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Old 20th September 2012, 16:00   #31
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

With relaxed pace and lots of breaks, reached Drass at around 1245hrs. Roads were a mixed bag, most good section with nice views. Got back on road after customary clicks with the huge blue 'Second Coldest inhabited place in the world' board. Just after Drass is the Kargil War memorial, a must visit place. Spent almost an hour at memorial and had lunch at the Army cafeteria at the memorial.

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To be continued..
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Old 20th September 2012, 16:04   #32
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Great start. Amazing that you took a DSG equipped Laura to Ladakh. Do you think the same would be possible in a petrol Superb?
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Old 20th September 2012, 16:05   #33
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Team BHP's been pouring Travelogues of Leh. Guys have enjoyed rides on bullet and driven the harshest landscapes in SUVs. Very few have dared to drive their sedans to this part of our nation.

Your travelogue truly inspires me to take my Fabia(from Pune) or for that matter Fiesta(from Hyd), as all these days, I was thinking it would be too difficult to take sedans/hatches. Was thinking to buy/rent an SUV just for the Leh-Ladakh trip that am planning to do next yr. Thanks a tonne for sharing and the clicks are amazing. Eagerly waiting for your log to complete.
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Old 20th September 2012, 16:47   #34
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

So, finally the travelogue is up. I must say it has been worth the wait.
Lovely detailed narration Anshuman and as I said earlier also Top class pictures. Never knew you can do so much with the D5100.

I am keeping a constant check on this thread for the updates.

5 Star stuff.
Thanks
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Old 20th September 2012, 16:52   #35
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Another 2 hours spent for the drive to Kargil, relaxed pace with breaks at scenic spots. Though we could have easily reached Leh by evening, we decided to take it easy and travel in a relaxed manner and stay anywhere between Kargil and Lamayuru. Car still had good amount of fuel left easily to take us to Leh and beyond but what was the harm in a refill. Stopped for a refill Kargil fuel bunk, Laura is slightly allergic to thick old style fuel filler nozzle, though it still accepts Diesel from any nozzle but takes it's own time, so got just fuel worth 500 bucks as there was a long queue behind us and we already had more than sufficient fuel.
There is a bypass to skip Kargil town, we missed it and had to cross the town, not a bad experience at all. Roads in market are marked one way and traffic was smooth, only spoiled by local buses which were blocking the traffic to pick us passengers.

My experience with acclimatization on my last drive to Ladakh was bad, we all had suffered for 2 days. Last time we took Manali route to Ladakh, on that route sudden gain in altitude does not go very well with our body. This time around we had no signs on mountain sickness, we had taken Diamox in advance, all of us were comfortable including our Chariot- Laura. The only effects of altitude on Laura was slightly higher idle speed, now close to 1000rpm.

40 minutes past Kargil we experienced our first traffic jam. We were behind whole convoy of Army trucks, BRO guys try their best to utilise the jam time, they pulled out their machine and began their work. The cause of the Jam was a Bus which had broken down on middle of the road, Army crane pulled it out of the way to resume traffic, being behind the convoy we enjoyed right of way all throughout. And then the pleasure of overtaking the whole convoy, one truck at a time and as soon as I was done with overtaking, Wifey announces a break!!

We resume driving after a long break, and the task of overtaking the whole convoy again, I thank god roads were excellent now. Found another Fuel bunk and got tank filled to the brim. Met the nicest Petrol Pump attendant here.


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To be continued..
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Old 20th September 2012, 17:21   #36
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Back on road, uncountable stops + slow pace and it was getting dark already. By the time we reached Fotu la I was completely dark and we did not know how far was Lamayuru from this place.

Driving in dark slowed us down considerably, reached Lamayuru by 2030hrs. Now was the time to find us a place to stay. I decided to start from the first Guest house visible from where we stopped. We entered Dragon guest house, quite many Foreign tourists at the open eatery, nice clean well maintained rooms with running hot water for morning, what else do want. Owner asks for 900 buck per room, we say 500, she agrees at 600bucks and it was a steal for this price. The food was Awesome too with so many options. Our plan to stay at Lamayuru worked great, I loved this quiet little place..


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Day 3 Over
More to come...

Last edited by .anshuman : 20th September 2012 at 17:25.
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Old 20th September 2012, 18:02   #37
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Day 4

Woke up at 0800hrs, took an hour to get ready, moved stuff to car, ordered breakfast, this time again Aloo Paranthas, Nice ones!!

Today's plan was to reach Leh by afternoon, apply for Permits and relax.

After the breakfast decided to give Lamayuru Monastary a visit and proceed with the plan.

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And that's me

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Last edited by .anshuman : 20th September 2012 at 19:38.
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Old 20th September 2012, 18:27   #38
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

What is the size of the Yokohama A drives you have on your Laura? same as stock tires in which car came? How did they perform?
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Old 20th September 2012, 18:39   #39
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by dezrskb View Post
What is the size of the Yokohama A drives you have on your Laura? same as stock tires in which car came? How did they perform?
205/65 R15, one size up than OE 195, slightly taller and slightly wider. A Drive were picked for just one quality, they are tougher than C drive and Decibel. No issues with tires, not even a single puncture, performed well.
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Old 20th September 2012, 18:46   #40
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Wow! Its all LiL now a days. Leh in a Linea. Now Leh in a Laura !
Awesome Anshuman. Enjoyed every bit. Amazing snaps too.
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Old 20th September 2012, 19:25   #41
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Thank You everyone for the response! I am glad you guys loved the pictures. More to come, Just a little more patience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patil View Post
I still can't believe that one can take Laura to such places with such roads.
Quote:
Please explain elaborately as to how you could manage with the Laura on such roads and what issues you faced and how you managed with the issues. I always felt that one needs an SUV to go to such places with such roads but now I am feeling that even sedans can handle such road conditions.
I met an elderly Gentleman from US who travelled all the way to Khardungla in his 1923 Rolls-Royce, So What's the risk in travelling in a 2010 end Skoda Laura as good as new, with flawless history, factory supplied with proper rough road package including proper underbody armor, no vulnerable hanging parts and good enough Ground clearance, still under warranty and Zero depreciation insurance cover, 2 young drivers with several lakh kilometers driving experience each?

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8739.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by MAS View Post
You got great guts to take the Laura out to the wild. One question, with the trunk full of luggage and four on-board, did the Laura bottom out any time?
Srinagar route is doable in most Sedans/Hatchbacks. I guess you meant to ask if the car scraped somewhere, yes but with no damage.

In Laura/Yeti/Superb there is a plastic protection strip before fuel tank, it is meant to slide Snow/Mud/Pebbles to prevent damage to the tank, this part is intentionally placed slightly lower than rest of the underbody, this part scraped at some places. With Just 2 people in the car or lesser luggage, i would have managed without any scrapes.

The term Bottoming out actually refers to the situation when the suspension runs out of travel under load, that never happened in Laura, even with full load.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
WOW!! Leh'd on a laura. Wonderful. I m glued to this to know how the car performed on broken patches. Did you face any underbody hits?
See the reply to the quote above.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Would the stock Goodyears have made it? Would love to hear a detailed car experience later.

Few other queries you can answer at leisure -
1. Jump Start Cable and Steel tow rope from Kashmere Gate - Photos? Cost?
2. Flagged down twice by traffic cops - what all were they looking for?
Not sure but i guess OE Goodyears would have done well too since there were no bad hits.

Both Tow Rope and Jump Start cable were bought for a price under 1000bucks combined. Will post pics in the end.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Bring it on!
Stay tuned!


Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Anshuman, awesome report. Laura 2.0 TDi DSG. I am waiting for your detailed report about the performance of the DSG in those terrains. How frequently was the AT changing gears etc.
DSG did great, it was changing gear normally just like in plains, nothing abnormal, sometime held on to gears longer. I was using tiptronic mode for tough sections to limit it to first gear only to reduce wear and tear on DSG clutch and to avoid unexpected upshifts meaning loss of traction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mempheS.D View Post
When a little pride glows in my heart, a mild pinch of letting a beauty with low GC coast on those roads makes me yearn for more. Bring it on.
Who says these are low GC cars, the GC is as generous as it can be for a D segment sedan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Jaw dropping stuff Anshuman. Hats off to you for deciding to take your Laura on such tough terrian. I am sure each time the underbody scrapes or hits something, the heart jumps in the mouth. Doesnt it?
There were not bad hits, except at Rohtang la. Only section i was worried at was Rohtang, it was difficult for even 2wd SUVs, i managed to do better than certain Innovas and one particular Safari which was struggling too hard for traction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RS_DEL View Post
You own a Fortuner as well.
Not any more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
Anshuman awesome shots. Your TL refreshes our sweet memories of Leh trip in 2010.
Did you go all the way to base of Thajiwas glacier at Sonamarg ?
Also i could not identify the location of the last photo in your first post.
Yes that is Thajiwas Glacier, we went all the way up.

First pic in last post was taken at Sarchu.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDestiny View Post
Ladakh in a Laura, Sounds so surreal Anshuman!!
Own a Laura myself too and kind of afffirmed the tough car it is.
Way to go
Yes, it is one Tank! Not a single squeak or rattle after the drive, never missed a beat, never let us down, never got us stuck. After i was back i got the car washed and raised, checked the underbody and i was surprised at-
1. Zero Damage
2. Quality of Underbody Protection
3.How beautifully they have managed to tuck everything inside, which also might be giving big advantage with aerodynamics.
4.We blame the huge hump on the floor, but it has enough space to accomodate hardware for Hardware for haldex 4X4 offered in international Scout version

@Skoda: How about a Scout AWD version for next gen Laura in India?
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Old 20th September 2012, 21:01   #42
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Great travelogue man. Nicely done.

The Laura has a pretty good GC, but am really surprised it was still high enough with all the load it was carrying.
Recently did a drive to Chitkul and about, and most hatches and sedans were struggling bad there.

And although the detailing freaks might blast me for this, the sight of a dirty car against a scenic background just looks amazing!
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Old 20th September 2012, 22:00   #43
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

First, Anshuman gave me confidence in buying a Laura DSG. So I did. Now, he goes to Ladakh and the Laura DSG performs with ohh so much finesse. Hence, Ladakh it is, in 2013!
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Old 20th September 2012, 22:47   #44
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Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

I just love reading Ladakh travelogue, And your log is one of the best out there

Awesome pictures and good narration. I just love seeing cars all dirty with mountains in background, And sight of your dirty ride is just amazing.

Waiting for more to come.

Cheers,
Sameer
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Old 20th September 2012, 22:54   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
All the pics in these posts are fantastic to say the least. Quoting just two of them but loved the entire set. The Best that I've seen in recent times. Thanks for the wonderful travelogue and the incredible pics. Pure wallpaper material. Adding a bigger watermark across the pics is a better option IMO
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