Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th September 2016, 10:06   #1
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

Preface:
Wanting to cruise on the Ladakh Terrain on a motorbike was a decade old dream. So when I finally got the chance in Sept 2016, I thought it was worth documenting. I am going to keep it light on words and speak more through pictures.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475749786.482761.jpg

- All pictures taken on iPhone 6s
- This was a completely unplanned trip with tickets booked 5 days before / guest house booked just a day in advance. Every single day was planned early in the morning and depending on my mood for the day !

Day1 - Arrival & Acclimatization
The flight from Mumbai to Leh via Delhi was at 2AM, so most of the time was spent snoozing, except when the Ladakh mountain ranges came into view. The view was heavenly and set up a good expectation for the days to come by.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475749981.361074.jpg

The plane took a hard turn to align on the narrow valley path towards the picturesque runway.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750197.777091.jpg

On touchdown I wanted to take some more pics, but was told not to being a defence airport.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750228.173039.jpg

The weather was cold in single digits but the sun outside was still harsh. This board welcomed me on the baggage arrival belt ! Luckily I was on a Diamox course from the previous day to adjust myself to the high altitude weather.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750247.562645.jpg

The guest house (Barath Guest House) sent a pick up to the airport, I reached early around 8.30am and was still given a room as early check in. It was quaint little place, I spent most of the day in bed and eating/reading in house.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750277.648660.jpg

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750292.644213.jpg

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750314.985764.jpg

Evening I started towards the market to get my hands on a good rented bike. I wanted something I can use for mindless off-roading, with as less kerb weight as possible so that I dont have to huff & puff on high altitude if it falls. My initial choice was a KTM with after market tyres & panniers, but I when I saw the choices I quickly zeroed in on the HIMALAYAN (Rs1800/day). I paid the deposit and was promised delivery at my guest house around 7.30-8pm.

I decided to stroll around and soak in on the sights within Leh.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750721.297233.jpg

Continued Strolling through Leh Market

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750745.570696.jpg

Come evening, I was getting impatient to get my hands on the bike. The call came in just when expected, I literally jumped down skipping stairs on my way to welcome my mate for 9 days ! Got the keys, gave my id, and started off to get her and myself fueled up for the test run the next day.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750891.833884.jpg

Fueled myself up after the bike, on some local Thukpa at Gesmo

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475750771.077613.jpg

Came back to the room and slept in well dreaming about the rides to come starting on the next day !

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 7th October 2016 at 14:03.
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (18) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th September 2016, 11:06   #2
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a HIMALAYAN - 1000km Travelogue !

Day 2 - Leh towards Kargil and back with some random offroading in between (total 150kms)

Started off the day around 8.30am and left without breakfast. I couldnt contain my excitement to start off, so geared up and off I went.

The scenery was just so much better than every single pic I had seen in the past, I stopped at almost every few kms to take a pic.

First view of Indus:
Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751159.659202.jpg
Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751180.776296.jpg

First BRO signboard

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751198.705364.jpg

Raw, sunny yet cold scenic mountains all around

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751226.596882.jpg

Stopped at the over hyped Magnetic Hill, felt like taking the bike up on that incline but it was already filled with a couple of cars so backed out

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751245.876377.jpg

Went further down towards Sangam

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751278.315974.jpg

First view of Sangam - confluence of Indus & Zanskar rivers

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751301.165904.jpg

There was a "view point" off the road which was a small climb up hill on steps towards a shed from where you could view the sangam even better. Being an avid trekker back home, I conveniently parked the bike on one side and started briskly climbing the stairs. This is where high altitude hit me first, I could hardly breathe and was huffing & panting within 8-10 steps. Realized what it really means to exert on 10000+ ft so took it slow and finally got to the point. The view was mesmerizing indeed, took a few selfies as well.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751322.517062.jpg

See the small dot of the bike parked below ? That's how high the climb really was

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751402.388035.jpg

I went further down towards Kargil when I saw a left turn with a monastery board going through a dirt track. The track seemed tempting and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. It was a completely open long leveled dirt track, and I had a ball riding through here. I almost felt like I was living through the Himalayan TVC !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751420.805456.jpg

I finally reached this offbeat out of the path monastery with the Buddha Statue and just sat there basking in the weather for almost an hour.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751440.921332.jpg

The road back was as interesting as the road towards this place through the dirt track, though I took a detour.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751462.917509.jpg

Stopped at the Gurdwara Pathar Sahib on the way back for a quick prayer.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751482.844317.jpg

Had a dhaba lunch at a hole in the wall set up and then headed to Spituk Gompa which also had mesmerizing views of the airport and Leh

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751506.774093.jpg

The Leh Airport Runway

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751528.529153.jpg

Next stop for the day was at Hall of Fame. Captured the Map at Hall of Fame for a better understanding of the places to visit

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751555.761744.jpg

Last stop was at Shanti Stupa, yet another place with mesmerizing views

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751592.216299.jpg

Sunset from Shanti Stupa overlooking Leh

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475751641.976412.jpg

Final selfie for the day before heading out the next day towards the highest motorable road in the world !

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475751662.720030.jpg
Views: 12893
Size:  320.3 KB

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 6th October 2016 at 18:19.
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (15) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2016, 16:26   #3
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a HIMALAYAN - 1000km Travelogue !

Day 3 - Leh to Khardung La to Diskit to Hunder to Sumur to Leh

This was the longest ride planned so far so I geared up better and carried a spare fuel can as well. The bends towards Khardung La start right after Leh and is a really memorable ride.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475758348.403361.jpg

Just before khardungla, you are actually at a height same as the peaks in front of you.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475758372.426754.jpg

Reached khardungla without much fan fare, apart from the choked up bike pick up. For some reason at high altitude and cold weather, the Himalayan just wouldn't go beyond 40kmph uphill and even that speed it sputtered like someone was blocking the fuel pipe.

On a positive note, I had the most amazing Maggie & chai here at the military run canteen

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475758404.544786.jpg

Views from Khardung La were majestic indeed !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475758444.396758.jpg

The first views of Shyok river were just after the descent from Khardung La

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475318297.521919.jpg
Views: 12777
Size:  474.5 KB

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475318327.148767.jpg
Views: 12766
Size:  456.8 KB

Finally turned towards Diskit and this is where I hit the best patch. A straight road in between the sand desert of Nubra with good levelling and mesmerising panoramas

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475318413.886091.jpg

My first proper stop was at the Diskit monastery

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475318461.773148.jpg
Views: 12716
Size:  476.4 KB

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475318487.251592.jpg
Views: 12682
Size:  398.0 KB

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475318515.327212.jpg
Views: 12674
Size:  437.4 KB

Like all other monasteries, this one also had really good views

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475318561.745585.jpg

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475318597.964367.jpg
Views: 12577
Size:  412.1 KB

I proceeded towards the small fuel bunk at Diskit to refuel the bike. Do note that petrol here is not through your conventional pump, it is an old school pump from which the guy pumps out fuel into a 5 litre can and then fills it to your vehicle. This means you need to know how much fuel can go into your vehicle and pump out an approximately requisite amount in standard quantities.

After Diskit I hit the sand dunes of Hunder, hoping to see some Bacterian camels wandering around (which I didn't)

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475318755.921804.jpg

I did not find anything special in Hunder so I found a Punjabi dhaba for some good lunch and then started towards Sumur, the other side of the Nubra river below

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475318861.553245.jpg

Sumur, just like the rest of Nubra, was hardly enticing enough to make me stay overnight. I turned back at Sumur, liquidated myself and started back towards the Khardung La climb. Now I had already been riding for around 170kms and 5+ hours since morning so the fatigue and muscle aches were setting in. Luckily the Himalayan is a good bike to stand up and ride on straights without having to put any efforts balance yourself. I kept stretching or stopping at every few kms, but still the ride was turning into a hectic one !

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475319028.690421.jpg
Views: 12521
Size:  599.6 KB

The road before and after Khardung La is an off-roading track 101 with everything from bends to streams to dirt tracks to rocks all over with absolutely no tarmac

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475319164.888350.jpg

I finally made it to Khardung La, this time it was less crowded for me to be able to click the main board without having to wait my turn through the hoardes of tourists like in the morning !

Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475319096.700490.jpg
Views: 12487
Size:  620.6 KB

Had a chai and skipped maggie on my way back. Decided to take a few selfies using the iPhone cam timer before I started the descent.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475319244.293384.jpg

I finally made it back to the hotel just before sunset as planned and was utterly dead. I decided to call it a day and had a sumptuous chicken thali since I arrived at the guest house.

Day 4 was spent just lazying and recovering from the muscle aches. I just walked around the market and stayed in for rest of the time. My palms to shoulders to joints to legs were all in pain, this was a good rest to recharge myself for the Pangong trip on the next day !

Last edited by GTO : 8th October 2016 at 10:36. Reason: Rule #11 :). Thanks for sharing!
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st October 2016, 19:26   #4
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a HIMALAYAN - 1000km Travelogue !

Day 5 - Leh to Chang La To Pangong Tso

After a full day's rest, I started off towards Pangong early on a weekday. I was told the roads are worst than Nubra and there is no fuel pump after Karu. The weather was colder, yet the sun was in full shine mode. It took me around 3.5 hours to reach Chang La, the views on the way were mind blowing !
Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475758934.332039.jpg

The bike was getting choked up again on the Chang La incline just like Khardung La, not sure if this is a generic Himalayan issue or only with this bike.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475758905.532723.jpg

I stopped at Chang La for a quick break

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475330089.857965.jpg

Tried the customary Maggie and chai, but it was not even half as good as Khardung La

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475760252.976282.jpg

The scenery started changing quite a bit after Chang La, saw a bit of wild life as well

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475760443.255428.jpg

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475760490.713782.jpg

Caught my first glimpse of the lake here

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475330136.127346.jpg

Kept going further and spotted a few marmot's, but could not click them before they disappeared. The views just got more and more breathtaking from here.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475760963.185573.jpg

Kept passing by these stones kept on each other at multiple places

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475761596.412451.jpg

Finally reached the start of Pangong lake

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475761711.461378.jpg

I was lucky to visit in good sun light to see the proper hues of blue in the water. This was just next to the spot where 'Three Idiots' finale scene was shot.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475761788.139923.jpg

I didn't want to bother myself with the crowds so I continued towards Spangmik

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475761901.404717.jpg

I liked the various number of options both for tents & guest houses at Spangmik, but I saw a board for some luxurious tent options at Man so I kept going further down towards the China border.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475761947.307066.jpg

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475762175.305827.jpg

The road disappeared post Spangmik and I could test and push the bike again through rocks / streams / sand et all !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475762133.609307.jpg

The places at Man were all shut or seemed deserted so I had to turn back and do the 16 kms on rocky roads again, towards Spangmik. I was super hungry and tired by now so settled at the first 'good looking - next to the water - camp' I saw !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763273.214658.jpg

They were out of food so I had to settle for Maggie and chai.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763009.805448.jpg

The tent was cozy with an attached toilet, but I didn't know that it felt cozy inside only because it was super sunny outside.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763186.165861.jpg

After eating I went bang next to the water and sat for a while

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763370.539181.jpg

Finished reading almost half of my Murakami here for the next 2 hours, it was still sunny and the weather was bearable.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763433.487858.jpg

The sun started to set changing the magical blue hues to unattractive somber colours and the weather started turning super cold.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763488.100831.jpg

I continued reading inside the tent as it started to get unbearably cold outside. The weather by 7.30pm made even the inside of the tent feel like a walk in freezer. I was layered up all over but still turned white. Luckily met a couple of groups in the dining room and got to eat / drink / gossip till about 11pm. This definitely helped with the cold. We even managed to see the Milky Way with our naked eye at night after the lights were off (captured on one of their DSLR below)

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763681.448119.jpg

I slept like a log after those drinks & food, but it seems the night was very loud with a lot of wind and cold. Most of the guys I met hardly slept !

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 7th October 2016 at 14:41.
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2016, 20:01   #5
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a HIMALAYAN - 1000km Travelogue !

Day 6 - Pangong Tso to Chang La to Leh

Inspite of the all night howling wind and freezing temperature, we all woke up to a beautiful sunny morning that brought the hues back.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475763776.280302.jpg

After some photo ops, i got back on the road together with one of the groups from the camp while the other group went ahead towards Tso Moriri.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764379.497181.jpg

Took one last glance at the lake and noticed the weather turning, but didn't give it much bother.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764491.719945.jpg

The ride back was interesting again, but the sun was hidden behind a cover of clouds and it was getting colder

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764579.356777.jpg

Half way towards Chang La, the sun was completely behind the clouds and the weather had turned very cold. I could see myself heading straight into those clouds on top.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764639.238617.jpg

I reached the check post before Chang La where the cop asked me to layer up more than I already was as it was snowing up there. Somehow that got me excited more than scared (little did I know the problems with two wheels on snow). When the first signs of snow appeared I was thrilled !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764779.276466.jpg

I kept going uphill getting more and more excited with the exhilarating views around me. I stopped almost every 2 mins to remove my double glows and take a snap.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764839.564318.jpg

The road for most of this way was maybe wet but not yet covered with snow. As I got closer to the Chang La summit, it changed from dry to wet to muck.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475764954.420216.jpg

Since the Himalayan had served me more than well on every single kind of terrain including wet roads, I was super confident to ride in this slush. This confidence lasted only till the road started getting covered with snow. I was still pushing the bike on bends, as I had never ridden anything on snow before. I lasted hardly 30 secs once the snow covered roads started, and then came my first fall of the trip !

The rear tire slipped first and the bike luckily stopped without slipping over the side into the valley. The left side leg guard and indicator broke off instantly on impact. Luckily I was in gear and many layers so there was no scratch or injury on me.

I tried to pick up the bike and hardly went a few meters and almost fell again. This is when I realized that I can't ride the bike on snow with even both my feet on the ground. All I could do was push the bike uphill, luckily I had shoes that gave a good grip on snow. It had started to snow around me heavily by now. The altitude, blizzard, temperature started to get to me after a while. I could hardly push for a few steps without gasping for breathe.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475765263.913956.jpg

I could hardly see ahead for even a few meters with the snow fall around me and fogged out helmet visor. It was so cold that I couldn't lift the visor for more than a few seconds. I started remembering the boards on Chang La that said tourists shouldn't spend more than 10 mins in this altitude. I knew I had almost been here for 40mins now ! I actually did for a few mins think I am going to die alone here in this weather.

Luckily after pushing uphill for a while, I reached a convoy of traffic that was stuck ahead of me, finally I was not alone !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475765819.742504.jpg

Having a convoy helped as the 4 wheelers made a muddy path through the snow and I followed on the same trail. This meant I could ride the bike a bit with both my feet down, but still had to push where the tire didn't grip. The ordeal was not yet over, but having people around me helped. I also bumped into a few other stranded bikers, some of them falling around me just as I was while trying to ride in the snow. Somehow the RE OEM tires on bullets seemed to hold on better than other bikes, including my offroader. By this time I could also find the other group vehicle that had left with me from Pangong. I gave my luggage to them so the bike would get easier to push.

I reached the summit after a 2 hour long push up hill, the ordeal was over or so I thought.

Luckily there was no snow downhill, only wet roads and new streams that had broken some roads and were almost at knee level in some places. Also with increased speed on the bike after the first fall, I realized I had to manually hold the half broken leg guard with my leg while riding as otherwise it was scraping on the ground. I couldn't stop to fix it as the road between the snow was narrow and full of vehicles. I also had to keep up with the car that had my luggage (wallet/mobile), which meant I couldn't lose them.

The tire grip also changed a lot, the bike was now not gripping on any surface after having ridden on snow (For a bike called Himalayan, this sure was a surprise. I know someone at CEAT, to whom I wrote immediately after reaching back. She took it up with the Product team and it seems RE had briefed them with specs asking only for offroad tires, there was no mention of the bike model name; nor the fact that it might have some application in or around snow and cold weather. They promised me to take this up further).

After another harrowing 30 mins I somehow managed to overtake my friends vehicle. I got my bag back, and the driver (god bless him) also helped me temporarily fix the dangling bar (jugaad with some stuff we found on the road).

I bid my friends adieu and stopped at the first eating joint I could find. I ate to my hearts content and also ended up feeding 6 other boys with juice bottles when they came to me asking for some water (I am not normally a giving person). These experiences do change people !

I was around 50 kms away from Leh and I finished it in about 1.5 hours. The bike by now had completely turned into a rattler, not just with the fall but with all the terrain it had gone through in the last 800 odd kms in 6 days. I finally reached my hotel and just crashed in.

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 7th October 2016 at 14:55.
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2016, 20:48   #6
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a HIMALAYAN - 1000km Travelogue !

Day 8 - Nearby roads around Leh & small village offroad trails between Leh & Khardungla

I was in mood for discovering less taken roads but the condition of the bike made me turn back at about 80kms from Leh towards Kargil. Nevertheless I found some really good roads and tracks to explore.

My first stop of the morning was at Thiksey Monastery, what a majestic place !

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767296.346419.jpg

View from the approach road towards the monastery

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767358.431382.jpg

View from the monastery

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767420.103803.jpg

Went towards the rafting point on Kargil road as the roads seemed nice

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767529.620964.jpg

I came back towards Leh and explored some run down trails on the road parallel to / down below the Khardung La road

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767583.958535.jpg

Went uphill on this really brazen trail, but had to turn back almost near the top as the tires could not grip on the rubble after a point.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767650.698172.jpg

Downhill on the same trail.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767722.871186.jpg

As a conclusion to the 1050kms of riding this machine, I found a peaceful Gompa to just sit and read. I spent my last few hours with the bike here.

Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475767803.107069.jpg

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 7th October 2016 at 14:57.
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th October 2016, 21:07   #7
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default Leh'd on a HIMALAYAN - 1000km Travelogue !

Other Days - Local Leh

I did spend a lot of local walking time in Leh too, exploring places and food. Adding some glimpses of it here.

Leh Palace
Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475768282.569193.jpg

View from Leh Palace
Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475768439.380532.jpg

Reading and seeing sunset at Spituk Gompa
Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!-imageuploadedbyteambhp1475768575.221642.jpg

Nepali Thali
Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475768702.497761.jpg
Views: 11895
Size:  418.2 KB

Mutton Momo
Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475768780.669422.jpg
Views: 11946
Size:  571.4 KB

Street Kebabs
Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475768831.994847.jpg
Views: 11900
Size:  528.3 KB

Street Paya Soup
Name:  ImageUploadedByTeamBHP1475768907.616190.jpg
Views: 11886
Size:  456.5 KB

Overall, this was by far the best trip I have ever had and even better so since it was solo !

Last edited by salunkhe.vizz : 6th October 2016 at 21:24.
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (29) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2016, 17:40   #8
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 44,168
Thanked: 65,412 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th October 2016, 21:52   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Chennai
Posts: 27
Thanked: 18 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

That's one heck of a way to get Leh'd!

I have read a few travelogs on Leh and been there myself. But this was a lot more adventurous and very refreshing. This kinda of tour (planning a Leh trip 5 days ahead) has its own quirks and I am see you quite enjoy it. I say more power to you!

Himalayan sputtering at high altitude doesnt surprise me. The bike rental place should have given you a heads up. And there should be a screw to adjust the fuel-air mixture.
Thanks for the amazing pictures!
Queryanalyzer is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2016, 10:05   #10
BHPian
 
AnniHilat0R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 214
Thanked: 6 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

Great write up !
I am planning on doing a short trip myself so could you post in the details as to from where you got the Himalayan on rent and also the cost. Will help.
AnniHilat0R is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2016, 10:17   #11
MDe
BHPian
 
MDe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 132
Thanked: 21 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

Great travelogue. I truly enjoyed the travelogue and the pictures. Did you go all alone? The snow riding experience was scary and I can imagine how difficult it could have been on those altitudes.
Khardungla definitely has better maggie because it is maggie. Changla guys serve some other noodles that do not taste so good. The kahwa definitely is good even there. Kudos on the fantastic ride.

Last edited by MDe : 8th October 2016 at 10:17. Reason: Grammar correction
MDe is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2016, 10:36   #12
BHPian
 
salunkhe.vizz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 296
Thanked: 205 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnniHilat0R View Post
Great write up !
I am planning on doing a short trip myself so could you post in the details as to from where you got the Himalayan on rent and also the cost. Will help.

Hi there, bike rental shops can be found in multiple places scattered around the Leh market.

I got mine on fort road from a place called India bike, there were 4 other shops around here. He was recommended by my guest house (you can ask your staying place for a recommendation too). The bikes here were not in great condition but my bike was just 7k on odo so I took it on face value.

I would suggest the following:
1. I saw rental places at following places that you can choose from - (
a) fort road around 500m from main market. https://goo.gl/maps/Tt3F6ZvJGoF2
(b) next to the German coffee shops on zangsti road. https://goo.gl/maps/JEi9i9sJoKA2
(c) scattered on changspa road. https://goo.gl/maps/hJCWcKKe6N42

2. Do not go with anyone's recommendations on any specific place as every bike is subjective to the previous riders treatment. See all the bikes yourself and then book after you have checked average prices around you (when I went it was 1800 for Himalayan, 1500 for 500cc classic, 1200 for 350cc)

3. Do not book bike in advance before reaching, there are plenty of options to choose from once you reach there.

4. Keep day 1 on good roads and test the bike on different terrains before you take it to khardungla or changla side

5. Rent only from Leh, outside bikes rented in Manali or Jammu need to pay some daily tax to local Leh biker association (or so I have heard)

6. When considering trips, do remember to account for fuel average to be atleast 20-30% lower than your normal city experience. You can buy rope and fuel cans in the market around here https://goo.gl/maps/fbXRGw6eQ1G2 (if you buy bikes with side pannier grill that helps to hold cans. I had to carry my can in a trekking backpack tied to the carrier on the back).

7. Also note the fuel station addresses when planning a road trip and always carry extra fuel for days when those fuel pumps might be closed or on days where you might have to turn back due to bad weather.

8. Choose a bike with weight that you can handle and pick up when you fall, heavy 500cc bullets with luggage and fuel cans are very difficult to manage in high altitude when they have to be pushed or picked up. So decide basis your lifting power !

Hope this helps !

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDe View Post
Great travelogue. I truly enjoyed the travelogue and the pictures. Did you go all alone? The snow riding experience was scary and I can imagine how difficult it could have been on those altitudes.
Khardungla definitely has better maggie because it is maggie. Changla guys serve some other noodles that do not taste so good. The kahwa definitely is good even there. Kudos on the fantastic ride.

Yes I went alone, and the snow riding experience was the scariest of my life. But yes it was humbling too and like every experience taught me a lot

Yes I did try the changla kahwa, it was nice. But the khardungla masala chai was again much better than changla. I observed that the khardungla canteen was run by the army while the changla canteen was by some local auntie.

Last edited by ampere : 9th October 2016 at 19:16. Reason: Back to back posts merged
salunkhe.vizz is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2016, 10:51   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chennai,Nairobi
Posts: 75
Thanked: 153 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

@salunkhe.vizz: What a fantastic travelogue. I'm sure it was a journey of a lifetime and you'll live with some amazing experiences and memories from now on.

Great going! I especially loved how you spent your time reading by that beautiful lake during the day. That's bliss right there!
qr20de is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2016, 10:58   #14
BHPian
 
AnniHilat0R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 214
Thanked: 6 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

Thanks a lot for all the details salunkhe.vizz ! Will help a lot !
AnniHilat0R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 8th October 2016, 12:06   #15
BHPian
 
FarPatel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 153
Thanked: 139 Times
Default Re: Leh'd on a Royal Enfield Himalayan - 1000 km Travelogue!

Salunkhe.vizz, reading your travelogue I felt I was riding alongside you, feeling the cold, the pain, the fear that you felt. Thanks a lot and I'm forwarding this thread to a colleague who had made this trip a few years ago, though in an Innova, as part of a package.
Cheers
FarPatel 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
The Royal Enfield Himalayan Test-Ride Thread Jude300 Motorbikes 507 1st December 2016 21:13
Tourer: Royal Enfield Himalayan vs the others petrolhead_neel Motorbikes 37 25th October 2016 13:50
Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey 2016 registrations open Omkar Motorbikes 0 2nd May 2016 12:39
The Royal Enfield Himalayan, now launched! Tushar Motorbikes 837 20th March 2016 20:58
Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey 2010 - Registrations Open praveen_sathaye Motorbikes 2 6th April 2010 17:54


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:59.

Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks