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Old 22nd June 2010, 11:39   #76
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@tsk, just like your other travelogues, this one has been my staple diet for the week. If I ever get high BP, you're the one to blame

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The mood is foul, and it feels sad, to lose an ORVM like this. Silently in my heart I curse the taxi driver and his vehicle very foul fortunes(which again I shall not divulge lest I be hounded by thought moral police), and feel slightly better.
Roll it out, please

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Originally Posted by unoczar View Post
china company: KOITO
* The mirror is working fine just like the original, it hasn't fallen off or anything (as told by some),
OT: Koito is a Japanese Company. They are OEM supplier for Suzuki. In fact all lighting parts for Baleno are made by them. Not sure the Chinese one you got is a look alike?
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Old 22nd June 2010, 12:18   #77
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Hey Tanveer, you current set of the snaps of Pangong are making me miss the mini sea like I have never before. The ORVM incident really sucks, those taxis can be a real pain. Waiting for the deluge of Pangong snaps and praying I can make a trip to Ladakh this year.

Slightly OT, what's you opinion about the difference in picture quality when using the zoom of the Panny and using a telephoto lens on the SLR? I found the Panny pics kinda lacking sharpness and vividness.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 12:49   #78
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Actually, panny will do as well as any normal telephoto lens. The sharpness issue is there in some snaps due to low shutter speeds. Its not as sharp as DSLR, but still quite okay. Moreover, when you attach pics to TBHP, due to resizing and watermarking there is a significant quality degrade. Surprisingly on wide angle its not so much, but then I am slightly oversharpening from RAW for my wide angle shots. The panny shots are mostly out of camera with just the levels and contrast adjusted.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 13:17   #79
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Default Day 7: Pangong Cont...

I tried my hand at bird pics too
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But as you can see, I am extremely bad at it
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So I better stick to landscapes eh?
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Unfortunately when water is not still, you do not get reflections
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Some more random pics. I clicked a lot of pics, posting a few here
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Today we won't go to Spangmik. Just lounge here, and then go to Tangste. Spangmik and beyond will be done tomorrow

As the sun went down, the pesky taxis vanished. It was us and pangong, and a few brave souls spending the night at lukung
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Time for an evening maggi
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The view from the dhaba
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Delhi is only 1200kms away. Only....
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this road goes back to Tangste, but first I will try some night pics
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Unfortunately, till 9pm its still some light, and fogs and clouds also start to move in. So I scoot after 2 attempts in the cold evening.
Night photography will have to wait
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For now, it was time to just go back to our hotel in Tangste, eat and sleep
We had completed the leg 2 of our loop

Leg 1 -> Leh Nubra
Leg 2 -> Nubra - Pangong

Tomorrow will again be a day of unknowns. I had no idea how long was the route, how was the route and where was the route.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 22nd June 2010 at 13:19.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 14:09   #80
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Default Our journey so far over 2 days

On the 8th we drove to Diskit.
On the 9th we drove to Pangong.

Tomorrow, we drive to Hanle
Ladakh and Changthang : The Wilderness Chronicles-day1and2.jpg
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Old 22nd June 2010, 15:27   #81
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nice stuff, the maps are a welcome addition to the travelogues, to help us understand the trip better and co-relate with the experiences.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 15:48   #82
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Default Day 8 : Pangong.. And Beyond - The road less travelled

Its a fine morning. Patchy clouds, threatening rain, but looked like empty threats.
The time is 8:20am, and the white elephant starts at first crank. The night has been kind, and after a few minutes of erratic wintery idle, she settles down to the clean note.
Last night we had put 20 liters from the can to the tank, and as of now we had around 43 liters of fuel sitting in the cans, with over 50 liters in the fuel tank.
Thanks to 15 liters additional fuel at diskit, we were comfortable.

Next fuel stop would be Karu, but Karu was still very far away. For today we were going to Hanle, and we won't take the Karu route. We will follow the so called "china road", touching the border villages of Chushul and Tsaga(Chagga).

To call it a road is an understatement. Right from Lukung, to well beyond Tsaga its just some tracks, made by vehicles.
Few tourists make this route, and surprisingly, when we did it, 3 taxis with tourists also did this route. A rare event nonetheless!

Anyways, we start our journey amidst clouds and sunshine.
Unfortunately, no mormots to greet us
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The first glimpse of the blue lake
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Its around 9:30 and we are driving towards spangmik
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Its cloudy today, so the shades of blue are not as dramatic as yesterday.
Lukung to spagmik is slow, and its almost 10:00 as we cross it. The path is rocky at some places, and sandy at others
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But the views! Whoa. This side of pangong tourists rarely see. Just two more villages of Man and Merak on the way. The entire stretch is a section of tracks, follow any one. If you are lucky you won't have to reverse.
The road snakes its way by the side of the lake
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We spot aquatic birds and their babies
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Clouds play truant. At these altitudes, clouds like to catch hold of a mountain, and then pound it. Luckily, the mountain being pounded was far away
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We go on and on. Some dried nallahs slow down progress, and some sandy stretches mean 4x4 usage just to be on the safe side(taxis do this without 4x4, but better be safe than sorry)
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The lake
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Like everywhere in Ladakh, the forest dept is trying greenification of leh
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The views towards the mountains are also nice
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The road
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Soon we reach a point where road is hugging the lake. Its a tricky section, this one. With lots of sand.
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I took a video also when on this route


TO BE CONT......

Last edited by tsk1979 : 22nd June 2010 at 15:50.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 17:21   #83
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Tanveer,

As always, excellent write-up complemented superbly by photos and videos. Reminds me of my bike-ride to Ladakh in June 2004 (exactly 6 yrs back). The Tangtse - Chushul - Nyoma 'road' was as treacherous, if not more, as it is in your videos/photos. We had a hard time as most of the bikes kept sliding/slipping on the loose sand. I am posting a pic from that trip (sorry for hijacking your thread ). Also, we stayed overnight at a Yak-skin tent at Spangmik - experience of a lifetime I must say.

Also, posting an edited version of your GPS track for Nubra - Pangong with some markers. Can you please validate my understanding? Also, which maps are you using on your GPS unit? OSM?
Attached Thumbnails
Ladakh and Changthang : The Wilderness Chronicles-diskit_pangong_mod.jpg  

Attached Images
 

Last edited by cool_dube : 22nd June 2010 at 17:23.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 17:37   #84
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Default Day 8 : The End of Pangong

with the sun playing hide and seek, the colors disappeared

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the white elephant shot from the lake shore
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Sun takes mercy, and makes an appearance later
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View from the navigators perch
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Its windy, and wind blows away clouds. Look at the choppy lake. Is it less than a sea
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Bye bye clouds
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Man village is gone, next is merak. Prayer flags...
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The steed
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A wide prespective
The sky is a brilliant blue now
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As we march forward, the scenery is totally unlike what we have seen before. This is true paradise. We are beyond habitation now
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forward we march
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The blue lake with a green shore. All thanks to a nallah. Nallahs are a fresh water source into this saline lake, and around the nallahs is greenery. Nallahs also mean tough driving
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As you know 2/3 of the lake is in china. I take a zoom shot. Is it china?
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What views!
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Blue skies, blue lake, yellow sands, and a white elephant
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We are nearing the end of Pangong(India's Pangong, that is). Soon we will leave this lovely lake
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Finally the path starts turning The lake also takes a bend, goes to china
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Goodbye Pangong
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The last telephoto
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The track turns towards chushul. Pangong has ended. Now its time for the changthang desert. And off we go!
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A new chapter starts.
We have traversed the length of pangong in the white elephant. Seen what few see!
Hanle awaits far away. But before that, we have Chushul to do
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Old 22nd June 2010, 17:43   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dube View Post
Tanveer,

As always, excellent write-up complemented superbly by photos and videos. Reminds me of my bike-ride to Ladakh in June 2004 (exactly 6 yrs back). The Tangtse - Chushul - Nyoma 'road' was as treacherous, if not more, as it is in your videos/photos. We had a hard time as most of the bikes kept sliding/slipping on the loose sand. I am posting a pic from that trip (sorry for hijacking your thread ). Also, we stayed overnight at a Yak-skin tent at Spangmik - experience of a lifetime I must say.

Also, posting an edited version of your GPS track for Nubra - Pangong with some markers. Can you please validate my understanding? Also, which maps are you using on your GPS unit? OSM?
Yes, I am using OSM maps. Last year I had done Nubra to Pangong via Wari La. So I mapped those sections to OSM. This year I used those maps.
Your understanding is correct. However, the village where you merge with chang La road is Durbuk. Shyok is a few kms before that, and does not come on the way if you come to tangste via ChangLa
and yes, the Tangste chushul Loma road is as trecherous.
Remember, from chushul you merge into loma, and from there left takes you to hanle, right takes you back to nyoma and leh.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 17:56   #86
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I had my eyes glued to the monitor to enjoy the pics of Pangong and now they are red & burning!
I guess this is the first time most of us are seeing the other side of pangong!
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Old 22nd June 2010, 18:02   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Your understanding is correct. However, the village where you merge with chang La road is Durbuk. Shyok is a few kms before that, and does not come on the way if you come to tangste via ChangLa
Got it! I remember now that we did NOT pass Shyok when we did Chang-La - Pangong.

So the route that you took was essentially all the way along Shyok river, right? When did this route come into commission?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
and yes, the Tangste chushul Loma road is as trecherous. Remember, from chushul you merge into loma, and from there left takes you to hanle, right takes you back to nyoma and leh.
Yes - thanks for jogging my memory I remember my group having tea with the ITBP guys at the Loma post. The bridge over the river (not sure which one) takes you to Hanle (which we did not do due to lack of fuel and supplies) and right takes you to Nyoma/Mahe (from where you can divert to Tso Moriri) and there on back to Leh.

Ahhh... some day I will do Ladakh once again
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Old 22nd June 2010, 18:10   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The track turns towards chushul. Pangong has ended. Now its time for the changthang desert. And off we go!

A new chapter starts.
We have traversed the length of pangong in the white elephant. Seen what few see!
Hanle awaits far away. But before that, we have Chushul to do
Why oh why did Pangong end so soon, request you to post some more pics of it.

Indeed you have seen & thankfully now shown us what very few have seen. Let's hope the terrain stays the same, rugged and inhospitable at least for the next few years.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 18:14   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
OT: Koito is a Japanese Company. They are OEM supplier for Suzuki. In fact all lighting parts for Baleno are made by them. Not sure the Chinese one you got is a look alike?

jaana tha japan pahunch gaye cheen!! hehe..

In india, everything thats not made in india or US.... is from China!

ask any parts fellow... "China ka maal hai!!!"
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Old 22nd June 2010, 18:15   #90
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Hi Tanveer,
Superb travelogue sir! The photos and the accompanying text makes for very interesting and informative reading.
I am leaving for Ladakh on the 4th of July from Bombay via Srinagar. I have the Zanskar Valley, The Nubra Valley, PangongTso, TsoMoriri in my itinerary. I will be returning via Manali.
Going through your travelogue, I am very much tempted to follow your route from Deskit to PangongTso. But since this is my first time around these parts and I don't have a 4wd vehicle, I probably should not take the risk of attempting this route. Maybe next year, when the road is more or less more done up or I have a 4wd vehicle!
Am very much hooked to this thread, and waiting for more of your photos and write up.
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