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Old 9th December 2015, 11:55   #76
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 6: Spangmik to Merak - Along Pangong Lake ...contd.

Moving forward to Merak, the intended stay for this day.
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As I come to this bend, spot some wild flowers blossoming out on the shore of crystal clear water of Pangong. Cycling can wait, and it is back to the shore. Not a single person around and I have all time and space for some captivating scenery to say the least.
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Having spent some bit of time out there, it is time to move again as the track leaves the shore. On towards Merak.
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Of course stoppages are frequent among the distant mountains and the turquoise green waters in mid September month, along Pangong Lake
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contd..

Last edited by adc : 9th December 2015 at 11:58.
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Old 11th December 2015, 14:16   #77
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 6: Spangmik to Merak - Along Pangong Lake ...contd.

After spending much of the time out there on the banks and wild flowers, it is time to get back on the cycle. The metalled road part has ended in Spangmik and it is a gravel track from now on and beyond.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0084.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0097.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0090.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0107.jpg


More wild flowers on the river bank again as I continue again by shoreline
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0109.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0111.jpg


but do stop for a click of the "toad" rock by the Pangong shore.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0127.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0150.jpg


As said, the track becomes more sandy. On our 2010 Safari 2wd journey, do remember getting almost bogged down in the sand over around these parts.
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A look back towards Pangong as the small village of Merak approaches and the track goes away from the Lake.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0151.jpg
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Old 11th December 2015, 14:48   #78
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Merak is quite a picturesque village just off of Pangong Lake. Before 2010 or so, permits were readily given to tourists. Of course now it is quite accessible but still in mid September do not notice travellers out here.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0154.jpg

Quite a few houses in this small village function as homestays and I head off to the one that had the host standing around. Amchi Homestay, Merak.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0155.jpg


A basic yet clean room and with no other tourists around, there is no shortage of blankets - the nights are quite cold of course by mid September at Pangong.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0158.jpg


After a quick "lunch" again of noodles and omelets...
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_0165.jpg


it is time to go around a bit with the main aim being to give the permit papers at the police checkpost of Merak. Foreigners or tourists who are going with just "Pangong" mentioned in their permit papers, will not be allowed to proceed beyond Merak.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9534.jpg


Meet a few villagers busy with the grains as bitter winter approaches by next month.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9540.jpg



The police check post of Merak. Absolutely empty, this time very few would be going beyond Merak towards Chusul side. With no one around turn back - after all it will not be hard to find out the policeman's house in this small village and hand over the papers to him
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9555.jpg


Merak is quite favourite village of mine, and do remember it then also from 2010 journey. The tents and touristy thing of Lukung or even of Spangmik is not here but still has the the majestic grandness of Pangong Lake.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9572.jpg

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Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9581.jpg

Last edited by adc : 11th December 2015 at 15:08.
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Old 11th December 2015, 15:00   #79
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
[b][i]


More wild flowers on the river bank again as I continue again by shoreline
Incredible.
You know, what's even more amazing is that I have pictures of the exact same spot

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-dsc_dsc_6449_lrx3.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-dsc_dsc_6450_lrx3.jpg
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Old 16th December 2015, 20:49   #80
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 6: Spangmik to Merak - Along Pangong Lake ...contd.


As dusk approaches fast, I head back towards Merak homestay with brief stopover having a look and a talk with the farmer hard at work still before the bitter winter sets in.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9598.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9610.jpg


With the permit papers handed over to the policeman, a call back home to wife and son is due for the day. Phone calls are possible due to DSPT [ Digital Satellite Public Telephones ]
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9624.jpg


Back to the homestay, early dinner and some happy children of the homestay owner. The middle small one though is bit more serious though!
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9632.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-img_9640.jpg


So day 6 comes to end, tomorrow the plan is to cycle towards Chusul as the Pangong Lake goes away from the track. This track is gravel and some parts sandy, and of course would be absolute desolate in end September of 2013.

Last edited by adc : 16th December 2015 at 20:54.
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Old 16th December 2015, 21:37   #81
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 7: Merak to Chusul [ approx 30 km ]

Day #7 and today the intended stop is for Chusul. It is a very sensitive place in terms of its proximity to Chinese border and has been in the news a few times recently even.

Otherwise it is also known for Rezang La War Memorial - located a few kilometers after the town of Chushul, was created in the remembrance of the brave soldiers of 13 Battalion of Kumaon Regiment, deployed under the leadership of Major Shaitan Singh, during the 1962 Indo-China War.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead...cle4112584.ece



So, another day starts and good bye to the most jolly children of the homestay owner.
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A look back as I leave Merak village at a distance...
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00038.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00039.jpg


...and on towards the shoreline of Pangong again as I follow the dirt track towards Chusul.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00041.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00002.jpg



The dirt track does deteriorate quite a bit in stretches after Merak.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00004.jpg


and a few sandy stretches in between too.
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And I am in no hurry. With no one around and with miles and miles of vastness just for myself, I can afford to stand in the middle of the dirt track for a self shot.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00016.jpg


contd...

Last edited by adc : 16th December 2015 at 21:53.
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Old 18th December 2015, 15:47   #82
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

ADC babu, kya brilliant travelogue hai! Hats off to your wanderlust :-)
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Old 18th December 2015, 16:49   #83
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Hats off ADC da. What a journey !!!! You have been an inspiration since my biking days.
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Old 19th December 2015, 14:44   #84
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 7: Merak to Chusul [ approx 30 km ] contd...


As one leaves Chusul and its adjoining small village of Khalste, till Chusul is the stretch where there is no settlement. The vast expanse with the Pangong Lake finally taking its turn towards Tibet and then the gravel lonely dirt track towards the transit village of Chusul is a lonely ride though of course one of great experience.


Towards Chusul, after Merak.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00015.jpg


Now from our 2010 Ladakh/Changthang trip (Self-Drive Expedition Travel-Ladakh and cold desert Changthang in "off-season" Oct 10), remember these ice caped series of mountain peaks. We stopped over here at that year too, this time also did miss out taking a few pictures.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00016.jpg


Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00017.jpg


And the same spot from the 2010 Ladakh-Changthang drive.
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Done that, it again on the dirt track towards Chusul, the Pangong Lake by the left side now going farther and farther away.
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And another beautiful image that remains in the mind from the 2010 drive, was the grazing wild horses along the pasture lands of Pangong Lake as it moves away towards Tibet.

From the 2010 drive..
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but this time the horses were absolutely missing...

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00011-1.jpg

Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00015-1.jpg

... but I do catch a the first glimpse of wild asses [Kiangs] on this bicycle trip along Pangong.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00009.jpg

As the track turns towards Chusul...
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00011.jpg


if I may say "the last view of Pangong" as now truly turn off towards Chusul.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00010.jpg



contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th December 2015 at 14:53.
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Old 19th December 2015, 16:22   #85
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 7: Merak to Chusul [ approx 30 km ] contd...


Leaving the Pangong shore, the up track towards Chusul as seen. The telegraph post seen on the right is of the Army post somewhere inside towards Pangong Lake, close to the Tibet border of China. This part over here is very sensitive from defence perspective and no traveller should never wander off the established track that goes to the village Chusul.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00013.jpg



Now seeing the Kiangs around here, stop aain. You see in 2010 I got this great image of Kiangs darting across as we went towards Hanle / Fukche.
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In anticipation of that if something should happens like that, I wait but then they just stand still and stare as I wait for some running images.
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Anyway with the stalemate of both of us standing still and waiting to see who makes the first movement, it's me who has to get moving on. It late afternoon and Chusul is some distance away, plus have to find a place to stay in this off season travel of September.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-cycling-merak-chusul-sector.jpg



contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th December 2015 at 16:40.
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Old 19th December 2015, 17:41   #86
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Day 7: Merak to Chusul [ approx 30 km ] contd...



Mountain regions and as such in Ladakh too, the high grounds are marked with prayer flags - the track that has risen from the shore of Pangong Lake now becomes the down track towards the village of Chusul.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00012.jpg



Late afternoon, the first glimpse of Chusul village, mid September 2013.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00008.jpg


About a couple of kms away from Chusul, the first contact with persons since leaving Merak...
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00001.jpg


..and meet some quite inquisitive children out there seeing a cycle slowly coming along towards Chusul. Shared a couple chocolates that was left from my lunch on the way.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00002.jpg


Moving on towards Chusul village
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00024.jpg



contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th December 2015 at 17:42.
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Old 19th December 2015, 18:07   #87
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

I head off towards main centre of village, I have a name of a person to refer to. While staying in Lukung, Pangong Lake, tent owner said about Mr Phunchok from Chusul. Said to refer himself and he will help out with stay in Chusul.


So, I need to find his house now as there is no homestay out here in Chusul, September 2013. As I enter more children come up - but this snap taken at the spur of the moment is one of my favourite from this cycle travel. With a lollipop dangling from the corner of the mouth and with a few lackeys, this lad clearly was the "boss" of the group. Anyway satisfied with reply and that I am just a traveller, he let me proceed!!
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00026.jpg


I soon find Mr Phunchok's house, though not at home at the moment - he is out there in the monastery [the gompa can be seen at the background] conducting a ceremonial puja.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00007.jpg

The gompa [monastery] of Chusul village.
Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe-image00005.jpg


Keep the cycle inside.
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and wait for Mr Phunchok as I relish the last rays of the evening sun. A few phone calls to be done, one of course to home, but one to a bhpian, a fantastic traveller whose map is after all I am using. A few things needs to be clarified - tomorrow's journey is absolutely lonely and even much lesser known. But then what if I am not even able to start or ride on that track from Chusul itself? Does this journey ends out here itself?
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contd...

Last edited by adc : 19th December 2015 at 18:27.
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Old 25th December 2015, 15:58   #88
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

adc saab.. what happened next ? Eagerly awaiting
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Old 20th March 2017, 20:04   #89
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Default Re: Extreme Expedition, Bicycling: Leh-Chang la-Pangong-Chushul-Kakasang la-Hor la-Mahe

Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
But then what if I am not even able to start or ride on that track from Chusul itself? Does this journey ends out here itself?

contd...
Ok. Here you go. I subscribe to this thread in mid 2014, but then totally out of TBHP for more than 2 years due to personal and professional commitments. Then when I am back and go through this log in one go today, I find it is still stuck in Chusul . Common yaar, this is unfair. There are many who would want you to complete this.

BIG *BUMP*
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