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Old 9th August 2014, 17:30   #31
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Thar4x4: Despite parting ways with your beloved jeep, you seem to have pulled off one of life's most memorable trips.
Thanks for a really well-written travelogue. The photo-video-logues belie the truth - the journey is more important than the destination! I loved those.
Hope you caught up with the lama!
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Old 9th August 2014, 17:42   #32
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Great write up and amazing snaps Vishal, great going
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Old 10th August 2014, 02:08   #33
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thar4x4 View Post
I have 5 tone nylon tow rope,


The model I used is SJ4000
I was going to sleep and by habit I opened the app on my phone. Saw this post. Couldn't help but get on to the laptop.

Beautifully narrated. With text. With pictures. And, with video.

2 questions:

1/ what is the make of the nylon tow rope? and where did you buy it from?

2/ how did you go about using the dash cam for such a long drive? I have ordered the SJ4000. did you switch off in between? what was the number of memory cards did you carry for the dash cam?

Thanks for the write up.
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Old 10th August 2014, 19:22   #34
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Default Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveller Nayak View Post

2 questions:



1/ what is the make of the nylon tow rope? and where did you buy it from?



2/ how did you go about using the dash cam for such a long drive? I have ordered the SJ4000. did you switch off in between? what was the number of memory cards did you carry for the dash cam?



Thanks for the write up.

Thanks Harish! Glad you liked it.
1. The tow rope company is Secure Lift and you can source it from any heavy life shop.

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2. SJ4000 is the best i used same, you can use 32 gb card and keep motion detection off as it will eat memory fast. Use it as and when required, our 32 GB card went kaput and then we managed on mobile 4GB card, keep 2 more card with you.
This is how we managed mount using Capdesk mobile holder.

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Old 11th August 2014, 12:05   #35
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Day 8: Turtuk - Khardung La - Leh.

Target: Worlds highest motorable road in the afternoon and 229 Km.


Turtuk is very cold in night and we are under 3 blankets still we are shivering like hell so no bath today .

Ordered nice local breakfast and tea.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-bf.jpg

Refuels the Safari from our 20 Lit can.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-refuel-1.jpg

And we hit the road again, why so early? we have to cover the 200 kms before sun gets too hot and roads get slushy and slippery because of ice melting.

We are not going to stop for photography today as we have had enough yesterday while driving to Turtuk, so now just focus on road and clock.

Still we managed to click some photos of school going children and big budha.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-img_4841-copy.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-budha.jpg

So the story behind the road in picture below:

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-n-4.jpg

Yesterday we clicked this photo from above the mountain road and we though that it will be good idea if we click the Safari's photo alone this road.

Today Prashant reminded me to park the Safari here, I didn't thought much and took the vehicle in side so that other vehicles can pass from side without issue and I took wrong decision, 2 wheels from left side sank in dune. I thought there will be road below it but no it was deep dune.

Panic situation and we thought we can pull it immediately but no luck and it sank more.

Here humble Ladhaki men (taxi drivers) came running towards us for rescue, he guided me and pushed the elephant out and we back on road with no time.

Some unknown pressure and tight situation and we decided to move ahead.

Here I learned first lesson about this elephant that he has powerful heart but he is overweight and runs only on 2 legs (2WD) so I need to choose the right path.

Soon we reached the yesterday's hotel at Khardung, had same maggi and tea and started climbing Khardung La again.

Today's situation is very different compared to yesterday, good amount of traffic and full slush. Safari showing fishtail on heavy foot so put it in 1st and crawling slowly. We are finding lots of bikers and tourist taxies today. After compromising with slops and narrow roads we reached to the top. Stopped for 5/10 min but 3 idiots crowd have already occupied the place so we decided to roll down quickly.

Same slushy roads while rolling down as well so have to be more cautions here as well, additionaly we saw stones sliding in front of us.

Soon we are in phone network and time to call home as we are out of coverage from last 2 days.

I got a bad news that my son is not well from the days I left Pune however wife kept me under false impression that he is ok so that I can complete my trip without worry but she lost control today and told me to wrap up the trip.

Prashant also learned that his son got his leg twist while playing cycle and has been on rest from last 2 days.

Our wives were in contact with each other and they intestinally kept the real situation unknown from us so that we can enjoy the trip. Hats of to them and here ends out excitement from trip and we decided to wrap up itinerary.

We decided to lets just do Pangong and then start return journey.

Talked with Kumar sir and asked if we can visit Pangong and head back to Kargil in single day, as per his advice it was challenging but we can try.

We checked in to the same hotel and started planning how can we go back home as early as possible.

Here we meet a TBHPian Anirban @1100D with his mighty Scorpio @Margengo. He advised us not to attempt Pangong and Kargil in single day and take it easy.

We paid the hotel bills, had a dinner and packed the luggage in way that we can pick a single bag/person tomorrow onwards.

Called it a day.

Tomorrow's destination is Pangong in one day return.
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Old 11th August 2014, 12:43   #36
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Day 9: Leh - Pangong - Leh

Target: Chang La and 320 Km.


Woke up around 5, after taking path we started towards Chang La. We have no time for breakfast however we have enough packed food with us so no worry. It is very cloud out side and no excitement to click more photos so we are just driving.

After driving for hour or so in no man's land we started climbing Chang La.

The special composition of Chang La

This road is in very bad shape compared to Khardung La, lots of narrow patches and lots of ice on road. Safari is crouching through all the frozen ice puddles with roar.

We are at a incline + hair pin turn and we lost the power, we can see black clouds at rear but no power on tap. Wise move and Prashant got down and guided me to reverse safely to the level ground. Took the momentum again and with some difficulty we climbed it. This was the first instance of the whole trip where we lost power.




And we did it.
Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-1.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-2.jpg

Today Chang La is very cold may be in below zero, we can't talk easily when we are out of car forget about wondering here and there. We spent very little time here and decided to move further.

This is the road towards Pangong

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-3.jpg

First view of dream lake The Pangong.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-4.jpg

Mighty Safari enjoying the view.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-5.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-6.jpg

There is lots of fog today and can't see the blue shade of Pangong.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-7.jpg

We Three but not idiot.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-8.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-9.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-10.jpg

We reached the 3 idiots spot after searching the road in lank bank and it started snowing heavily. This is the second time I am experiencing snow, first time was out of India.


Sone taxi drivers asked us if we are staying here today, we said no we are heading back to Leh in sometime. So advised us to take leave as early as possible as if it snows for more time then the roads will be in very bad shape and we might stuck.

After clicking some birds and view we decided to take move.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-11.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-12.jpg


We followed the same taxi driver as per his advised to come till main road from lank bank and then started climbing Chang La again. We found climbing Chang La from Pangong side more difficult compared from other side as there is more snow and the new formation with fresh snow.

Now Prashant is on wheel and I am sitting in panic mode.

Soon we crossed Chang La and the sun started smiling.

We are feeling hungry but no hotel in this long patch and we don't want to eat the same paced food again, Lama god heard us.

Sikh regiment form our Army have opened lunger here and they are stoppeing all the vehicle passing by for food.

We got down and started enjoying the environment. Big Punjabi music is playing and all excited King people where distributing the food.


Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-13.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-14.jpg

We are back on road started towards Leh.

Today will be last day of our best trip so lets enjoy shopping for our loved ones.

We stopped at Karu at Army mall however it was closed, so had a lunch in a hotel there it self and started rolling towards Leh.

In the evening we went to market, purchased some Tshirts for kids and pearls for family.

Had a last dinner at hotel and called it a day.

Last edited by Thar4x4 : 11th August 2014 at 13:10.
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Old 11th August 2014, 13:32   #37
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Day 10: Leh - Kargil - Srinagar

Target: Zozila La and 414 Km.


We are in Leh and it took us 5 days to reach from Pune. As per itinerary our planned return journey is through Rohatang, Manali. However that road is still not open, it opened twice and closed again so it looks risky and we want to reach home as early as possible.

On the top of that if we decide to take Zozi La route we have to cross it today itself as the way of traffic is Kargil to Srinagar and if we miss it we will waste one more day.

Fast decision making and we are on road and the target it to cross Zozi La today. We have started around 5 AM and crossing all the milestones on right time. Soon we are in Kargil and filling the tank as next fuel station will be in Srinagar. After crossing Kargil we encountered with a big Army convoy, there are more than 100 trucks going towards Leh with full of load.

We waste 30 mins here are started with full energy again and soon we crossed Dras and hit a big queue.

This is not traffic jam and a line of vehicle waiting for Zozi La gate to be opened. We learned that it was big traffic jam yesterday and they are still clearing it so this side will be hold. It is around 2 PM and we are happy that finally we are in queue to cross Zozi La, once we cross this mighty fellah then we have no worry to reach Srinagar.

Vehicles started moving and taxies started bulling us, these are typical Srinagar/Jammu taxies who are in hurry to drop the passenger and pick up the new and they are frustrated on the out off state private vehicle. No issue we are fine in giving them way as we have achieved today's target.

In an hour or so we crossed mighty Zozi La landed in Sonmerg. Decided to have some lunch in nice hotel as we do not want to stretch more and we can reach Srinagar on time.

We reached Srinagar around 6 PM and checked in to the hotel in front of Dal lake.

Came down for a walk alone the Dal lake and we found that we forgot the camera at hotel, Yes, it happens when you had enough.

So here is view of Dal lake from phone camera.
Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-img_0445.jpg

Did some shopping of Safrron and warm clothing for kids, had nice dinner at lake side hotel and called it a day.

Tomorrow's target is drive and drive till we feel for rest.
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Old 11th August 2014, 13:50   #38
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Day 11: Srinagar - Jammu - Hanumangarh

Target: Jawahar tunnel, traffic jam in ghat and 863 km.


We have new challenge every day and we are well prepared for that, started early again to beat the traffic on Srinagar exit and tunnel. We crossed tunnel without hassle, faced minor traffic are some area and finally we reached Udhampur. Kept rolling after having some packed food in car itself in traffic jams.

Crossed Jammu before afternoon and decided to take lunch break as we are enough exhausted because of ghat area.

We still have lots of kms to cross and today target to reach Ratangarh however after entering Punjab we learned that we can't achieve it today and decided that we will drive till 10 PM and then stop.

We encounter same diversion in Punjab and traffic diverted though a village, we lost good time here.

Finally we decided to take rest at Hanumangarh so called Kumar sir and he managed not only hotel for good dinner as well for us at 11 PM.

This is our today's home. (photo clicked in the morning )

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-dsc_0179-copy.jpg

It is more than a palace with fantastic special Rajasthani food. We called it a day around midnight as tomorrow will be out true test for driving.
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Old 11th August 2014, 14:31   #39
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Day 12: Hanumangarh - Ahemadabad - Pune

Target: 1726 km


We decided that today will be last day of our trip, we will take a rest at fuel station but will not stay at hotel.

Started around 7 AM from Hanumangarh.


Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-lehd.jpg

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-chang-15.jpg

Stopped for tea at Kishangarh and then for lunch somewhere forgot the location now.

Pune is still very far and sun started setting, we are at Rajasthan border and stopped for quick tea and snacks.

Soon we are in Gujrath and speed started increasing gradually with the 6 lane highway. Today we are driving like a truck driver.

We entered Ahemadabad ring road, Safari showing hunger, we thought we will fill it once we hit highway again and it was terribly wrong decision.

After coming out of ring road we didn't recognized when we entered express way, this is best express way I have ever seen, there is no exit for long patches and all vehicle were following lanes properly but our worry is how much km we can go when light is blinking as there is no single board of exit.

I pulled the vehicle in left most slow lane and started driving under 80 for maximum fuel efficiency. God heard us and we saw a first exist after 30 km Nadel. We took that exit and got out off express way, there is toll post at exist as well, told them our pain and they advised to go 1 km refill and came back same way and take express way agian for Baroda. With same receipt we have.

Had a call with family and learned that my son is waiting as he know that I am returning back to home today, I assured him that I will be there till he woke up in the morning and then he went to bed.

Driving in the night time is very challenging and after dinner it is more challenging. Some how we managed it with lots of breaks and we entered Maharastra.

Small traffic jam at famous Ghodbandar, we crossed Mumbai with in hour and we hit the express way. And this is last refuel stop of the trip.

Soon we entered Wakad, we are very happy that we clocked more than 1700 km in 24 hrs.

Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms-odo-1.jpg

Reached home, left the vehicle at parking, Prashant and Shashikant started unloading the vehicle and I went to my son and hugged him hard. It was totally amazing experience.

And this is my son was for next 1 week.

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He is still scared if I will leave him and will go again to Ladakh however I have assured him enough that next year we all will go to Ladakha to see Yaks.

He is the biggest fan of my trip video and have watched it more that 20 times and now help me in commentary when we show it to relatives and friends.

Now here ends our memorable journey "Chasing the Lama", yes we definitely found the Lama and he blessed us with more dreams and excited life.

Looking forward with news dreams, see you on the road sometime.

Julley !
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Old 12th August 2014, 04:34   #40
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

What an opening shot! One of the best shots of Safari Storme.
Good narration and beautiful pics. Rated 5 stars. This is one of the reasons why I am addicted to Team Bhp.
Wasn't it challenging to cover 1700 kms in 24 hours on the last day?
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Old 12th August 2014, 10:33   #41
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoseVijay View Post
Wasn't it challenging to cover 1700 kms in 24 hours on the last day?
Thanks ! yes that's the spirit of TBHP.

It was challenging to cover 1700 km for us but not for Safari. As mentioned we had lots of tea stops and at one point we took fast nap for 30 minutes at 3 AM which is crucial period for any driver.

Last edited by Thar4x4 : 12th August 2014 at 10:34.
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Old 14th August 2014, 19:02   #42
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Default Re: Chasing the Lama in a Safari Storme: Pune - Ladakh - Pune, 7500 kms

Awesome write up and pics, liked the opening pic and the message inspiring to do something different the most... just got hooked to it and have read it couple of times now...the level of details that you have mentioned are just amazing. Will surely help the people planing for the Road trip...
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