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Old 14th September 2012, 10:45   #31
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Excellent writeup and great choice and numbers of pictures to go with. As Riju said, this is surely one of the most neatest travelogue here.

Great pictures there Amol. But I'm yet to fall in love with HDR process.
But that's probably me only.
Thanks Rudra, compliments coming from you is a big deal

On the HDRs, they're really not my forte, but just small attempts to do some over-the-top kinda processing. Personally I like to keep things very natural looking, but the dull skies weren't helping these pics in any way and I felt the HDRs got them some life. Anyway, they were just some experiments, nothing that I'd fancy to hang on the wall.
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Old 14th September 2012, 16:27   #32
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

Finally figured out how to embed the videos.

These are videos from the Malling Nallah crossing in 2008 when we rode through Spiti into Lahaul. The first one is the water crossing action with my bike while the second one is the landslide experience we had right after the bikes had made it through the nallah.





Enjoy!
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Old 15th September 2012, 03:17   #33
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

5 times, man, that's something. I still need to go there 3 more times to touch your record. And you've done some nice rides which I only can dream about. I so much wanted to drive down to Ladakh this year but just couldn't do it. Hoping to do it next year.
BTW, loved your photographs from your 4th trip more than the others (that puffy clouds forming a line over Pangong is just awesome and so is the photo of the bike rider on the plains of Hanle/). Others are also very nice (except those HDR's).
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Old 16th September 2012, 19:30   #34
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

Hey Amol!! Loved the latest installment of your already amazing travelogue of the brilliant and mystical land that is the Himalayas!!

You are so lucky that you get to enjoy such great trips with your family! Bravo!

And of course!! Exceptional photography and write-up! Cheers man. This will be one the most important threads I will refer to whenever I plan a trip up north!

Cheers! Thumbs up man!
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Old 17th September 2012, 12:43   #35
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

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Originally Posted by amolpol View Post
the shocking news that someone had deflated all 4 tyres of the Safari. Had it not been for the portable air compressor, it would have been a really difficult task to get out of the situation since the car was parked on an incline and putting it on a jack would’ve been very risky. With the compressor, I was able to quickly pump enough air
What make compressor you have & how much it costed for you? Might come handy on long drives too.

Travelogues like this push me to do such regions at least once in my lifetime. What a super light log with so beautiful pictures. Easily one of the best ever travelogues of TBHP.

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As they say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. But someday will be my day!
True BTW, nicely done

Last edited by Surprise : 17th September 2012 at 12:46.
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Old 17th September 2012, 14:23   #36
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

I must say Amol that is one of the great Travelogues have read !!! Great pics too. I was so engrossed in the blog that i had a late lunch @ work .

Good luck for all the other travels yet to be !!!
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Old 17th September 2012, 16:09   #37
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

Small world, seeing pics of Bharath and Elvin in your travelogues.This has been a fantastic travelogue Amol.......
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Old 18th September 2012, 10:31   #38
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

Amazing Experiences and thanks for sharing with us Amol. Very well written, crisp, short, to the point and lovely pictures. You remember your trips quite vividly. Glad to read that your friend who fell from his bike had minimal injuries. All the gear made the difference between life and death. I have witnessed a friend of mine fall off pillion seat as he wasnt ready for a speed bump on a city road. It was scary seeing him fall like that, luckily he escaped with superficial injuries only.

One thing I always wonder reading Leh travelogues is, how do you guys manage to get such long leaves to do 3 wk trips ?
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Old 18th September 2012, 16:14   #39
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

Hello Amol,

Absolutely Amazing.

5 trips to Leh / Ladakh is absolutely amazing. Wonderful pictures & great (short & crisp) write-up. once I started reading your thread, I could only get up after after reading every word of it. Thank you for sharing your experience over the years.

It was nice to see your friend not suffering any injuries & for me (being father of a lovely girl) the most wonderful part of your travelogue is your daughter Pozu enjoying the trip without any problems whatsoever.

Wish you all the very best for your future trips to north-east & I somehow feel that couple of years from now you will definitely head back to Leh / Ladakh.

Anyways, could you let us know more about your experience in these areas. I mean when you said people there are living happily despite all the hardships, what exactly you realised after experiencing the life there?

Thanks,
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Old 18th September 2012, 21:00   #40
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

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Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
5 times, man, that's something. I still need to go there 3 more times to touch your record. And you've done some nice rides which I only can dream about. I so much wanted to drive down to Ladakh this year but just couldn't do it. Hoping to do it next year.
BTW, loved your photographs from your 4th trip more than the others (that puffy clouds forming a line over Pangong is just awesome and so is the photo of the bike rider on the plains of Hanle/). Others are also very nice (except those HDR's).
No record making feat here man, just that the mountains kept calling me every year

Hope you make the trip next year. And yes, the HDRs could have been done differently, no doubt about it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpingheart View Post

You are so lucky that you get to enjoy such great trips with your family! Bravo!

And of course!! Exceptional photography and write-up! Cheers man. This will be one the most important threads I will refer to whenever I plan a trip up north!

Cheers! Thumbs up man!
Thanks, it is indeed my family that's worth a mention here since both ladies have been very supportive of my crazy ideas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
What make compressor you have & how much it costed for you? Might come handy on long drives too.

Travelogues like this push me to do such regions at least once in my lifetime. What a super light log with so beautiful pictures. Easily one of the best ever travelogues of TBHP.

True BTW, nicely done
Thanks, am glad that you liked my story.

The compressor is VI-Air 85P, bought it off Amazon. It's quite a nice build and performs well too. I'd vote for having a compressor on every long trip after my experience this time.


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Originally Posted by EasyR1der View Post
I must say Amol that is one of the great Travelogues have read !!! Great pics too. I was so engrossed in the blog that i had a late lunch @ work .

Good luck for all the other travels yet to be !!!
Thanks, and sorry for keeping you away from lunch!

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Originally Posted by Khodays View Post
Small world, seeing pics of Bharath and Elvin in your travelogues.This has been a fantastic travelogue Amol.......
Small world for sure, we've all been riding buddies for a long time now.

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Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Amazing Experiences and thanks for sharing with us Amol. Very well written, crisp, short, to the point and lovely pictures. You remember your trips quite vividly.
Thanks, you're right about my memories about these trips. I still remember all of them as if they happened just a few weeks ago.

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Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
Glad to read that your friend who fell from his bike had minimal injuries. All the gear made the difference between life and death. I have witnessed a friend of mine fall off pillion seat as he wasnt ready for a speed bump on a city road. It was scary seeing him fall like that, luckily he escaped with superficial injuries only.
Yeah, he was super lucky to have gotten away with bare minimum bruises. The gear paid off totally and after all these trips where we've cooked ourselves by wearing all that armor even in the hot sun, I can't stop recommending it to others who wish to do long rides.

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Originally Posted by supertinu View Post
One thing I always wonder reading Leh travelogues is, how do you guys manage to get such long leaves to do 3 wk trips ?
It's a trade secret buddy. This is the longest vacation I've taken ever. I hadn't even taken 3 weeks for my own wedding, but this time we figured that since driving up and down in two weeks wasn't going to be enjoyable for any of us.

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Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Hello Amol,

Absolutely Amazing.

5 trips to Leh / Ladakh is absolutely amazing. Wonderful pictures & great (short & crisp) write-up. once I started reading your thread, I could only get up after after reading every word of it. Thank you for sharing your experience over the years.
Thanks Jignesh, glad you liked it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
It was nice to see your friend not suffering any injuries & for me (being father of a lovely girl) the most wonderful part of your travelogue is your daughter Pozu enjoying the trip without any problems whatsoever.
Yeah, he was lucky to have escaped with minor bruises. Pozu has always enjoyed lots on all our trips so far, except one where she fell sick. But even on that trip she braved it like a sport and had no fuss about it at just 1yr of age, so I know that she's built tough.

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Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Wish you all the very best for your future trips to north-east & I somehow feel that couple of years from now you will definitely head back to Leh / Ladakh.
Thanks, the next time is going to be a solo trip in search of the snow ghost. I'm done with the road trips for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jignesh View Post
Anyways, could you let us know more about your experience in these areas. I mean when you said people there are living happily despite all the hardships, what exactly you realised after experiencing the life there?

Thanks,
Well, the people in Ladakh are special. In all our interactions with them, we've found them to be very humble and hard working, not the type who are out there to loot you unlike all other tourist places. When you talk to them you realize that their laughter is genuine and heartfelt, they talk about their hardships with a smile rather than wanting to make you feel sorry for it. Once we met a guy from Drass who talked about how they live through the snowy months totally disconnected from the outside world and still feel so good about their life there. The nomads roam the mountains living in tents that are such bare minimum dwellings yet they'd welcome you with so much of warmth and offer you a cup of tea etc, it'll make you think whether you really need all the money and comfort to be happy in life.

When I look back and think of their lifestyle and the little joys that make them laugh, suddenly the long term ambitions, near term goals, savings plans, craving for the next big car, a better house, and everything that makes you want more from life start feeling so meaningless.

There is no reason for anyone to feel unsafe in the Ladakh region since there's hardly a soul that you'd meet who looks suspicious in his intentions. I've never felt cheated in any of the transactions I've had with the locals, they're always ready to help out even if they have to go out of their way to do it and even if they're not going to make any money from you.

All these years of my travel has taught me that happiness isn't in just chasing things in life to fulfill your dreams, it's about enjoying the moment you have and make memories that make you smile when you look back on life.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:20   #41
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

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When I look back and think of their lifestyle and the little joys that make them laugh, suddenly the long term ambitions, near term goals, savings plans, craving for the next big car, a better house, and everything that makes you want more from life start feeling so meaningless.
There is no reason for anyone to feel unsafe in the Ladakh region since there's hardly a soul that you'd meet who looks suspicious in his intentions. I've never felt cheated in any of the transactions I've had with the locals, they're always ready to help out even if they have to go out of their way to do it and even if they're not going to make any money from you.
All these years of my travel has taught me that happiness isn't in just chasing things in life to fulfill your dreams, it's about enjoying the moment you have and make memories that make you smile when you look back on life.
Hello Amol,

Yes. I accept. We in cities, spend most of our healthy life in earning, paying home loans, car loans & gathering other so caled facilities of life. We always think that we will enjoy life in future once we have a bigger house, bigger car, this & that. Little that we realize that in gathering all the comforts of material world, we are wasting the best time of our lives.

Regarding no cheating of tourists in Leh / Ladakh, this is really a rare thing in India. I have traveled to many places in India, & have personally experienced that always there are scavengers looking for a smallest possible chance to cheat tourists. I am sorry for being cynical, but this is a fact in India. It is really good that this thing does not happen in Leh / Ladakh.

We all need to learn to enjoy the present moment, which we generally waste in planning for future & chasing some dreams. Though this is very easy to say & hard to practice, but better late than never, because there comes a point in everybody's life when he looks back & repents, but at that time, there is nothing he / she can do to change the wasted time.

Thank you for the enlightenment.

Regards,

Last edited by Jignesh : 19th September 2012 at 10:34. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:41   #42
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

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When I look back and think of their lifestyle and the little joys that make them laugh, suddenly the long term ambitions, near term goals, savings plans, craving for the next big car, a better house, and everything that makes you want more from life start feeling so meaningless.........All these years of my travel has taught me that happiness isn't in just chasing things in life to fulfill your dreams, it's about enjoying the moment you have and make memories that make you smile when you look back on life.


You have put the essence of such experiences very nicely. If you make the journey itself very interesting & involving, it really doesn't matter whether you reach the destination or not.
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Old 20th September 2012, 11:23   #43
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Default Re: The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!

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Regarding no cheating of tourists in Leh / Ladakh, this is really a rare thing in India. I have traveled to many places in India, & have personally experienced that always there are scavengers looking for a smallest possible chance to cheat tourists. I am sorry for being cynical, but this is a fact in India. It is really good that this thing does not happen in Leh / Ladakh.
Yeah, mostly all tourist destinations are filled with people who want to make a quick buck from the visitors by hook or by crook. I've had some really worse experiences with the touts trying to hound you when I visited Agra this time, they guys just wont take no for an answer until you rudely ask them to buzz off. Being nice isn't an option with them!

I've always noticed that the Ladakhi people are very humble and not so money-minded, though I'm not sure if this will change with the ever-increasing tourism in the region. The Kashmiris in Srinagar on the other hand are very business-oriented and will talk very sweetly to you just to make that extra buck. I feel that they're mostly out there to con you with their engaging talks rather than selling you something that's worth the price they're quoting. This is my personal observation based off the interactions I've had and should not be treated as a generalized opinion.

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Thank you for the enlightenment.
I'm glad that I could be of service

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You have put the essence of such experiences very nicely. If you make the journey itself very interesting & involving, it really doesn't matter whether you reach the destination or not.
You've hit the nail on it's head. It's not the destinations that matter in Ladakh, it's the journey!

The Ladakh Chronicles - 5 years of soul searching in the Himalayas!-more-plains.jpg
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Old 20th September 2012, 13:38   #44
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@ amolpol: Thanks for delightful travelogue, very well narrated and supported by right images.
You have done an amazing feat of finishing multi-year travelogue within 2 pages, very unusual on this forum.

And, you have given enough inspiration to many for venturing into multi-day travel with young kids.
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Old 22nd September 2012, 00:35   #45
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@ amolpol: Thanks for delightful travelogue, very well narrated and supported by right images.
You have done an amazing feat of finishing multi-year travelogue within 2 pages, very unusual on this forum.
Thanks for the appreciation. When I started writing the log, it was going to be only the 2012 happenings but that wouldn't have brought out the essence of my travel experiences to the region. At the same time, I didn't want to pour in pictures from each year and make it my photo album either. Hence a conscious decision to keep the pictures minimal and the stories short, I like it that way!

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And, you have given enough inspiration to many for venturing into multi-day travel with young kids.
Well, I do feel that parents nowadays are a bit overly stressed out on whether their kids will be able to cope with the travel, stay out in the cold, play in the mud etc etc. I can tell you that a child will always learn to enjoy what his/her parents like to do, its only a matter of taking the first step and getting them involved. My daughter has been doing 1000+ km road trips since she was 2 months old and has never had any issues, I don't think that's because she's built differently, but because we've been having lotsa fun with her on these trips.
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