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Old 30th June 2009, 12:43   #226
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On our visit to Leh-Ladakh (30th May to 10th June), we were informed that the permit to Marsimek La has been stopped.
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Old 30th June 2009, 13:35   #227
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Default Days Nine & Ten: Chill & more chill!!!!

By now, we'd seen what we'd only dreamt of earlier & it was time to relax for a couple of days before we started the tough return journey. No itinerary now - just figure out where to have Lunch & what little shopping to do. That's it! Rest of the time, just chill at the Hotel.

But wait - we'd seen this tempting Breakfast Menu at Wonderland so we'd decided to try that out one day (even though our Hotel tariff included B'fast). Sunday (7th June) was as good a day as any so we walked down lazily. Only to find that it was Budh Purnima so (apparently), all eateries would NOT be serving Non-Veg. Only Eggs were available, no Sausages, no Bacon, nothing. Why pay for Eggs? We went back to the Hotel & knocked back our usual Eggs, Toast, Fruits etc.

After a relaxed morning on the Terrace & the lawns
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_2880.jpg
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we hit the Main Market for shopping & lunch. Decided to top up Diesel before that & also check the tyre pressure. Total Distance travelled - 321.2 kms, Diesel filled - 34.66 ltrs, Mileage obtained - 9.27 kmpl . Consistent performance with Xtra Mile.

I had a feeling that the great Leh View restaurant would play truant again & would say "No Lamb" - sent the kids to check out & sure enough, they didn't disappoint! We specifically checked if it would be available the next day & they said "Yes". So, after the mini shopping expedition was over, we went up the road towards our Hotel. The KC Cafeteria & Garden Cafe which had been recommended by Anup was on the way. Stopped & asked them if they were serving Non-Veg food and they said they were. Yippee!!
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_2903.jpg

Good food & very generous helpings too! Not much activity post lunch apart from an ATM visit. That's another wing of The Omasila & that's our Suite on the bottom left of the picture
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Sometime around sunset hour
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The next Day's (8th June) agenda was almost purely about food. Determinedly made our way to Wonderland to gorge on a heavy Breakfast of various types - Pancakes, Grilled Sandwiches, Sausages etc etc
Better Leh'd than Never - a 3,004 kms round trip of a lifetime!-img_2916.jpg

A quick visit to the Main market to pick up a few small mementoes that we'd missed, a T-shirt with typical Leh graffiti for my son & then we headed for the second important meal of the day to Leh View Restaurant!! A Rishta & another spicy Lamb preparation - nice, but the Rishta at the Jammu TRC had definitely been better, the gravy was way tastier. Anyway, enough of the Wazwahn cuisine for the time being! Views from Leh View & a glimpse of the Main Market
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Evening was a relaxed affair with a quick walk to Wonderland to buy cheese & order breakfast for the next day. A final click from the terrace
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A long & tough return journey lay ahead of us - a wee bit of apprehension about the unknown, coupled with huge expectancy & anticipation. We had Tanglang La & Baralacha La, not to mention Naki La & Lachulung La coming up in store for us. And Sarchu where we'd probably freeze at night. And then the dirt of Rohtang. All in the next couple of days. And then we'd be in the familiar climes of Manali. The Leh part of the journey was coming to an end - with mixed feelings, we turned in for the night. It was an early start the next day. And a tough drive........
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Old 30th June 2009, 14:24   #228
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WoW Suman,

this travelogue of yours deserve a 7 star rating,

i hope to do such a trip in my life at least once.
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Old 30th June 2009, 15:15   #229
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Suman, first time am reading a travelogue so fully, Excellent snaps and the safari ad snaps really resemble a proffessional touch..AWESOME!!!
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Old 30th June 2009, 15:44   #230
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Master story teller is leaving us in a lurch " - with mixed feelings, we turned in for the night. It was an early start the next day. And a tough drive........"

Waiting for the next instalment.
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Old 30th June 2009, 15:51   #231
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Thanks guys, your comments are mucho appreciated

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Master story teller is leaving us in a lurch
Kya karein Boss, hopefully will get an instalment in today - its the 30 image restriction that's killing me
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:01   #232
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Smile This is good...really good.

Hi Suman,

Nice write up and nice pictures. One of the best travelouge I had ever read. Thanks for your whole hearted effort to bring this up.
This travelouge had left a huge desire in me to get 'LEHed'.

Thanks Once Agian.
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:09   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Thanks guys, your comments are mucho appreciated


Kya karein Boss, hopefully will get an instalment in today - its the 30 image restriction that's killing me
Sirji you have not posted 30images today

Come on utilise your office time properly
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:22   #234
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suman are these pics or paintings? its just mind blowing.
man trust me i am just drooling all over your pics, nothing can be more tempting than this. i think i will have to plan one soon.
please keep posting more.

Last edited by pdev29 : 30th June 2009 at 16:23.
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:24   #235
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Default Day Eleven: The Drive to Tanglang La

The check-out formalities had been completed the previous evening so all we had to do was get the luggage loaded in The Beast, leave a handsome tip for the Housekeeping & Dining Room people who'd looked after us so well, say our Goodbyes to all & move on. As per The Omasila tradition, they presented us with silk scarves - pristine white. Here's our gracious Host Mr Nawang Tsering (he had so many photographs with Bollywood celebrities I can't tell you). Oh & btw, Angelina Jolie had also stayed at Omasila, did I mention that??
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We departed at 7.13 am. A very brief halt at Wonderland to pick up our sandwiches & then we moved on to the Manali-Leh highway. Stopped at a Pump to squeeze in a couple of litres of Diesel & then we were off towards Upshi
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We arrived an hour & ten minutes later and finished our Breakfast (accompanied by some Masala Tea) & proceeded towards our first pass of the day - Tanglang La. You will see it spelt differently in the different milestones (Taglang at the Pass itself & Tanglang elsewhere)! Paid Excise of Rs 70 down the road from Upshi
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We crossed towns with quaint names - Miru (12,210 feet), Lato (13,170 feet) and Gya, before crossing Rumste. We were still a distance away from our first target of the day
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In typical hilly tradition, the better the view was, the worse the roads got! Yes, the roads were slushy & potholed as you can see from the pics. Would have been real tricky in some places hadn't it been for the 4x4 - engage & move on without a care in the world! Quite a few people have asked about road conditions on this sector so I'm going to let the pics do the talking. Enjoy the view & the road conditions till we reach Tanglang La
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Last edited by suman : 30th June 2009 at 16:28.
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:56   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Quite a few people have asked about road conditions on this sector so I'm going to let the pics do the talking. Enjoy the view & the road conditions till we reach Tanglang La
Hey Suman, nice narration all the way man, and of course great pics. Are the pics of the climb towards Tanglang La or before the climb begins? To me the road appear quite decent keeping the territory in mind, except the snow/ice patches. However, seeing the real thing could be different from the perception I got from the images.

Did you encounter any repair work going on during your Leh-Manali stretch?
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Old 30th June 2009, 17:04   #237
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Default Day Eleven Continued: Beyond Tanglang, the More Plains!

We arrived at Tanglang La at 10.30 am to be greeted by soft snowflakes as we got out of the car - what we'd missed at Chang La, we got at Tanglang! That made our day. A restroom break, some more clicks and then we were ready to move on. Please notice the inconsistencies in the milestones data. If you remember, at Chang La, it said 17,586 feet. Tanglang says 17,582. So, by that reckoning, Chang La is higher than Tanglang La. But here it mentioned that we'd reached the second highest! Anyways, who cared, we were enjoying it all!
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Spent just about 20 minutes on T La Top & as expected, it was bloody chilly! Next on our agenda were the More Plains..........enjoy the descent from T La!
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50 minutes & 17 kms down the road, the topography indicated that we'd reached the More Plains
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Now, a brief word on the great More Plains! (IMHO) I've come to the conclusion that the sole purpose of this masterpiece of a Dirt Road is to confuse the hell out of any motorist. For example, at one point, there were stones across the main track, indicating a diversion. From what I could see, it appeared to be absolutely fine beyond the stones. But, there were a couple of lorries who were taking the diversion & a Safari coming from the opposite side also came from the diversion.

So we initially decided to take the diversion. We went about thirty meters or so & then I didn't like the looks of what I saw in the distance (lack of clear tyre tracks or rather, too many of them in different directions) so I came back to the place, circumvented the stones & kept following the original track. And everything was just fine!!! Couldn't figure out why the hell that diversion was created in the first place

Also, there is a long stretch where they have a dual carriageway (if you can call it a carriageway LOL) & you have to Guess which side they're not doing repair work on! Just when you think you are in the right lane, you have to change over to the other one! And expectedly, the central divider is anything but conducive to lane changing - pile of stones & loose earth/mud! With 4x4 at my disposal, changing over was a breeze but it did get monotonous after a while. This furry guy broke the monotony, though at a sizeable distance
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Nothing much to do except to drive & keep admiring the seemingly endless landscape
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Last edited by suman : 30th June 2009 at 17:06.
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Old 30th June 2009, 17:04   #238
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No words can describe this.... Great job, great pics, I have been planning and planning this trip and I dont think I can do it with family for the next 10 yrs.
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Old 30th June 2009, 17:29   #239
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Thanks for your kind words guys. As you have mentioned, some of it looks like its been painted!

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No words can describe this.... Great job, great pics
Hey Ankush, thanks man, hope all is well with you?

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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Are the pics of the climb towards Tanglang La or before the climb begins? To me the road appear quite decent keeping the territory in mind, except the snow/ice patches.Did you encounter any repair work going on during your Leh-Manali stretch?
Well, the sixth picture onwards (where you see a hell of a lot of potholes & slush) is part of the climb. Some parts would have been really slippery & potholed. Quite tricky for Bikes & Sedans, actually for any non-4x4.

Yes, repair work was going on in stretches
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Old 30th June 2009, 21:02   #240
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Suman W.*.*....a 4x4 at your disposal and you did not cut across more plains? Oh man that is what is the done thing. Not only the surface is better than the road but shorter too. See the picture where we climbed one of the hill sides bounding the More plains. The snow covered hills in middle front is Tanglang La
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At the back is mountain range on other side of Tsokar
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See these videos. In the second one we were hitting 100+ ;-)



Sorry for the interruption but if any one is going in a 4x4 through More Plain get off the road (if you can call it that) and try driving on the plains and enjoy the vastness.

Last edited by sudev : 30th June 2009 at 21:05.
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