Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 19th September 2012, 19:05   #1
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 8,977 Times
Smile Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

A glimpse of what to expect from this travelogue.

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7767.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7799.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8273.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8286.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8428.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8484.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8493.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8828.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8866.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8924.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8932.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_8970.jpg

Sorry for the huge watermarks and small size of pictures, a common size had to be used for batch operation. A slightly larger size of pictures can be opened by clicking on them.

Last edited by .anshuman : 19th September 2012 at 19:54.
.anshuman is offline   (36) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 19:08   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 8,977 Times
Default re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

I love Roadtrips more than any other kind of holidays. Ever since I last visited Ladakh in 2007, I wanted to go there again every season. Plans were thought out but never implemented. 2011 plan was abandoned for some reason. I had decided to do the trip in 2012, under any circumstances.

Taking a flight was an easier option wifey was more comfortable with. But to me it was just the drive which fascinated me more than the destination, I wanted to drive my own car. Taking a cab was another option that was suggested but this idea defeated the whole purpose of the trip.

As soon as the Zojila opened in the summers, I started planning the drive in my mind. I kept track of the route, followed the travelogues and route suggestions thread closely. End August and Early September looked like a feasible option with the added advantage of lesser water in the streams and better roads making it easier for either of my cars. Discussed the plan with a friend who had expressed his desire to travel to Ladakh earlier, timing clicked and everything went the right way, wives agreed.

Just a few days before the trip bad news started pouring in- First one was the flash floods near Rohtang, followed by flash floods in Udhampur and finally landslides at Zoji la just 2 days before our trip. Everyone suggested this is not the right time, but plans were concrete.

Now was the time to finalize the car, both my cars looked equally competent. Both Punto and Laura have good underbody armor, decent GC(Laura is better) and are in top shape. After a lot of thinking Laura was finalized, some of the factors in favor were-

-Bigger Boot, no comparison, possibility of carrying a month's luggage.
-Cabin space, days to be spent traveling.
-Better Ground clearance and equally good underbody protection.
-Flawless History, Punto has broken down twice on road.
-More Power, Automatic transmission.

Punto was not lacking at all it was just that Laura appealed more to me.

Just before the trip arranged some emergency rescue stuff mostly from Kashmere gate. Stuff that was arranged-
-Jump Start cable
-Steel Tow rope
-Puncture Repair kit
-Electronic Air Pump(Borrowed)
-Tire pressure gauge
-M seal + Tapes
-Tool Kit (Existing)
-Car Inverter(Borrowed)
-First Aid kit replenished and other stuff

Got the car checked. My concern were brake pads but they had good amount of life left.

Just one day left, went through the list i had compiled over the time, arranged bagloads of eatables, replenished medical kit and double checked everything. Asked the ladies to pack light to spare us some GC, but that was impossible and never happened.
.anshuman is offline   (22) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 19:09   #3
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 8,977 Times
Default re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Day 1

Got ready by 0500hrs and got the luggage to the car. One look at the quantity of luggage and my jaws dropped. It took good 15 minutes to squeeze all the stuff, and the Laura's massive boot was full with no room to spare. With 4 adults and packed boot the GC dropped quite a bit at rear, a point of concern.


The plan for the first day was to drive till Jammu, or maybe Udhampur depending on the time, we had stay arrangements at both the places. Crossing Delhi was easy with negligible traffic mostly truckers on their way out. It started drizzling the time we left home, rains followed us throughout the day. Traffic on NH1 past Delhi was sparse allowing us to maintain decent pace for first few hours. We took a quick half an hour break for breakfast at McDonald's Karnal. We were maintaining decent pace all throughout Haryana but had to slowdown in Punjab, all thanks to endless diversions and slow moving traffic. Once past Ludhiana and Jalandhar, took the turn towards Pathankot, most of the stretch was good with a few bad patches. Started looking for Dhabas for lunch, for almost an hour's confusion stopped on to a Dhaba just after Pathankot only to find terrible tasting food.

Got a top up for Diesel in Punjab expecting higher prices in J&K. Laura delivered good ~17.5kpl, despite uncountable kick downs and maintaining good pace. Time was just 1600hrs, so the target of Udhampur now looked optimistic. I expected traffic to be messed up after J&K border, but I was wrong, traffic kept up decent pace except some few trucks. Crossing Jammu bypass was a breeze. Post Jammu bypass our first encounter with hills started with gradual climb with decent view of scenic plains till horizon, that is when I realised I forgot my tripod at home. :( Took a good long tea break at a scenic spot on Jammu bypass.

Drive till Udhampur was mostly done with headlamps on, traffic was slow for most part, road just about decent. Not much fatigue for me but ladies started complaining, or maybe it was just their complaining nature. Entered Udhampur around 1930, took another 20 minutes to find our accommodation, an Army guest house with nicely decorated rooms and great food.

I was happy with our progress, covered a lot of ground on day one without any noticeable fatigue and most importantly without other complaining except for last half an hour. Target for Day 2 was Sonamarg, we could easily make it there in time if traffic was smooth, plan B was Srinagar. I hit the bed at first available opportunity. Give me a 6-8 hours of comfortable sleep and I can drive forever..

Last edited by .anshuman : 19th September 2012 at 19:55.
.anshuman is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 19:35   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 8,977 Times
Default re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Day2

Our target was to leave by 0400 hrs but ladies took their own time to get ready, while me and my friend were at the car on time we waited for another 30 minutes for our wives to arrive. Finally could leave at 0445. Weather was slightly cloudy and traffic was moving slow for first few hours. There were no decent eateries on the stretch, had to settle with Maggi for breakfast a few kilometers before Jawahar tunnel. The landscape completely changed after Jawahar tunnel with arrival of Kashmir valley, with constant reminder every few kilometers of it being paradise on Earth. We descended down to valley with mostly straight roads now but painfully slow traffic. Traffic manners almost instantly faded after the tunnel, everyone was driving like the their tail was on fire, I wondered if I was the only relaxed driver around.


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7708.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7709.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7710.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7714.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7715.jpg


Cars were limited to Santros and 800s, Uvs were mostly Taveras and Sumos. After entering Kashmir D segment sedans seemed were endangared species. Premium SUVs were mostly out of state tourist cars mostly Fortuners and Safaris. We were flagged twice by traffic police for checking, despite their best efforts they could not find anything to mint money, taxis are easy targets for them.


Reached outskirts of Srinagar by 1230hrs, topped up Diesel here. FE for this section dropped to 15kpl, pretty good considering the slow traffic and thousands of gearchanges. Considering our bad luck with eateries till now, we were not ready to take chances. I remembered Dal lakeside restaurants from my last trip and as it was on our way out from Srinagar, we knew where to go.


My Mobile connection had no access, I had already buffered areas on my Google maps(one application I absolutely love), my Motorola Defy XT was quick to lock GPS and finding routes was not an issue on crowded Srinagar streets with my friend navigating.

Stopped at this lakeside Restaurant, food was finger licking good.


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7719.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7721.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7720.jpg


After a small stroll on lake side and few pictures of boats we were back on road by 1340hrs, headed for Sonamarg which wasn't a long journey, we expected to reach there on time. Another possibility was to drop the Sonamarg plan and head directly to Drass the same day, Zojila was the problem, we were not sure if it would be open.


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7722_1.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7723.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7724.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7725.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7726.jpg


Road to Sonamarg was mostly great except for a few village crossings and few work in progress stretches. It was a very scenic green stretch. Reached Sonamarg at around 1600hrs, enquired with locals they claimed Zoji la to be closed, our attendant at Army transit camp said the same thing so we did not try and decided to stay for the night.


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7728.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7729_1.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7732.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7733.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7738.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7739.jpg

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7740.jpg


Since we had time to kill, our attendant suggested us a local scenic tourist spot with a view of some glacier, we went to the place. The place was beautiful but badly maintained, full of local tourists and full of stinking pony dung. The local pony operators tried their tricks too, blocked our car and said only local cars were allowed to the spot and they offered sick looking stinking ponies at super expensive prices, a phone call from out attendant and we could drive to anywhere we wished.

Last edited by .anshuman : 16th May 2013 at 23:45.
.anshuman is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 19:47   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 8,977 Times
Default re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

We found a good spot at a riverside and enjoyed the sunset. Laura tries her first chance with offroading..

Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7742.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7746.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7747.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7749.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7750.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7754.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7759.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7764.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7765.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7766.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7767.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7768.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7771.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7772.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7778.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7782.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7784.jpg


Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue-dsc_7786.jpg

To be continued...
.anshuman is offline   (22) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 21:48   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: new delhi
Posts: 136
Thanked: 25 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Amazing pictures mate and hats off to your grit in taking the laura on a not so easy path. Would be happy if you could give insights regarding the issues of taking laura to ladhak, if any, I may add
shivmarwaha is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 21:53   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 228
Thanked: 86 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Beautifully captured. Leh and Ladakh travelogues are growing hips and bounds in team bhp. What a wonderful part of country it is !!!
I have to start making plans for enjoying this beauty ..
go on waiting for more pictures.
athanedar is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 19th September 2012, 22:02   #8
BHPian
 
patil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shorapur
Posts: 344
Thanked: 55 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
A glimpse of what to expect from this travelogue.

Attachment 988468
I still can't believe that one can take Laura to such places with such roads. 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.
patil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 00:19   #9
MAS
Senior - BHPian
 
MAS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,834
Thanked: 1,205 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Wonderful thread.

The quality of pictures are top class and you have amazing photography skills. All poster material.

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?

Waiting eagerly for the complete travelogue in as much detail as possible.

I wish I could make the trip in my Endeavour some day soon.

OT: The picture with the fleet of TATA Sumo parked shows how successful the SUV is in J & K.

Last edited by MAS : 20th September 2012 at 00:21.
MAS is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 01:00   #10
BHPian
 
vibbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 881
Thanked: 845 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

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?
Great photographs too. Keep it coming.
vibbs is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 08:18   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,714
Thanked: 8,977 Times
Default

Guys, i will put up a complete report on car's performance in the end and will mention difficulities and challenges faced in the travelogue. Keep a little patience. Thanks

Last edited by .anshuman : 20th September 2012 at 08:20.
.anshuman is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 08:46   #12
BHPian
 
nileshch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: BLR / BOM
Posts: 743
Thanked: 370 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Great travelogue, superb photos, Anshuman! There is something about dirty sedans in front of pristine blue water bodies that excites me. I want to do that someday!

We are eagerly waiting for the next set of updates.
nileshch is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 09:24   #13
BHPian
 
samarjitdhar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sydney/Kolkata
Posts: 964
Thanked: 476 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Excellent start .

The pictures are stunning. This along with some other adventurous exploits using Lineas and even a Vento gives me confidence to make it there sometime next year. Albeit the tougher sections like the Wari La & the Zanskar sector would still need to be avoided.

Will be glued on to this one.
samarjitdhar is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 10:26   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Behemoth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 1,093
Thanked: 1,555 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Finally it's up!
Great travelogue Anshuman and amazing pics too - and we were lucky to have a sneak preview of the pics at our recent TBHP meet!
Do also share some details on the places where you stayed and had food, as it will give a good idea to all the others who are planning (Dreaming!) of making this trip next time.

Rated the thread 5* for the pics and narration!

Regards,
Behemoth
Behemoth is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th September 2012, 10:50   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
dkaile's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Meerut, India
Posts: 2,985
Thanked: 4,026 Times
Default Re: Ladakh in my Laura- Travelogue

Though I was waiting for the travelogue to complete before commenting, I couldn't hold myself back. Excellent, crisp and to the point write-up. Though I would consider it over-adventurous to take a car like Laura on a Leh Journey but it is certainly giving ideas to people like me. If a Laura can do it why not a Superb! I heard you did not even have a puncture en-route. 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?

You are rockin Bishnoi ji...
dkaile is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ahir Dham - Zero KM, Ladakh. A Tribute & Travelogue anandpadhye Travelogues 54 8th August 2014 13:42
Last-minute Ladakh: My early summer travelogue noopster Travelogues 61 23rd April 2012 14:59
Team Raid de Ladakh goes on Ladakh Expedition 2009 MileCruncher Travelogues 156 2nd October 2009 08:23
Facelifted Octy, Cheaper Laura EDIT : Laura Elegance ajmat The Indian Car Scene 139 27th August 2007 10:47


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 14:59.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks