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Old 30th September 2011, 09:27   #16
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Day 15 : Sarchu to Manali…
Our drive back to the grind…Manali ahoy…

Sarchu was just a stopover and Manali beckoned, my apprehensions were at full tilt as some taxi guys staying with us had come up Manali and didn’t have encouraging reports. Also we could see lightning over the distant mountains all through the night.

Mulkila Camp, Sarchu
Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!-d15-1-mulkila-adventure-camps-sarchu.jpg

The first hiccup was starting the car….it just wouldn’t crank up. Finally, I took the help of the camp guys to push the car and it whirred to life.
The views all through the highway are beautiful and we crossed Keylong and reached Tandi by 11am crossing Baralacha La with absolutlely no trouble.

Enroute to Manali
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Marmots....we encountered quite a few of these.
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Enroute to Manali
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Zing Zing Bar...its got a nice ring to it!
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Suraj Tal
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Enroute to Manali
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Tandi...
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After Tandi...
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Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!-d15-22-enroute-manali.jpg

The drive up Rohtang too was fine, the roads were bad and narrow but similar to most of the roads we had passed through yet and I was wondering what the big deal was….

We reached Rohtang Top quite easily and then the descent began. This is the stuff nighmares are made of. At least 2-3 feet of slush on a narrow mountain pass with innovas, buses and even a cement mixer stuck all over. The Xylo moved on slowly but surely and I could negotiate around some of the stuck vehicles pretty easily as the car held on pretty well. Then, I got caught behind a slow state transport bus and couldn’t keep up the momentum.

Dug myself into a big rut…with 3 feet slush in front of the car and 3 feet behind….I could just about push the door open and jump out….the scene was grim.

The bus was stuck in front of me and an Innova coming up was stuck in front of the bus, luckily the bus could move a bit further and managed to stick to the mountain side giving way to a bull dozer to make its way up to my car. The tow rope came in handy and the bull dozer literally pulled us out of the rut. The tow rope was passed around to get another Innova out after me, I didn’t want to wait for the tow rope and moved ahead.

Once we disengaged from the bulldozer, I gunned the car…wheels spinning, burning the clutch and swaying around the narrow road around cars, buses and trucks in 1st gear on full throttle…somehow managed to get down to Marhi….Rohtang caused much heartburn for over 2 hours!!

A Bolero and my Xylo were the last ones to cross Rohtang after which the traffic was stationary for over 2 hrs to clear all the stuck cars. My tow rope was used by a lot of cars that day and how I got it back is another story!!

We thanked our lucky stars for making it out unscathed and had breakfast at Marhi waiting for our tow rope but the traffic was halted on top and no car came down for over 2 hours so we moved on to Manali.

One of the few pics we took over Rohtang...this is the better part. Notice some people walking it down after abandoning their taxis.
Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!-d15-23-rohtang-slush.jpg

The road after Marhi is very narrow but scenic, the clouds had descended and the landscape was bathed in green.

Road down to Manali after Marhi...
Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!-d15-24-rohtang-pass.jpg

Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!-d15-25-rohtang-pass.jpg

The last man standing!!
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The fog was thankfully not too dense...
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Just before Manali
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Manali (another long pause here)…looks like Iraq…bombed out. Construction everywhere in the market and it was a pain to make our way towards club house road where we had booked ourselves at Mayflower hotel.

Day 15..End of day ODO...234 kms added.
Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!-d29-eod-odo.jpg

Last edited by nix1976in : 30th September 2011 at 12:44.
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Old 30th September 2011, 15:14   #17
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Note from mod : Thread moved to Travelogues section : Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th September 2011, 16:29   #18
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Great write up tagged with beautiful pictures! Looks like you had fantabulous time up there. Leh indeed is a beautiful place. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 30th September 2011, 17:05   #19
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Apprehensions...I'm starting to have them now.

nice photos and neat writeup...Xylo covered with slush looks so good.
You have covered some good distances every day I must say.

Keep it coming buddy.
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Old 30th September 2011, 17:08   #20
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Superb narration and excellent photographs! I am speechless!

5 Stars!
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Old 1st October 2011, 15:18   #21
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Superb narration and excellent photographs! I am speechless! 5 Stars!
Well, Nikhil, I can't agree more with what C_L has said above. I am surprised why there are very few comments here. Agreed that this is a Leh TL season, but then every Leh trip has its unique beauty and significant story to be shared. We have seen countless wall paper quality Leh snaps on this forum from likes of tsk1979, Laluks, Rudra SenJi, and several others, BUT, yours posted in this thread should also be counted amongst the best.

Oh yes, here is my 5 star too

Last edited by LongDrive lover : 1st October 2011 at 15:22. Reason: Added 5 star rating.
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Old 1st October 2011, 16:10   #22
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Thumbs up Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Just stumbled on to this tread. Amazing narration and excellent write up. Pictures doing most of the talking made feel right at the place. Thanks for sharing!

Rated your thread a well deserved 5 stars!
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Old 1st October 2011, 17:30   #23
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Fantastic log and equally fantastic pics to match.
Rohtang is a piddly pass but its THE pass on the Manali -Leh highway. Cross rohtang and you will reach your destination for sure.
You are lucky to get out of there in 2 hrs .. we were stranded there for more than 10 hrs..
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Old 3rd October 2011, 10:56   #24
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by F50 View Post
Great write up tagged with beautiful pictures! Looks like you had fantabulous time up there. Leh indeed is a beautiful place. Keep 'em coming!
Thanks F50....It was an awesome drive and luckily we did'nt face too many problems. Simply said, Leh is indeed a beautiful place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Apprehensions...I'm starting to have them now.

nice photos and neat writeup...Xylo covered with slush looks so good.
You have covered some good distances every day I must say.

Keep it coming buddy.
Thanks Hemanth, The Xylo took it well especially getting through Rohtang made me feel proud of it..given that Innovas, Scorpio's, busses and even trucks were stuck all over the place. I have never driven in slush before but could handle the car well enough to make it through.

The first day was a stretch covering almost 1350 kms...after that I took it kind of easy.
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Old 4th October 2011, 10:30   #25
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy_lover View Post
Superb narration and excellent photographs! I am speechless!

5 Stars!
Thanks for the rating buddy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Well, Nikhil, I can't agree more with what C_L has said above. I am surprised why there are very few comments here. Agreed that this is a Leh TL season, but then every Leh trip has its unique beauty and significant story to be shared. We have seen countless wall paper quality Leh snaps on this forum from likes of tsk1979, Laluks, Rudra SenJi, and several others, BUT, yours posted in this thread should also be counted amongst the best.

Oh yes, here is my 5 star too
Thanks LDL...glad you liked the snaps. Guess the timing of this thread alongside the Humbleh'ed thread has been the reason for the lesser no. of comments...its like Bheja Fry releasing alongside 3 Idiots
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Old 4th October 2011, 10:41   #26
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Wow! another Leh log, its raining Leh this September in Tbhp, maybe there should be a mega meet in Leh sometime next year

Great pics Nix, your Xylo looks great in the dirt
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Old 4th October 2011, 11:53   #27
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Well, whatever i say will pale in front of what you have been able to put on the Ground, Paper & RAM. (The trip, your writing & the pictures).

You have made my resolve firmer to attempt this trip.
Extremely Engrossing. Can i request you to PM me your contact details.

5 Stars to this.
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:27   #28
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

What were the rates you paid at the hotels in Ladakh? Especially at watermark Pangong & Karzok?

Any time restrictions at Sonmarg towards Zoji la?
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:49   #29
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

Excellent travelogue with amazing pictures and very good narration. Rating it 5 starts!!
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Old 4th October 2011, 14:49   #30
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Default Re: Ladakh: A sojourn to the roof of the world…over 21 days and 6500kms!!

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What were the rates you paid at the hotels in Ladakh? Especially at watermark Pangong & Karzok?

Any time restrictions at Sonmarg towards Zoji la?
Hi Hv,
In Ladakh, I stayed at Caravan centre, Skara for 4 nights..paid 8K including b/f. Watermark Camps were booked at Pangong, Nubra, Tso Morriri and Sarchu for an average of 2.5K a night including all meals.

No restrictions on Sonmarg to D'zojila...we crossed it around 8.30am in the morning. I did not even notice any check post or miltary presence in Sonmarg at that time. We had a free run all through to Leh.

I was in Leh as planned on the 20th but I guess you guys got delayed by a day. Both your and Lalu's nos. were unreachable..my bad that I missed meeting up with you guys!!

Regards,

Last edited by nix1976in : 4th October 2011 at 14:54.
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