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Old 5th September 2009, 17:57   #31
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Thumbs up This is Amazing

Just Amazing.

I have been keenly following all the thread about Leh, and firmed up to do that sometime in next 6 months. Home Ministry approval awaited. Hope to get it soon.
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Old 6th September 2009, 06:23   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advaitlele View Post
Just Amazing.

I have been keenly following all the thread about Leh, and firmed up to do that sometime in next 6 months. Home Ministry approval awaited. Hope to get it soon.

And to tell you i had planned to get Leh'ed with ABK but somehow my plan didn't materialise due to non-availability of leaves for wifey :( .

I guess the only next opportunity is next year after april
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Old 6th September 2009, 07:23   #33
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The pictures are heavenly. I liked the message on the IO board. Next fuel bunk 3** kms ahead. This should be the norm on the general highways even.
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Old 6th September 2009, 07:31   #34
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I guess that board had been placed there only because thats the only stretch in India without any petrol pumps for such a long distance otherwise why would the government bother.

I'm sure this guy goes back with a heavy cash register as everyone tanks up the moment they see the board
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Old 6th September 2009, 07:51   #35
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@harishnayak: Heavy cash registers or not the fact is that if any one is planning to drive up on this road then you'd better be at Tandi (Keylong) between 7am and 7pm to fuel up. Or have 20/40 liters canned up from Manali. And if you are planning to go to Leh via Tso Moriri / Pangyong Tso etc. then you will need to fuel up here plus have the extra can topped up too. Yet if you do manage to run out of fuel try the local dhaba's as they keep some fuel and can be "persuaded" to sell the same.
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Old 6th September 2009, 09:31   #36
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OT - @Sudev : I've heard a lot about you in one of the MEATS that initiated in August , would definately like to meet you and share experiences.
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Old 6th September 2009, 13:05   #37
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How does this matter to HP cops if the owner is in the car or not as long as the papers are in order? I think they are exceeding their brief and fleecing hapless tourists. There is no law in the country that says that I can't drive any other car that does not belong to me as long as the car papers are valid and I hold a valid driving licence.

You mean to say that if my wife takes my vehicle without me being in it, then she will be challaned in HP?

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The cops asked each vehicle (non HP pvt registration) if the owner was travelling in the car; if not they would challan.
I disagree MileCruncher. The fault is Government's. They must have unique series of Regn Numbers for private number plate taxis to denote them as such. The law enforcement authorities can't use one broom to sweep all.

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I disagree that this is harassment. We ourselves try to cheat the govt of tax by taking private number plate taxi's. This is their way of making sure atleastthe Govt gets some revenue.

Last edited by gd1418 : 6th September 2009 at 13:08.
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Old 6th September 2009, 17:29   #38
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
How does this matter to HP cops if the owner is in the car or not as long as the papers are in order? I think they are exceeding their brief and fleecing hapless tourists. There is no law in the country that says that I can't drive any other car that does not belong to me as long as the car papers are valid and I hold a valid driving licence.

You mean to say that if my wife takes my vehicle without me being in it, then she will be challaned in HP?



I disagree MileCruncher. The fault is Government's. They must have unique series of Regn Numbers for private number plate taxis to denote them as such. The law enforcement authorities can't use one broom to sweep all.
If i remember from abk's post, they allowing the scope to prove if its your relative's car. Also how can you have a unique series for private number taxi's. Private Number Taxi's are cars like yours and mine which are being used commercially. If someone had to disclose that they are going to run the car as taxi, they will not get private numbers. Plus in a commercial number a vehicle has to pay tax to enter each state resulting in higher costs for Taxi Owner and Hirer both. The HP Police is well within its brief as its trying to reduce the revenue loss to the state exchequer and they are giving you a chance to prove that the vehicle is indeed ours or immediate family member's.
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Old 7th September 2009, 03:30   #39
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Day 05: Monday, Aug 17 : SARCHU – GATA LOOPS – PANG – MOORE PLAINS – TANGLANG LA – LEH

The morning showed up in a carnation of colours - blue skies looming wide & vast above the lumps of white clouds all against the backdrop of the brilliant sun sweeping the green fields. This was much unlike the windy, dark & gloomy last evening.

Pasha, as usual, was the earliest to get up & got on with his routine task of getting the rest of the lazy bums up on their feet. The good news this morning was Ankush almost back to being his energetic self (though the Laxman Rekha was now embarassingly visible!). Amit Mangal on the other hand was feeling more sick than last night, complaining of severe throbbing headache & felling feverish. We proceeded to the common dining area for our breakfast at 7:30. Over the breakfast table I narrated to the gang my last night's dream of being a close pal of Barrack Obama & vouching for him in one of the international conferences while chit chatting foreign dignitories (typical dreams of mine!) & one of the reporters gathered there asking me what it felt to be the closest buddy of the president of the United States (exact words!). The loud mouthed that am did not realise the foreigners sitting around wonder struck hearing what I was narrating (half in Hindi & other half in English). Having realised their amazement I immediately switched completely over to Hindi smiling at them pompously Meanwhile, we almost forced Amit to have a little porridge & swallow a pill of Diamox. We repacked our cars & were back on the road at around 8 AM. Bright new day with renewed spirits.

The Gata Loops (21 loops) presented a wonderful view of the mountains as we climbed higher. There were a couple of very good off-roading tracks we saw, Yash & I getting ideas where to take our safaris after we buy them (dreams continued!).

Our first stopover for the day was at Pang where we had Maggi noodles and teas. Upon enquiring from the lady who ran the tea stall we realised that we could have spent the night in one of the tents at Pang for Rs. 100/- per head instead of Sarchu where we paid Rs. 4,000/- including 2 meals. As Pang would be our only stopover before Leh we decided to fill our tummies a little more (again, not a good thing that we did!) & have some more teas. Amit was still feeling sick & lied down on the Innova second row seat skipping food. I toyed with the idea of detouring to Tso Kar, return, & then proceed to Leh. But keeping in mind Amit's health condition we decided not to venture out of our original intended route.

We left Pang & found ourselves witnessing the complete change of landscape, yet again. Just as soon as we were on the Moore Plains we saw a number of roads emerging & seemed to go away from each other tangentially. We continued on one & confirmed with a returning truck. As advised by him we clung on to the leftmost road. Vista following us (distance of a few minutes between two cars) instead diverged to their right & seemed to drift away from us as we drove further. There was a time we (Innova) stopped to wave at them & signal them to start driving towards us but in vain. The video later revealed the Vista guys weren't too concerned about being separated from us! The good part was we never lost sight of each other’s cars despite being very far from each other. If not the cars, at least their dust trails helped in making their locations visible!

There's much to write about Moore Plains based on our own personal experiences. But I guess that would be an overkill knowing it must have been so well told & depicted on pictures on TBHP several times. Therefore, would just stick to the bare bones.


There was this little steep section of the road that the Innova had to climb when the front wheels seemed to be sinking in alarmingly quick. Sensing that Naresh was a little nervous I shouted asking him to rotate the steering left & right quickly. The car made a strange noise with a lot of shudder but eventually pushed forward clear of the treacherous sand! Soon after we stopped & waited for the Vista to join us as we noticed they were finally driving on a road that curved to meet the road where we stood. That was a relief! While relieving we left our our cameras / handycam in the car missing the breath taking sight of the dust trail against the sunlight as the Vista was arching in to meet us on vast wide desert. It is, personally, one of the most unforgettable visual impressions of the trip! Even Tata would be proud of that. Anyway, photo recording opportunity missed (one amongst many)!

The road conditions, as we got closer to Tanglang La, deteriorated rapidly. Soon we were forced into a 45 mins break due to the road blocked for repairing. This is when Yash threw up. I was feeling a strongly nauseous but fortunately we started to move before I could throw up! While waiting for the road to reopen we realised (then & later testified by others we saw throughout the Ladakh region) that all road workers were sunburnt to colour of charcoal. But they were all a bunch of bonhomie jolly good fellows!

The road after Tanglang La was precarious for quite a while. Only after we started descending roads got better. The drive from Rumste to Leh was reliving with green sights coming back & tarmac roads winding through places that appeared inhabited. Signs of life, finally! The extreme desert and high altitude passes all seemed remote & things of the past now (they can be quite monotonous as well as strenuous). We reached Leh at 5:30 PM not before realising that had we been more conscious of the time throughout the day we could have perhaps got our Inner Line Permits issued the same day.

We had booked BSNL IQ (Inspection Quarters) at Leh before embarking on the trip. With a little wandering around we finally managed to locate the quarters. We had to get the cars to the parking area of the quarters. Ankush, by that time, was restless to lay his hands on the steering (he drove a short stretch on the Moore Plains). Unfortunately, the entrance to the parking was dug for laying water pipes, the width of the excavation being a little to big for the cars to pass without the tyres getting caught in. The caretaker found us some wooden planks to use as bridge. But first Ankush & then Naresh seemed to be in such a terrible rush that they smashed & crashed the wood to bits & pieces. Fortunately, the tyres were fine. A piece of my mind awaited them for being so recklessly restless!

The BSNL IQ appeared reasonably good at first sight keeping in mind it would be extremely light on our pockets. We offloaded the stuff from cars to the rooms. This is when we realised that our sleeping mats tied to Innova's roof were missing! This meant Yash & I later had to sleep on the couches of the IQ. Tired as everyone was we thought it would be a good idea of have rice & chicken curry for dinner. I spoke to the caretaker & made him agree to me cooking the chicken & he getting all the stuff. But he came back saying all the butchers were closed. In the quest for finding one Yash & me went to the Leh market & after desperate enquiries we finally located a poultry shop that was open & got the chicken at 10 PM. I cooked the chicken with generous overdoses of garlic & ginger (they are miracle drugs!). We had our dinner after midnight & retired to the bed, happy that we finally made it to Leh!

That should mean an end to all problems. Shouldn't it?
............
............

Show time now, folks!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010791.jpg
Pic 31 | Morning (at Sarchu) shows the day

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Pic 32 | The interplay of clouds & sunlight on mountains. Nature plays its own amusing games!

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Pic 33 | It is only 6 AM!

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Pic 34 | The road to Leh. Getting Leh'd is easier than thought!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010844.jpg
Pic 35 | We are coming!

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Pic 36 | One of the mighty gorges on the way to Pang

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Pic 37 | Road map

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Pic 38 | View from atop the tea stall tent at Pang

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Pic 39 | The Innova kicks up some dust, literally!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-292.jpg
Pic 40 | Winding Gata Loops

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-ladakh-merged-1.jpg
Pic 41 | Panoramic view of the Moore Plain at it starts. This is composed of multiple pictures stitched together.

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-img_0498.jpg
Pic 42 | The Moore Plains

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010953.jpg
Pic 43 | The Vista exposes at the Moore plains - no wonder the pronoun of a car is "She"!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05238.jpg
Pic 44 | Plains, plains & plains. However, at 15,500 ft!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1020021.jpg
Pic 45 | Road workers dancing to the tune of music blasted out by the truck! Notice the blue sleeping mat on the Innova roof, one of the last few sightings of them before they flew off somewhere between Moore Plains & Leh

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1020026.jpg
Pic 46 | On top of a few worlds!

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-img_0535.jpg
Pic 47 | Around Tanglang La

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-p1010900.jpg
Pic 48 | The smaller vehicle is our Innova

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-dsc05209.jpg
Pic 49 | Ready to take off..

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Pic 50 | And here's some for the roads..

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Pic 51 | Roads continue..

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Pic 52 | The Vista splashes & manages effortlessly through of one the tame nullahs

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-408.jpg
Pic 53 | Did this inspire Slash to start his Snakepit band?

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-picture-489.jpg
Pic 54 | And the distant snow

The mother of all trips: Exploration Ladakh, destination Leh-img_0573.jpg
Pic 55 | Until signs of life embrace us, finally!

Last edited by abk : 7th September 2009 at 03:46.
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Old 7th September 2009, 07:33   #40
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Nice write up and nicer pictures , Keep em coming.
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Old 7th September 2009, 09:38   #41
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Awesome is the word man. BTW can I borrow the panoramic landscape picture?
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Old 7th September 2009, 09:48   #42
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The second set of pictures is even better. Nice write up as well. Thanks for sharing and waiting for more.
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Old 7th September 2009, 10:10   #43
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Stunning pics and great write up. Awesome stuff and am eager to see it all. Will track this one to its finish. Keep it rolling.
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Old 7th September 2009, 10:24   #44
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amazing pics, Vista took the challenge very nicely, looks so
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Old 7th September 2009, 11:33   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abk View Post
The Gata Loops (21 loops) presented a wonderful view of the mountains as we climbed higher. There were a couple of very good off-roading tracks we saw, Yash & I getting ideas where to take our safaris after we buy them (dreams continued!).
The paths linking the tarmac in the foreground of the picture are the short cuts to try and enjoy. Dream on...



Last edited by sudev : 7th September 2009 at 11:36.
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