|18th September 2009, 08:32||#137|
Thanks for your complements everyone!
As for Kinky, I did not lie, these camels really do not eat for 45 days during mating season. The only reason I could think of for the females wanting such dieting is FTV. What else
|18th September 2009, 12:02||#138|
27 Aug - Deskit Gompa
Today was going to be a long ride, and we actually were free from the hotel an hour later than planned.
Before leaving we got a few liters of water filled, as drinking water in nubra is clean spring water, as compared to Leh drain water.
Now instead of the 9am start, we decided to visit Deskit Gompa
Both of us are not Gompa persons.
There was a good chance that we do not muster enough will to visit any monastery in Leh, so this was the only chance of visiting a Gompa in the Land of Gompas.
The ride up the hill was steep and after a 20rs entry fee we were climbing the stairs.
Thankfully my back was feeling upto it
I am posting some exterior and some interior pics. No flash allowed, so they were taken at ISO 1600, but some are blurred due to shutter speed issues.
Finally around 9:40am we started for our Next destination.
Today we will go To Changthang, north part.
The destination was Durbuk or Tangste, barely 30kms from Pangong Tso, the Lake which is more sea than Lake.
There were 2 ways of doing this run.
One is to go Via Leh, and the other is to go Via Wari La.
After Wari La pass you descend to Shakti, which is 10kms from Karu on the Leh P.Tso route.
WE had 30 liters sitting happily in the jerrycans, which were not leaking due to baloon Gasket.
So we would not need to backtrack 10kms to Karu, and by my calculations we figured that with one food stop of few minutes we should be sitting in Tangste by around 6-7pm
Of course I had no clue about the route except that there is a diversion just after Khalsar(I had spotted it on the way). Apart from that I had no idea about the road condition.
The only thing known was the distance, which should be around 200kms.
But Leh teaches you one thing. Things like 20kms, 200kms 300kms are just numbers up there. It all depends upon how merciful has the BRO and weather gods been on the particular section.
So you may do 200kms in 4 hours or you may do 20kms in the same time, depending upon the road.
Moreover this was one of the rare sections for which openstreetmap did not have a map, so in case any diversions come up, I would just take a call, and head southwards.
The day was definitely going to be interesting.
So 20 minutes before the clock struck 10, we were on the road to Wari La.
|18th September 2009, 12:31||#139|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Thanked: 24 Times
Great. NOW the interesting part starts
Am keen to see how the "road" is after 3 years.
|18th September 2009, 12:49||#140|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Thanked: 2 Times
Tsk, Awesome man, you are really taking a bit of my time everyday, i have become addicted to the posting.And now you push me to the extent of being JELOUS , Jokes apart nice theory of FTV and camels and amongst the good photos, Rainbows take the cake, please feel welcomed to take more of my time and do continue posting the goodys.Cheers!
|18th September 2009, 13:35||#141|
To the "Wari La"
Around 10am, we had descended the winding road from Deskit, and were in the plains.
The steed. All gleaming. Look at the tires. Sand roading makes tires shine
Khalsar is just 10kms away, and after Khalsar we will take the diversion
However there was a short break coming up. At the Deskit/Panamik road junction there is a small Dhaba, where we decided to eat maggi. We did not know when we will get food next, so a 15 minute break was needed.
Met a couple on Bicycles there. They were from Gernany, and they used to take lift from Taxis uphill, and would ride from the Passes downhill. They had ridden down from Khardungla, and had seen Nubra on the bikes.
Now they were at the junction, waiting for their Taxi to come, and take them back to Leh.
After a small chat, it was time for us to start on the journey.
After Khalsar diversion, I expect the roads to vanish, but thankfully that was not the case.
Sure there were bad rocky stretches where the road climbed up mountain sides, but in the river plains the road was actually quite decent
Don't be fooled though. This is no high speed track. There are enough wavy sections to launch you into kingdom come. Se speeds were restricted
From the rocks and stones around it seemed like a river bed. Now the road was also old. Normally if river flows roads vanish until rebuilt. But this was not the case here, except where the road winded up the slope. So indeed, this river had not run for years, maybe centuries. There was not a blade of grass on the rocks, and it lookied like the dead zone
Lack of river was also not the only cause of an intact road. I think lack of traffic was another region. We had been on the road for guess what, 30 minutes and had not passed a single vehicle. Nobody coming from Wari LA, and nobody going there either.
time was now 11:08am. We had been on this track for 45 minutes, and the scenery was unchanged.
Nobody had crossed us. No army truck, no civilian vehicle, no taxi. Not even a wild horse.
Twilight zone, anyone?
The White elephant was the only resident of this dead zone
15 minutes more passed as we drove along. And still NADA. Nobody. Is there anybody in there, sang a comfortably numb Floyd from the Alpine.
No sir nobody here, except us
The Road, same old road
In the distance was a big mountain, is that Wari La?
The Lone inhabitant
TO be frank I was getting a little worried if I had missed a diversion somewhere and instead of Wari La I was going to china.
But this cheered me up
"End of Tangyiar region". Now we had to reach this village on the way. So we were on the right track.
Soon the plains ended, and mountains started looming on both sides. The climb was about to start. There was a green plantation of forest dept on our left too
A lone prayer flag signified that there was somebody somewhere
Soon we came to a river with an iron bridge. From there the road forked into two. One went downriver, the other went upriver.
With no signboards anywhere, decided to take upriver, as we had to go up and not down.
With rivers comes life. with life come people.
And soon we spotted a Tata 207 3.0 DI. Some locals were loading farm produce into it. Our first vehicle in almost 2 hours!
Asked them about Wari La, and we were told we are on the right track.
Pics of the green belt
The road was still holding up
An Oasis in the middle of the dead zone
Prayer stones on the way, engraved long time ago
In the Past
The road curved, and it was time to cross the river over a concrete bridge.
Small problem : The bridge was broken, and only way through the river.
Thankfully water was not very deep, but the climb up was very very steep with sharp stones.
Time for 4x4 low. Slowly the white elephant crawled, and thanks to the german shoes the climb was done without a fuss
Soon we were at a big village. Tangyar I think
|18th September 2009, 13:49||#142|
Wari La.. CONT
There was a Gompa at the top of the village. 55mm Zoom in
Zoom in towards the Wari La. Snow up there? Or just on the peaks?
Soon after the ardous climb to Wari La started. Kind of like Gata loops. but steeper. There was a road, but potholed at places, and the hairpins were designed to ruin your clutch.
Maintaining momentum and with no clutch slip, we trudged on in 1st gear.
The road, it was like this with few patches worser
Again this road did not seem new. This region did not experience much rain.
It was in these loops we spotted two vehicle. A construction truck, and a Xylo, both coming down.
So 2 hours and 3 vehicles, not bad eh?
As we neared the top, some greenery awaited us
Where is is green, there is water, and where there is what, this happens to the road.
Incidently here we spotted our first locals, the nomads of the region
The potholed track continued, and then came the second major obstacle of the day.
A river crossing. A real steep one. Pics are misleading, don't go by them. The big problem was the rocks. Real sharp ones. If you slip wheels on them, they can cut sidewall, AT or no AT.
So this would have to be done in crawl mode on 4L
Gently I went above them. It was a real long one.
It had been 1st gear driving for an hour, and then 1st Low ratio. So decided to rest here for few minutes and also give the beast a rest with bonnet open. No overheating or anything, just rest
Look at the crossing. It starts right from the hairpin, and its all sharp rocks
Water also means greenery
It was quarter to 1, and we decided to move on after our 5 minute stop. Around 13:10 we were at the La. the Wari La. I would rate it as the second toughest pass of the journey till now, craziest and nastiest one being Rohtang with worst roads. But in terms of steepness and difficulty during day time, it trumps rohtang. Imagine driving for an hour on 1st gear with hardly any section permitting second.
The bad road section was lesser than what Rohtang offers, but the solitude on that track is something which cannot be experience anywhere else, except at one other place.
Reminds me of the song "Lonliness of the long distance runner" by maiden.
Without much ado, ladies and gentlemen, The Wari La!
TO BE CONTINUED.. (Ride to Tangste)
Last edited by tsk1979 : 18th September 2009 at 13:55.
|18th September 2009, 14:20||#144|
|18th September 2009, 14:25||#145|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Thanked: 2 Times
Around 60 MB of my hard disk space is already taken by tsk. Almost 250 photos. I am tired of scrolling and clicking. But, not able to stop.
|18th September 2009, 14:41||#146|
7th Pass of our Journey done, it was time to move on.
Down below is Sakti
Road was good, infact newly laid. Only 5-10kms after Wari La we had to endure bad roads, and after than fresh road construction! Hurray
The views mostly brown and blue. Hardly an greens
And not to forget the shiny pearl white of the gleaming white elephant
And the grey, the dark blacking gray of fresh black tarmac.
Where we will go
Where we came from
The runner. Turbo whistling, speedo climbing. After a long hiatus, the white elephant could fly again
The above stretches are just before Sakti, where the Sakti road meets Main road from Karu
We passed Sakti around 1420, and unfortunately there was no food guy. We had food for our steed in the cans, so no point backtracking to Karu. Time to go forward on chips and biscuits
The climb to Chang La initially was quite good. The famous "Z"
But then as with all passes, few kms before the La, the road became Rohtangish.
We trudged on and on
Finally around 3:30pm it was chang La time
At the top of Chang La the Army men were serving tea. The Sikh Regiment was happy to see PB numbred car, and their happiness was double considering they were going home soon, after a long stint in the cold mountains.
We were hungry, so with chips and all I had 3 teas. It was without milk but amazing. Really refreshing.
After spending a few minutes, we went down the pass. The roads were worse downwards, but after 5kms, we were greeted to awesome new black tarmac.
Ride to Tangste would be pleasurable!
did not click too many pics. On the way upto Chang La we had overtaken two army gypsies, and after out stop they were ahead of us. Decided to follow them since they were taking all the shortcuts!
Couple of pics
Around 20min past 5 we reached durbuk, and a quick scouting of the town revealed no great places to stay. Time to head to Tangste.
It was 5:30 when we finally reached there. Checked into Dorothung guest house. The nice lady over there gave us attached bathroom room for 350 after bargain.
We had lunch around 6pm, and my wife put the 30 liters into the tank. It had been a long journey for the elephant too!
With not much to do, we decided to have an early dinner around 9pm. I know dinner at 9 after lunch at 6 sounds odd, but then you haven't heard about Punjabi appetite, right?
So much before midnight it was time to hit the bed. We would wake up at 7, tomorrow will be "The Day".
However this was our first night at 4100, and we both got slight headache. Nothing serious enough to warrant visit to the medical center opposite the guest house, but still little annoying.
But in the excitement of tomorrow, everything is forgotten. Yay.
Time to sleep, and then wait for the dawn.....
TO BE CONT..........
|18th September 2009, 14:43||#147|
|18th September 2009, 14:59||#148|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Thanked: 30 Times
|18th September 2009, 15:08||#149|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Thanked: 2 Times