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Old 19th November 2009, 19:48   #76
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Been a while since I saw a comment on this thread. Anybody reading...?
Good write up and beautiful photos taken, all this ladakh travelogues thinking of doing it again next year.
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Old 19th November 2009, 20:18   #77
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Good write up and beautiful photos taken, all this ladakh travelogues thinking of doing it again next year.
Thanx

I would love to do it again next year myself as well. I want to visit some of the places that we missed this year.
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Old 22nd November 2009, 14:08   #78
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Thanx

I would love to do it again next year myself as well. I want to visit some of the places that we missed this year.
good writeup and courage to go in hatchback. I dont have the courage yet to visit there in my hatchback
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Old 23rd November 2009, 17:01   #79
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good writeup and courage to go in hatchback. I dont have the courage yet to visit there in my hatchback

Thanks Amit. We saw several hatchbacks there of all makes. I am sure you can do it too.
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Old 23rd November 2009, 17:05   #80
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Day 12 - September 22nd 2009 (Part 2)

Chumathang was just a two-shop stop on the way to our real destination for the day. Despite that, it came as a big respite when it did come. Stuffed like sardines, we were glad to see the place and get off for lunch. Next stop was Tso Moriri. Or so we thought as we left the place. A little later, we crossed onto the other side of Indus towards Tso Moriri. As soon as we crossed the river, the flora around us turned to a different colour. Astounded by the beauty, we stopped (as usual) to take photographs. The car was near a culvert. I hopped off the side of the road and explored the little stream that was flowing there. This was evern better than the scene from the road. This obviously meant an additional photographic delay . The results are below:



Snapping Away



Group Photo Time


Normally, I Wear The Colour!


Wild Colours

We got into the car and started off towards Tso Moriri. We followed the stream and turned around a bend and we were assaulted. Assaulted by a fiery riot of colour. The whole valley was ablaze with red and purprle and ochre and orange. It felt as if the sun had set afire the field of shrubs. A burst of colour amidst the brown of the of the mountains.




Speechless


Spot Of Purple


Colour Bomb


Call The Fire Brigade!


Unable to move but forced to do so, we got back into the car and sped on. The road was pretty good but narrow. Wide enough to let two cars pass but maybe not wide enough to let two trucks pass. Soon, the road started ascending. And ascending pretty rapidly at that. We didn't know that Tso Moriri was at a high altitude till then. Fortunately for us, we weren't hit by any AMS problesm. Soon, we reached a plateau and could see a lake into the distance. With the sun behind it, it was very difficult to look at the lake. This demanded yet another photography stop...



Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool?
Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full


Water n Ice


Into The Distance a ribbon of blue


View Of The Lake


Mountain Vista


Hind Sight !

The paved road suddenly ended and we came across a bunch of rocks that mde up the road. Thats where.....

More Soon.....

Last edited by yamraj : 23rd November 2009 at 17:07.
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Old 24th November 2009, 17:10   #81
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Day 12 - September 22nd 2009 (Part 3)


The paved road that we were driving on came to an end suddenly. Instead, there were stones laid out in the form of a road. Pretty big stones at that. The kinds that you wedge under a heavy vehicle to prevent it from moving! The WagonR managed to get onto this road but only for a short distance. After that, it started losing traction with the wheels spinning up and the car skidding across the path. We decided to get off the car and let jiju drive it. For us walkers, the going was a little chilly as there was a bit of wind around.

A short distance later, we saw some sandy tracks leading away from the rocky road and then running parallel to it. We thought that this would be a good place to drive the car as we could make out some tracks on it. Jiju drove a short distance on it and things seemed okay. So we all piled in again, happy to not have to walk.



The Rocky Road To Perdition


Hell Ride


The Sandy Road


The WagonR made its way across the sandy tracks while we kept a lookout for anything out of the ordinary. In the distance, I could see that the wheel tracks had sunk in a bit and there was a ridge formed in the middle of the road. Jiju, who was driving, thought that we should continue on this one while I thought that we should take another road. We came nearer to the ridge. I started to say something like, "We should probably not ...." WHUMP. The WagonR, with it's two wheels in the ruts, had beached on something. The underbody was resting it's butt on something. Jiju tried to move the car forward. Didn't work. Put the car in reverse and get out. Didn't work either. Crap! We were stuck. Not panicking yet, I got off the car as did the others. Jiju tried to reverse again but without any luck. Looks like the car was stuck. We would have to do something about it.

While we looked at the underbody and thought of ways to get the car out, an Innova came along. This was after a long time that we'd seen a vehicle in these parts. The driver of that cab as well as the occupants got out to try and help us out of the jam. We tried to dig under the wheels to clear the sand a bit and reach solid ground. No luck. One of the Israelis from the other car tried to reverse out. No luck. I wanted to jack up the car and put a few stones underneath the wheel to give it some traction. Fortunately, we were carrying Shararat's tool kit and we didn't really have to take out any of the luggage to reach the tools. Took out the connecting rod and then started to clear up the place under the wheel a bit. I took the jack out as well but by then somebody suggested that we could just lift the car and push it back a little. There were several of us so I thought maybe that would be faster. Put the connecting rod back and went over to try and get the car out. ONE... TWO....THREE...HEAVE. The car moved all of a few micrometers. ONE....TWO.....THREE.....HEAVE! Another paltry microns. Gah! Somebody asked us if we had a tow rope. Yes we did. In the Palio!! Dang! Who would have thought that we would need it when it wasn't around. Murphy, one day, I am gonna get you! Finally decided to jack up the car like I'd thought earlier. Went to the rear seat of the car to pick up the jack and tools. The connecting rod was missing. Must be on the other side. Nopes, no luck there either. Front seat? Nopes. Holy crap! The connecting rod was lost! (Murphy, you've really really had it!). Searched the sand around and looked around. The last I remember, I had put it near the footwell of the rear seat. Or did I hand it to someone to dig out the sand? I remembered mamaji digging out the sand with his hands and I had cautioned him to use the rod. But then I also remembered keeping it back. Anyhow, the rod was lost .

We had to dig into the luggage to get the WagonR's rod out. I placed a few stones under the car, placed the jack on that to give it a level playing field and then jacked up the car. Placed a few stones under the front right wheel and made a little paved path a foot or so backwards. Unwound the jack and then jiju got in to move the car back. Gun the engine, put it into reverse and release the clutch. She moved. And got out of the beached position. Yipeee!! Problem solved. Thank you everyone for your cooperation and help. The Israelis got into their Innova and moved on while we looked around for the rod in the sand for a few more minutes without any luck.



Heave Ho!


Come On, Put Your Back Into It!


Having spent a few days in and around Leh already had helped acclimatize us to the higher altitudes. Despite the hard physical labour at 4715m, we weren't feeling too tired. Jiju and I got into the car and the others decided to walk along. We got back onto our favourite rocky road to hell. As we started driving along, we caught sight of a road roller levelling the ground. It had stopped for some repairs. Jiju and I crossed Rashi near this and she started shouting something. Not sure what she was saying, we slowed down near the roller. The driver shouted at us, "PUNCTURE". We got off to see what had happened. The wheel as it was rotating was making some "phissshhh phissshhh" sounds. Uh oh! Not a puncture! Not now. Murphy....

Apparently, that's what Rashi had heard and was trying to tell us. Got out all the luggage to get at the spare wheel. This time, jiju jacked up the car in a jiffy and had the wheel changed. This was getting into a little tricky situation for us. Bad roads, one tyre punctured and no puncture repair shop in sight. Forget a puncture repair shop, no vehicle in sight for kms around. And it looked like the neck of the tube had burst so the tube would have to be changed. Now, our biggest worry (or rather worries!) was (were) that we were one tire down in an unknown location with nobody around and Korzok nowhere in sight. With a quick prayer, we started moving again. We made up our minds that a couple of us would hitch a ride in the next vehicle that came along and try and reach Korzok. That way, at least some of us would be safe and if the car didn't show up in a couple of hours, we could come back with a search party.

Our prayers were soon answered in the form of an ITBP truck coming up from behind. Mamaji quickly flagged it down and asked for some help. Which was warmly given. Mamaji and I hitched a ride in the back while jiju drove the car with the gals inside. The ITBP folks - much to our surprise - said that they would follow the car. Kinda like shepherding the flock home .




Punctured!


It Don't Matter If It's Black Or White


Sandy Plains


Oasis


Dusk


The ITBP Truck


Where Do We Go Now?


Turns out that our prayers were answered in the form of sheer coincidence! Apparently, the truck was a supply truck. One that made rounds once in several days only. It had some fowl running around in the rear along with a few of the ITBP jawans. Mamaji got into chatting with them and they started regaling us with various stories such as that of trekkers who cross over from Manali, the filmstars who had come down recently for a movie (3 Idiots), people getting lost in the wild and the jawans having to rescue them, snow glare, yoga and cricket in the camp and so on and so forth. We were lucky to have the truck come along as a little later, the road had ended and in the fast approaching dusk, we wouldn't know which of the several forks to follow in the sandy plains. The truck driver would indicate the way and the convoy would move on. Somewhere on the way, Rashi came by to give mamaji and me some added clothing for it had started to get pretty cold and we didn't' have more than a jacket on each. We were later told that the cold had got to Nandika and she was pretty much shivering and chattering away to glory in the car. Rashi forced her to have a couple of swigs of brandy to help warm her up a bit.

The ride in the truck was anything but comfortable. A little buttsore, I was glad when an hour and a half later, we finally stopped at the checkpost near Tso Moriri. The Innova guy had already informed the folks there that our car was stuck and those guys were keeping a lookout for us. Folks in the wild sure do help each other and keep a lookout for one another. A big thanks to the Innova driver, the Israelis as well as all the ITBP folks who helped us. We are truly indebted.

The jawans had warned us against staying in most of the camps as they were seemingly overpriced. We ourselves wanted to do a home stay as that was something that was recommended. Off we went in the dark to get ourselves a homestay. Our marketing manager (jiju) found some place near the main street. I was dead tired by then and just wanted to curl up somewhere peacefully. At 150/- per head, the deal sounded pretty good to me. And this place (Snowcock Homestay) was right next to the road so we wouldn't have to walk far. We got our stuff out and into the place. They had given us two rooms - a larger one on the ground floor for jiju, mamaji and Nandika and a smaller one on the first floor for Rashi and I. I didn't like the idea of having to climb up when we were already tired. Plus, given our condition, I thought it would be a good idea to sleep together. Moreover, we could have some fun together in one big room. Asked Masterji (the proprietor of the place) to move everything into one room and then went off for dinner.

Dinner at Lhasa Restaurant (tent) was pretty decent. We had dal, roti and alu gobi ki sabzi as well as some tea and coffee. Went back to our room and saw that everything had been moved to our satisfaction. Only that we had only one quilt and one blanket per head. This was definitely not going to be sufficient for us dwellers of plains. Asked Masterji for more. Grumbling and muttering under his breath, he supplied us a few more. Time to settle down and sleep. Loo stop before that. Walk out to the loo. Uh oh! This was a dry pit loo. Never having gone to one before, this was going to be an experience. No water, no tissue, no tiles, no towels. Nothing. Just a hole dug into the ground on the first floor with a shovel and some sand to keep you company. No light either. If you want some light, take a torch along. Water to be ferried in in Bisleri bottles. Heh heh he. Definitely going to be an interesting experience.

Bladder emptied, I made my way back to the room. We were in a pretty decent mood and took a few snaps. Kungfu movie was the theme of the moment as can be seen below.




Hooo Ah!


Mr. Jun Tao


Tired like hell, we all crashed down by 9. I took a swig of brandy to keep me warm and slept off. But, did we sleep? Or, did something else happen?

To be continued....
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Old 24th November 2009, 17:43   #82
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Originally Posted by yamraj View Post
Day 12 - September 22nd 2009 (Part 3)

Tired like hell, we all crashed down by 9. I took a swig of brandy to keep me warm and slept off. But, did we sleep? Or, did something else happen?

To be continued....
PLEASE continue ASAP... or else the statement you have used is a damaging statement." Or, did something else happen" People will start imagining lots of thingsas the weather was also cold
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Old 25th November 2009, 18:52   #83
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PLEASE continue ASAP... or else the statement you have used is a damaging statement." Or, did something else happen" People will start imagining lots of thingsas the weather was also cold
You forget that there were 5 of us in that room.

More coming soon - a tad tied up with work the last couple of days so haven't been able to update the travelogue :(.
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Old 1st December 2009, 13:03   #84
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Day 13 - September 23rd 2009 (Part 1)


Looking back, it would seem that that day's events and their associated moods kinda went along with the time of the day and the position of the sun. The day that had started bright and sunny, become dusky and adventurous, was now dark and cold. With a swig of brandy to prop me up through the night, I ducked inside the layers of quilt and blanket around 9:00 pm. I promptly fell asleep as I was exhausted by the events of the day. Barely two hours later, I woke up with a headache at the back of my head. I just got up in my bed with a bit of laboured breathing. I guess that woke up Nandika. When she asked me what had happened, I told her, "There is no oxygen in the room!". With my head covered up with a couple of layers of warm coverings, I guess I had used up my entire supply of O2! I asked Nandika to open the window a crack to allow the fresh air. She tried the switch for the light but either Masterji had switched off the mains or there was no current. Either which way, she started fiddling with the windows to try and open them. This woke up the others as well. Most of them had started to feel a little breathless and a mild headache as well. We started talking about how there was less oxygen and how I shouldn't be covering my head while Nandika was trying her best at getting the window open. All this chatting and no final result made mamaji comment, "Don't talk too much as you will use of the remaining oxygen as well!!". Heh heh he. Humour in the middle of pain! Salt and pepper. Such is life! Jiju shone a torch at the window and finally it was opened a bit.

Releived that I would get more air I drifted off into sleep again. And woke up a couple of hours later again. Again with shortness of breath and a slightly throbbing headache at the back of my head. There were several things going on in my mind. Will they have to take me to the ITBP post to get some oxygen? Will we have to pack up and just rush to some lower altitude? If so, how would we manage that in the night when we didn't know the terrain, had to cross a looooong rocky patch and try and avoid any sandy areas! Crap! We came for adventure but this was not what we had thought! With these thoughts keeping me company, I nodded asleep again. Woke up a third time another couple of hours later. Again with a headache. But this time, it was a little milder. Maybe I was getting used to AMS. Maybe, we wouldn't really have to descend. Maybe this would all just turn out okay. And then I floated off again. This time I woke up in the morning. With a headache. So I hadn't really conquered AMS. Neither had the others as all of them had one (though of varying degrees).

I was told that after my amusing Oxygen incident, a couple of hours later, there was some sort of a fight just outside the home on the road. And a couple of hours after that, there was a vehicle that had come and disturbed the peace. And yes, we realized in the morning that there was a flue in the middle of the room. So, technically, there was a path for the air! Heh heh he. All that drama with a mildly happy ending. I say mildly happy because I didn't have to cause a panic and descend to somewhere lower. Now, that would have been a bigger (and painful) adventure!! Mildly happy also because I had a pretty huge headache in the morning and I didn't feel like doing anything at all. While the others made the visit to the dry pit, I just tried to drag myself out of the bed. Soon, it was time for breakfast and I hadn't even gotten out of my pyjamas! Rashi dragged me out and took me to the tent across the road. And forced me to have some of the tea there. We met a couple of ITBP folks from the previous evening's journey there but I had barely enough energy to nod my head at them. A little tea and a little breakfast of omelettes, roti (there wasn't any bread there) and alu sabzi followed by some coffee gave me enough energy to start contempating the next step. Of visiting the dry pit! Extremely uncomfortable with the idea, I somehow convinced myself of the necessity and filled a bisleri bottle. Off I went inside. And spilled half of the bottle somehow. With a mild panic attack, I had to ration the water but luckily, there weren't any other misadventures there .

We packed our stuff, paid Masterji and and left his torch in the room. It was around then that it became clear to me that the torch was not ours. Somehow, I had all along thought that the torch was mamaji's. Despite knowing that his torch was of the manual sort that just didn't hold a charge! Mamaji and jiju had borrowed it from Masterji the previous night and my befuddled mind didn't grasp that at all.

I was almost rejuvenated by now and with the increasing height of the sun, my headache had receded and my heart lifted. We took a couple of photographs outside the place and packed our stuff back into the car and headed off to Tso Moriri. Finally, we would see what we had come to see!

A few photographs from the morning:



Masterji's Place


The View From The Terrace


This Is More Comfortable Than Sitting Inside!


Tired Already?


Tso Moriri As Seen From Korzok


An Old Lady


Another View From Korzok


She Runs Lhasa Restaurant


Tso Moriri




Mt. Rushmore In India!


Take Me Higher!


Posing By The Waterside


Nandika's First (And Only) Drive




More Moriri!



More from the return journey coming up soon....
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Old 1st December 2009, 13:42   #85
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"Yamraj" your story is going on from so many days. It is becoming a soap opera for me(but i am loving all the beauty,story narration etc etc). BUt i am glued to this thread from day 1- where you started from KRpuram to your office and from the petrol bunk
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Old 1st December 2009, 14:06   #86
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"MODS"--Sorry for the multiple post the internet is not refreshing/somthing is happening.
"Yamraj" There is a bangalore meet of BHPians that will be held this week i suppose.Juct check this thread and get glued to it. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-b...-t-bhp-11.html
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Old 1st December 2009, 16:26   #87
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Default Amazing......!!!! is the only word i can think of.

Going to Leh has been in my dreams since I heard the name Leh. & i am sure one day (hopefully 2010) I will be able to do there. I have been to Kashmir & Amarnath though many a times.... However today in office when I sat to read your travelouge, I just didnt know how time passed & i just felt as if i was at Leh with my family & friends.. Awsome narration, beautiful pics & innvative... After the Book : One life to Ride written on Leh trip this is is some thing the best i have read yet...

I was so engrossed & lost in all this that i spent 3 hours & even missed my luch.. Now at 16:20 I go to lunch after bookmarking this page & awating .... whats more to come....

I seriously wish u do the srinagar route as it will remind me of my countless drives there (as your delhi - manali made me )

Awsome Work..!! BTW what do u work as???
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Old 1st December 2009, 20:23   #88
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Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
"Yamraj" your story is going on from so many days. It is becoming a soap opera for me(but i am loving all the beauty,story narration etc etc). BUt i am glued to this thread from day 1- where you started from KRpuram to your office and from the petrol bunk
Thanks Shishir for the compliments .

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Originally Posted by SamtheLeo View Post
Going to Leh has been in my dreams since I heard the name Leh. & i am sure one day (hopefully 2010) I will be able to do there. I have been to Kashmir & Amarnath though many a times.... However today in office when I sat to read your travelouge, I just didnt know how time passed & i just felt as if i was at Leh with my family & friends.. Awsome narration, beautiful pics & innvative... After the Book : One life to Ride written on Leh trip this is is some thing the best i have read yet...

I was so engrossed & lost in all this that i spent 3 hours & even missed my luch.. Now at 16:20 I go to lunch after bookmarking this page & awating .... whats more to come....

I seriously wish u do the srinagar route as it will remind me of my countless drives there (as your delhi - manali made me )

Awsome Work..!! BTW what do u work as???
Thanx for your wonderful compliments .

I am sure you will make it to Leh very soon. If you've been to Kashmir, then all you need is a few more days and you will be there.

We did the return journey from Srinagar. More on that later on in the blog.
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Old 2nd December 2009, 11:57   #89
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Will write about the return adventures a little later. For now, a few more snaps:







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Old 2nd December 2009, 12:15   #90
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By the way why those stones are kept to resemble like a border. Is it a border/compund???.
What!!!!!!!!!!!!! retrun adventure. Then another 4-5 pages and another 2-3 months. Superb.Continue dude.we are here itself glued to LEH, GAMA-LAMA by YAMA
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