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Old 3rd November 2011, 13:57   #151
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Default Re: Srinagar to Leh

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
I cursed myself for getting stuck in my Linea at a godforsaken place at Zoji La at night 10 pm without any help available. My four decades of driving experience grounded at Zoji La along with my Linea.
That must have been a horrifying experience. Really appreciate your courage and determination to pull off such a long trip, that too being a single driver. Apart from the check post being closed at 10 PM, was there anything else that compelled you to take up the night drive thru Zoji La? For me, night drive is a big 'NO' specially on an unknown track, let alone a treacherous track. Wondering what was in your mind when you took on the Zoji La at night.

Also your final stretch of 1350 KM is also a very commandable one. Return leg is always the tiring stretch, and you pulled off a big one.

Big Salute to you and your wife for doing such a wonderful trip and also for sharing it with the group.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 14:26   #152
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Default Re: Srinagar to Leh

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Wondering what was in your mind when you took on the Zoji La at night.
Thanks, ANUJ GEORGE. I love driving in the night. The fact that Sonamarg check post would be closed at 10 pm that night and reopened only at 10 am the next day tilted the balance in favour of night driving. So, I thought let me do it here also. But, Zoji La was beyond my expectation. Even now, recollecting that terrible night at Zoji La sends shiver up my spine.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 17:02   #153
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To be there when and where nobody would dare, call it chance or planned, am sure it is not for the fainthearted. Hats off to you to have made it!!!
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Old 3rd November 2011, 17:03   #154
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Default Re: Srinagar to Leh

What a travelogue..simplicity is the beauty of this. Enjoyed it a lot. I did went through only few posts before & reserved it for a ONE SHOT read. I did it today.

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post

I faced hell when I reached Hotel Mirage, Srinagar at 2:30 am. My MMI Lx130 navigator guided me to the gate of the hotel, which was locked. There was no calling bell. My BSNL prepaid cell was dead. So, I used my torch light to flash it on the hotel building and yelled using my maximum lung power at that ghostly hour!


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After some distance, the road became full of slush of 1'-2' in height. So, I reduced the speed and drove slowly. But, that turned out to be a blunder. Again, my Linea got stuck on a rocky terrain with a loud thud. I tried the same trick of reversing her. But, my Linea did not budge. She refused to go either forward or reverse! Literally, my Linea was hanging on a rocky cliff without any traction on any of her wheels. Whenever I tried accelerating her, the tyres would spin without any movement. Suddenly, my wife screamed: 'I could feel a burning smell, switch off the engine!'. I too smelt burning rubber. We both froze, literally, metaphorically and spiritually. I cursed myself for getting stuck in my Linea at a godforsaken place at Zoji La at night 10 pm without any help available. My four decades of driving experience grounded at Zoji La along with my Linea.

I switched off the engine and came out of my Linea. The outside temperature was freezing 4 deg C. I saw about 3 pairs of headlamps of vehicles climbing Zoji La. The first one was an Innova taxi. After seeing the road blocked by my Linea, one gentleman got down and came to me. I sought his help to move my Linea. He called his co-passengers and instructed them to assist me. Four persons including the driver of Innova alighted. Two of them pushed from the left side of my Linea and two from behind. I started the engine, accelerated slowly, my Linea moved with a screeching noise, came out of the clutches of the rocky bed. After some distance, I signalled the Innova to overtake me, but they kept following me.

After some distance, again the same story repeated. The same symptoms, the same thud, my Linea got stuck again.....
Lucky you at both the instances. Precise reason I never take night drives to the unknown territories esp with family.

PS: My mental label about Mr.Ravi is around 30 yrs old

Last edited by Surprise : 3rd November 2011 at 17:05.
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Old 3rd November 2011, 18:07   #155
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Default Re: Srinagar to Leh

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To be there when and where nobody would dare, call it chance or planned, am sure it is not for the fainthearted. Hats off to you to have made it!!!
Thanks, Senz, assuming that was a compliment!
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Precise reason I never take night drives to the unknown territories esp with family.
Thanks, Surprise. Night-driving, reaching the destination at the ghostly hours and disturbing my hosts from their deep slumber have become a habit for me.

Apart from Srinagar, even Amritsar was no different where I reached at 2:30 am. My MMI navigator guided me to my hotel through some narrow lanes near the Golden Temple complex, which I was reluctant to do. Even cops didn't know the hotel. Finally, a smiling souvenir-seller guided me to my hotel through a wide road! I bought the headgear from him the next day while visiting the Golden Temple.

In November 2010, I searched for my home-stay at Jaipur from 12:30 am to 2:00 am as there were three Meera Margs. My MMI navigator guided me to one Meera Marg whereas my home-stay was located in the other! Details are here (If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Agra!).
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PS: My mental label about Mr.Ravi is around 30 yrs old
You can generously add another 27 years!

Last edited by J.Ravi : 3rd November 2011 at 18:19.
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Old 5th November 2011, 17:18   #156
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Smile Fellow BHPians I Met In This Trip

I had impromptu meeting of six fellow-BHPians in this trip.

I met Karthik1100/funkykar/Chethan/revvinhard at Sonamarg on 16 September 2011 while I was waiting for opening of the check-post.
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Originally Posted by Karthik1100 View Post
It feels great to meet a true automobile enthusiast from Bengaluru in LEH!
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Originally Posted by Karthik1100 View Post
Karthik Makam - funkykar
Chethan - Greenday
Arvind - RevvinHard
I met
Quote:
trance_nut
on 19 September 2011 while I was climbing down from Khardung La and he was climbing up in his Safari. He identified me by my Linea! In such matters owning a Linea helps a lot.

Last, but not the least, akshay4587 spotted me at Chandigarh on 23 September 2011 evening at a busy junction thanks to Team-BHP sticker on my Linea's rear bumper. We waved our hands at each other and continued our journey.
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Welcome back sir,and here is a pic of your linea i clicked in Chandigarh
It's nice that I met these fellow-BHPians in this mega trip.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 5th November 2011 at 17:39.
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Old 5th November 2011, 17:32   #157
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Default Re: Fellow BHPians I Met In This Trip

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
I had impromptu meeting of three fellow-BHPians in this trip.

I met Karthik1100 at Sonamarg on 16 September 2011 while I was waiting for opening of the check-post.
Sir, there were many more Tbhians with me in the Endeavor who are big FAN of you!

Karthik Makam - funkykar
Chethan - Greenday
Arvind - RevvinHard
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Old 5th November 2011, 21:36   #158
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Dear Ravi Sir,

Thanks for sharing a fantastic travelogue.. I must say you're so lucky that you got a wifey supports and agrees for such a long drive and that too solo (or she knows to drive?)
Anyways, i'm just dreaming to a for a trip (ofcourse not a long one like this) with wifey one day without worrying about return date or anything for that matter.

Congratulations for you and please continue such travel so that we can read your travelogue and travel all the way with you.

Regards,
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Old 6th November 2011, 01:15   #159
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

J.Ravi
Have been following your thread here and at a different site for some time now.
I also had an image of you in your late thirties.
It was sheer luck that you came across somebody to push the car out of the slush.People generally are helpful and do match your speed if they feel you need them.
I was alone and i was driving above the zojila pass(the regular pass was closed) when i stopped a SUV ambulance and requested the driver to slow down so that I could keep up with him.His comforting presence was enough to quell my fears and I followed him until the last decline where I stopped to gather my courage.
Regards
PS:By the way I am 67 years old
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Old 6th November 2011, 17:19   #160
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

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I must say you're so lucky that you got a wifey supports and agrees for such a long drive and that too solo (or she knows to drive?)
Thanks a lot, Reisender, for the superlative appreciation. My wife doesn't know driving. I did the driving of the entire trip of 7849.8 km.
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I also had an image of you in your late thirties. PS:By the way I am 67 years old.
Wow! That's great to hear, Sir. Thanks for the compliments.
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Old 6th November 2011, 20:10   #161
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

Hats off to this TL, I made it a point to go through this with my wifey. You wrote this so well ( esp the shopping bill) that my wifey enjoyed this (her first long time spent outside FB). There are no words to explain how excited I was to read every page. How i wished that the pictures and writeups do not end. Simply superlative appreciations x 1000.
Thanks to you my wifey has indicated that she will join me if I plan , shop and post pics This is planned for next year. Only thing I will be going to chennai / kodaikanal(hometown) from noida delhi.. Leh will have to wait a bit.
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Old 7th November 2011, 00:31   #162
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

But ofcourse sir, it is indeed a compliment, I can only imagine the feelings that you have conveyed through your writing, but to have been there am sure was something else. WOW!!! This is Adventure
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Old 7th November 2011, 11:51   #163
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

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Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
My wife doesn't know driving. I did the driving of the entire trip of 7849.8 km.
Ravi Sir,
To be honest this has been a superlative effort both on your wife and yourself to have successfully completed this expedition. However have a few queries which am sure you have good answers
1) Why was the Simla - Leh route not taken instead of doing the same route twice?
2) Not quite sure if you have answered this, the trip seems to have been covered in long distances any reason for that?

Am using your thread as an inspirational emote to push my friends for a trip to Leh/Kargil. Planning it for Sept 2012 however.
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Old 7th November 2011, 14:41   #164
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

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Originally Posted by Catalyst_delhi View Post
Thanks to you my wifey has indicated that she will join me if I plan , shop and post pics.
Thanks a lot, Catalyst_delhi. I read somewhere that J&K's revenue from tourism is the highest in 2011 so far. I am happy that we contributed our little!
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This is Adventure.
Thank you once again, Senz.
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Why was the Simla - Leh route not taken instead of doing the same route twice?
Simply because Srinagar-Kargil-Leh route was the best of all other routes considering my Linea's GC of 165 mm and long wheel-base. I heard horror stories of getting stuck in More plains, Rani nalah, Rohtang slush, not to mention the notorious traffic jam at Rohtang Pass. So, I did not venture to return via Keylong/Manali to Chandigarh. As the saying goes, known devil is better than unknown angel [or should I say 'unknown devil'], crossing Zoji La may be thousand times better than crossing More plains, Rani nalah and Rohtang Pass.
Quote:
the trip seems to have been covered in long distances any reason for that?
Except Nagpur-Amritsar stretch which I felt really tedious and tiresome, I enjoyed driving all other stretches. I had drawn the itinerary considering these long drives as I like to do them - there was no other reason.
Quote:
Am using your thread as an inspirational emote to push my friends for a trip to Leh/Kargil. Planning it for Sept 2012 however.
Thanks a lot for the compliments. I wish you all the best.

Last edited by J.Ravi : 7th November 2011 at 14:43.
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Old 8th November 2011, 09:13   #165
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Default Re: Leh in a Linea

SIR,

I am amazed with you and your travelogue. I must admit i went through the entire tread in one go and feel totally inspired at what you and your better half have achieved.

MID pics, the quick and simple narration, the Amazing Photos, and most importantly the ability as a driver to be focused and strong to do the entire trip all by yourself is commendable.

You have given the courage all of us to go ahead and pay our respect to Leh.
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