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Old 13th December 2011, 22:43   #1291
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
Khardung La

Jubiliant Mumbai Roadsters with their ride at Khardung La
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It was their day! What a feeling that would have been

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Old 13th December 2011, 22:54   #1292
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
Khardung La

HVK looks on as I click the Swifts
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Our drives at Khardung La
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Team at Khardung La
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Swifts at Khardung La
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BolBolero Bolero at Khardung La
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Partners in Crime - BolBolero and HVK with their drives at Khardung La, SS looks on
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18380 feet is on the boards, recorded is 17633 feet
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Khardung La Souvenior shop was closed
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The Temple
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The Deity
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We left Khardung La by 07:45AM

continued...
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Old 13th December 2011, 22:57   #1293
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
North Pullu

We reached North Pullu Check Post by 08:30AM
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Diskit is another 66Kms
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Information for you guys
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We had our well deserved tea break after our very early start here. After hot teas we moved on towards Diskit by 09:15AM

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Old 14th December 2011, 00:23   #1294
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
NO drive in a car can be anywhere close to the experience of riding up to the highest road in the world by mobike - great that you 3 could do it! I am sure KSM-vTEC who has drive in Ladakh by Gypsy, Swift and Bullet can offer us an unique perspective of how it feels too!

All the 3 have been very very different experiences indeed!!

Riding up to Kla gives you a feeling of great achievement because one is much closer to nature and also since the act of riding a 2 wheeler is much more challenging on those roads so far away from home.

On a bike you have a complete open 180 deg open view with the ice cold wind lashing against your body making it numb and posing a challenge of physical endurance. But i am sure most people on this forum have and will come out successful with basic care. (Obviously this is from the very limited experience of 50kms that i was lucky to have this time......looking forward to a full fledged bullet trip)

Driving a Gypsy in the Himalayas gives you a very strong and rally driving kind of a feeling because the Gypsy is made for hills and for some rough action. It gives you the feeling of being in control and forgives you many times.

Driving a Swift is also a great feeling as in some sections it outperforms a Gypsy but at times it can get really challenging to drive a car with low GC and test ones driving skills and doesn't forgive you at all.
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Old 14th December 2011, 01:25   #1295
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16 - 27th August 2011 - Khardung La


These are a few pics of the Leh-Khardung La section from my side....sorry about the pics quality as some have been taken from the phone

Doctorque - Kunal - Overtaking
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Pit Stop
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Doctorque - Kunal - KP
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Anku - Ankit - AP
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KSM-Vtec - Kaushik - KM
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Yogen - Yogen - YP
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NoEnthuDa - Vyas Kaushik - VK
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A Pic with the riders who rented the bikes to us and took them back to Leh
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Last edited by KSM-Vtec : 14th December 2011 at 01:29.
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Old 14th December 2011, 06:59   #1296
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
North Pullu - Diskit

Cute Donkey
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Gateway to Nubra Valley
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Beautiful valley - In 2009 the water was blue, now so muddy :(
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Farmland and mountains
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Farmland and the river
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We take left for now, we will take the route towards Agham direction for Wari La when we return.
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The roads ahead
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Jeep Captain
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The river
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A small traffic jam
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HVK scorpio on the edge
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continued...
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Old 14th December 2011, 07:08   #1297
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
North Pullu - Diskit


The roads ahead along the river - In 2009 we spent some time here to play in the cool blue water. Now it all looks so muddy and ferocious :(
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HVK Scorpio
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We have 17Kms more to Diskit
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View of the roads
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The arrow straight road through the river bed
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The mountains
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We reached Diskit Gompa by 11:00AM
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continued...
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Old 14th December 2011, 14:08   #1298
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Default HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Having spent day 10 of the drive at the Mahindra ASC at Leh, getting the Bolero some TLC and servicing, I missed out on all of the Gompas in and around Leh and the Hall of Fame. However SSj and AR caught a taxi and visited the Thiksey Monastery and the Hall of Fame. As soon as I finished with the work on the Bolero, I rushed to the Shanti Stupa with TS and JP for company, to see the setting sun over the city of Leh and what a grand sight it was. Unfortunately I did not have the camera with me, but TS and JP have got some fabulous captures, which I'm sure JeepCaptain will be kind enough to share sometime later.

Moving on..

Day 11: Leh to Turtuk 27th. August 2011

Part I: Leh to KhardungLa

An early start to the day, scheduled time of departure 4:30 am. Some of the group members were slightly delayed, resulting in the Chief losing his temper! Over and above that the bikers were waiting for their bikes and the riders in Leh market which pushed the departure time even further! But we eventually started from Jorchung Guest house at around 5:45 am.

A few missed turns and soon we were on our way to the famed KhardungLa.

The Leh Palace
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doctorque on the FZ
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anku on a Pulsar
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KSM-Vtec on a Bullet
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Views on the way to KhardungLa
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The roads leading to KhardungLa
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Views from Khardungla Top
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The 3 Mumbai Roadsters who rode to KhardungLa on bikes! Bravo Guys!
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And, Boy were they Happy!
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So was I, but the cold was getting to me!
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Snow near KhardungLa
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Road leading to North Pullu checkpost.
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More views from KhardungLa
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Chief - HVK and his Scorpio, with SS
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BolBolero and his Bolero
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HVK, BolBolero, SSj, SS and TS
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The jubilant IPHE team and their rides!
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The Master - laluks @ Khardungla
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Very happy to be here a second time!
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to be continued....
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Old 14th December 2011, 15:21   #1299
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So much difference between GPS & the board, so which would be accurate?
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Old 14th December 2011, 15:25   #1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
So much difference between GPS & the board, so which would be accurate?
Debatable. On 2 different trips, I have got the same readings in my Garmin GPS at Khardung la, although my readings were closer to the signboards in other places, so my GPS cannot have been wrong.
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Old 14th December 2011, 16:17   #1301
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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

From Khardung la, we were to embark on a journey down into Nubra Valley, which most tourists rarely attempt, they preferring to turn back after a day trip back to Leh. Nubra Valley is the exotic valley watered by the River Shayok, an important tributory to the River Indus. The Shayok itself originates near Tangtse close to the Pangong Lake and goes on through the NUbra Valley to merge with the Indus somewhere near Gilgit in POK.

Nubra Valley is part of one of the offshoots of the ancient Silk Routes between China and Europe although today it is just another region in Ladakh, probably the lowest in altitude, and also the Gateway to the Siachen Glacier and the Akshai Chin region which was largely lost to China.

We left at 715 am from Khardung la, descending rapidly from the 5375 metres to 2800 metres by evening the same day! Last time we drove this way, we had to carefully negotiate ice on the road, but this time, the surroundings were bone-dry and we had to switch on the car AC to keep ourselves cool and also to guard against the dust raised by the military truck convoys that were going by! NUbra Valley appears to have gained considerably in popularity judging by the large number of Innovas, Scorpios & other taxis freighting mostly foreign tourists from places like Diskit.

North Pullu Check Post - this is where you show your permits again. The cops were sunning themselves - and very friendly - watching jawans being put through their paces in the opposite side of the road, since this is where jawans acclimatise before they are send on "punishment" postings to the Siachen Glacier. Many of the jawans we meet in these parts have been there and have horror stories to tell you about the bitter conditions and the heavy fatalities up there.

Some invigorating cups of tea helped all of us shake off the last vestiges of sleep and we were off again from North Pullu Check Post. For some mysterious reason, the check post cops told us that if we did not choose to return the same way (by going through Wari la), we are supposed to report to TCP at Diskit (I could not figure out the reason why, and in any case we could not find the TCP at Diskit). BTW, I am still insure of they restrict night drives across Khardung la - earlier, they used to restrict traffic after 4 pm at either South Pullu (from Leh) or North Pullu (from Diskit) check posts.

The barrenness is broken by dramatic greenery from time to time as we drive past the village of Khardung. The Shayok River View is surely one of the most magnificent views of the Nubra Valley where you can see the River plough its way past sand dunes (created by its changing flows in past years) through a super-wide valley. Unhappily, the water was too muddy unlike the later months (as seen in the year 2009) when it is a pretty blue. Compulsive photo opps here, and we descend further.

Branching off this road is the alternative route to Pangong via Agham, Tangyar & Wari la. Everyone is stunned by the desolation of this narrow road tracing the banks of the River as it disappeared into the far distance - our road for tomorrow! At 10,500 feet, we come down to the water's edge, but we also ran into a long convoy of trucks in a section where the road was barely one vehicle wide. That meant a lot of reversing and on-the-edge parking to let them go by.

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We reach the fork where the left goes to Diskit (our destination) and the right goes to Surmur, Panamik & beyond to the Siachen Glacier base camp (civilians not allowed beyond Panamik). The road to Diskit is an amazing stretch of straight road for some 3-5 kms where you can test top speeds of your vehicles at an altitude of around 10,400 feet.

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See the Scorpio & the Swift racing on the straight flats

We follow the River Shayok all the way to Diskit, the "largest" town in the Nubra Valley. MY Scorpio & Jeep Captain - the others decide to hang around - climb up to the Diskit Gompa opposite to which this tall Budhha Statue has been erected overlooking the Valley, a place where you can get some panoramic views too apart from spiritual salvation.

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Diskit town itself has nothing to offer beyond a few measly lodges, but it does have the only petrol pump in Nubra Valley. You can easily miss it as you exit Diskit town - there is no structure, no sign board and even the pumps themselves look ramshackle. Don't be fooled by the looks, it is open 24 hours since the petrol pump owner or keeper lives in a small hutment next to the pump itself and expressed his willingness to be woken up any time of day or night if you want fuel. But alas, he was out of diesel, and so only the petrol cars refilled here. Stock outs are common place in these parts, and do not snigger at the poor quality of the fuel which in any case is heavily adulterated with kerosene in these parts (some say, that is also deliberately done to aid calorific/ combustion efficiency).

By the time we crossed Diskit, everyone was ravenously hungry and I grandly promised them "dosas" for lunch! DOSAS and sambhar? Everyone was incredulous, dulled as they were after eating only Omlettes and Maggis all these days. Yes, there is indeed an army canteen that makes good dosas at Hunder which was just 7 kms ahead amidst the sand dunes. So let us go have dosas, I said.

We reached Hunder and the army canteen - but alas, it was closed.
Tip of the Day: If you are hungry for Dosas in Nubra Valley, do not visit on a Monday!

But Hunder is not just about Dosas, as we will find out soon.......

All photos are from the albums of team members.
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Old 14th December 2011, 16:40   #1302
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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

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I guess if you mentor/ guide 75-100 Ladakh trips (which is what I did this year), you are likely to run into someone you know sometime or the other en route. We saw tbhpians who knew us in Kaza. Now we ran into someone else in the middle of the "desert" - which is what the Hunder sand dunes are like.

There was this Honda CRV and the Yamaha mobike (R15?) with Car India and Bike India stickers who were on a drive - and they were looking around for me! Since we had common friends and they had my number in their mobiles, knew my itinerary beforehand and were hoping that we will all meet! Of all the places to meet, here on the banks of the Shayok River amidst the sand dunes!

The Hunder Sand Dunes surely are the delight of all offroaders and all those who drive their 4WD SUVs to Ladakh go delirious in excitement as they careen around madly in the sands, the closest you can do dune bashing so far North! The last time we were there, Rajuvinder Singh & his Pajeiro got bogged down haplessly and we had to use both the MIleCruncher's Bolero and VB's Scorpio to pull him out of the mess. Unfortunately, this time, we were all good boys - none of us had any of those butch vehicles - and instead we fed the 2-humped Bactrian camels which came out of the shadows to greet us by the water's edge. These camels are strangers here too, having come here from Mongolia carrying the merchandise for the Silk Route traders, but they are now more or less jobless. Last time in Sep 2009, we had to go searching for them (the locals told us that they must have walked across to POK for their winter holidays), but this time, we saw many of them.

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By 130 pm, everyone had enough of the sand dunes, perhaps because of the hunger pangs, and I was also concerned that we leave the place early so that we can reach our final destination before at least 5 pm and darkness set in............

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All photos from the albums of team members
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Old 14th December 2011, 19:20   #1303
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
Diskit

Some pictures from Diskit Gompa
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Old 14th December 2011, 19:28   #1304
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
Diskit

HVK with his Scorpio at the Gompa
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Scorpio looking on to the beautiful valley
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The Beautiful Valley
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Photo Shoot
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More pictures of the Gompa
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We left the Gompa by 11:30AM

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Old 14th December 2011, 19:37   #1305
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Default Re: HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh)

Day 16
27th August 2011
Diskit - Hunder


The views from Diskit Hunder route
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Hunder is another 7 KM away
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We reached a petrol pump, and decided to tank up. Unfortunately diesel was not available. While the petrol cars were filling up clicked some pictures from around.

Bullet
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Jeep Captain after taking some cool pictures
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