getting my car checked and some repairs carried out in under 3 hours the afternoon of Aug 25, even as the Boleros were on their way back from Kargil (I believe they had a tough time the next day with an overload of cars which saw them camp out the whole day there for some minor repairs!).

Mr Jigmet, the manager, is very friendly and accessible, always on the floor. The co-owner (I forget his name) is also a very friendly man, and I have also met a lady who is the owner before, all very friendly and familiar with the problems cars face when they come to a place like Leh. All the tough vehicles in the region are the Gypsies, Boleros, Scorpios and Xylos.

This service centre will not say NO to any car. I have taken my Matiz. Last time, we had the Pajero in our team. I remember ravveendra mentioning that he got work done on his Skoda here too. The service centre opens at 9 am and the earlier you reach there, the faster your work gets done.

Tata also has a service centre in Leh (also on the same Airport road) for a long time, and recently Toyota is supposed to have open one, primarily to cater to all the Innovas that taxi operators use in the region in the "easier" circuits. You cannot miss the Maruti-M&M and Tata service centres.

There is a huge workshop industry in Leh, all the way down the airport road. Many on the main road itself, also many inside too, the accident repair and suspension repair guys obviously ruling the roost! You can get any odd ball job done here, but remember they are all closed on Sunday (I will explain that later). You can also buy tyres of any make here, quite a fast-moving product because of the high wear and also because cars like ours running on soft tears take many cuts, tears and bursts. Many spare parts shops too, I guess you can get pats of many vehicles here. As I had mentioned earlier, repairing tubeless tyre punctures is not a problem.

Last edited by hvkumar : 25th November 2011 at 09:03.
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Old 25th November 2011, 10:10   #1069
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Tata also has a service centre in Leh (also on the same Airport road) for a long time, and recently Toyota is supposed to have open one, primarily to cater to all the Innovas that taxi operators use in the region in the "easier" circuits. You cannot miss the Maruti-M&M and Tata service centres.

.
Good to know Tata's also have a prominent workshop there in leh. With the roads reaching to Leh improving by the year though slowly i guess this brisk business will take some beating.

I read in some previous posts of yours that the Srinagar road to leh is open through out the year? Is it open even in the winters? though thats a though season in Leh.
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Old 25th November 2011, 10:28   #1070
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I read in some previous posts of yours that the Srinagar road to leh is open through out the year? Is it open even in the winters? though thats a though season in Leh.
No, Ladakh is blockaded through all road routes. The SRinagar-Leh road closes when Zoji la between Sonmarg & Dras gets snowed down. I think it is already closed for winter this year. It reopens only in early May.
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Old 25th November 2011, 14:29   #1071
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Actually though they are closed but if you know which door to knock you can get things repaired even on a Sunday. I remember once on a wintry Sunday some years back our Gypsy was giving us a headache crossing Changla. Since we would be driving in complete wilderness for the enxt few days we decided to have the car checked. So while Karu was inviting enough but it was decided to give our regular MT mechanics a miss and go to Leh on the pretext of repairs for some fun. We pulled a guy out of his bed to have a look at our fuel pipes and check for breakages or blockages. The guy goes under and soon starts laughing hysterically. The asks us from where we had come, we told him Tangtse and again he goes into howls of laughter repeating the name Changla again and again.
When we could bear it no more we pulled him out with his legs and asked him what was so funny. He told us, "come under and see for yourself, you guys surely have someone looking after you, so go and say your thank you prayers". What do we see... driving in some of the most inhospitable terrain and no road op tracks, we had lost 3 of our Ubolt nuts and on the fourth U bolt there was only a single nut hanging onto the last few threads. We were shocked and humbled.
Got a guy to fix the bolts as well and bowed our heads to every white washed wall thereafter for a fortnight.
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Old 25th November 2011, 14:47   #1072
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Hotels in Leh

Please do not treat Leh like it is Ooty or Shimla. It is a small place with a fledgling domestic tourism industry. All along, Ladakh has been visited only by foreign backpackers and some intrepid Indian motorists. Till one Hindi movie came along and changed that.

Hotel rooms are still very cheap - you get excellent rooms for Rs 500-800 - and most hotels are small with 10-15 rooms and many run by families. Don't expect any fancy stuff, but rooms and toilets will be clean and decent enough, but do not go looking for HD TVs and wi-fi internet! Rooms are best taken on the spot, booking advance online or through a tour operator means paying a much higher price.

The way to do it - short-list 3-4 hotels (that is easy, there are many recommended by friends who have been there before, don't start searching on the net, most of the hotels aren't listed there), then go locate them when you reach Leh and haggle, you will get the best rates. Actually, you don't even need to haggle much, the quoted rates themselves won't be anything to cry about.

In many hotels, car parking space may not be available - unless it is in Leh market, it is possible to park your car outside the hotel in many places. Stay close to the market, best place for food, internet and other facilities.

In Leh market, you will see many tour operators selling rooms/ tents in places like Hunder, Turtuk, Pangong & Tso Moriri. Do not panic, these places get less crowds than Leh and you can take a considered decision whether you want to go there directly and get a bed for the night in the same place the tour operators are selling - now that you have a reference price, you can bargain appropriately. Many of them sell bed & breakfast, so that itself is a bargaining point.

We did not book any hotels in advance although I tried over the phone before the trip with a couple of them who were quoting ridiculous prices. I did book in Turtuk though because acco there is limited for 16 of us!
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Old 25th November 2011, 14:50   #1073
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Actually though they are closed but if you know which door to knock you can get things repaired even on a Sunday. I remember once on a wintry Sunday some years back our Gypsy was giving us a headache crossing Changla. Since we would be driving in complete wilderness for the enxt few days we decided to have the car checked. So while Karu was inviting enough but it was decided to give our regular MT mechanics a miss and go to Leh on the pretext of repairs for some fun. We pulled a guy out of his bed to have a look at our fuel pipes and check for breakages or blockages. The guy goes under and soon starts laughing hysterically. The asks us from where we had come, we told him Tangtse and again he goes into howls of laughter repeating the name Changla again and again.
When we could bear it no more we pulled him out with his legs and asked him what was so funny. He told us, "come under and see for yourself, you guys surely have someone looking after you, so go and say your thank you prayers". What do we see... driving in some of the most inhospitable terrain and no road op tracks, we had lost 3 of our Ubolt nuts and on the fourth U bolt there was only a single nut hanging onto the last few threads. We were shocked and humbled.
Got a guy to fix the bolts as well and bowed our heads to every white washed wall thereafter for a fortnight.
Yes, I had a similar experience on a Sunday in Leh too this time, which I will recite when I reach Aug 28, 2011!!
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Old 25th November 2011, 15:05   #1074
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Cant wait, mate for it to 28/10/11. Did you know that prior to 1972 war, Indian Border was till only the Chalunka Bridge and not Turtuk.
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Old 25th November 2011, 15:10   #1075
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

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Cant wait, mate for it to 28/10/11. Did you know that prior to 1972 war, Indian Border was till only the Chalunka Bridge and not Turtuk.
Yes, the Army guy glowers at you when you cross that bridge - one would think that you are going to the other side! The Chalunka Bridge is 17 kms before Turtuk
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Old 25th November 2011, 15:49   #1076
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Also beyond that bridge is another bridge where the road cuts to your right side. I dont know if Civillian Vehicles are allowed to ply on that road now a days but it leads you to some awe inspiring vistas of the Shyok and further onto the Central Glacier Rdiges.
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Old 25th November 2011, 15:53   #1077
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Also beyond that bridge is another bridge where the road cuts to your right side. I dont know if Civillian Vehicles are allowed to ply on that road now a days but it leads you to some awe inspiring vistas of the Shyok and further onto the Central Glacier Rdiges.
I guess you are talking of the road to GULAB POST 32 kms? I saw this sign after crossing the Chalunka Bridge. I do not think civilian vehicles are allowed outside this road, except to go till Turtuk.
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Old 25th November 2011, 16:08   #1078
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I refrained from using the name of the post, haha, lolz anyway a Rose is a Rose.
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Old 25th November 2011, 16:16   #1079
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I refrained from using the name of the post, haha, lolz anyway a Rose is a Rose.
If there is a sign board, there is no secret IN my own way, I log every info that I see on the road and this was also written down in my log book!!! On this Turtuk (and also Batalik) road, there are so many intriguing roads that branch off to the border, am sure they are all exciting - I would like to go on each of them with some army contacts!!
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Old 25th November 2011, 16:57   #1080
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Hotels in Leh
I forgot to mention - peak season ends on Sep 15 with the closing of the Leh Festival and thereafter hotel rates drop to very low levels, often 30-50% of normal rates. By October, most hotels will also down their shutters. Temporary camps like those in Sarchu, Tso Moriri, Pangong Lake & Randum will wind up. Even permanent hotels like Hotel Ibex, Jispa, or Spiti Sarai, Rnagirik/Kaza, close down once the Raid de Himalaya Rally gets over by second week of October. One interesting trend is that many in the hospitality business in Ladakh migrate to other "hot" places like Goa or Jammu.
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