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Old 30th September 2011, 10:19   #31
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Default Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Friday, 16th September

I first heard about this place, saw it on pictures, started reading about it and finally I was 40 Kms away from it.

It was a feeling that I dint have, even during my wedding.

As we approached South Pullu, I could not believe what I was looking at.

These were taken on the way.

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I realized it had snowed the previous night but at the same time I was scared that the roads might be closed.

Check post at South Pullu.

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The guard at the check post, checked the permits and said no other vehicles have gone by yet and asked me turn back if there was heavy snow on the road.

I could barely control my emotions, when he did not say those words, I was fearing - 'Roads are closed, go back'.

I took off from that place in the fastest way possible, thinking where he might change his mind.

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Uncle could not believe what we were looking at..

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..Neither could I

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We took some time to come back to earth and slowly began to climb

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'Virgin' Snow

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If the views ahead of us were mesmerizing, have a look at this at the opposite direction.

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As it is I was above 17K ft. and this was taking my breath away even more

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After a short climb..

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..we stopped again to click few pics. This was to show, our first step on snow. (I know, that's lame)

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I was falling in love with my Scorp over and over

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Fresh snow.

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Far away, I saw this guy in his motorcycle. Looked like a small bike and since he was riding alone, we were curious to know, from he he was. So, as we waited for him, we were enjoying, what was surrounding us.

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Rest, after a short break.
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Old 30th September 2011, 14:57   #32
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Default Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Sorry about the long break, had to complete my work before the weekend.

We tried to have a conversation with the biker, but he was excited to reach the top and said we will meet there.

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He was all set..

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This is what I saw, before shutting the door

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The snow made this drive so special

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I still had my mouth wide-open

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There was something written on that rock..

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..well, no comments

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I purposely stopped again. It was a feeling similar to that of, meeting someone special (Like your Girl, types). You want to make that moment wait and wait..

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It felt as though the roads were decorated and it was a grand welcome to the roof of the world! (That's one way to look at it)

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Loved the way he looked in that white background.

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Needless to say, it was very cold and I ran into the cafeteria. I just turned around to click one more pic and was jumping in joy.

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Then, I read this.

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After Maggi and Tea, stepped out to click a few pics. There were few tourists vehicles by now, but the one car that stood out was.. yup.. my black beauty. I could not stop admiring him.

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Me and uncle enjoyed the snow and the snow fall

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The traffic was stopped as there was an army convoy approaching the top from the other end. This made us spend more time and we were loving it.

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I havent seen them before nor did I think I would require them

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We went to meet the biker and it actually was a shocker. An elderly person to ride alone, all the way from Delhi and on a 125cc bike, takes a lot of courage. He surely is an inspiration.

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Inside the world's highest cafeteria. Btw, my office cafeteria is in the 7th floor.

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Me and my beast, next to the trade mark board.

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Cool pose

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Every time you're enjoying something, it seems to end soon (like our weekend). We were now going down on the other side, towards Turtuk.

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What a view to have in the rear-view mirror, after looking at our normal day to day traffic.

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Will start the Nubra story tomorrow.
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Old 30th September 2011, 17:55   #33
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Yes, you are right MSRIT. He was in the Telecom department. Although chances of meeting him are remote. If we happen to catch up on FB I will surely share this link with him.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 12:32   #34
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Default Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Nubra Valley

K-top -> Khalsar -> Diskit -> Hundar -> Thoise -> Changmar -> Turtuk

As I had to planned to take the Wari-La route, to Pangong the following day, we stopped for a while to turn around and have a final look at the K-Top from far.

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Buddha Park

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It was overcast and it looked as though the clouds might burst any moment

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The roads are quite good, except a few bad patches.

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It looked like it was raining..

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..however as went closer, we realized it was a dust-storm

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Old 3rd October 2011, 14:33   #35
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Default Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Enroute to Hundar.

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A small deviation from the main road towards the sand-dunes and to get a glimpse of the camels

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Astonishing

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Had to walk quite a distance..

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..but, totally worth it!

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Absolutely Majestic!

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We reached Turtuk around 6:30 PM and this was the final picture I could manage to take. The hill at the background is supposedly, Pakistan border.

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Will continue with the rest of the story, tomorrow.
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Old 3rd October 2011, 17:31   #36
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Amazing pictures and narration. Great to see KA registration all the way in turtuk.
Rated 5 stars.
Regards
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Old 3rd October 2011, 17:56   #37
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Default Re: Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

wonderful updates

And small world, read the log of this gutsy guy you met at K-La top on bike

Hoodibaba is back from Hunder and Pangong Lake - Solo ride on Caliber 115 !!!! - India Travel Forum, BCMTouring
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:14   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coooolcat21 View Post
Amazing pictures and narration. Great to see KA registration all the way in turtuk.
Rated 5 stars.
Regards
Thank you Coooolcat21. I'm glad, a Pro-photographer liked these pics.

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Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
wonderful updates

And small world, read the log of this gutsy guy you met at K-La top on bike

Hoodibaba is back from Hunder and Pangong Lake - Solo ride on Caliber 115 !!!! - India Travel Forum, BCMTouring
Thanks Rajiv and thanks for the link. I'm just amazed, at his determination.

My uncle named him 'Tiger'.
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:56   #39
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Default Bad Roads Lead To Good Destinations!

Saturday, 17th September

Not that I had planned a weekend outing to Pangong, but things fell in place. I wanted to reach Lukung by 3 or 4 PM, spend the evening there and the following morning, drive to Chusul via Spangmik/Merak/Khaltse. However, this drive changed our complete itinerary.

Pangong was 300 odd Kms and the only way I could do it the same day was to leave, as early as possible. So, left Turtuk at 5 in the morning.

As the sun rose, it felt like a screen coming off, unleashing the magical world.

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It really was magical

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I had not seen anything like this before.

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The Sand dunes looked beautiful

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The fuel bunk at Hundar. If he is not the owner, then I'm sure he is first guy to visit that bunk.

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It was around 8, when we crossed Khalsar and we had not had a cup of tea since morning. We badly wanted to eat something but dint find a eatery. It was still cold and the nauseating smell of diesel from the jerry cans, was just unbearable. We had some biscuits and rusks, that held our appetite for some time. It was treat to the eyes though.

These pics were taken on the way to Wari-la

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This stretch, just before Agam was splendid

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Enroute to Wari-la

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Thats the road we came..

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..and that's where, we were heading

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Old 4th October 2011, 15:16   #40
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The excitement was not the same as I had while approaching K-Top, but just thought we were lucky to be driving through snow for the 2nd time.

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It was around 10:30 and we were very hungry. We ate whatever we could find in our food bag.

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The roads were clear. So far, no sighting of a human.

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Then we found them. How I wish, they had warned us about, what laid ahead. Btw, what do they get to eat in the snow?

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Dint find anyone inside or outside that lorry. Looked like some construction work on that bridge.

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There were no tracks and the roads were covered with snow. Uncle asked, if I want to go back but going back to Khalsar would be about 90 odd Kms and another 90 odd to Leh. I said we will go a little further and see how it goes.

We did quite well for the first 2 or 3 curves. However, the steeper it got, I had to accelerate a little and the car swerved to the right and the left rear, mightly close to the edge.

I had to dig out a stone to support the rear tyre and had to clear the snow in my bear-hands. Uncle tried to help me and in a few minutes had a headache. I somehow managed to find a stone and we went a little further.

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After another curve, got stuck in the snow. The rear wheels spun on the icy surface was digging a hole. I had to reverse and find a stone to cover the hole. Somehow managed to pull it out and after one more curve, got stuck again.

It looked like, I was almost on the top, however the harder I tried, the car was swerving more towards the side.

The track that we left.

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Stuck in snow at 17000 ft.

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Old 4th October 2011, 16:17   #41
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Wonderful Travelogue with amazing pics. Nowadays i see lot of people driving to leh from Bangalore. My brain also started to tickle about it now on reading all the Leh travelogues .

The Last pic with Black Scorpio amidst the white snow all over is fabulous. Cant stop watching the pic !!

Keep the pics coming
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Old 5th October 2011, 10:18   #42
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Wonderful pictures and what an experience. I am recollecting Tanveers experiences after seeing this thread. Thanks for putting the efforts to show us the beautiful places you have covered.

Highly appreciate.
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Old 5th October 2011, 11:03   #43
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Avi,
A very beautiful travelogue with amazing pictures and exciting narration. I can imagine how you felt upon seeing the snow. The first time I saw snow more than 6 years ago I went out to play in it, right outside my office which was a client location. some other guys also joined me.

The black beauty provides a stark contrast to the virgin snow covering the whole area and stands tall and proud. rating the thread 5 stars.
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Old 6th October 2011, 13:14   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BulZire View Post
Wonderful Travelogue with amazing pics. Nowadays i see lot of people driving to leh from Bangalore. My brain also started to tickle about it now on reading all the Leh travelogues .
Thank you BulZire. Hope to see a T-Log from you soon.

Quote:
The Last pic with Black Scorpio amidst the white snow all over is fabulous. Cant stop watching the pic !!
Thank you.

Quote:
Keep the pics coming
Lot more to come.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Ranger View Post
Wonderful pictures and what an experience. I am recollecting Tanveers experiences after seeing this thread. Thanks for putting the efforts to show us the beautiful places you have covered.

Highly appreciate.
Thank you Indian Ranger. I'm glad you liked it. It is my pleasure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsp View Post
Avi,
A very beautiful travelogue with amazing pictures and exciting narration. I can imagine how you felt upon seeing the snow. The first time I saw snow more than 6 years ago I went out to play in it, right outside my office which was a client location. some other guys also joined me
Thank you lsp. It sure is a bliss to play in the snow, isn't it?

Quote:
The black beauty provides a stark contrast to the virgin snow covering the whole area and stands tall and proud. rating the thread 5 stars.
I could not stop admiring him as well.
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Old 6th October 2011, 14:35   #45
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Tried absolutely everything I could think of :

1. Reversed the car a little, tried gaining some speed, but was scared to go towards the extreme right and kept getting stuck in the hole I drilled, with wheel spin.
2. Covered the hole with a stone and tried again, but kept slipping
3. Found two bigger stones and gave support to both rear tyres, no go
4. Tried clearing the snow using my boots and removed some using my hand.
5. I thought, I was slowly revving the engine, but I dint realize it had gone upto to the 4000 mark (rpm)
6. Black smoke all over the place and the smell of unburnt fuel, scared me more, thinking I would conk some critical component.
7. The fuel indicator needle was at the half way mark and it had gone down, almost till the red. So, I had lost around 12 to 13 ltrs of fuel.

So, sat on a rock thinking what to do. I was hoping that some vehicle would pass by. Worst case, I had to walk to Shakti to get some help but I was scared to do that, leaving uncle alone in the car.

I decided to plan the next league of the journey :

1. I had about 45 ltrs of fuel in the cans and around 18 to 20 ltrs in the car.
2. To Pangong, I had to go through Chang la and I was scared, there would be snow as well
3. Tsaga la towards Hanle and Namachang la towards Tso Moriri
4. To skip all 3 and head to Leh, but I could not reverse the car
5. To skip everything and head to Manali, as I was not sure if the fuel I had was sufficient. This idea did hurt a little.

With snow as my company at 17K ft, there was not much of help.

After agonizingly spending over an hour, (now more than 2 hours, since this drama started) I saw two guys walking down from the top, carrying shovels. It was a sight, I'll never ever forget. There was a truck right behind them and few other guys from GREF helped in clearing the path. I could not stop thanking them.

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The scariest experience of this trip. Worst, I was just one curve away from the top.

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Shakti, was around 30Kms and took me a couple of hours to reach. Found a hotel and had some maggi. Gave uncle tablets and made him rest.

Filled up the tank and cleaned the cans as much as I could. It was already 3:30PM and I had to decide, whether to go Pangong or not.

Called and spoke to Kumar sir. Told him the story and asked for assistance to plan ahead. He said, not many people are aware about Tsaga la and best to be avoided. So, I thought I'll skip Pangong as well and head to Kaza, instead of Manali. However, he said it would have snowed there too.

Took some time and thought will take another chance at the snow. Decided to go to Pangong and to my bad luck, nobody in the village knew, the status of the roads.

Asked uncle if he can sleep in the car and we had to go another 100Kms. He said he was feeling a little better and agreed to come, instead of staying in Shakti.

After climbing up a few kms, saw an army truck. Stopped him and asked the road condition. He said, the snow has been cleared and it is safe to go. I was so relieved to hear that and tried making it to Lukung asap.

However, the tar roads ended abruptly and the trade mark ladakhi style road began. I gave everything I could and finally reached Lukung at 7:30 PM.

Just a few pics I managed to click.

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Sunday, 18th September

To me, it was not the usual sunday morning, going to a darshini and having a coffee.

I did drink coffee, but looking at this..

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She was lost in her thoughts too.

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Crystal clear water.

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What a sight, when this colour comes up.

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Uncle was gleaming and he was feeling a lot better.

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I really felt bad for what I had to make him go through...

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..but he gave me a look, 'Give me more' (I have gone bonkers, I know)

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Lovely colours!

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