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Old 2nd October 2013, 21:48   #136
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

Surprised that sathya did it solo with the duster after you guys had to leave him behind. He was driving all by himself or was with a driver? Anyway he had the last laugh !
Good going, guys. Things like these will make you remember the trip for a long time. Waiting for the next update..
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Old 3rd October 2013, 10:11   #137
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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Originally Posted by vskesavan View Post
This is going to be the mother of all travelogues written in team bhp. Every small detail is covered up. The emotions among the members have to be taken note of by future expeditors, even if they are close friends. Finished in three hours non stop. Pictures covered a lot of untold stories.
Wow! that was a marathon run by you. Hope productivity was not lost due to Leh


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Originally Posted by rkhare View Post

Glued to this logue and yes and the honest narration of emotions are sure to give Ekta Kapoor's scriptwriters, run for their money.
When you are travelling in group such things ought to happen. All is well that ends well, hope the ending of this logue would be like Bollywood Movie, happily friends ever after.
I am not sure you meant it as a compliment or something else but I am flaterred that I can give saas bahus a run for their money!

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Surprised that sathya did it solo with the duster after you guys had to leave him behind. He was driving all by himself or was with a driver? Anyway he had the last laugh !
Good going, guys. Things like these will make you remember the trip for a long time. Waiting for the next update..
He came with a driver I think he paid some 1600 bucks. The driver it seems ripped the car over KhardungLa.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 11:39   #138
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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
He came with a driver I think he paid some 1600 bucks. The driver it seems ripped the car over KhardungLa.
Not sure if this was mentioned earlier. I was under the impression he was driving the Duster himself.

Having the last laugh? This expedition is probably a classic example of how 'teams' should NOT be behaving. For e.g. when you are in a team, you don't have the last laugh over your teammates.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 12:09   #139
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Default Re: Day 11 - 2nd Sept

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DAY 11 – Top of the World!
So here is my version of Day 11:
As Hirak said in previous posts, me and Mohanan decided not to undertake the Khardung la trip. We decided to take it easy and rest as the other left to conquer Khardung la. This was a tough decision to make but I had to on medical grounds.

The day we came back from Pangong, I and Mohanan checked into Hotel Mogul as there was a shortage of one room in Omasila. Mogul was just opposite to Omasila and there was no issues for us.

Being a rest day we decided to wake up late and then decide on further plans. It was 7:15 in the morning when I heard a familiar voice downstairs talking to a hotel attendant. It was Sathya inquiring about our room details. I opened the window and was startled to see him standing there. As far as I knew he was to start to Khardung la with others at 6:30am but he was here standing. That is when he started explaining about how others ditched him and went.

He was here to extend us a final invitation to join him to Khardung la in the Duster which will be driven by a hired driver. I politely declined as I was not well.

Once Sathya left, we got ready by 9am and walked down the Chagspa road to have some breakfast and decide further. During breakfast we decided to rent a bike, wait, not a bike but a BULLET and roam around Leh. You find a lot of bike rental shops available in Leh but you will have to choose your bike very carefully. Further on this later. After breakfast we went down further and rented a new BULLET electra and started towards Thiksey Monastry.

This is one of the worst Bullets I have ridden till date. It was shaking as if it may fall apart any moment. Next day I got to know all the bikes are like that. Day 12 in detail will be covered by Hirak.

Once we were up there, the cold and breathlessness returned and I was feeling tired. Hence we decided against walking up the monastry. We went to the souvenir shop and got few flags for us and friends. We wanted to shop in the main market and hence just had a look around and inquired prices of the items there. The monastry also has a cafeteria where we had nice hot tea and started back. I made a blunder in not carrying gloves along. It was pretty cold and I was not able to ride the bike.

We were back in market and started looking around. Mohanan wished to gift a Pashmina shawl to his mother. That was first on the list and we went to an Art shop. The first few shawls he showed us was of in the range of 3400 to 5500 INR. These were 70-80% pashmina. The next one was the bomb. He showed a plain shawl and told it was the original pashmina. The rate he quoted was 28000 INR . Yeah you read it right. We asked the shopkeeper whether it was 2800 or 28000 thrice. After confirming it was 28000 we promptly walked out and all our shopping intentions vanished. The products in the souvenir shop was far cheaper.

Once the shopping intentions were out, we went in search of food. We both wanted to have something South Indian. We knew it was difficult. We spotted a Punjabi Dhaba in the market and saw hot chole bature being served. Had a hearty dose of chole bature and the icing on the cake was the Curd Rice offered. The last time I had rice was at my home 10 days back.

Once done with our lunch we went back to our room and started sorting the photos.

By evening everyone returned. Except Jaswant, Manoj and Sathya everyone checked into Hotel Mogul.

There was again a surprise waiting for us as it was Sathya who returned first, nearly half hour before the others. Surprised because he started one hour after the others had started. Later I came to know that the driver ripped the car over Khardung la.

After few arguments and discussions it was decided that the Sumo will leave tomorrow i.e. 3rd to Mumbai via Manali, while the SX4, Duster, and Manza decided to stay put and move on 4th via Manali.

Over to Hirak for Day 12.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 13:55   #140
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Default Day 12 - 3rd Sept

Nice update Narsi for Day11, good you guys had it easy. It is always nice to have days in hand and explore the place rather than sleeping at the place and seeing nothng


DAY 12 – New Bonding
Sept 3rd 9:30am
Location: Leh
Destination: Leh
Route: None


Today was another lazy day so we all woke up late by other days standards and got ready. The agenda for the day was pretty clear. Grab bikes and see Leh city plus some shopping for folks back home. It was also going to be our last day in this magnificent small city with its warm people.

At around 8.30AM me, Narsi & Mohan, walked down to the bike store to see if its open but since it was not we decided to have breakfast at the hotel itself. They have a nice little cafeteria up at the roof that serves nice hot food. While having breakfast, Jaswant & Manoj also dropped in from Omasila, apparently they will have to check out from that hotel as there was no rooms available for today. So while having breakfast they too decided to shift to our hotel once we are back from the bike ride.

Meanwhile we checked the rooms where the Mumbai folks were staying and they had apparently left at 6AM that day for Keylong.

Now Changspa Road like I mentioned earlier is more like a street you will find in Goa, so it had plenty of bike rental stores. We still went to the previous one and fortunately for Hari he was able to again rent out the same thunderbird. As for me I took the avenger as I was beginning to prefer it, due to its relaxed seating. Probably I am getting old for sports bikes. Anyways, so by 10.30AM we had some 5 bikes with us. Hari & Manoj on the thunderbird, I on the avenger, Jaswant on a Pulsar 150, Narsi & Sathya on a classic 350, and Venkat & Mohan on a Pulsar 200 NS.

First stop for the day was the petrol bunk, after that we decided to go to Thikse Monastery as it is the more famous and largest one in central Ladakh.

Quote:
From Wikipedia
Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery (also transliterated from Ladakhi as Tikse, Tiksey or Thiksey) (thiksok Nambar tak pe ling) is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect, located on top of a hill, approximately 19 kilometres east of Leh in Ladakh, India. It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh.

The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus valley. It is a 12-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords. One of the main points of interest is the Maitreya (future Buddha) Temple which is installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970. A 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two stories of the building is deified in the monastery.
View from somewhere on the road
25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh1.jpg <br /> <b>A distant Gompa or Palace</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh2.jpg <br /> <b>Some holy pond with holy ducks!</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh3.jpg <br />
The bike ride on the Leh – Manali highway was a breeze, but the main problem to riding a bike in Ladakh, is the dry cold air that hits your face and makes it all dry. Somehow, I was carrying a muffler and it was wrapped around my neck but the nose became pretty dry by the time we reached the Gompa. Earlier the day before Narsi & Mohan had come to this Gompa but returned without climbing up the entire steps as it was quite exhaustive. So they were raring to complete the steps today.<br /> <br /> <b>Parking the bikes in style</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh4.jpg <br /> <b>View from the parking lot down below</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh5.jpg <br /> <b> The road and the greenery </b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh6.jpg <br />
By the time we reached midway through the steps, it became quite hot and very taxing but since we were just back from Ktop yesterday, our bodies were adjusted to the high altitude and with slow progress we were able to complete the steps all the way up to the main temple area. In fact we were just in time before 1PM when they close the temple for 1 hour. Had a quick blessings at the Maitreya shrine and came out. While we were coming out a nice encouraging incident took place. Sathya who due to medical reasons was climbing slowly, he just about reached the final flight of steps to the main temple, and as soon as he saw that the gates are closing, he ran up those 10-15 steps to rush inside. Though the monk was at the door not allowing anyone, he somehow managed to go inside and get to see the Maitreya. <br /> <br /> <br /> <b>Starting the climb up</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh7.jpg <br /> <b>Love thse furry little creatures, contemplating his next meal perhaps!</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh8.jpg <br /> <br /> <b>You can see the exhaustion of the initial climb on our faces</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-climb.jpg <br /> <b>The prayer wheels</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh9.jpg <br /> <b>The Maitreya</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh10.jpg <br /> <b>Venkat loved these doors</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh11.jpg <br /> <b>Just outside the main temple door, everyone starting to wear back their shoes</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh12.jpg <br />
After a quick stop for photographs outside the main temple, we started going downstairs to the souvenir shop as well as have something to munch at the restaurant nearby. As we were going down, saw a couple of little monks shouting and running around, we ran to them to take a picture but they started running away from us. Then from behind I heard Manoj shouting and running with the camera behind those kids, as we rounded the last flight of steps, those kiddies did something funny which made was all have a hearty laugh. What they did can be viewed in the picture below. <br /> <br /> <b>Little Monks Running upon seeing us</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh13.jpg <br /> <b>The kid with his raised hands was the loudest of the lot</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh14.jpg <br /> <b>Finding some shelter</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh15.jpg <br /> <b>And the little one bares it like Mr. Mel Gibson in Braveheart <img src=
25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh16.jpg <br />
A light lunch & a heavy shopping later, we started back to Leh, in the meantime, Hari & Manoj decided to head towards Leh airport in search of cheap apricots. Since, there was nothing specific to do, I too decided to go with them, while the rest went back to the hotel except for Jaswant who wanted to have a word with the Maruti Service station about some noise that was coming from the front left suspension. <br /> <br /> <b>All decked up on the return journey</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh17.jpg <br /> <b>Thikse Monastary (pic courtesy Mohan)</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-thikse-monastary1.jpg <br />
Well we did not reach any village for the apricot and turned back after a few kms from the airport, once we got back to the hotel, we saw everyone seated in the garden and discussing something. Upon enquiring, got to know that Sathya was weighing in the option of flying back to Chennai the next day instead of driving down all the way. Well I do not know what is the exact reason for this decision except what he told us about missing family. Well Mohan, through his contacts in Bangalore, got the ticket pricing for a Leh – Delhi – Chennai flight. However, by the time the decision was made to go the prices increased by 3k but he finally ended up buying the ticket at 4k more than the initial quote.  So now we were left with 7 folks in 3 cars to complete the rest of the journey. <br /> <br />
In the meantime that all these decisions etc were being made, me & Hari had a little fiasco. Let me present you the resident prowler of Hotel Mogul. <br /> <br /> <b>This is not what we do for a living</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh18.jpg <br /> <b>Some fun it was to see Hari do the balancing act</b><br /> <a href=25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013-lecday12leh19.jpg <br />
No it was not deliberate but we actually managed to lock ourselves out. Thankfully the window was unlocked for him to climb inside and get the key which was apparently lying in the bed. I was the last person to come out and I had just assumed that Hari would be having the keys. Well it was some fun moment we had for some time. <br /> <br />
To wind up the day, in the evening we went for the remaining shopping in the main market, grabbed something to eat from the Punjabi Dhaba on main bazar road and went back to the hotel to rest. But our adventures were not over, while eating Narsi informed that the only petrol bunk in Leh does not open till 8.30AM and we wanted to leave the next day at 6.30AM for Jispa. So after dumping the bikes, it was a mad rush to the petrol bunk by all the cars. I guess everyone else also thought the same as we saw a huge queue, thankfully Duster & I were able to get a tankful of diesel before it ran out. Jaswant was not as lucky as his queue for petrol was longer and by the time he reached the dispenser, petrol also was over. Now he had only half a tank of petrol while the next pump was in Keylong some 350odd kms away. The petrol pump fellow did confirm that Karu has a bunk, so we had no other option but to lay our hopes on faith. <br /> <br />
So after this little hungama, I thought I will get some early sleep but next I got a call from Nariman, who informed me about their adventures in reaching Keylong and advised us to not take the Manali route as the Sedans would find it very hard and can be a car breaker at a few water crossings. Well, there goes our plan to go via the Manali route as instantly my mind took over the heart and since we had more than 3000 kms to go, there was no point breaking the car and returning hope via train or flight.  I could not inform the others about the change, so had to wait till morning.<br /> <br /> <b><u>Distance covered:</u> 50-60 kms<br /> <u>Time Taken:</u> Not Applicable hrs <br /> <u>Map: None</u><br /> </b><br /> <br />
So tomorrow we are headed hope from the land of high passes and magnificent lakes, it is indeed sad that this Ladakh section was coming to an end, in fact our sightseeing portion was over as we had cancelled visiting Dalhousie. But was the drive only a drive back home without any sightseeing? Well let’s find out in the later days.</div>   <div style=
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Old 3rd October 2013, 14:48   #141
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Default Re: Day 12 - 3rd Sept

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Nice update Narsi for Day11, good you guys had it easy. It is always nice to have days in hand and explore the place rather than sleeping at the place and seeing nothng
Thanks Hirak. Yeah it was good to explore rather than sleep in the room.

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Anyways, so by 10.30AM we had some 5 bikes with us. Hari & Manoj on the thunderbird, I on the avenger, Jaswant on a Pulsar 150, Narsi & Sathya on a classic 350, and Venkat & Mohan on a Pulsar 200 NS.
You guys might remember what I said yesterday about riding the worst Bullet till date. I was wrong. Worse was yet to come. The bike (Classic 350) I took today was the worst. It was comparatively a new one but was wobbling like hell. Both Manoj and me were fighting for that bike and Monoj took the first TD. He came back and offered me to take the bike. He told me that the brakes were not good. I was confident of using the disc and took the bike. The first few meters with the bike revealed that the disc was a horror . Turned around and saw a wicked smile in Manoj's face. Found it very hard to ride the bike.

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The bike ride on the Leh – Manali highway was a breeze, but the main problem to riding a bike in Ladakh, is the dry cold air that hits your face and makes it all dry. Somehow, I was carrying a muffler and it was wrapped around my neck but the nose became pretty dry by the time we reached the Gompa. Earlier the day before Narsi & Mohan had come to this Gompa but returned without climbing up the entire steps as it was quite exhaustive. So they were raring to complete the steps today.
Lessons learnt the day before, I was wearing my gloves and it was easier today. Me and Mohanan were determined to climb up and there was newly found enthusiasm in the company of others.

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A light lunch & a heavy shopping later, we started back to Leh, in the meantime, Hari & Manoj decided to head towards Leh airport in search of cheap apricots. Since, there was nothing specific to do, I too decided to go with them, while the rest went back to the hotel except for Jaswant who wanted to have a word with the Maruti Service station about some noise that was coming from the front left suspension.
Well, there was something else waiting for me in store. Nearing Leh, the main fuse in the bike went kaput. It had a spare fuse which I promptly replaced and started again. Within the next 100 meters it happened again. Luckily there was one more spare fuse and I moved ahead after replacement. I was not lucky the third time . I had to push the BULLET for the last 20 meters. It was an uphill. But thankfully the fuse blew just 20 meters before the hotel. Spoke to Hari and asked him to contact Thinless, the bike rental guy. After nearly an hour I was given a spare bike which was far better than the previous one.

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Upon enquiring, got to know that Sathya was weighing in the option of flying back to Chennai the next day instead of driving down all the way. Well I do not know what is the exact reason for this decision except what he told us about missing family. Well Mohan, through his contacts in Bangalore, got the ticket pricing for a Leh – Delhi – Chennai flight. However, by the time the decision was made to go the prices increased by 3k but he finally ended up buying the ticket at 4k more than the initial quote.
This decision was very delicate as Sathya had to handover the car to us and fly back, meaning we have the additional responsibility of taking the car back safely without its owner with us. We were also bit sad that our team mate is cutting short the trip. But all said and done, it was his decision and he took it handing over the responsibility to me and Mohanan. Once the ticket was booked for increased prices it was decided that we will start a bit early, drop Sathya at the airport and wait near the petrol bunk in the Leh-Manali road.

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But our adventures were not over, while eating Narsi informed that the only petrol bunk in Leh does not open till 8.30AM and we wanted to leave the next day at 6.30AM for Jispa. So after dumping the bikes, it was a mad rush to the petrol bunk by all the cars. I guess everyone else also thought the same as we saw a huge queue, thankfully Duster & I were able to get a tankful of diesel before it ran out. Jaswant was not as lucky as his queue for petrol was longer and by the time he reached the dispenser, petrol also was over.
Before leaving for dinner I inquired with the hotel receptionist about the petrol bunk timings and informed the same to Hirak. Immediately after dinner we rushed to the petrol bunk to find a huge queue. Thankfully in Duster the petrol tank was on the driver side and the queue on that side was empty. Tanked up, informed Hirak and moved to the hotel to get much needed sleep. We were to start earlier than the other two cars to be on time for the flight.

Last edited by narsi_6989 : 3rd October 2013 at 14:51.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 18:25   #142
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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Wow! that was a marathon run by you. Hope productivity was not lost due to Leh
Not at all, because yesterday was holiday, . Further, after your's, I finished Sathya_sc's travelogue within next one hour.
In my opinion, yours' is a melodrama with twists and turns, while, Sathya_sc's is an action thriller with breath taking moments. I would say both are very useful travelogues in many ways for prospective expeditors.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 19:14   #143
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Default Re: Day 12 - 3rd Sept

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Jaswant was not as lucky as his queue for petrol was longer and by the time he reached the dispenser, petrol also was over. Now he had only half a tank of petrol while the next pump was in Keylong some 350odd kms away. The petrol pump fellow did confirm that Karu has a bunk, so we had no other option but to lay our hopes on faith.
This is not quite right. TBhp Leh Ladakh guide lists out all the petrol bunks. I guess you filled at the main bunk in Leh at a busy intersection. There is one more bunk near Airport while you see while you enter Leh from Srinagar highway. There there is one (recommended by tsk) at Chogmalsar. You'd have gone past this while going to Thicksay gompa. And then the last one at Karu as mentioned by petrol pump chap. So you had few options.
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Old 3rd October 2013, 19:38   #144
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This is not quite right. TBhp Leh Ladakh guide lists out all the petrol bunks. I guess you filled at the main bunk in Leh at a busy intersection. There is one more bunk near Airport while you see while you enter Leh from Srinagar highway. There there is one (recommended by tsk) at Chogmalsar. You'd have gone past this while going to Thicksay gompa. And then the last one at Karu as mentioned by petrol pump chap. So you had few options.
Well thank you for the info. Like I mentioned in my post the petrol pump guy said about the airport one and the Karu one. But the main problem we had was these bunks are not 24/7 so they won't open very early. Also there was the issue of petrol getting over so most people will rush to the others. In fact the airport one was open at around 6.45 or there abouts. Which we came to know because we got late.
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Old 4th October 2013, 02:01   #145
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Cool Re: Day 12 - 3rd Sept

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Upon enquiring, got to know that Sathya was weighing in the option of flying back to Chennai the next day instead of driving down all the way. Well I do not know what is the exact reason for this decision except what he told us about missing family. Well Mohan, through his contacts in Bangalore, got the ticket pricing for a Leh – Delhi – Chennai flight. However, by the time the decision was made to go the prices increased by 3k but he finally ended up buying the ticket at 4k more than the initial quote. .
If I am not wrong, Sathya is the one who owns Duster and that too a brand new one purchased for this trip.
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Old 4th October 2013, 07:25   #146
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If I am not wrong, Sathya is the one who owns Duster and that too a brand new one purchased for this trip.
Yes he had purchased it for this trip and probably as a highway vehicle. But the car did reach safely to Chennai without any incident.
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Old 4th October 2013, 09:32   #147
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

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If I am not wrong, Sathya is the one who owns Duster and that too a brand new one purchased for this trip.
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Yes he had purchased it for this trip and probably as a highway vehicle. But the car did reach safely to Chennai without any incident.

I am sure it was a very tough decision for Sathya. Given that he was very reluctant for anyone but himself drive the vehicle all the way. The decision to handover the keys for a 3000km journey and take a flight is easier said then done.

He could have let someone drive and take a back seat.
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Old 4th October 2013, 12:34   #148
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Default Re: 25-0-40 DownUnder to UpOver - LEH'd 2013

Now I finally get it. I was scratching my head off trying to remember where I had seen such drama unfold earlier. A decade ago, there was this new reality show called MTV roadies season I where the contestants were given brand new Karizma bikes and their day to day lives on the road were documented. There was an elimination round every week where one of the contestants had to go home.
Fast forward to Leh 2013 and I just cant wait to see the last man standing.I feel very sad for Sathya. Captain abandoning his ship due to home sickness is not what I expected.
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Old 4th October 2013, 22:08   #149
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Originally Posted by vskesavan View Post
Not at all, because yesterday was holiday, . Further, after your's, I finished Sathya_sc's travelogue within next one hour.
In my opinion, yours' is a melodrama with twists and turns, while, Sathya_sc's is an action thriller with breath taking moments. I would say both are very useful travelogues in many ways for prospective expeditors.
oh for a moment I thought Sathya we are discssing here and action thriller narrator Sathya_sc are same. I was wrong and now glued to his travalogue as well.
I think the only way to get rid of the Leh bug is getting leh'd.
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Old 5th October 2013, 05:55   #150
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Originally Posted by rkhare View Post

oh for a moment I thought Sathya we are discssing here and action thriller narrator Sathya_sc are same. I was wrong and now glued to his travalogue as well.
I think the only way to get rid of the Leh bug is getting leh'd.
Yeah rightly said. Only way is to Get Leh'd yourself but you can never get rid of the bug. Once you go there the bug to go again becomes even more big. It is a vicious circle.
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