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Old 3rd July 2009, 23:31   #1
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Smile Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes

Guys,

This was one of the trips that I had only dreamt of and now that I have done it, the travelogue that follows looks like a dream. Its one of those feelings when a cloud passes through you, and you realize the vapours only after it has gone. Please bear with me for the limited time I have because of the backlog of the work. It will be my endeavor to complete this travelogue at the earliest.

Day 1: Delhi – Chandigarh – Bilaspur – Mandi – Kullu – Manali (06-Jun-09, Saturday)
Start time: 0415 hrs (from GT Karnal By Pass)
Reach time: 1800 hrs (Manali)
Total Distance covered: 591 kms
Average Speed: 42.67 km/hr

The moods were high, and so were the energy levels. Why not, it was going to be a trip of a lifetime for us 3 guys doing Delhi-Leh-Delhi on our bikes. First the guys:

Me (Kapil), Sandeep (my Bro-in-law) and Sunil (Sandeep’s friend) on P150, Avenger and P200.

Sandeep dropped in at my place on 05th evening and we decided to set up our bikes by the night so that we can charge early morning at 3am. Sandeep decided to mount the saddle bags and the tent on his Avy, while I was to carry the 2 sleeping and 2 additional bags (with stuff in them). Reason was simple, Saddle bags and tents were waterproof while all other were not, so the logic of carrying all non-waterproof stuff on one bike.

Sandeep happy with the outcome


By the time we were done, it was already 12. So, we hushed back into bed to catch atleast 2 hrs sleep. Got going at 3. As soon as we neared ISBT bridge, the stuff mounted on my pulsar started going to a side, and Sandeep noticed it. No sooner that we stopped were we joined by 2 police men who wanted us to prove our identities to them since it was so early in morning and that area is considered as prone to thefts. After pacifying them and telling them we were headed to Ladakh, the next task was to fix the stuff. The moment I touched the bungee cords, I found 2 of them had snapped!!

This was attributed to the naivety amidst us who had pulled the bungee cords from over the seat to the space between the rear tyre and the wall above it. We didn’t realize at that time that the tyre would also move up and down (due to shocker effect) and thus snap the cords. Thankfully, we had a spare cord, and our lesson was learnt.

Reached GT Karnal road around 4am, where Sunil joined us from Gurgaon on his P200 at 415 am. We did a final check on the bikes, high five and were off…..

Butt break..Sunil and Sandeep


Next stop was at Karnal, where we stopped for light breakfast. Did a check on bikes, stuff, cleaned the visor and then headed on. After that, every stop had a visor cleaning exercise dedicatedly.

It was a configuration that was maintained till the time we were in plains. No prizes for guessing: P200, Avy and then poor me (on 150). While the 200 really ran amazingly, I was able to keep the Avy in sight. We crossed Chandigarh around 8 am, and our next stop was Bilaspur, where we had a heavy brunch (paranthas).

Bilaspur bus stand


Some time after Bilaspur, the thirsty Avy and P200 wanted petrol while I was smiling all the way. I knew there was more than enough to take me to Manali, and boy was I right.

Onwards was the first time we saw the mountains of the trip, and we were excited nonetheless.

The first sight..


Worth mentioning is the change in configuration (now reversed), since I always had this something for driving in hills – feel like I belong to the mountains. No time for nostalgia, we stopped for a refreshing banta (lemon soda) since it was getting hotter.

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040106.jpg

Pandoh Dam


Water power


Sandeep


Minutes after crossing the Pandoh dam, it started raining, and my raincoat was with Sandeep. I decided to push for another 15-20 minutes anticipating the rain to stop, but it didn’t. At last, I stopped and waited for the others to arrive. Got my raincoat and from then on, it was with me always. Stopped just before Kullu for a meal. All this while, it had been raining. We took the decision to head to Manali no matter what since our days for the trip were limited, and we reached Manali at 1800 hrs.

We were surprised to see that there was an entry fee of Rs.100 per bike in Manali. Checked in at a hotel, and unloaded our bikes. We then decided to have a visit to the Mall road, and have the dinner there only. Also, we had forgotten to buy Diamox and me my leather gloves back at home. The hills looked spectacular, and we were excited about the next day. There was no sign of a fatigue or anything, just pure passion and adrenalin to head ahead next day. Mall Road was jam packed with all tourists, being the tourist season.

Me n sunil at Mall road


Got gloves, diamox, had dinner, got our bikes filled up and collapsed on bed.

The heater was on all night so that our stuff could be dry for the next day, and not to mention it was a sleep well earned.

1 heater to dry all that stuff...omg


View from our room


More view



Snoring was not prohibited in the room, and this privilege was not underutilized by any of us.

Tomorrow was the day we were really looking forward to, and just one day stood amidst us and Leh.

Things to come
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Old 3rd July 2009, 23:45   #2
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Awesome..waiting to read more. Nice to see the spirit of adventure in you 'roadies'! Now this is what the roadies should have!

Last edited by pranava999 : 3rd July 2009 at 23:47.
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Old 4th July 2009, 00:05   #3
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wow! Another good travelogue in the making! Waiting for more!
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Old 4th July 2009, 13:19   #4
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wow, this is one of the most intresting travelogue to go through, pranav yeah this is what a roadies should be which we see in you three, waiting for further details Kapil.
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Old 4th July 2009, 14:57   #5
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WoW, Leh on bikes !!
i lookforward to the next chapters.
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Old 4th July 2009, 15:47   #6
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post some more pics with your bike
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Old 4th July 2009, 18:35   #7
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Hey this is really nice. Brings back memories of my crazy solo long ride days. Makes me want to take off on 2 wheels again.
The feeling of 'oneness' that one gets while riding is an experience to relish. Its a feeling that will never die and one that you will want more of, again and again.
This seems to be the season of Leh travelogues, but this one is unique- 2 wheels to start with.
Will follow this travelogue closely.
Cheers,
J
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Old 5th July 2009, 11:21   #8
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Boy-0 Boy , I was waiting for this travelogue since days after i saw the teaser pic that you had posted.

I'm planning a trip to Leh in August but on alto though , can't wait to see your entire travelogue to get some tips. Cheers Guys
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Old 5th July 2009, 11:54   #9
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Default To Leh on bikes

While returning back from our trip to Leh I saw a lot of Bullets bearing DL, KA, GA, HR numbers going up. That made me nostalgic about my days on my Bullet. I almost promised myself that I would do this trip again and this time on my Bullet.

But saner sense probably prevailed and I didn't make that promise. I shall ever regret that...
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Old 5th July 2009, 13:48   #10
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@pranava999, pulsar56, vijaythacker, starvegabond, jaysmokesleaves : Thanks guys

@pawan_pullarwar : Will do

@gd1418 : I understand that. This trip took me 1 year of persuasion with my family.

I will be posting the Day 2 travelogue soon, this is where the real juice of the trip starts. Darn the time constraint.
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Old 6th July 2009, 10:08   #11
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Default Day 2: Manali – Rohtang - Khoksar – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – Barachala La - Sarchu

Day 2: Manali – Rohtang - Khoksar – Tandi – Keylong – Jispa – Barachala La - Sarchu (07-Jun-09, Sunday)
Start time: 0530 hrs (from Manali)
Reach time: 1900 hrs (Sarchu)
Total Distance covered: 265 kms
Average Speed: 19.34 km/hr

This is the day we were looking forward the most to, since it would be the advent of our real journey. The plan was to cross the 2 passes, Rohtang (13,051 feet) and Barachala (16,000 feet) in a single day, and then stay at Sarchu (14,000 feet).

[FONT=&quot]The first view of the fantastic weather outside just made our day. Have a look
[/FONT]Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040141.jpg
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Some more
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[FONT=&quot]
More
[/FONT]Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040143.jpg
[FONT=&quot]
Even more
[/FONT]Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040150.jpg
[FONT=&quot]
After a tank full on the Avy and P200, we were off to Rohtang.

Thats me
[/FONT]Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040148.jpg
[FONT=&quot]
The board says it all where we were headed
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[FONT=&quot]
There was tremendous traffic enroute Rohtang – endless lines of Sumos, Qualis, and other vehicles. All this around 6 am. Having a two wheeler is a boon in such situations. The road is broken for most of the part enroute Rohtang. This is what you will see enroute Manali to Marhi. See how the landscape changes from Green to brown and then white

[/FONT]Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-2.jpg

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See the traffic
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Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc04783.jpg

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Glaciers enroute
Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc05789.jpg

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Sandeep
Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040163.jpg

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040164.jpg

That is Marhi in the backdrop. The place where most cabbies halt for refreshments, and mostly for those big gum boots that help you walk the snow. We didnt stop there, though.
Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc04791.jpg
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Old 6th July 2009, 10:31   #12
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Default Day 2 contd.. Marhi to Rohtang

The worst of roads begins after Marhi, where muddy pools created by vehicles and melting ice make things slippery. Views enroute Rohtang from Marhi



Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc04792.jpg


Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc04793.jpg


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This is how treachorous the slushy and slippery ice on the road can become. I later learned Sunil had slipped with his bike on this stretch. One has to be extremely careful on such conditions, especially on two wheeler. This was just serving as a trailer of what lays ahead in the next 2 days.



Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040184.jpg


Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040186.jpg


Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040188.jpg


Finally, we reached Rohtang. Due to my speed, I reached about an hour earlier than Sunil and Sandeep. We all had Maggi and bread toasts at Rohtang, and lazed around a bit. The tourist season makes this place full of people and traffic.



I got nostalgic about when I had visited this place many years ago, and my parents took every care of me to wrap me in fur coats, monkey cap, gum boots. I remembered how I had sledged with my parents, and then beep beep.... Sandeep arrives. I have definitely grown up. Here is Rohtang for your eyes. Needless to say, it was our first pass of the trip at 13,000 feet and was snow bound.



Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc04795.jpg

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We were kinda busy attending to people who were amazed by our attempt of coming from Delhi on bikes, while they had their bottoms tired out in cars. And of course, we went on telling them where we were headed.


Masala Maggi and tea time

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040193.jpg


[FONT=&quot]Before proceeding, we met 2 guys from Hyd, one on his Unicorn and other on his Discover who were also doing the same trip. They were planning to stay at Sarchu. We carried off, pledging to meet later.

Me with the guys from Hyd
[/FONT]Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-p1040194.jpg
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Old 6th July 2009, 10:46   #13
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This is truly great stuff. Awesome pictures and eagerly waiting for more.
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Old 6th July 2009, 11:02   #14
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Default Day 2 contd.. Rohtang to Tandi

After enjoying the snow at Rohtang and our tummies filled, it was time to go.



Sunil adjusting the stuff before we move on
Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-1.jpg


The scenery after Rohtang changes dramatically, and becomes more rugged. The snow clad peaks only made us push harder to conquer them. Road conditions worsened since the water from melting snow at such altitude flows on the roads in the descent, and makes life horrible. For the next 30 minutes, we were travelling at not more than 5-10 km/hr.


That is when this beautiful stream came enroute and we couldnt stop clicking.


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Snow peaks
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Small temple enroute


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Bikes wanting to conquer the peaks themselves. See the one on the left, its already started moving ahead


Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-8.jpg


Thats me. You see the sandals on the back of Sunil's P200, thats for pagal nullahs

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-9.jpg


Nice tarmac, good to see after Marhi. All enroute Khoksar from Rohtang

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Not for long though as this stream met us, and it was the first of our nullah experiences.
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It was then a smooth ride from Khoksar to Tandi, with nice tarmac and views. Here is wht you will see till Tandi. Have a look at huge snow peaked mountains with flowing glaciers almost nullifying our presence. All I can say is cherish these pics as we did the scenery.

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A beautiful stretch of road with lovely green pastures on either sides. We had to click.


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We reached Tandi only to find that the tanker was filling in the petrol, and we will have to wait for another 15-20 minutes. It was a long queue upto then.

Here we met 5 guys from Dehradun in their Scorpio and SX4. We continued to meet almost everyday enroute after then. They were also planning to halt at Sarchu.

At last it was our turn to get the petrol filled. The big shock came now, as I tanked my bike for 11 litres after tanking up 15.2 litres at Manali. I had only travelled some 116 kms, which meant my bike had consumed 11 litres in that distance. No way was I to believe that crap, when Sandeep suggested that some one would have taken out the petrol at night of my bike, since I had tanked it up the night before.


Waiting to tank up for next 365 kms - IOC Petrol pump, Tandi

Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc05822.jpg



Furious, I tanked the bike again also hoping in the inside of me that there should be no problems with fuel efficiency now, cause next fuel station is 365 kms away as this board at the pump announces.
Delhi-Leh-Delhi, 3058kms, 3 guys, 9 days, Best part..we did it on bikes-dsc05823.jpg
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Old 6th July 2009, 11:26   #15
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Wow that is amazing spirit. Next dose please.

What * * this guys was driving bike in his sandals?
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