Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd October 2009, 11:59   #121
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

MY TAKE ON Day 5, September 15th, 2009
Padum - Kargil, 257 kms


We were worried about the cold-morning start at Padum since the previous night was quite windy. So, we had taken the precaution of parking the Scorpios nose in into the building wall and sheathed the bonnet with newspaper/ gunny bags. Happily, the 2 Scorpios started without any protest.

Attempts by Saji and me to photograph the Milky Way in the night sky the previous day were not very successful. It must have been quite cold in Padum that night, maybe in the 0s or sub-0s.

This was one of those rare days - we had breakfast! After a sumptuous meal of omlettes, toast and parathas, we left Padum at 820 am. The owner of the Marq Guest House was a resourceful person, full of travel tips and also a trek organiser.

As I mentioned earlier, the "depot" in Padum was scheduled to open only "after 10 am" and we had little patience after hearing that there was uncertainty about it having diesel sticks and the exorbitant prices they charge. Hence, all motorists to Padum beware and carry your spare cans of diesel/ petrol, do not rely on this "depot".

After tossing over several itinerary options, we decided to take the Karsha detour since there is now a new bridge across the River Zanskar which rejoins the main Padum-Pensi la road without any extra distance - or only 7 more kms to be precise!

Nice sunny day, no fears of being stranded in the Zanskar Valley by snowfall the previous day. The wierdest sight we saw in the whole trip - unfortunately, no photographer was quick enough - this guy sitting on the tyre stepney bracket in the underside of the truck (strapped on to the chassis under the cargo payload bay) that we overtook! Almost like a stowaway, grinning and gesturing to us to overtake the truck.

Karsha Monastery is a great place to visit - road goes up to the top - for some spectacular panoramas of the Padum Valley. This was also the first monastery we visited this trip.

The run back to Pensi La was under clear azure blue skies and we were clicking away furiously. Round the bend 5 kms before Pensi la and lo, there was the spectacular Drang-Drung Glacier, which is one of the largest glacier systems in the Himalayan region. This is what made the entire drive to Padum and back worth our while. It was magnificent, as laluks and saji will demonstrate to you in their photos. We had some lovely group photos in this location. We crossed Pensi la at 115 pm. Make sure you drive this stretch on a clear day. Even if you do not want to drive all the way to Padum from Kargil, come upto this point at least - this unique sight is a must-see in Ladakh and probably the only glacier view that you can motor to anywhere in India.

Back to Rangdum for lunch at 245 pm.

We were now worried about the depleting stocks of diesel in our tanks, since we had almost another 150 kms to go and our fuel tank needles were nudging the bottom. We stopped a Scorpio taxi at Rangdum and requested him for some diesel and he obliged, except that we had to share just 4 litres between the 2 of us! Cost us Rs 50 per litre!

There was no "black" diesel sold at Rangdum, and we were pointed to some of the construction sites en route where they stock diesel for their trucks, bull dozers and compressors. We accosted one such construction crew and bought 10 litres (5 each) to satiate the thirst of the 2 cars. To top it all, Raj Singh also gave us extra fuel from his plentiful stocks. So that solved our fuel shortage problems totally and we had enough to trot across to Padum. We heard that you can buy "black" fuel at Parkachik and Panikkar also, but the best source are the construction crews - they are good guys and happy to oblige for small quantities.

We discovered an alternative route this time after Parkachik, which bypassed Panikkar town totally and went via Samsuru Village - fantastic tar roads on the opposite bank (RHS) of the Suru River. It was quite a speed run therafter since we were anxious to reach back in Kargil as soon as possible. To compare times, we took only 5.10 hrs to drive from Rangdum to Kargil, compared with 8.35 hrs the previous day. Partly because we had no stops for photography and we saved the tea halt at Sankoo too.

We were in Kargil at 850 pm, and checked into the wonderful Hotel Zoji la, which had fantastic rooms, good food and great service. The hotel is on the Padum-Kargil road itself just before you enter town. Bargain hard, it is an expensive hotel.

Some may scratch their hair (or bald pates) and wonder why we bothered to do this Kargil-Padum-Kargil run at all, but I am sure none of the team which did it have any doubts on that score - the beautiful vistas of the Suru and Zanskar Valleys, the snowfall at POensi La, the glacier views at Purkachik and Drang-Drung and the quaintness of Padum trown - truly one of the unspoilt places in the Ladakh region.

One word about what laluks has mentioned about Padum becoming a busy crossroad in the near future. 2 roads are under construction - the Padum-Leh road which traces the River Zanskar till Nimmu (on the Kargil-Leh road), shortening the Leh-Padum roide from 2 days to 1. This promises to be exciting, and we heard that except for 20-30 kms the road is done and expected to open in 2012.

The other road is even more interesting, it will link Padum with Darcha on the Manali-Leh road (Darcha comes after Keylong and Jispa, just before the climb to Baralacha la starts), along the banks of the Tsarap chu river. Now, this one will revolutinise travel to Ladakh and along with the 10-km long tunnel under Rohtang Pass, make it possible to travel to Leh throughout the year mindless of snowfall. This road is expected to be completed sometime in 2014. So, travellers to Zanskar Valley, hurry up and enjoy Padum and neighbourhood before the Jones reach there!
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 12:33   #122
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Noticed a typo - Day 5 is Sep 16, 2009 (Post # 121 and 123), and not Sep 15 as stated:

Day 1/Sep 12: Bombay-Shahpura
Day 2/Sep 13: Shahpura-Patnitop
Day 3/Sep 14: Patnitop-Kargil
Day 4/Sep 15: Kargil-Padum
Day 5/Sep 16: Padum-Kargil
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 12:35   #123
Senior - BHPian
 
deky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 1,192
Thanked: 1,029 Times
Default

20years back we had gone on a trek to the Zanskar region. I also happen to take the pic of Parkachic almost from the same place as you did.

I am glad to see that there is more snow now than there was 20 yrs back. Maybe we went in June/July and you went later in the year. Could that be the reason, or just that global warming isnt affecting us that much?

I have put both the pics for reference.
Attached Thumbnails
HumbLeh’d-parkachicvert.jpg  

deky is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 13:38   #124
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

deky, quite heartening to see that there is still some snow left in these times of the frightening climate change syndrome. But I guess there could have been more snow when we went since there had been fresh snowfall the week before we travelled to the region.

Tell us more of your trip - must have been fantastic, given that Ladakh itself was little-known and am sure the Suru/Zanskar Valleys must have been obscure places even in the district administrative maps!
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 14:27   #125
Team-BHP Support
 
khan_sultan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,663
Thanked: 3,186 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
It was great team work all the way - precise planning, disciplined drives, sound temperaments and tremendous passion for the trip ahead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
..... But the Pajero was always flying and was not with the convoy, which I felt was not too mature in such a convoy drive.
....
The convoy minus the Pajero, which flew away somewhere!!

.....At udhampur the bolero too broke away from the convoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
....the Flying Sikh is off in his Pajero only to resurface a few hours later - parked by the road side, hat on face (Gavaskar-style), having guffled innumerable cuppas chai, relished breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea, "tiffin" and growling for appetisers! Commendable the way he handled the moster of the Pajero on those narrow roads, and his ability to outbeat us all the time!
Interesting to note the different points of view here. Laluks finds the behavior of the Pajero immature and HVK commends the flying Pajero for not being in the convoy.

Personally, I would have got rid of the Pajero from the group at the first opportunity and asked him to be in the convoy of move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
... Diesel was still a mystery since the Pajero was insisting that he'd give only if the Scorpios run out fuel in the drive. He was worried about the fuel quality and his Pajero, and the stock he had was from a good pump in Srinagar. But the lack of enough fuel in the tanks really created a worry among the Scorpios, and the day was totally spoilt due to the unnecessary stress assosciated with that uncertainity.
@Laluks: You guys had some patience to deal with that Pajero fellow.

Quote:
Had we got additional 5 litres for both the Scorpios at this juncture, the day could have been more enjoyable.
Yeah, agree with you. One goes for such long drives to enjoy the journey, the experience and have a good time. Incidents such as above for sure is not an example of fun/enjoyment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
...
We were now worried about the depleting stocks of diesel in our tanks, ... We stopped a Scorpio taxi at Rangdum and requested him for some diesel and he obliged, except that we had to share just 4 litres between the 2 of us!
And all of this while the pajero had 30L of extra fuel.!!! So much for the team work & team spirit shown by the Pajero felow.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 3rd October 2009 at 14:29.
khan_sultan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 14:53   #126
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,992
Thanked: 356 Times
Default

Even though Raj was carrying 30 Litres of extra diesel, I learned from him in Diskit that he had a 95 litre tank in the Pajero. I learnt that he was getting 8KMPL, with reserve his tank would have given him a 700 Km+ range. No reason why he couldn't have shared his diesel.
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 16:12   #127
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Interesting to note the different points of view here.

Yeah, agree with you. One goes for such long drives to enjoy the journey, the experience and have a good time. Incidents such as above for sure is not an example of fun/enjoyment.

And all of this while the pajero had 30L of extra fuel.!!! So much for the team work & team spirit shown by the Pajero felow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Even though Raj was carrying 30 Litres of extra diesel, I learned from him in Diskit that he had a 95 litre tank in the Pajero. I learnt that he was getting 8KMPL, with reserve his tank would have given him a 700 Km+ range. No reason why he couldn't have shared his diesel.
Penny wise pound foolish!
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 16:40   #128
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Day 5, September 16th, 2009 Continued

After the visit to Karsha Gompa, we started back to Kargil. The day was very sunny and bright and we were happy since we could see what we have missed out in the snowy episode the day before till Pensi La. During the descent from Pensi La to Zanskar valley in the snow we felt that the descent was too steep. But we could not substantiate anything then. Today it was indeed a steep climb, but very much manageable one.

Some views on the way till Pensi La.
Name:  DSCN0913.JPG
Views: 1439
Size:  72.7 KB
Name:  DSCN0930.JPG
Views: 1444
Size:  77.0 KB
Name:  DSCN0935.JPG
Views: 1452
Size:  87.0 KB
Name:  DSCN0998.JPG
Views: 1430
Size:  70.5 KB
Name:  IMG_0758.JPG
Views: 1431
Size:  59.9 KB
Name:  DSCN1027.JPG
Views: 1394
Size:  88.1 KB
Name:  DSCN1028.JPG
Views: 1402
Size:  70.0 KB
Name:  DSCN1037.JPG
Views: 1396
Size:  80.8 KB
Name:  DSCN1044.JPG
Views: 1383
Size:  69.8 KB
Name:  DSCN1072.JPG
Views: 1416
Size:  74.1 KB
Name:  DSCN1081.JPG
Views: 1401
Size:  116.3 KB

Check out the roads we travelled.
Name:  DSCN0968.JPG
Views: 1407
Size:  104.1 KB
Name:  DSCN0984.JPG
Views: 1414
Size:  89.5 KB
Name:  DSCN1084.JPG
Views: 1396
Size:  102.3 KB
Name:  DSCN1016.JPG
Views: 1402
Size:  92.6 KB
Name:  DSCN1018.JPG
Views: 1396
Size:  75.4 KB
Name:  DSCN1080.JPG
Views: 1373
Size:  101.9 KB
Name:  IMG_0730.JPG
Views: 1370
Size:  34.5 KB

A small village on the way.
Name:  DSCN0970.JPG
Views: 1386
Size:  85.8 KB

Pajero asking us, "Diesel Mila Kya"
Name:  DSCN1047.JPG
Views: 1516
Size:  79.2 KB

Continued...
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 17:34   #129
BHPian
 
sj_koova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 600
Thanked: 149 Times
Default

Pic support to Lalu's and HVK's writeup.

Padum in the morning
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1362_00063.jpg

Padum in the morning
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1376_00064.jpg

Village near Karsha Gompa
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1378_00065.jpg

Way Karsha Gompa
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1381_00066.jpg

Way to Karsha Gompa
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1386_00068.jpg

View from Karsha Gompa
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1400_00073.jpg

Zanskar Valley
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1409_00076.jpg

Zanskar Valley
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1415_00077.jpg

Zanskar Valley
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1417_00078.jpg

Ladaki kid
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1425_00079.jpg
sj_koova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 17:42   #130
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Day 5, September 16th, 2009, continued

Immediately before reaching the Pensi La pass from Padhum side, Drang Drung Glacier can be seen. It is the largest glacier in Ladakh, still larger is the Siachen Glacier. The Stod / Doda river originates from this glacier and is one of the main tributaries of the Zanskar river.

Drang Drung Glacier

Name:  DSCN1096.JPG
Views: 1351
Size:  73.6 KB
Name:  DSCN1117.JPG
Views: 1347
Size:  68.3 KB
Name:  IMG_0763.JPG
Views: 1341
Size:  32.7 KB
Name:  IMG_0767.JPG
Views: 1352
Size:  49.5 KB
Name:  IMG_0771.JPG
Views: 1328
Size:  37.7 KB
Name:  IMG_0786.JPG
Views: 1352
Size:  60.5 KB

We had taken group photographs here. Saji will put that up.

The glacier is just after the pass if you drive down from Kargil. Like HVK said, you can turn back here after seeing the Glacier if you are in shortage of time. But this is a must see.

Some views from the Pensi La pass.
Name:  DSCN1140.JPG
Views: 1318
Size:  60.5 KB
Name:  IMG_0791.JPG
Views: 1309
Size:  42.0 KB
Name:  IMG_0794.JPG
Views: 1336
Size:  38.2 KB
Name:  IMG_0795.JPG
Views: 1322
Size:  41.3 KB

Some more views from Pensi La pass till Rangdum.
Name:  DSCN1165.JPG
Views: 1320
Size:  73.2 KB
Name:  DSCN1176.JPG
Views: 1328
Size:  81.0 KB
Name:  DSCN1184.JPG
Views: 1325
Size:  70.1 KB
Name:  DSCN1188.JPG
Views: 1334
Size:  80.3 KB
Name:  IMG_0796.JPG
Views: 1327
Size:  54.1 KB
Name:  IMG_0798.JPG
Views: 1334
Size:  47.2 KB
Name:  IMG_0801.JPG
Views: 1310
Size:  46.9 KB
Name:  DSCN1207.JPG
Views: 1311
Size:  66.3 KB


Rangdum Gompa from a distance. The roads are through the river bed.
Name:  DSCN1194.JPG
Views: 1320
Size:  84.5 KB

Ah!! Rangdum finally!!
Name:  DSCN1211.JPG
Views: 1319
Size:  63.9 KB

Just before reaching Rangdum, HVK found some taxi from Jammu who was willing to share some diesel. But on emptying his jerry can we could only get just around 4 litres. Shared the 4 litres between the two Scorpios. He charged 50Rs / litre. Thank God another 15 to 20 Km is safe. But the fuel indicator was already touching in red. We need fuel desperately. Its another 130+ Kms to reach Kargil. That meant a shortage of 10-11 litres for both Scorpios.

With this desperateness we stopped at Rangdum "5 Star" Hotel for lunch around 15:00PM. HVK enquired about black diesel availability, but to no avail.

Continued...
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 17:53   #131
BHPian
 
sj_koova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 600
Thanked: 149 Times
Default

Last few shots of Day-5

Near Penzila Pass
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1432_00081.jpg

HVK's and Glenn'e team near Drang Drung Glacier
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1450_00082.jpg

Glenn's RoadRunner team
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1455_00083.jpg

View from Penzila Pass
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1461_00084.jpg

Suru Valley
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1469_00086.jpg

Suru Valley
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1471_00088.jpg

Suru River. Waiting for HVK. He has gone hunting for diesel.
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1482_00091.jpg

Suru river. We got diesel from a lorry guy working near Suru river.
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1483_00092.jpg

Evening at Suru Valley
HumbLeh’d-dsc_1488_00093.jpg
sj_koova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 18:22   #132
Distinguished - BHPian
 
laluks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 5,805
Thanked: 7,799 Times
Default

Day 5, September 16th, 2009 Continued.

After a gloomy lunch, we rolled back again by 15:45PM.

Views from Rangdum till Kargil
Name:  DSCN1220.JPG
Views: 1330
Size:  88.9 KB
Name:  DSCN1227.JPG
Views: 1310
Size:  105.7 KB
Name:  DSCN1249.JPG
Views: 1326
Size:  76.6 KB
Name:  DSCN1251.JPG
Views: 1286
Size:  80.1 KB
Name:  DSCN1253.JPG
Views: 1299
Size:  71.0 KB
Name:  DSCN1295.JPG
Views: 1319
Size:  85.2 KB
Name:  DSCN1313.JPG
Views: 1320
Size:  82.5 KB
Name:  DSCN1325.JPG
Views: 1276
Size:  60.2 KB
Name:  DSCN1334.JPG
Views: 1289
Size:  66.7 KB
Name:  DSCN1353.JPG
Views: 1297
Size:  106.5 KB
Name:  DSCN1389.JPG
Views: 1286
Size:  59.9 KB

Leh Berry. HVK said there is a juice available from this in Mumbai.
Name:  DSCN1375.JPG
Views: 1286
Size:  72.1 KB


HVK went ahead fast so as to find any places to get Diesel, and we trailed behind slowly. Where we worried, yes definitely YES. Around 16:45PM, we found HVK deep down the valley in a construction site (they were breaking rocks and building a canal to channel water for irrigation). From below, HVK asked Glenn to go down there. They got around 10 litres of diesel from a lorry guy. He charged Rs350 for the 10 litres. Look at this - While some one does not share, some one shares for a profit, this guy genuinely has an interest in you reaching back.

Glenn coming up from the valley after a diesel fill of 5 litres. Additional 5 litres is still short.
Name:  DSCN1364.JPG
Views: 1401
Size:  116.1 KB

After this we rolled on till 18:00PM to see Harry Potter on the way back. He has casted a magic spell!
Name:  DSCN1394.JPG
Views: 1251
Size:  67.3 KB

Pajero having understood the entire scene offered more fuel. It takes enormous courage to admit ones mistake, and apologise after all this.

All this could have been avoided if we had filled up our Jerry cans before we left Kargil - which was the initial plan, could have been better if we had got fuel in the morning. A simple unintentional stuff destroyed an entire day. Anyways it ended well, and everybody learned the lessons - the hard way.

From then it was a fast run till we refuelled at Kargil and reached the hotel. Had a deserving hot dinner and retired for the next days early run. By now 4AM to 11PM schedule has sinked in quite well.

Last edited by laluks : 3rd October 2009 at 18:25.
laluks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 19:21   #133
Senior - BHPian
 
hvkumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 7,369
Thanked: 3,354 Times
Default

Yes, one can never under-rate the importance of early morning starts, especially in hilly regions. We tried to leave as early as possible, to the extent I became known as the "5 AM" guy, relentlessly getting guys out of their warm beds on very cold mornings! Better to leave early and reach early is the clear motto for Ladakh.
hvkumar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 20:01   #134
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,992
Thanked: 356 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Yes, one can never under-rate the importance of early morning starts, especially in hilly regions. We tried to leave as early as possible, to the extent I became known as the "5 AM" guy, relentlessly getting guys out of their warm beds on very cold mornings! Better to leave early and reach early is the clear motto for Ladakh.
Learnt it the hard way Chief!
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd October 2009, 20:14   #135
BHPian
 
sj_koova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 600
Thanked: 149 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Learnt it the hard way Chief!
I am sure you did after your TsoMoriri drive.
Now you know when we were following chief with out any questions raised.
I had one more reason to get up early. Never wanted to miss the morning sun rays.
sj_koova 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
HumbLeh'd II (Indo Polish Himalayan Expedition to Ladakh & Himachal Pradesh) laluks Travelogues 2514 3rd June 2016 18:13


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:48.

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