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Old 4th December 2009, 18:05   #106
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Thanks for the costing info. Waiting for the remaining pics and story of return journey.
You are welcome :-).

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Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
man thay is way cheap(18K) comapred to other who went over there and that too with so many people.
We got away a little cheap as we got acco in the Air Force Station. We spent about 450/- for two rooms per day over there. Contrast this with the 2k for a single room that we spent at Mumbai as well as at Udaipur! For pretty lousy service at that!
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Old 8th December 2009, 20:46   #107
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Day 13 - September 23rd 2009 (Part 3)


We were grateful when the rocky road ended and the tarmac started. We missed the Palio all the time that day. While we were huddled into the back seat or while we were crossing the tough terrain. Would Shararat have made it? I suppose it would have. Would she have been able to tow the WagonR out of the sand? Maybe she would have. But then these are only conjectures. In a parallel universe, she does all that and then goes and saves a Yak and a couple of marmots as well! In this one, she was missed pretty badly by both Rashi and I. Our second home for so many days...

The tarmac and the quick descent gave us the much needed respite from the headaches that some of us had. Soon, we were back to our normal selves chatting away and joking at one thing or the other. One of the constants in our journey was "Peep Peep, Don't Sleep". One or the other of us would go, "Peep Peep, Don't Sleep" at most blind corners. It had become a ritual of sorts with us. Kinda fun too.

We soon crossed the point where we had taken the photographs the day before. Today, there was a stark contrast to what we had seen yesterday. The vivid orange had given way to a dull orange brown. The place was still very scenic but it didn't have the captivating beauty that we had seen earlier. Mandatory snap time later, we headed on towards Chumathang.



Same Place, Different Hues


Besides A Stream


View On The Way Back


Somewhere on the way, there was this board that said "After Whisky Driving Risky". That somehow seemed incomplete to me. So I came up with a slightly more complete one (at least according to me): "After Whisky, Driving Risky. After Rum, Driving Fun"! We got talking about our stay in Korzok and one thing led to another and finally I asked mamaji about masterji and his torch and how that was the last thing that we left in the room so that he could pick it up in the evening. Hearing that, Rashi piped up, "I took the torch with me! I thought it was mamaji's torch!". Poor masterji. Rather, poorer by a torch masterji! We all had a good laugh about the whole thing while Rashi felt quite a bit of remorse at having unknowingly nicked the torch. We told her not to worry as we would courier it there by Fedex!!! Yeah right!

There were several times that we came very close to Indus but didn't stop for one reason or the other. At long last, after crossing several good spots, we stopped at something that looked just about okay. Got off the car and went and had a short break by the banks of the river. That was a pretty refreshing experience.



Splashing Around



Should I Go Down, Or Should I Just Wait Here?



Stretching After The Car Journey



No Dry Pit For Me, There Is Plenty Water Here



Cotton?


Soon, we reached Chumathang. Went back to the same restaurant that we had gone to earlier. While Rashi, Nandika and I ordered food, jiju and mamaji scouted around to see if they could find a puncture repair shop. When they couldn't find one, they returned back. I had my regular maggi thukpa style. Nandika ordered a dry maggi, jiju a dry maggi and mamaji and Rashi some dal sabzi roti. After eating a couple of spoons of her maggi, Nandika saw a fly in it. The plate was sent back and Nandika asked for another. A few minutes later, the girl who was serving came out holding what appeared to be the same bowl that we had sent back. This time, it went to some locals who had just arrived. Ah well, such are the ways of a tough life amidst the mountains. Waste not, want not! Nandika waited for quite a while and when she saw that there wasn't and fly free maggi coming her way, she finally settled in for some dal roti n sabzi!



Macro Shot At Chumathang


Contrast!


Into The Distance A Ribbon Of Black, Stretched To The Point Of No Turning Back!


After Chumathang, we sped towards Leh with jiju in the driver's seat. We wanted to get into the city in time for getting the puncture repaired and in our hurry didn't visit the hot springs at Chumathang. There was a time when there was another WagonR behind us. We kept ahead of it for as long as possible [just in case we needed a spare tyre!! ].We just sped along as fast as we could and then a little bit faster. Peep Peep, Don't Sleep became the order of the day! The drive soon became a bit more uncomfortable, especially for the people in the back but we couldn't really stop. Jiju pushed the car to its limit and we reached Leh around 6. Quickly headed towards the Maruti service station to get the car looked at (the sump guard cover was making some creaking noises). Jiju and mamaji took the car out for a short spin to locate a puncture repair shop. After a little bit of searching (and some cajoling as the guy wasn't in a mood to repair another puncture!) they gave the tyre and came back. I asked about for the jack rod that I had lost. The maruti guys didn't have the one I wanted so I let it be for now. We got the screws tightened and then got out. In the meantime, jiju had bought a tube already for the car. It turned out that the neck was intact and that the tube had a regular puncture. Jiju also went looking for the jack rod and found one. This one was a longer one and wouldn't fit into my kit. I needed one that had a notch in between in which the other part of the rod could be fixed. This was the handle cum hook type while I wanted them separate and so jiju had to return it.

While mamaji and jiju were getting the tube fixed, I decided to drop Rashi and Nandika back at the AFS which was just a couple of kms away. I drove the car off and about a 100 metres away felt that something was not right. Got off and saw that we had another puncture! Thank god we didn't get a puncture earlier. Otherwise, it would have been balle balle for us! I went and informed mamaji and jiju about it. Jiju came along and the two of us quickly had the wheel removed. Rolled it back to the repair shop. By this time the other wheel was ready. This time around, jiju took it with him and drove the gals away to the AFS. We waited for the tube to be repaired and in the process I learnt a little bit about tyre retreading as that was what was happening in the shop. The guy took out the tube and we saw that this one was completely damaged. We were lucky that we had already purchased a new tube (though earlier we were thinking that it was a little waste of money!). The spare tube came pretty useful now. Jiju, before driving away had told me that the spare rod was for just Rs. 50/-. After some discussion, we bought that one and I swapped mamaji's jack rod with that as he didn't have a kit anyways! This way, we had rods for both jacks and my kit was complete again. Thanks mamaji . In a short while, the other wheel was repaired too and by this time jiju had come back. Loaded the car and off we went to AFS Leh.

That night, we dined on Kofte with curry, bhindi, dal, chawal, roti and salad. And of course, the customary apples! Post dinner, had a bath, saw the photographs of the last two days and then off we went to never never land.

There is one thing that I will fondly remember from that day. We (or at least I) thoroughly enjoyed going, "Julley!" all the way back from Korzok. Every time I passed a bunch of Ladakhi labourers working on the road, or locals walking alongside the road, I would raise my hand and go, "Julley!". And each of those times, I would get a very warm "Julley" back. The only exception to the rule was when I would say Julley to a bunch of bihari labourers. Very hard to elicit any kind of response from them! Except for those few times, Julley had our day made. It exuded the warmth of the people that reside in the cold confines of the mountains. It brought about some sort of a bonding with the land and it's people. Most importantly, it brought about cheer to us weary travellers.

Car Statistics:
Distance covered: Didn't record.
Time: Didn't record hours.
GPS stats:
Trip odometer: 437km
Moving time: 12:34 hours
Stopped: 6:37 hours
Max speed: 79.8 kmph
Moving avg: 34.7 kmph
Overall avg: 23.4 kmph
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Old 9th December 2009, 10:19   #108
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where were you man....ALmost it took 4 days for you to update this therad. I was waiting for the next set of pic and story
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Old 9th December 2009, 11:19   #109
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Great going Yamraj. Awesome pictures and great narration as always. Glad that you guys did not get the other puncture before you reached Leh. Hope everything went well after that.
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Old 9th December 2009, 13:15   #110
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where were you man....ALmost it took 4 days for you to update this therad. I was waiting for the next set of pic and story
Got caught up with work (both at the office and at home).

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Originally Posted by Aquarian20 View Post
Great going Yamraj. Awesome pictures and great narration as always. Glad that you guys did not get the other puncture before you reached Leh. Hope everything went well after that.
Yeah, we were very lucky to get the second puncture after we found the repair shop. Otherwise, it would have been another adventure for us guys!
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Old 15th December 2009, 12:18   #111
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Yamraj, Where are you man? No updates for almost a week now. I am eagerly waiting for the next part of your journey. Please continue as soon as possible for you.
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:50   #112
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Day 14 - September 24th 2009 (Part 1)


After the adventures in Tso Moriri, we decided to take both cars along in case we needed a backup. Backup reminds me that on our way back from Tso Moriri, we had decided that the next time we went there, we would take some spares along. Spares like an extra tube, an extra tyre and an extra engine too! We thought that we would get ourselves a nice Ford Endeavour as a backup in the next trip. That car because it would have sufficient space to hold all the above mentioned spares while we drove the WagonR!!

The day was planned to be started at 8. We were just two hours late and started off at 10 instead. We had omelettes, cutlets and coffee at the mess for breakfast. The omelettes were good and the cutlets were smashing. I had a bread cutlet sandwich that was super awesome. After the breakfast, we packed ourselves into the two cars and headed towards the outing for the day. While we were crossing the end of the runway of the AFS, there was a massive roar above us and when we looked up, a fighter crossed us with its afterburners on which it switched off a couple of seconds later. What an awesome sight that was! Just imagine that, a fighter comes over us, pulls up and uses its afterburners to rapidly ascend into the heavens. And then while we are swooning over it, it just switches off the afterburners matter of factly and goes on, oblivious to five thrilled mortals that it has left behind with an indelible mark on their souls.

Today, we were on our way to the highest motorable road in the world. Went to the Leh market where mamaji picked up some apples for us. He was in the Palio on the way up to K-top. We had a couple of those apples. Slightly sour, I found them to be totally yummy while both Rashi and mamaji gave up on them. Lucky for me - I would get more than my fair share .

Left Leh and headed upwards. The road ascends pretty rapidly on the way to Khardungla. We saw the Khardungla Frog on the way and stopped to take some snaps. Frog jumping and photography took us a few minutes but we weren't in any great hurry as for once, we had time on our hands. We next stopped at South Pullu checkpost to show our permit. I walked down to the post which is a few feet below the road level and then on the way back up was warned by Rashi not to walk fast. So did a slow motion walk uphill instead.



Leh From Above


Shanti Stupa


Another View Of Leh


Ridge On The Way To K-Top


Toad The Wet Sprocket


Hopped To The Top Of Khardungla Frog


Frog Conquerors


Froggie Jumping


Valley View


Shararat, Conquering The Highest Motorable Road


The Road


Rooks


Rock Formations


Mountains N Clouds


Is That A Fortress?


The 'Fortress'!


Thats Where We Came From


Slow-Mo At South Pullu


Another View


Yet Another View


And Another One


India Gate
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Old 16th December 2009, 13:08   #113
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Wow, Yamraj! Good to see you started posting again. Please continue and don't take another long break. Amazing photos and you guys seem to have done quite a bit of frogging.
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Old 16th December 2009, 13:20   #114
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hey, the last set of pictures are very very nice, and mind blowing. just cant believe the beauty. and the high altitude road views are simply awesome.

continue posting.
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Old 16th December 2009, 14:13   #115
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this is the best place in earth you have visited ... I had been there too but again planning to conquer that terrain in coming september!! BTW Photographs are superb!!
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Old 16th December 2009, 18:59   #116
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Hey!
The pics were awesome and I do see that you had the time of your lives conquering those peaks. I hope to go there myself sometime next year. Insha Allah!!
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Old 16th December 2009, 19:08   #117
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Hi,

What was the total cost of Fuel.
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Old 16th December 2009, 20:33   #118
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Wow, Yamraj! Good to see you started posting again. Please continue and don't take another long break. Amazing photos and you guys seem to have done quite a bit of frogging.
I got caught up between a little bit of ill health, lots of work at the office and a wedding in the close friends' circle. Will get back into the tempo of writing by the weekend I hope.

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hey, the last set of pictures are very very nice, and mind blowing. just cant believe the beauty. and the high altitude road views are simply awesome.

continue posting.
Thanx. Sometimes, the photos only tell half the story. You have to be there to believe the beauty.

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this is the best place in earth you have visited ... I had been there too but again planning to conquer that terrain in coming september!! BTW Photographs are superb!!
Thanx. This is definitely a great place to go to. The rolling mountains, the deep valleys and the outrageous colours are simply out of the world.

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Hey!
The pics were awesome and I do see that you had the time of your lives conquering those peaks. I hope to go there myself sometime next year. Insha Allah!!
Thanx Sami. All the best for your plans. You will remember the trip for the rest of your life

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Hi,

What was the total cost of Fuel.
Approx. 33k for 8300 km.
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Old 19th December 2009, 00:54   #119
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Day 14 - September 24th 2009 (Part 2)



We crossed South Pullu around 11:30. Next stop, Khardungla! Maybe I shouldn't call it the next stop as we stopped several times in between to soak in the view and take a few digital imprints as well. The road upto K-top is not really that great. There are several sections that don't have tarmac on them. But then the going was never that tough. The cars handled pretty well all the way up to K-top and so did all of us. We weren't hit by AMS fortunately and were soon standing on the highest motorable pass in the world. The pass just comes up out of the blue when you turn a corner. There isn't any indication that you are about to reach the pass and then suddenly you are there! Khardungla, conquered.


View On The Way


Mountain Cradle


Conquering Khardungla


Nature's Popsicles


The Last Turn Before Conquering The Highest Motorable Pass


With The Defenders Of The Country


Khardungla, Conquered



We were there for a while doing some walking around and taking photographs. There were a couple of foreigners who had come there on cycles. Rather, it seemed that they had got the cycles transported up and were planning to ride them downhill. That seemed like a pretty cool idea. Mamaji, jiju, Nandika and I took turns to get ourselves photographed with the cycles on the highest motorable road like as if we were the ones who rode them up! Yeah right!



Phew, That Was Tiring


Not Really, We Can Do It Again


Flipping The Bird?


Skiing Anyone?



After a short time there Rashi started getting a little uncomfortable and so we decided that we should move on. We asked around about what the other side of the pass held for us and were told that it was pretty much the same thing. Much as we hated it, we decided to leave Nubra valley for the next trip. How we wished that we had more time to do the trip into another beautiful valley but it was not to be. Turned the cars around and with mamaji at the wheels of the WagonR and Nandika giving us company, headed back towards Leh.



Mommy, My Teeth Have Ice Between Them


Another View


Where Did The Snow Go?


Aha! Thats How Jiju And Nandika Came Up!


View


Siachen Toggler's Gate


The Diagonal Divides The Earth And The Sky


Where Does That Lead To?


Nandika Trying To Pick Up Shanti Stupa. Next Time, Try With A Model First!


Mandatory Fotu


Jiju's Experiments


Gossip? Me? Naah!
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Old 21st December 2009, 12:18   #120
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Great Going Yamraj. The photos have come out stunningly beautiful. I am sure the experience you guys had on the highest motorable road must be one of its kind. Glad you all had fun there.
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