Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 2nd September 2009, 10:21   #16
Senior - BHPian
 
prince_pervez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Redwood shores, CA, USA
Posts: 4,205
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

The pictures look promising. Can't wait for more. Hurry up
prince_pervez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2009, 14:41   #17
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,992
Thanked: 356 Times
Default

@abk: The cottage in Manali looks awesome Details and rates please
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd September 2009, 16:42   #18
BHPian
 
ptushar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 306
Thanked: 218 Times
Default

Great writeup and great pictures indeed. Particularly liked your "Pic 04 | The misty / cloudy morning at Manali" picture. This is an excellent snap.

I notice that the road condition looks pretty bad. Was it this way all throughout or was this limited to a few patches?
ptushar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 03:43   #19
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Default

Day 04: Sunday, Aug 16 : KEYLONG – TANDI – KEYLONG – JISPA – BARALACHA LA - SARCHU

Most of the gang woke up early as was decided last night, except me. However, as the blokes were getting ready to leave for Tandi for refueling I thought it was prudent to let laziness aside & be on my feet again. Because we had to decide what amounts of extra fuel (diesel Innova, petrol Vista) to carry et al. The FE for the Innova from Manali to Keylong was around 7 Kmpl whereas it was about 6 Kmpl for the Vista

Ankush, Yash & myself along with Naresh reached Tandi at 7 AM & was happy to find that the filling station guys were sharp on time: they were open. As Innova has fuel tank of 55 lts we thought it was reasonably safe not to stock up any additional diesel. But the Vista being still almost so new (about 1,200 Kms on odometer before setting on for this odyssey) & smaller fuel tank coupled with exceptionally bad FE from Manali to Keylong posed more threats. Therefore, we filled up all the 2 lts coke/pepsi bottles we had got with us (6 of them) with petrol (a total 12 lts) as back up. We came back in the hotel for the breakfast (food was included in the overall tariff). The breakfast was hearty - buffet of Aloo puri, omlettes & tea. We packed up, gave the cars a quick wash & were on the roads again, leaving hotel at 9:30 AM for Leh. By the way, coke/pepsi 2 lts bottles are exceptionally good for carrying extra petrol in car. Not even the slightest smell of petrol despite carrying them around in the Innova for 4 days driving around 700 Kms.

The clear blue skies under the unhindered sun soared our spirits (though I was still feeling sick despite swallowing in another Diamox in the morning). Soon we left Jispa & were experiencing the first signs of things to come in Ladakh. The mountains & the valleys turned from green to brown & gradually to grey. Not long before we were out of what seemed like the inhabited world then we came across the Deepak tal. Stopped over here briefly (no stopover was truly brief due to cameras coming out in a flash & camera happy folks having thousandsposes to offer) till the Vista joined us.

It was later after we left Deepak tal that thoughts at the back of Yash's & my heads made both of us realise reaching Leh the same day might not be realistically achievable. As we ascended to much higher altitudes Yash suggested that since the real fun of Leh - Ladakh is in the travelling bit we might as well travel at our own easy pace & explore places on the way instead of mindless driving in order to reach Leh ASAP. I quickly calculated that it would be no earlier than 10 at night that we could reach Leh. If driven relatively comfortably the Moore plains we hit us in the dark. We were against the idea of driving in the Moore plains in the dark due to potential hazards & also did not want to miss out on the sights in the dark. Therefore, we decided to stopover at Sarchu & check out the tent accommodations there. If they looked tempting we thought we might as well spend the night at Sarchu. We had anyway planned to spend a night at Sarchu though in the return journey, in order to avoid AMS related problems ensuring we have had adequate acclimatisation by then.

We reached Sarchu at 1:30 PM. Yash & I went checking out one of the places & settled the deal for a total of Rs. 4,000/- for the night that included 2 tents, dinner & breakfast for all 7 of us + driver. After a while the second car turned up & the gang in that car were caught a little by surprise at our decision to spend the night at Sarchu instead of driving till Leh. We convinced them with the same reasons that were going through Yash's & my heads. Soon we offloaded bulk of the stuff & moved them into the tents. This is when Amit at his energetic best set out to get some mutton (goat meat) & malted barleys. By the way, Amit, Yash, Pasha & myself are absolute foodies - especially mutton either at Karim's or cooked by me or by a friend of mine.

Amit & Ankush returned with lamb meat instead & a crate of Foster's cans but not before they got their heads soaked under stream water on the way. Amit also announced that instead of spending the night at Sarchu we could drive further to Pang & stay there. The idea sounded better so I thought of checking with the tent owner at Sarchu what accommodation was available at Pang. He advised they are tea stall tents. I interpreted it as shoddy tents lacking basic amenities so convinced Amit to stay at Sarchu instead. Besides, I was tiring out & becoming breathless after walking languidly a few steps or after talking for a minute or so &, therefore, lacked any energy to pack up again & get going.

After a few swigs I retired on the tent bed whilst others continued to have fun. I heard thunders & saw lighting flashes but dismissed them telling the rest of the gang that Sarchu was in rain shadow area so it would not rain.

Now, let me narrate the actual events:
  • A while later my assumptions were thoroughly disproved. It rained cats & dogs along with strong chilly winds.
  • I did not verify the availability of accommodation at Pang from Ramkya1's Ladakh maps (document titled Leh Road Options). By the way, these maps were extremely useful throughout - right from planning the trip to actually while we were on the road. Thanks a ton, Ramkya1
  • We should have abstained ourselves from Fosters
  • Amit & Ankush, & all the gang, should have been warned strictly against undertaking any undue adventures like soaking their heads under cold stream water, climbing up several blocks of stones & rocks, etc
  • I had been overtly cautious about AMS personally despite being a frequent visitor to hills & mountains. However, I did not propagate the cautiousness in the required degree to the others

Our experiences taught us that:
  • We should not have stayed the night at Sarchu. If at all we had to spend a night somewhere before reaching Leh we should have at least gone as far as Pang. It would have saved us a lot of money (Rs. 100/- per person) if not the problems listed below
  • Ankush started to throw up since evening. By the morning next day he had drawn a Laxman Rekha around our camp throwing up everything that went in to his tummy
  • Amit felt sick in the evening & by next morning he was very badly unwell
  • Rest all of us were feeling unwell to varying degrees. Manu phaaji was the fittest.

The bottom line is: All of us were affected by AMS. Some quite badly.

Everybody was asleep by 7 PM. Whilst I actually got up at that time & had something to eat. Mac, Yash & I slept on the sleeping mats in our sleeping bags. Yash had one sleeping bag inside another so he was complaining of it being hot whereas next to him myself & Mac were struggling a little with the cold around our feet due to some wind sneaking into our tent. Although the camp owner asked me to feel free to use the 3rd tent but I was not keen on sleeping alone in that tent. Rather preferred to lie in the same tent with the other bachelor blokes. Togetherness is fun.

We all finally get into slumber - some more than others. The day which appeared brilliant to start with had a rather dull & unpleasant early end. Staring at me was the obvious questions: What will tomorrow bring for us? A comfortable hassle free drive to eventually reach Leh? Or?

Picture time now folks! Let the pictures tell you a tale or two!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05090.jpg
Pic 13 | How do we go from here??

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05104.jpg
Pic 14 | Morning glory (at Keylong outside HPTDC hotel)

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-111.jpg
Pic 15 | The view of the mountains from the other side of the HPTDC hotel. The hotel also has tent accommodation.

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-115.jpg
Pic 16 | The good roads.. only lasts for a while

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-img_0431.jpg
Pic 17 | Valleys. The way I love them. Enticing & deep!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05155.jpg
Pic 18 | Here we are on the roads again..

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05167.jpg
Pic 19 | Green gives way to brown.. & grey

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05168.jpg
Pic 20 | What lies ahead?

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-img_0424.jpg
Pic 21 | Badly mangled body of a car near Darcha. Seems like fell from one of the winding roads atop. Note the number plate says "A/F"

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010677.jpg
Pic 22 | Deepak Tal

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010686.jpg
Pic 23 | Ice capped mountain tops at Baralacha La

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-181.jpg
Pic 24 | Roads & streams

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-176.jpg
Pic 25 | "Rocky mountain high" - John Denver

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010735.jpg
Pic 26 | The dormitory at our camp site at Sarchu

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010748.jpg
Pic 27 | The camp where Pasha & Reena stayed

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010759.jpg
Pic 28 | An aerial view of the camp site at Sarchu

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05189.jpg
Pic 29 | An adventure that Amit paid quite dearly

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05198.jpg
Pic 30 | "And after it rains there's a rainbow.."

Last edited by abk : 3rd September 2009 at 04:02.
abk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 09:58   #20
NIP
Senior - BHPian
 
NIP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,151
Thanked: 81 Times
Default

Fantastic shots and wonderful writeup !! Thanks for sharing. That santro mishap looks terrible...feel sad for them. But the beautiful rainbow brought a smile back on my face Simply amazing shot ! Eagerly waiting for more...
NIP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 11:39   #21
Senior - BHPian
 
rkbharat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Gurgaon/New Delhi
Posts: 1,590
Thanked: 608 Times
Default

fantastic, Actually Sarchu is strictly no no, on the going journey, but very much yes while returning back, when you are well acclimatized for the altitudes
rkbharat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 12:21   #22
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 56
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

Very well written Travelogue and some great inspirational pictures, my friend.
Sli_ce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 17:02   #23
BHPian
 
akas_chauhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 595
Thanked: 22 Times
Default

Nice pictures and well written details.
BTW what's registration number A/F means?
akas_chauhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 17:19   #24
Senior - BHPian
 
mjothi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,252
Thanked: 216 Times
Default

Fantastic pics. Esp the Rainbow.
mjothi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd September 2009, 19:56   #25
BHPian
 
ptushar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 306
Thanked: 218 Times
Default

Brilliant! Wow! Those pictures are amazing. Sorry to read about your AMS exeprience though.

This is getting better and better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abk View Post
Staring at me was the obvious questions: What will tomorrow bring for us? A comfortable hassle free drive to eventually reach Leh? Or?
Do you by chance direct Hindi TV soaps? This sounds almost like the last scene of of the daily serials...
ptushar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2009, 08:55   #26
Senior - BHPian
 
harishnayak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: DELHI
Posts: 1,388
Thanked: 116 Times
Default

@ABK - Finally i get to see your travelogue , good going so far. amazing write up s and even more amazing pictures. Do post some interesting pictures of your cars that were used in the trip.

@ akas chauhan - A/F means applied for , so the car was brand new before it met with its fate
harishnayak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2009, 12:04   #27
abk
BHPian
 
abk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NOIDA / Gurgaon
Posts: 276
Thanked: 8 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
@abk: The cottage in Manali looks awesome Details and rates please
MileCruncher I have been advised that the owner does not rent out the place commercially. It is more for private use

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptushar View Post

I notice that the road condition looks pretty bad. Was it this way all throughout or was this limited to a few patches?
I can safely vouch that the road all the way from Gurgaon to Leh via Manali is much better than I anticipated. A good yardstick to put things into perspective would be that I could have well taken my OHC II to Leh. Road per se from Marhi to Rohtang La was bad but not all that bad. Rains & tourist swarm made it worse. The next bad stretch we encountered was at Tanglang La. Overall, my expectations were exceeded all thanks to BRO

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbharat View Post
fantastic, Actually Sarchu is strictly no no, on the going journey, but very much yes while returning back, when you are well acclimatized for the altitudes
rkbharat, in fact every cloud has a silver lining. Will elaborate on this as I make further progress with my travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptushar View Post
Do you by chance direct Hindi TV soaps? This sounds almost like the last scene of of the daily serials...
I am absolute no no of TV. Dont think i spend more than a few hours annually watching the TV (except cricket!). However, the idea of winding up the day's narration with a question (albeit blatant) has been royally plagiarised from Tintin's adventures. Those days for us Tintin was published as 2 pager in a fortnightly local vernacular magazine. At the end of that 2 pager I would always wonder what's coming next because the current pager would seem to end in a dramatic twist or likewise..

All folks, thanks a lot for all your appreciations! That's what kept me posting on this travelogue very late at night (bad at work). Unfortunately, I could not get down to continue last night & looks like tonight will bring nothing either. Will continue posting just as soon as I can get down to doing it.

Last edited by abk : 4th September 2009 at 12:06.
abk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4th September 2009, 21:05   #28
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Jammu
Posts: 83
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

Interesting narrative.
The contact details and rates at the cottage in Manali. Keylong hotel and Sarchu tents?
Indizen08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2009, 07:05   #29
Senior - BHPian
 
harishnayak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: DELHI
Posts: 1,388
Thanked: 116 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
@ABK - Finally i get to see your travelogue , good going so far. amazing write up s and even more amazing pictures. Do post some interesting pictures of your cars that were used in the trip.

@ akas chauhan - A/F means applied for , so the car was brand new before it met with its fate

2nd request - Please post pictures of the man and the machine at the travellers Mecca.
harishnayak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th September 2009, 14:20   #30
Joy
BHPian
 
Joy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 305
Thanked: 25 Times
Default

Brilliant pictures. Eagerly waiting for the next episode to unfold.

@abk please update soon.
Joy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bangalore to Ladakh - A drive as great as the destination ru153 Travelogues 54 6th May 2017 12:04
Travel is all about exploration, not the destination - Long ride on a Continental GT mkovuri Travelogues 7 8th October 2014 11:40
Leh and Ladakh - Trip Planning - All queries go here Abhiknov Route / Travel Queries 943 31st May 2013 11:03


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 07:44.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks