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Old 16th October 2012, 19:27   #106
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

Superb trip you had Avinash!!!! The lovely pictures and your extremely engrossing commentary make this thread a treat to read/watch. Please do convey my compliments to your friends who accompanied you on this trip. 2 trips to Leh in 2 years, I presume you are already planning to go next year to make it 3 in 3.
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Old 16th October 2012, 20:07   #107
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driving_Nomad View Post
Scintillating pics aviorp!! Specially the Valley, river and the dam constructed.
The birdies' pics are good too
Give us some stats about the trip, like, time distance etc etc.
Glued to your thread.
Thank you so much for following the thread. Sure, will update about the stats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Superb trip you had Avinash!!!! The lovely pictures and your extremely engrossing commentary make this thread a treat to read/watch. Please do convey my compliments to your friends who accompanied you on this trip. 2 trips to Leh in 2 years, I presume you are already planning to go next year to make it 3 in 3.
Thanks a lot addyhemmige. I'll pass on the message to them. Appreciate you following this thread. If everything falls in place, a 3rd one is definitely on the cards. Cheers.
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Old 16th October 2012, 22:20   #108
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Default Day 9 - Continued

Initial Climb towards Zoji La

You don't want to be doing a drift in this circuit!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-31.jpg

Some spectacular views all around!

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Few videos of the climb









Probably, anything would look dwarfed around this!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-36.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-37.jpg

Spent a lot of time going around this board!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-39.jpg

Some views from the top!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-40.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-38.jpg

Zoji La War Memorial! (For some reason they have removed the board)

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-41.jpg

In Honor of those great souls!

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My respect to this fella too!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-48.jpg

Some views on the way

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-49.jpg

Notice how barren it turns up. If I remember it right, we saw green valleys, only when we entered Spiti.

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She is just gorgeous!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-52.jpg

I missed this last year,

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Check-post

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-54.jpg

This one looks like a huge poop to me

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-55.jpg

No sign of greenery,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-56.jpg

But, this one shows up out of nowhere

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-57.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-58.jpg

Spectacular Valley!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-59.jpg

A drive along the valley!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-60.jpg

Last edited by aviorp : 16th October 2012 at 22:33.
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Old 17th October 2012, 15:31   #109
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Default Day 9 - Last set

I missed a lot of places last year, including the Tiger Hill. I knew it was before the Drass town,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dsc_0121.jpg

So, slowly progressed looking for the blue/white board,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dsc_0123.jpg

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We could not find the board and ended up reaching the town,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dsc_0136.jpg

I thought I missed the board and asked the guys in the Dzire if they spotted it and they dint either. We checked with the guys in the town and they asked us to go back a couple of kms.

This was the only thing we managed to figure out. The hill that is slightly covered by cloud is 'Tiger Hill'

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dsc_0143.jpg

View on the other side,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dsc_0145.jpg

We reached the Kargil War Memorial around 2,

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Tri-Colour flying High,

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Family, Weekend, Joy rides, Friends, Night-outs and Dreams are what these guys sacrificed, but no other Human in this world can carry the Pride these do.

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dsc_0162.jpg

Real Heroes : Men of Honour!

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Respect of the highest order!

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We dint know any of them

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Bought a lot of Souvenirs and this is one of them,

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Views around the memorial,

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Incredible!

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Sati, paying his final respect!

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Around 20Kms from Kargil we had a traffic jam,

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Got stuck for more than 30 minutes,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dscn4791.jpg

Reached the moonland of universe around 7

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-dscn4786.jpg
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Old 17th October 2012, 18:15   #110
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Default Re: Day 9 - Last set

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Real Heroes : Men of Honour!
Attachment 1001660
Truly they are the real heroes... hats of to them. We can only discus about the situation but they are facing & sacrificing it for our better tomorrow.
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Old 17th October 2012, 18:52   #111
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

An excellent thread for sure.

Two questions:

1. Did you use a GPS navigation device at all? It would be nice to see the roads on Google Maps or GPS tracks.

2. How is the cellphone coverage or other means of communication such as landlines or internet access?

This trip should be on anyone's bucket list!
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Old 17th October 2012, 19:09   #112
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Default Day 10

Day 10 : 27th Aug

Route : Kargil - Sankoo - Parkachik - Panikhar - Rangdum - Penzi La - Padum -> 260Kms

Today, we were heading to Zanskar Valley. It was something, that I have been desperately waiting for, as I turned back from Panikhar last time, as the roads were terrible and killing me. So, I told the Dzire guys to be mentally preparted to drive atleast 12 hours or more to cover this distance, however what was in store that day, was beyond our imagination!

The initial stretch from Kargil to Sankoo is well tarred and 60 odd kms we did in about 90 minutes, reaching Sankoo at 8, after leaving Kargil around 6:30.

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-1.jpg

First sight of the beautiful valley,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-2.jpg

Breakfast at Sankoo.

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-3.jpg

The roads turned into this,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-4.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-5.jpg

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Satish, as always the first to come up with something new. This time he climbs a rock to partially fulfill his dream of becoming a mountaineer

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-7.jpg

Soon, Pandu joins him,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-8.jpg

Then my wife is like, why should boys have all the fun

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-9.jpg

The road is filled with gravel and puffs up a lot of dust

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-11.jpg

Beautiful stream along the road,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-10.jpg

Waiting for the Dzire to join,

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Found time to do some experiments

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-13.jpg

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Swift was no longer swift

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-17.jpg

There was a road to the left as well,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-18.jpg

They came to our rescue,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-19.jpg

The Valley was Top-notch!

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Hottie amidst the valley

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-25.jpg

Last edited by aviorp : 17th October 2012 at 19:18.
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Old 17th October 2012, 20:38   #113
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Default Day 10 - Continued

First view of the Nun-Kun glacier

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-26.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-27.jpg

Zanskar sure is beautiful,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-28.jpg

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This is as close as I could get,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-30.jpg

and this is as close as I could get to the road,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-31.jpg

The swift was taking it slow and steady,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-32.jpg

Shades of green!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-33.jpg

This is the point from where I turned back last year,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-35.jpg

This year,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-34.jpg

I was determined to do Padum no matter what,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-36.jpg

Splendid colors!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-37.jpg

No bulleying with this fella!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-38.jpg

We filled them up from a borewell.

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Satish as always expressing his joy in his unique way,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-40.jpg

Some views of glacier and the landscape!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-41.jpg

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Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-43.jpg

Marvelous view of the Nun-Kun Glacier!

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-44.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-45.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-46.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-47.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-48.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-49.jpg

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-50.jpg
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Old 18th October 2012, 00:23   #114
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Default Day 10 - Continued

Before continuing with the story, here is a video of the Dzire's run in the initial stretch.



And this is how it was, from inside the Scorp




Then we see this after Panikhar,

1. I was ahead of them and crossed first. At the end of the video, you'll see Badari walking towards me. He came and said, he wants to return from here and does not want to take a chance. I just told him to give the key and drove through, as I wanted them to do the complete circuit as well.




2. Only after I sat inside the Dzire, I felt, its not as easy as I thought it would be.



3. I realized how sharp the stones were and how uneven the terrain was,



4. I did everything I could to ensure that I dont scrap the belly even once, but it scraped three times



5. Badari did everything possible to clear the road.



6. I had not just one but 3 guys telling me what to do, including this volunteer



7. Watch Badari's reaction at the end of the video. That says it all.



Well, what was awaiting ahead was even worst!

Last edited by aviorp : 18th October 2012 at 00:25.
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Old 18th October 2012, 10:03   #115
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

lol the last expression says it all, he has been Leh'd

But nice driving there over those rocks, at one time I thought you are gonna hit Badri as he was so close to the car when you were gunning over few sections. But to come out of it with just 3 hits is a pretty good percentage. Was there any under body protections done to the swift?
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Old 18th October 2012, 14:14   #116
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VCheng View Post
Did you use a GPS navigation device at all? It would be nice to see the roads on Google Maps or GPS tracks
Well, my GPS conked near Amritsar. I'm afraid, I don't have any logs.

Quote:
How is the cellphone coverage or other means of communication such as landlines or internet access?
Only in remote places like Tiyari, there was no cell phone coverage. The place where we halted had a BSNL connection. Other than this, there is coverage pretty much everywhere or availability of the landline in hotels.

Quote:
This trip should be on anyone's bucket list!
Absolutely!

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
But to come out of it with just 3 hits is a pretty good percentage
The last but one video, is a clear example of why a long wheel based car will trouble.

Quote:
Was there any under body protections done to the swift?
Nope nothing. After I reached B'lore, went to Badari's house to check the amount of damage and besides some scratches on the chassis (which might because of me ) there was no damage.

The worse is coming up next

Last edited by aviorp : 18th October 2012 at 14:17.
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Old 18th October 2012, 16:54   #117
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Default Day 10 - Continued

We had shifted as much as luggage as possible from the Dzire to my Scorp but even then, the Dzire was almost kissing the ground



It is only after this stretch, I realized how slow we were and there was no way we would make it to Padum at this speed. I decided to have a word with these guys and told them,

a. Either we can stay at Rangdum for the night and head to Padum the following day. This would mean two additional days (4 days in all)
b. I go ahead and they can stay at Rangdum. The following day they can come near the DD glacier around 12 and I would reach there too, by then.

So, both Badari and Sati asked me to leave, as they both knew I wanted to do this stretch badly and was kind enough to let me go. On the other hand, I dint wanna leave them behind but had no choice.

Sati, Badari & DJ - Guys, if you're reading this, just wanna convey my gratitude to you all for respecting my suggestion/opinion. Thanks a lot. Hopefully, we will do that stretch again together. Cheers.

It was 1PM, when we crossed the rocky terrain and I had another 150 odd Kms to do. I did not want to repeat the same mistake last year, by driving in the night in any of these sectors, however, all my plans went down this stream

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-1a.jpg

I was waiting for sometime for a vehicle to cross but none come by and no sight of the Dzire guys either. So, decided to check the depth and see if its worth taking a chance. Thanks to my wife who the presence of mind, unlike me, to click these pics.

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-1.jpg

I felt it was deep and returned,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-2.jpg

Threw this huge rock to see, if I can spot it from above. Luckily it did not go too deep.

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-3.jpg

So, walked the entire stretch and decided to do it

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-4.jpg

Almost tripped while coming back,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-5.jpg

However, to our luck this guy comes along

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-6.jpg

This was more than enough to boost my confidence,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-7.jpg

Decided to it give it a shot,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-8.jpg

and crossed it no time,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-9.jpg

Parked the car aside and went to get my shoes and gum boots back. There was still no sight of the Dzire. So, without wasting much time, we left.

One last pic of the crazy stream,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-12.jpg

Road ahead,

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-11.jpg

After I crossed the stream, I realized I should have left a note for those guys to turn back but now the only way I could pass a message is if a vehicle comes along. Lucky again, a Tata pickup truck was going towards Kargil. Requested the driver to inform the Dzire guys to return to Kargil and head to Leh the next day, without taking any risk near the stream.

Badari sure must have been thinking, should I take a chance?

Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!-13.jpg

Notice the tata guy stopping at the end of this video and he did pass on the message. Thanks to him and he even helped the Dzire guys cross the rocky terrain on the way back.



Here is a video of a bullet trying to cross and almost getting stuck. The truck guy almost scares the ***T out of the lady sitting behind


Last edited by aviorp : 18th October 2012 at 16:59.
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Old 18th October 2012, 18:44   #118
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

Its a terrific experience, the stream is really scary.

The biker should have drop the pillion rider before crossing the stream. While watching the videos I had goose bumps .
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Old 19th October 2012, 16:22   #119
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Default Re: Heights of Paradise - Leh Redefined!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shomshree View Post
Its a terrific experience, the stream is really scary
This is the first time I came across something like this and yeah, it was scary for us too.

Quote:
The biker should have drop the pillion rider before crossing the stream. While watching the videos I had goose bumps .
The biker took the chance by not surveying the stream first. A lesson to learn. Thanks for following. Cheers.

Last edited by aviorp : 19th October 2012 at 16:25.
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Old 19th October 2012, 18:23   #120
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Default Day 10 - Continued

Before continuing with the log, a couple of videos of the Dzire in the rocky terrain during their return.



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