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Old 6th July 2009, 11:30   #16
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@sudev : His shoes were wet from downpour last evening. So, he had to wear them for majority of the day.

Nice observation, though.
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Old 6th July 2009, 11:41   #17
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Superb!!! Desparately waiting for more.....

takecare and drive safely
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Old 6th July 2009, 12:12   #18
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Default Day 2 contd.. Tandi to Barachala La

After tanking up, the road conditions continued to be good until Keylong and Jispa. It was lunch time, and we made a pit stop at this restaraunt after Jispa.

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-1.jpg</a><br /> <br />
After this place the road conditions deteriorated. Tarmac paved way for small pebbles and stones. <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-2.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-3.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-4.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-10.jpg</a><br /> <br />
That is when we met this stream. Heavy gushing water falling into the cliff. Water was freezingly cold, and the only way to cross it seemed to be right through it. There was a truck following me. I stopped to let it through, and then walked to the stream to see how I can pass it. Finally, after identifying a passage through it, I took the plunge deciding not to look at the right side (cliff).<br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-5.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-6.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
One has to be extremely careful while crossing these streams. They look as if they can be crossed in a single twist on accelerator, but the trick is to avoid keeping the feet in water. This because the water is freezingly cold, and you don’t want to drive in cold weather with freezing feet. Here is what you can do:<br />
  a.Conservative : Keep a pair of sandals handy. Whenever attempting the stream, change from your shoes into them till you cross. Then, change back. Though it may be time consuming, it is by far the best way to keep dry.<br />
  b.Moderate : Keep wearing a polythene on your socks, and then the shoes. Attempt the stream. Only disadvantage is that though your feet will remain dry, your shoes will get wet. This is recommended in case there are a number of nullahs that you are going to cross, and are in nick of time.<br />
  c.What-the-heck : Just attempt the damn stream at the start. Try to balance yourself so that you will not have to keep feet down even once. It is risky as one may avoid keeping feet down even at the risk of losing balance. Not recommended for less experienced bikers.<br /> <br />
  With that said, we all attempted a combination of the above 3 while crossing the number of streams enroute. Personally, I liked the last way of attempt.<br /> <br /> <br />
Some kms after this stream was the Deepak Tal. A beautiful, serene water body that catches your eye. This is just before the advent of the Barachala La.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Deepak Tal<br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-19.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Kul ka Deepak at the Tal..thats me again<br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-18.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
More views<br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-11.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-12.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-13.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-14.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-15.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-16.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-17.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Now we started to attempt Barachala. It was the first pass after Rohtang, and we were quite excited. The tarmac was beautifully laid out. This is what you see as you ascend up the 16000 feet towards Barachala La. Note the glaciers coming on the road<br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-1.1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-3.1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-4.1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-5.1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-6.1.jpg</a></div>   <div style=
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Old 6th July 2009, 12:40   #19
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Default Day 2 contd.. Barachala La

BLa remains one of the most splendid and beautiful passes in the trip that this section will be only dedicated to the pics of it. After seeing the pics, you may call it the Black & white Pass, since that are only 2 colors you see there. White - Snow, Black - Tarmac.

The huge snow walls on either sides of the road gives you that Jab We Met kinda feeling. This is just minutes before the pass itself. Snow, now everywhere.

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-7.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-10.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-12.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-13.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-14.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-15.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-16.jpg</a><br /> <br />
By now, it had started to snow but we carried on. <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-18.jpg</a><br /> <br />
Having a bike not just gives you curious looks from those in the traffic studded jams (in their cars), but also gives you that advantage of overtaking them. <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-19.jpg</a><br /> <br />
We discovered that this huge pile up was actually a traffic jam since a truck had some problem at a nullah near to the pass, and was stuck. <br /> <br />
Thats the traffic at a standstill coming from opposite side<br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-20.jpg</a><br /> <br />
Thats the culprit. And on the truck's side, that dude (Sunil) is attempting to overtake after driving on that snow on the left side.<br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-28.jpg</a><br /> <br />
This is how 16000 feet look from a biker's lense<br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-22.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-24.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-25.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-26.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-27.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-29.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <div align=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-30.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-31.jpg</a><br /> </div><br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-32.jpg</a><br /> <br />
Our hands were numb and we were desperately looking for a place to get warm.</div>   <div style=
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Old 6th July 2009, 12:42   #20
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Very nice write up and fabulous pics.
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Old 6th July 2009, 12:54   #21
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Our search for filling our stomach was met in a jiffy. We stopped at this tent restaurant near Barachala, where hot maggi, and tea got us back in the mood. After seeing Black & white for quite a while now, the colors inside the tent gave more warmth to eyes than the hot tea.



Sandeep and Sunil happy after attempting BLa
Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-1.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
It was decided to keep moving to avoid AMS, and we carried on. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Just as we thought that descend would be simpler, more treachorous conditions met us. Mother Nature had other plans and challenges for us. I had read about the ice melting stuff, and water streams in various travelogues, but having seen it from my eyes they seemed a nightmare. Have a look<br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-2.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Hardly could we see the road, and it looked like a road built on a small river with freezing water flowing from 16000 feet to a lower altitude. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-3.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-4.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-5.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-7.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-8.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-9.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-10.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
Some kms on this tricky stretch, and then dry parched roads welcomed us. <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />
Long road to Sarchu<br /> <br /> <img src=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040306.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040307.jpg</a><br /> <br /> <br />
None of us had enough energy to go to the small restaurant next to the post to have dinner. So, we munched some biscuits, namkeens, got our stuff inside, and dozed off. It was quite windy, but our tent had no problems (swaying, etc.) and we were quite cozy inside. It was my first camping experience, and the torch light amidst a desert of barren land at 14,000 feet where it was light at 8 pm, was awesome and to date unexplainable.<br /> <br />
Our camp at 14,000 feet Sarchu..Note the ambience..truly picturesque<br /> <br /> <a href=Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040308.jpg</a><br /> <br />
The only drawback I felt was that my feet were cold throughout the night. No matter how much I tried to make them warm, by socks, my hands, occasional farts, but it would just not come at the right temperature <img src=. I just ignored and slept .. it was a sounder sleep than yesterday, more so because the sleeping room was small comparatively.

Tomorrow, we will be Leh’d, and I am looking to it. Day 2 mission accomplished.
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Old 6th July 2009, 12:54   #22
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Nostalgic. never in my entire years have i seen "bara locha" that smooth. I can see the hutments are not even ready yet as they were planning to construct some for a regular DET kind of thing near to the BTop. Cherish these memories dude and they will make you return every time you go through them.
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Old 6th July 2009, 12:56   #23
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@rkavthekar, bblost : Thanks guys. I am still compiling pics for 3rd day, will come up with more soon.

@wanderernomad : I wish to go there again, lets see.

Last edited by cutdcrap : 6th July 2009 at 12:58.
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Old 6th July 2009, 14:35   #24
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Nice pictures. Keep them coming.
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Old 6th July 2009, 15:01   #25
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cutdcrap, very good write-up and great pics, i know there is more fun ahead, you just reached sarchu, keep it comming
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Old 6th July 2009, 15:23   #26
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To Sarchu in two days from Delhi...recipe for AMS?
Instead of Diamox it is much better to start on Disprins twice a day and drink loads of water. Waiting to hear how your night in the tent passed.
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Old 6th July 2009, 18:03   #27
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Default Day 3: Sarchu – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Moore Plains – Tanglang - Leh

Day 3: Sarchu – Gata Loops - Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Moore Plains – Tanglang La - Upashi – Karu - Leh (08-Jun-09, Sunday)
Start time: 0630 hrs (from Manali)
Reach time: 1900 hrs (Sarchu)
Total Distance covered: 252 kms
Average Speed: 20.16 km/hr

After a good night sleep, it was time to wake up and move ahead. It was a matter of utmost priority, being Leh’d. The first view outside the tent was splendid, and I shouted wow. This made the 2 sound sleepers pop out of their sleeping bags, and scream, “what the heck”. Atlast, they got up – I said to myself.

The sun shined brightly, and even though it was windy, we felt good. We quickly packed our stuff, and set ahead. The front wheel cover had ice onto it, and so was on the seats.

The first drama of the day happened when Sandeep’s bike refused to start. No matter what he would do, kick or self start, it would just not oblige. A thought came to our mind – maybe someone has tampered with our bikes when we were asleep.

Just as I self started my P150, it came to life, coughed a little and engine died again. Crap, I said. Restarted, and then it was fine. So, Sunil had a cool look on his face, and self started his P200 (it has no kick).

Nothing happened……

We were stunned. 7 – 8 more tries, nothing happening. Meanwhile, I thought let us push start the Avy. So, with Sandeep sitting on his bike pressing the clutch since bike is in 1st gear, we pushed till a comfortable 15 km/hr is attained. He lets loose the clutch, and bike stops. The biggest shock is that me and Sunil are panting like dogs, realizing that our lungs are the size of peanuts.

This is when we realize that we are at 14,000 feet where oxygen is low. I felt dizzy, maybe the AMS was kicking in. After resting for about 5 minutes and drinking water were we able to get back to normal.

Till then, Sunil walks to his P200 and sees that his bike was in gear and that was the reason it wasn’t starting. So, the pulsars are back to life screaming in an otherwise pin drop silence background while Avy is still down.

Now, Me and Sunil decide to lend a leg each to push the Avenger with our legs while we keep riding our bikes. The Avy is upto 20km/hr this time, and as he lets loose the clutch, the bike coughs but doent fire up. A series of kicks and self starts does the trick, and all the steeds are up. What a start. At that point, I remind Sandeep about the importance of that malfunctioning Choke wire he was ignoring when we started from Delhi.

While crossing the check post, the security guard asked if we felt cold at night. We said yes, and he informed that it was -13 degrees yesterday night. That explained the cold feet I had last night. Phew, camping at -13 at 14k feet was helluva experience.

We had to cover famous Gata loops and 3 passes today – Nakee La (15,547 feet), Lachulung La (16,600 feet) and Tanglang La (17,582 feet – second highest pass in the world). The road from Sarchu to Pang, though around 90 kms only is one that seems endless.

Road from Sarchu to Gata loops is mostly broken, and the ride was thus quite bumpy enough to wake up the any sleep left in the eyes in the morning. Tarmac on the Gata loops is extremely good, and we were driving quite fast here.

Here is what to expect from Sarchu to Gata Loops

















Gata loops


Gata loops is a series of 21 hairpin loops that takes you nearer to the first pass of the day, Nakee La. Here is from Gata Loops to NakeeLa









Nakee La


We just clicked a quick picture and within 45 minutes were at the second pass, Lachulung La. The stretch between these 2 passes was extremely broken, and we had to be very careful. There was melting snow, water streams, puddles everywhere. This was the worst stretch of the entire trip, I must say.

Lachulung La


The descent after Lachulung La was again plagued by water flowing downstream from 17,000 feet. Since it was early morning, the conditions were not as bad as they were in BLa yesterday. Road conditions further deteriorated from the pass to Pang camp. Small pebbles occasionally changed to bigger ones, and we had to be careful while driving. Within 90 minutes, we were at Pang.

Road to Pang


Pang is a stop over place before attempting the Moore plains. It has a lot of tent restaurants with all kinda food. Since, it was our first meal, we had Veg thalis. This is where we met and talked to a lot of guys enroute.

Pang






The first were a group of 6 guys from Delhi in Tavera who had lied to their parents of being in Manali, while they were going to touch Leh and come back. Weird though, one of them had symptoms of AMS. I offered him balm for headache, and Diamox.

The guys from Delhi at the back


The second were a foreign couple on Splendour bearing a KA number. The guy was a Frenchman who had cycled to India, where he was joined by his Norwegian wife in Bangalore. There, they purchased this bike (the lady was happy in saying Hero Honda is very reliable) and were travelling since past 3 months. They were to reach Leh the same day, sell their bikes since their visa expired the next day, and then travel to Thailand. For next 6 months or so, they would travel before heading back home. What a life, I exclaimed. A wife who is as crazy as you are!!
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Old 6th July 2009, 18:06   #28
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Default Day 3 contd..Sarchu to Moore Plains

Minutes after we crossed Pang did we reach the place I just fell in love with – Moore plains. It is so darn difficult to imagine an approximately 60km flat stretch of road at more than 15,000 feet. At the outset, there isn’t anything that one can call a road, just a track one can follow. It seems like eternity that you will reach anywhere. Just so flat, like a desert. After some time, the road appears, and then you get to enjoy this beautiful place even more.

Let the pics of Moore plains do the talking

















































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Old 6th July 2009, 19:24   #29
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Whats wrong with his hand? Sun burn or steam burn?
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Old 6th July 2009, 20:19   #30
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A trip that requires a lot of guts!

Hats off to all three of you!
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