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Old 4th August 2012, 18:14   #46
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Day 6

Sarchu - Leh


Sarchu though may be a difficult night to spend but the Vistas it offers are amazing. Worth a night here if you are properly acclimatised. And what a morning it was. It had snowed on the higher reaches during night, it was probably snowing on Baralacha right now but the mountain side infront of us was bathed in sunlight. Manali Leh at its best...


Good Morning..

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Time to wake up the beast..


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1/2 crank and he comes to life at 2 Deg C after spending a night sub zero.

After a great breakfast where i chatted with a UK biker who had taken leave from office and was on a "Transasia" tour on his bike . All i could say .. Wish i had this luxury..and offcourse b#### of steel to do this kind of trip.

Pushed of from Sarchu at 7:30 in the morning to be greeted by some splendid views..


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The river cuts out some amazing valleys....


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With views like this it was hard not to stop.


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Day 6 to be contd.
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Old 4th August 2012, 23:32   #47
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Love the pics and the Story , mate!!

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Bring it on




TN-09-BD ??
That guy drove all the way from Chennai to Ladakh ? ?
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Old 5th August 2012, 00:23   #48
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TN-09-BD ??
That guy drove all the way from Chennai to Ladakh ? ?
PS : What they/we do is ,transport bike, TN to Delhi in train and then from then ride and again DEL-TN train .Some crazy people who have plenty of leaves in hands ,do ride all the way !
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Old 5th August 2012, 07:59   #49
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Originally Posted by Ahmed View Post

After reading your posts - I strongly feel that it was wise to go in for a 4x4 - now that we have an option in the 2012 Fortuner.
Thanks Ahmed.
Yes in my books an SUV has to be 4X4 to fully utilise its go anywhere characteristic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeshchand View Post
Great write up and some nicely snapped up pictures.

The kind of trips we T-BHPians do on Leh highway it will be great if we can do something for BRO and in the process also get some concessions .
Thanks rajesh.
Nice suggestion. But the problem is that BRO is not involved in these decisions. Local politics play a larger role in this.

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Originally Posted by rajeevn View Post
Mr Columbus,

Do accept my heartiest congratulations for doing this trip and for sharing it with all of us so succinctly. The pictures and the writing style are great. Thanks for sharing this—I have to do Leh in my Yeti this year!

Thanks again.
Thanks rajeevn.
Yeti will do great in that terrain. When do you plan to go ? Currently the Manali - Leh route is closed due to cloud burst at Solang. Do check before you leave and have a safe trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saadat1992 View Post
Love the pics and the Story , mate!!

That guy drove all the way from Chennai to Ladakh ? ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by black12rr View Post
PS : What they/we do is ,transport bike, TN to Delhi in train and then from then ride and again DEL-TN train .Some crazy people who have plenty of leaves in hands ,do ride all the way !
Thanks saadat.
TN to Delhi in train is what most bikers do. Those who can afford more leaves drive all the way from down.
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Old 5th August 2012, 09:46   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
Thanks rajesh.
Nice suggestion. But the problem is that BRO is not involved in these decisions. Local politics play a larger role in this.
Quite sure the petty politics play a huge role, but these guys have a huge say in the matter as the local politicians needs them to keep the life ticking in the hills. Oops again , we will discuss this somewhere else, let us discuss only your amazing trip, one that i want to do some day.

I have a question: What is your take on taking the BMW X1 on this trip, i know the vehicle can do it without any issues, i am only worried about the RFTs (Run Flat Tyres, no spare tyre) that the vehicle runs on, what if i have a blown up tyre, i really doubt the claims of BMW of running 250 kms on puctured tyres in these conditions.

Last edited by rajeshchand : 5th August 2012 at 09:49.
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Old 5th August 2012, 10:42   #51
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Originally Posted by rajeshchand View Post

I have a question: What is your take on taking the BMW X1 on this trip, i know the vehicle can do it without any issues, i am only worried about the RFTs (Run Flat Tyres, no spare tyre) that the vehicle runs on, what if i have a blown up tyre, i really doubt the claims of BMW of running 250 kms on puctured tyres in these conditions.
Yes a BMW X1 can easily do this trip but your concerns about the run flats are correct. BMW may claim running of 250 kms if your tyre goes flat but the question is can a flat tyre survive the terrain Manali Leh offers. I doubt.
I don't know how run flats are repaired. Is it like normal tubeless or is it something different ? If its like normal tubeless then you can carry a battery operated pump and repair kit and get it repaired at any of the repair shops enroute. If not then you are severely handicapped without a spare tyre. Also most run flat manufacturers are a bit edgy about repairs in run flats. Though Bridgestone and Michelin allow for repair but restrict them to 1 per tyre that too after inspection of side walls or the support rings depending on the type of tyre.
For more info on run flat tyres i guess best person to discuss would be bhpian "suman" who also drives a X1.
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Old 5th August 2012, 11:15   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus

Yes a BMW X1 can easily do this trip but your concerns about the run flats are correct. BMW may claim running of 250 kms if your tyre goes flat but the question is can a flat tyre survive the terrain Manali Leh offers. I doubt.
I don't know how run flats are repaired. Is it like normal tubeless or is it something different ? If its like normal tubeless then you can carry a battery operated pump and repair kit and get it repaired at any of the repair shops enroute. If not then you are severely handicapped without a spare tyre. Also most run flat manufacturers are a bit edgy about repairs in run flats. Though Bridgestone and Michelin allow for repair but restrict them to 1 per tyre that too after inspection of side walls or the support rings depending on the type of tyre.
For more info on run flat tyres i guess best person to discuss would be bhpian "suman" who also drives a X1.
Yes, run flats can be repaired if the puncture is noticed the time it happened or when there is a loss of air pressure, it cannot be repaired after having it run for few kilometres, I think there is a discussion somewhere on another thread about theis I will head over there...
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Old 5th August 2012, 12:00   #53
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I had a puncture in my runflat on the highway but I didn't have to drive a lot as a local puncturewala repaired it like a regular tubeless tire. However that repair was good for only about two weeks. Had air leaking out of the same hole again. Another puncturewala repaired the same. He also pasted some shredded rubber and a few drops of fevikwik. But all that wouldn't give peace of mind, hence got the tire replaced with a Yokohama Advan sports ZPS.
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Old 5th August 2012, 14:11   #54
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Columbus sir, as always awesome! Those moving clouds make a point for good photography. If only you had set in some long exposure videos, you could have actually made a good video of clouds passing(of course with some editing and speeding up later on). Moreover, the McKala gold is a fantastic shot, would have done well with a 12-24 lens - wide angle view(I believe yours stopped working? correct?)
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Old 5th August 2012, 19:52   #55
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Default Re: Driving in Thin Air

columbus your thread is rocking. Your captures are stunning. Thanks for sharing

Cheers

Josh
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Old 6th August 2012, 03:56   #56
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Default Re: Driving in Thin Air

AWESOME READ!!! This log is the perfect combination of a fantastic narration and breathtaking photography. I would surely love to be Leh'ed soon but I have a couple of questions.

1. I have some experience of driving on the hills, like I have been to Mussoorie, Shimla, Lansdowne etc. So, would I be able to tackle Leh?

2. U mentioned that the Manza had smoke coming out of its engine and some underbody damage while crossing one of the streams. So, can I take my ANHC up there or would that be foolish? or Can I take my Swift owing which has a better GC than the City.

Cheers!!!
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Old 6th August 2012, 12:06   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyinLow View Post
I had a puncture in my runflat on the highway but I didn't have to drive a lot as a local puncturewala repaired it like a regular tubeless tire. However that repair was good for only about two weeks. Had air leaking out of the same hole again.
I guess carrying a spare tyre is the only solution if you have take your X1 up there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
Columbus sir, as always awesome!Moreover, the McKala gold is a fantastic shot, would have done well with a 12-24 lens - wide angle view(I believe yours stopped working? correct?)
Thanks Alpha. You can't even imagine how i missed my 12-24 there. It was as if you are handicapped.

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Originally Posted by joshuakeys View Post
columbus your thread is rocking. Your captures are stunning. Thanks for sharing

Josh
Thanks josh

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain.torque View Post
AWESOME READ!!! This log is the perfect combination of a fantastic narration and breathtaking photography. I would surely love to be Leh'ed soon but I have a couple of questions.

1. I have some experience of driving on the hills, like I have been to Mussoorie, Shimla, Lansdowne etc. So, would I be able to tackle Leh?

2. U mentioned that the Manza had smoke coming out of its engine and some underbody damage while crossing one of the streams. So, can I take my ANHC up there or would that be foolish? or Can I take my Swift owing which has a better GC than the City.

Cheers!!!
Thanks Captain. My replies to your querries

1. You should be able to tackle Leh easily. Just follow the regular rules of mountain driving.

2. I would'nt advise to take ANHC up there though bhpian J.Ravi has taken his Linea there. But Swift absolutely yes. That car is perfect for Ladakh shortwheel base, decent GC, very less overhangs and good power. It can tackle most of the terrain. Above all Maruti service. You can read the humblehed thread by IPHE team where swifts have done some amazing things.
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Old 6th August 2012, 12:20   #58
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An awesome blog and an very interesting and exciting experience. I hope to get Leh'd someday.

It's an ultimate test for man and machine in a beautiful playground. Hat's off to you on doing the entire trip with a single driver, it must have taken a toll on you.

I'd read that smaller cars have taken the trip and survived to tell the tale but it seems sensible to be in a 4X4 for these kind of terrain's.

At any stage, did you feel that you will not be able to cover the distance because of the road/terrain/height/etc?

Eagerly waiting for your next update on Day 6. Also, the booking for tents at Sarchu, can it be made in advance?

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Old 6th August 2012, 13:49   #59
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Absolutely awesome Travelogue. This is my first post after receiving the much coveted membership and I think I am posting in one of the best threads - at least as long as Tlogs are concerned.

Thank you Ravi for taking each of the riders through this exhilarating journey. The level of details you have provided and the stunning pictures to go with it makes the reader feel that he/she is going through the journey first hand - and that is a credit to your narration/pictures.

Loved the pictures the most! Thank you for the post and waiting for the rest of the log. Can't wait!
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Old 6th August 2012, 14:38   #60
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Originally Posted by columbus View Post

Thanks Nilanjan for aprreciating the log and pics. No the Fort did not require any special care. Just a routine service. Its capable to handle any terrain in Ladakh unless you want to try the tracks done by Army stallions.

Leh'd or Laid .. however you read it ... the catharsis of emotions after the big O is same in both cases ..
Not to mention the thrill and risks involved getting Leh'd for the first time and that too through unknown territory Congratulations!

Coming back to your travelogue, i am waiting with bated breath to read what happens after the 2 X2 rock hurls towards you....this is better than Alfred Hitchcock
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