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Old 10th July 2010, 14:13   #181
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Life normalizes pretty fast. The scenes you described have enough proof!
People appearing tough may not be so and vice versa !

Last edited by ampere : 10th July 2010 at 14:16.
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Old 10th July 2010, 19:10   #182
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Default Pangong Tso Lake - Big Photo Load

26th June: Breakfast and usual time for us to leave from Santhi Guest house, 0820 AM, towards another highlight, Pangong Tso Lake. Left at Karu junction, 7 kms on we come to the beautifully set Chamre Gompa, 3 kms on another junction at Karu, we take the right turn this time towards Chang La. The road by and large is fine, climbing steeply for the next 34 KMs. You have plenty of photo ops here, deep gorges, green settlements, rivers, ravines, mountain roads, snow and what have you.

Sign in at Zingral TCP and we climb again, 1130 we reach Chang La. Lots of snow, as much as we had at K-Top, colder but devoid of traffic. We meet lots of soldiers from South and get pally with Aby Phillip who gives us tea and introduces us to the rest of the soldiers, this regiment is about to move to Jamnagar soon, another would take its place. We spend 15 mts on the photos and relaxing, if you can call it that at 17892 feets.

We reach Tangse TCP at 1 PM, sign in there and take a Left towards Pangong Tso. The road visibly improves from thereon, but that's a trap. You get lovely surface for a long time and then out of the blue you get radiator breaking dips on the road, some of them really mean. We met a bunch of bikers coming from Chandigarh and play tag with them for some distance, the black tarmac, some green patches, a stream, snow-caps and bikers in front and behind you all make for nice photo spots.35 kms after Tangse TCP we come to the notorious Pagal Nallah, sane now. They have built a big bridge over it and the army guys said this would solve the problem permenantly. 1 kms down the road we come to the first view of the world famous lake Pangong Tso and what a sight it was. It was clear that the area around this place was at one time was filled with the lake water, the sandy basin below bore stark testimony to that.

We reach the Army Camp where boats are moored and look for Prajesh's contact there. Mr.Singh gives us chai and says the day is a very windy one, boat cruises are only on calm days. He sands an orderly with us first for lunch at the canteen near the road and then we walk back to meet him again. The wind has died down, the orderly takes us to the boat, we strap on with the life jackets at all, the wind picks up again, the ride is off.

About the lake, much has been written and photographed, after 3 Idiots, it has become ever so famous. Nothing can describe what it is, only facets of the colours, coutours and clarity of the water can be captured, one has to be really there to experience it.

The road after the army camp to Spangmik, in a real sense, 7-8 kms, does not exhist, only a track. No boards, directions, we were left to try out the high road, which in some places is a patch of mud and stones, off-road actually. We searched for Camp Watermark Resort and finally found it around 5 PM, the wind was up, it was cold and they gave us a tent. This was 26th, full moon day and the whole place was packed, including the waters edge with bikers camping out. We met the boss of the camp and requested him to give us a room there, with some pressure and PR, around 8 PM we could manage to shift to a room. We were lucky, the night temp. was below 5, the wind was howling all around us and hurling sand along with it.

I took rest while Jiggy and Prajesh walkekd off to experiment with the Nikkon, by the time they were back at 8, I had a power-nap and ready for the night. The full moon was up already, the whole place lit up in a silver hue, tried a couple of shots with different exposures on my Cannon, some of them did come out nicely, judge for yourself.

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Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th July 2010 at 19:15.
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Old 10th July 2010, 19:33   #183
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Time up for the firs lot, here goes the second one..

KP....... load up your stunning sets of moonlight and sunrise ones; I'm thinking of writing up to Sarchu tomorrow........ keep loading and filling up the servers
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th July 2010 at 19:52.
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Old 10th July 2010, 20:23   #184
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What's that animal? Looks like some kind of a bear! So sweet.
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Old 10th July 2010, 20:47   #185
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Brilliant pics and lots of them too. I liked the 1088 pic with moon reflection in the water.

I see a nice lighted tent there. But you stopped in front of some hotel. Where did you guys stay?
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Old 10th July 2010, 21:33   #186
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Its a photo essay! Amazing. The beast resting at night is another classic!
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Old 10th July 2010, 21:47   #187
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It is the Himalayan Marmot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
What's that animal? Looks like some kind of a bear! So sweet.
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:22   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaureanBull View Post
Brilliant pics and lots of them too. I liked the 1088 pic with moon reflection in the water.

I see a nice lighted tent there. But you stopped in front of some hotel. Where did you guys stay?
Picture No.1111 shows a building with lights, that's were we stayed, shot it from the water's edge, the road going up goes to our campsite with a building with 6 rooms.

The lighted tent towards the waterline is where the bikers pitched out for the night, there were clusters of bikers and tents that night. Two small bus loads, 20 seaters with Bengali tourist had camped out in another place just nearby to our place and made a big party that night, was feastive till about 10 after that the noise died down, the cold was getting to everyone I guess.

------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
What's that animal? Looks like some kind of a bear! So sweet.
Like GD said, it's the marmot. This one was domesticated, came out very near when we stopped the car and looked up, I think tourists throw it food stuff and they come out looking for at whenever a car stops.

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Last edited by GTO : 18th June 2011 at 18:46. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing back to back posts.
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:49   #189
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Thanks GD and Ramkya. Learnt something new. Never knew there was something called a marmot. Nice little rodent which actually looks big.
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:50   #190
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Almost missed a side story of the day, AMS........ Oh no, not me.

We had two young guys, under 25, who had come in a Qualis, hired from Leh, one guy experienced trekkekr and another from Mumbai. His elder brother was in Leh 3 days back, got hit by AMS had to be evacuated by Air back to Delhi!!! This guys was already panicking, having breathing difficulty and consulted me / us. Told him my story and told him to breath easy and take lots of fluids, by 8 he was paranoid, symptomatically he was fine but not relaxing. Went to see the doctor nearby, was pronounced OK and came back to seleep around 9. This is just to say, how scary the feeling can be when you are out there all alone, away from family, the howling wind, dropping temperature and a surreal set-up, can spook any normal person.

27th June: 0530 AM: Prajesh's alarm rings, for the sun rise photos, I and Jiggy give it a skip and Prajesh goes off for a round of shooting, ever the painstaking shutterbug. Around 8, breakfast, pack, settle the exorbitant bill of 2800/- for a night and time to give the Wolt the Hot water bath. After the customary heating up, Wolt fires up and we follow the qualis driver, he'd show us the way through the water's edge, lower one.

We stop for an hour at various spots to shoot a million photos, specially the super friendly sea gulls, they were earing tiger biscuits out of Jiggys hands while were were clicking away, we did get some lovely shots of them.

Here's a load of them, more to come......

Every 5 minutes or so, the lake was changing colours!!!
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:52   #191
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Camp Watermark Resort - in Spangimik village?
Contact details?

Spangimik road is permanently bad, I think, I have never seen it in good shape. I have gone with great difficulty there in 2//3 and 2004, but last year we could not go too far, the road was terrible.

Moonlight photos are spectacular.
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:55   #192
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Default AMS & Hypothermia

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post

We had two young guys, under 25, who had come in a Qualis, hired from Leh, one guy experienced trekkekr and another from Mumbai. His elder brother was in Leh 3 days back, got hit by AMS had to be evacuated by Air back to Delhi!!! This guys was already panicking, having breathing difficulty and consulted me / us. Told him my story and told him to breath easy and take lots of fluids, by 8 he was paranoid, symptomatically he was fine but not relaxing. Went to see the doctor nearby, was pronounced OK and came back to seleep around 9. This is just to say, how scary the feeling can be when you are out there all alone, away from family, the howling wind, dropping temperature and a surreal set-up, can spook any normal person.
Here is a very useful link that discusses AMS and Hypothermia - a must-read for travellers to Ladakh:
http://leh.nic.in/highaltitude.pdf
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:58   #193
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Another lot, servers... here they come.

A bunch of Yaks were bathing in the about zero temp water, just the thought sends shivers down my spine. There were lots of bikers that day, some came as far away as Trivandrum, there was one guy who has a label on his back "Kanyakumari to Kardung La", later near Bilaspur caught him riding back, will post photo later, that needed some nerve to ride all the way and back!!!!

We were lucky, it was a very clear morning and we could catch some of the beauty for you guys....

These sea gulls were eating tiger biscuits out of Jiggys hands, he spent 3 full packets but was worth every one of them. I was talking to my birdi friend Arpit today, he said they are known to also charge with their beaks if biscuits were exhausted, good thing Jiggy did not know the story then
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Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th July 2010 at 23:02.
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Old 10th July 2010, 23:11   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Camp Watermark Resort - in Spangimik village?
Contact details?

Spangimik road is permanently bad, I think, I have never seen it in good shape. I have gone with great difficulty there in 2//3 and 2004, but last year we could not go too far, the road was terrible.

Moonlight photos are spectacular.
Thanks HVK.

This is one of the few Pucca building in entire Spangmik, at the end of the trail of 7 kms, last 500 mtrs rally roads, was run by somebody earlier; mountain Trail guys took it over, a retired Capt. Vaidya is in charge at Spangmik now. You have details, they fixed your Permits for your trip. All bookings have to be done from Delhi, through Nitin Lal, pricey, but then 26 th was premium night, full moon and we had no choice.

Vaidya says the whole area is headed by one Lama and he is now progressive about tourism and hence, roads, bridges and facilities are better than earlier.

I personally hope roads, bridges and conditions deteriorate so that hoards of tourists would not descend there and spoil the whole place up and only real adventure tourists land up there.

Last edited by ramkya1 : 10th July 2010 at 23:18.
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Old 11th July 2010, 23:30   #195
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Ramky and Team ,SUPERB !! I Am getting GREEN , I too wanna visit such exotic places.

BTW how long would it take if am gonna drive from Chennai

Will definitely do it some day or the other. I got lots of plan but no time

1.Goa Drive
2.Mumbai Drive
3.Top Slip drive
4.Kodaikanal
5.Karnataka forest range
.......
....
...

On & on..
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