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Old 24th September 2009, 11:39   #256
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How often do you see a 400 year old monastery and a multi million dollar state of the telescope in the same frame?
And Tanveer and his better half too (albeit as shadows)!!

Awesome

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Old 24th September 2009, 11:53   #257
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Originally Posted by suman View Post
"Ahhh, good roads now" & then, all of a sudden....wham, bam & you're onto rocks, sand & what have you
You've captured the emotions perfectly!
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Old 24th September 2009, 11:54   #258
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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Great, waiting for the dose of the lakes!
Lakes.. ? You mean the Tso Moriri and Kiagar Tso and Kyun Tso etc.,?
Well thats for tomorrow, today we are at Hanle...!
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Originally Posted by Majic View Post


This is really getting on my nerves, now my routine has changed earlier it was checking my mail now it is lookout for the new posting read it and then comes my mail and work. Splendid pictures, asbolutely fantastic, please keep the posting going, you have my undivided attention.
I will keep updating ASAP
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Originally Posted by suman View Post
Awesome stuff, keep 'em coming

The most frustrating bit about Ladakh (for me at least) was that you can be on arrow straight black tarmac & it lulls you into a sense of complacency & "Ahhh, good roads now" & then, all of a sudden....wham, bam & you're onto rocks, sand & what have you

And it keeps changing! So when you go back the next year, things will be different!
Thanks!
Yes, the roads are frustrating.
The roads had altered our plans. Instead of 189kms only from Pangong To Hanle, we were forced to head back to Leh and then do hanle leg separately as the road was so bad that even reaching spangmik seemed impossible.

Infact, as you will discover later, bad roads forced us to really really drastically change plans.

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And Tanveer and his better half too (albeit as shadows)!!

Awesome
Thanks sudev!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 24th September 2009 at 11:55.
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Old 24th September 2009, 11:57   #259
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Great Photos there again. I have to run for a new HDD now..

I have read your Pangong Lake episode 5 times now already

its so interesting to read how you have made it across the nalla and all. Waiting for more
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:03   #260
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Originally Posted by Majic View Post


This is really getting on my nerves, now my routine has changed earlier it was checking my mail now it is lookout for the new posting read it and then comes my mail and work. Splendid pictures, asbolutely fantastic, please keep the posting going, you have my undivided attention.
Exactly same here. I've been holding on to my comments to post them at the end of the travelogue.

Great work Tanveer, and please increase the pace if you can.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:06   #261
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Lakes.. ? You mean the Tso Moriri and Kiagar Tso and Kyun Tso etc.,?
Well thats for tomorrow, today we are at Hanle...!
Yipes, I jumped the gun again!

Next on stands, Hanle unfolds.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:19   #262
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Default The road to Punguk.. And Kyun Tso?

With sun going down, we set off to the unbeaten path.
I had taken me almost a month to research this route.
Part of the route I knew was doable, till Punguk that is, as Gaurav Jani had gone to Chumur on his enfield in "riding solo to the top of the world".
As for Kyun Tso, I had just one clue.
A photo taken from far away, from the top of a mountain in somebody's gallery.
there were no route maps, and even google arial photographs did not help, as the resolution is less, and its difficult to separate a dirt track/trail from the landscape in the desert, esp when its less used.

All I had was satellite image of 2 lakes, some 40kms as the crow flies from hanle. I drew a track by hand, and thats what was loaded into the GPS.
But white elephant does not fly, and I figured it was 60kms from Hanle.
From Nyoma its was 30kms as the crow flies, so I reckon 50kms.

That gave us a journey of 110+kms to Nyoma, 20 more than by the normal route.
But as I mentioned earlier, kms are just numbers. It took us little over 2 hours to do hanle from Nyoma, inspite of 20kms of bad roads because the rain ensured little photography breaks on the tarmac section, and the high speed compensated for those slow 20kms.

If this 110kms was a trail, it may take 5-6 hours or even more.

SO today evening, we planned to do around 5-6kms to get a feel of the track, and how it feels on my back.

Another objective was to find the elusive crane, whose haunting cries had reached a cresendo.

As soon as we hit the road, if you can call it a road, the answer was clear. Its no cakewalk.
Long time ago ladakh had dirt trails. You go slowly on a bumpy road anf get to a village.
Now in the name of building roads, trucks come and dump small stones on the trail,so it does not get washed out.
So it becomes a rocky path, and the vibrations and bumps can make your teeth fall out.
This was such a path. Atleast till Punguk, it would be light this.
At some places we could see where vehicles had taken the off road path to avoid the jarring ride, but 3 days of rains had covered those parts with water.
We had to go dug dug dug dug wham wham wham

The elusive crane was also hiding
All we saw was the Kiang
The light was not condusive enough to take out a non stabilized telephoto, so 55mm will have to do fine.
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This is the road, or whatever. Slush, stones, sand all in one go.
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Transmission on 4H, wheels spinning now and then, as agonizingly moved forward. The decision was almost made. This is not the correct way to go to Kyun Tso.
And then we came to a lovely sight
What reflections!
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This was the place which reinforced our decision to turn back.
You see, this lovely water body was not just on the side, but also on the road, with no track visible.
So I could go forward, and land up in some ditch also.
As we stand there scratching our heads to where did the track go, a local comes on Hamara Bajaj, and crosses the water at a really shallow part.
We stop him. His hindi is weak but from whatever he told us I could make out that there are lot of places where water covers the actual track, and since they use this track everyday, they know where the track is even when its submurged.

Well we do not. If we attempt this route tomorrow, we may end up in some ditch. Even if we reach after using shovel again and again to guage the depth, it will take 10 hours of driving, and most probably it will wreck my back, which after a long time had started feeling better.

Guess we go back from here, to the Observatory guest house
But not before clicking the Kiangs
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Its past sunset when we reach the observatory. There is internet connection, and a visiting scientist posted down south(but belonging to Calcutta) has also come down. Tonight there will be no star gazing, so the scientists will rest.

This is really unfortunate, I was hoping for some real long exposure night shots... but fate is fate!

TO BE CONT............
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:19   #263
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I read the entire 18 pages and I cant say anything. Im really speechless. Great travelogue and incredible pics. I just cant wait for the next post

When will I visit this place? :-(
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:21   #264
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Originally Posted by kri$hna View Post
Great Photos there again. I have to run for a new HDD now..

I have read your Pangong Lake episode 5 times now already

its so interesting to read how you have made it across the nalla and all. Waiting for more
Well Krishna, I have not even posted half the pics yet, you better get that HDD
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Originally Posted by KishoreC View Post
Exactly same here. I've been holding on to my comments to post them at the end of the travelogue.

Great work Tanveer, and please increase the pace if you can.
Thanks Krishna, as I promised Majic, I will update ASAP
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Yipes, I jumped the gun again!

Next on stands, Hanle unfolds.
Thats why I saw shanti shanti baccha

Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
I read the entire 18 pages and I cant say anything. Im really speechless. Great travelogue and incredible pics. I just cant wait for the next post

When will I visit this place? :-(
Next post will come soon, patience patience!
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:52   #265
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Im speechless. dont know what words to be used to describe the feelings after each of your updates. This is one of the best and detailed travelogue that i have ever read.

Truly Amazing

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The elusive crane was also hiding
you been there; did all these stuffs so im sure we will soon see a snap
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:54   #266
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Thanks for your comments guys. Am glad you are liking the travelogue
Thats an understatement - "I'm loving it!" What a trip man..
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Old 24th September 2009, 13:12   #267
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Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
Im speechless. dont know what words to be used to describe the feelings after each of your updates. This is one of the best and detailed travelogue that i have ever read.

Truly Amazing



you been there; did all these stuffs so im sure we will soon see a snap
Well I wish too there was a snap to show you guys. But you will have to make do with the Kiang and the Yaks. I am a very poor wildlife photographer. Probably a veteran could have gone to the marshes, and located the rare crane!

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Thats an understatement - "I'm loving it!" What a trip man..
Thanks Ami. Now you know why suman was tell you to take the safari next time.
Even in a 4x2 avatar, there are many hidden places and trails, waiting to be explored.
Of course with a bike you can go to some places where the toughest 4x4 can't go. When landslide blocks the road, and there is just a foot trail left, a bike can go, and car guys can just curse!
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Old 24th September 2009, 13:25   #268
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Default Hanle Guesthouse, and ... When night falls

There was also one pending task
To put 20 liters of fuel into the tank. The 15 liter Jerrycan was left alone for now.

After that it was time for some chit chat with scientists.
There was just one visiting scientist now.
Scientists start visiting late august, and visits peak during winter when the temperatures drop to -20 and below.
Why do they choose such a season?
Well the skies.
There are no rains, and it rarely snows here. There is no high mountain pass on the way, and road seldom closes since army trucks keep running.

It takes scientists around 4-5 days to get acclimatized.
infact both of us were feeling slight headache and nausea. This was around a 100 meters higher than tangste, and we had exerted quite a bit too.
But nothing much.
It was getting cold too, and temperatures drop to 3-4 degrees at night.
Tonight it was slightly warmer due to cloud cover

Dinner was served, and we had real tasty local fish along with some locally grown vegetables. I must say, one of the best means of the trip.

After the scientist was done chatting with family(remember, no phone only internet), I sat and surfed TBHP etc.,
What a place to surf!

Around 10:30 I braved the cold weather to set the camera.
Clouds were out, but I still took 2 long exposure shots, hoping for a peek of the sky.
No such luck, but anywhere, here are those pictures

This is the new Gamma ray array
569 seconds of exposure
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The village, with 860+ seconds of exposure
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Imagine, if the sky was clear!
But hard luck. Maybe next time.

At 11pm generator shuts off, and with the generator also shuts off the heater.
Then the cold wind seeps in through the balcony doors, and you freeze.

Head aching, and body shivering it was time to spend our coldest and highest night.

Tomorrow, was the day of a very very long drive. Infact almost as long as our Keylong to Leh Saga in time, and longer than that in distance.

TO BE CONT.........
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Old 24th September 2009, 15:47   #269
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Just to be reading this is so exciting. I cannot imagine what it would be to be living it!

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Well Krishna, I have not even posted half the pics yet, you better get that HDD
Lovely pictures! Keep them coming.
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Old 24th September 2009, 18:43   #270
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i've said this once and i'll say it again and again.

Its travelogues like this that makes one's day.

Tanveer, great photography, Why's the white Elephant hiding, no pics of it anywhere.

Nazar nahin lagega mere bhai, click some pics of your Safari also.
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