|7th October 2009, 11:58||#346|
Back to Kargil....
Sitting on the shotgun seat actually means a lot more pics.
Of particular interest to me were the glaciers
Though not as big as Drang Drung, there are quite a few small ones en route
Even though we took a lot of photography breaks, we easily caught up with the scorpio Taxis who had left 10 minutes earlier than us. Since they were more loaded, and one of them was running a leaf spring setup, the white elephant could do higher speeds on the same roads.
We soon came to that "rock zone". A truck had broken down, and around 15 minute were wasted there.
I also got a chance to look at the tires the taxis were running.
2 were running Goodyear Wrangler AT and Apollo Hawkz RT. One was running Bridgestone HT.
The HT shod taxi tires bore significant nicks and cuts. One tire even had a slight chip in the sidewall, but since these were tube tires, he was carrying on.
Around 4 we reached Parkachik
Time for a break for the glacier
The taxis left the main road, and took the track through the village, and we followed of course!
These guys know when to take the bypass, and when to go through. Infact later due to following taxis we got around 10kms of decent road too!
The route was very scenic, with the Suru river ensuring greenery, and the lofty snow clad mountain peaks providing an interesting backdrop
The light was however not very condusive, esp due to sun shining into the camera
And road road remained as bad as ever
As you move from one peak to other, its very similar, only the cloud pattern being a giveaway
Look at the beauty of the road
The taxis were having a hard time , and even stopping multiple times we caught up easily. If they tried to go any faster, the passengers will suffer
The play between clouds and sun.
I am sure this region gets a lot of snowfall in the winters. Its september start, and already the weather gods have given a generous dumping of snow to the peaks
As we neared Panikhar, the taxis went off the road to an unmarked dirt track and crossed over to other side
Wow! the road went good!
The green Suru Valley
TO BE CONT............
|7th October 2009, 12:40||#347|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2005
Thanked: 269 Times
Ahhh, a pleasure to log in after 5 days & be able to catch up in one go!
Was the owner (Iqbal) at the Hotel or was the Manager trying to make a quick buck? The fact that you mention that it was empty makes me wonder.........
Last edited by suman : 7th October 2009 at 12:42.
|7th October 2009, 12:42||#348|
I think it was the manager. They have different grade of rooms, and I think he was trying to pass on the lower rung room to us for a higher cost.
PC chachas hotel was cleaner and better furnished and right in the market.
Probably off season blues?
|7th October 2009, 16:36||#349|
Back to Kargil... and beginning of a new chapter
We trudge along, and the light is not helping. Sun is still bright, and shadows strong.
But in any light, the Suru valley is magnificent
The Golden Harvest is ready
As light fails, the road also does the same. That tarmac lasted less than 10kms I think
A river on the way or a waterfall if you can call it that
More Golden Harvest
As light falls, we get closer to Kargil
Last pics for the day
Its 7:30PM when we reach Kargil.
10 hours run, 249kms in total. What a day trip
First stop - We head to the upper JKTDC, and as expected YHAI has left. Rooms are available for us.
At first we are given the 180rs room, then the senior caretaker shows us the 350rs room with a sitting and much nicer interiors.
We take the latter.
Unfortunately, the kitchen is locked, as the cook has gone on Ramzan leave. So we will have to head down to the dark city again
The Kababs are still there, and after having a snank we head to Las Vegas again. Seeing us the second time, the stares are not so hostile now!
The food is also nice, and we decide to sleep by eleven.
Ladakh trip is officially over.. Now we will go to Kashmir. Its called Heaven on Earth, and we are going to see why!
With this post, the travelogue is more than 3/4th complete, just a few more posts left!
TO BE CONT.............
|7th October 2009, 17:14||#353|
LOL.. More pictures will come tomorrow. Kashmir is still RAW on the hard disk. I am unable to figure out why does greenery look so awesome in real and so dull in the pictures!
|7th October 2009, 18:31||#354|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Thanked: 5 Times
|7th October 2009, 18:31||#355|
Join Date: May 2007
Location: UP 16
Thanked: 156 Times
The pics on this page are FANTABULOUS! Seeing them, me feeling so close to the snow, I am dreaming about the tall snow covered mountains & virtually shivering; totally spellbounded.
Your travelogue has made sure that I am going to Zanskar, Changthang plateau & other less traveled regions (any suggestions?) of Ladakh during my next voyage. And of course, Pangong which I missed this time.
Last edited by lordofgondor : 7th October 2009 at 18:34.
|8th October 2009, 01:23||#356|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Phoenix, Coorg
Thanked: 653 Times
@Tsk: Your travellogue is simply amazing. I used to read it in small doses, like something to be savoured. You thrilled all of us with the pics. Simply amazing.
You should get an award for taking this trip on a bad back man. The Elephants slogan is clearly for men like you man. Kudos.
Well i expected kargil to be better man. That was a bad experience with the hotels you had there.
Last edited by Rehaan : 8th October 2009 at 15:18. Reason: Post edited to be on the safe side of the rules. Please take a look at rule #11. Thanks.
|8th October 2009, 10:37||#357|
But for all this you need a SUV with 4x4, or better still a bike.
Fly to Ladakh, rent a bike, and go where no 4 wheeler can go
|8th October 2009, 10:55||#358|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Thanked: 2 Times
Hi Tanveer, your thread just gets better and better each day, not to leave out the sparkle and the intoxication it creates. Keep on doing the good work! Sorry, i also read the thread on Cruze, man you are defenitely multi talented, kudos to that also
Last edited by Rehaan : 8th October 2009 at 15:20. Reason: Reason : Post edited to be on the safe side of the rules. Please take a look at rule #11. Thanks.
|8th October 2009, 10:57||#359|
The Charge of the light brigade
This was one of the laziest mornings of our trip. We got up, drove down, had tea, came up, chatted with the caretaker, lazed in the lawns, and fianlly its was 11:40am that we started our journey, towards Drass.
When I was in school, we had a poem called the charge of the light brigade.
Its a poem about the brave soldiers, who sacrificed all because the general fed them to be cannon fodder.
They had no chance of survival, yet they did the soldiers duty.
India has its own Charge of the light brigade story, and to see it you have to visit the Drass War memorial.
How the administration totally ignored enemy buildup on the heights till it went so bad that you had to do the Srinagar Leh highway with headlights off at night, lest the pakistanis do target practice on your vehicle.
Finally in 1999, the brave soldiers, underequipped and underarmed, went up against the hostile terrain.
A lot of lives were lost, but thanks to those brave ones, today you can stand against signboards like "The enemy is watching" and click pics. Before 1999, you could get shot.
It was around 1pm we reached the Drass war memorial. This was a must see part of our trip. The road from Kargil to Drass was extremely well paved and a delight to drive!
The soldiers there showed us the tiger hill, and the other hills around. The hill right behind the wall was also occupied. It overlooks the highway, and anybody sitting on top of that can take pot shots on all vehicular traffic with ease
What you see below is the famous tiger hill.
This is the hill behind the memorial. Battles were fought right here, and where you stand and view the monument, lot of blood was spilt
The wall. Etched forever are the names of those brave ones who sacrificed everything
Infact there is a signboard on the road. which says
"My only regret is that I have only one life to give for my country".
Right next to the memorial you have a museum. It has pictures from the actual conflict, as well as captured arms and ammo.
In the pictures you can see smiling soldiers and officers.
Many of them never came back
On one of the boards, there are pictures of Naga Regiment. They are smiling, and holding the heads of the slain enemy. The soldier on duty told us that whenever naga regiment goes in, it does not come out without winning, or unless the last man dies. When ammo finishes they fight with swords and knives, and when those break they fight with their bare hands. They behead the enemy, and bring back the heads. Its a centuries old tradition of the Naga warriors, and it continues to this day.
The Sikh and the Garwhal regiment placards
There were many names on the pictures, and many of those names were also on the wall. That smiling soldier, with a family tilling the fields, never returned
KrishnaC said "If camera could capture emotions". Its hard not to feel very sad here. On TV you see the fanfare and the parades and the accolades. Its here you see the loss, the sadness.
You can't help but salute these brave soldiers, from all over the country, who gave away everything.
The shrine to the soldier
So if you ever ride this highway, always stop here. If it were not for them, you would not be here in the first place. If these men were not here, away from their families, even in the freezing winters when temp drops to -50, you will not need inner line permits, but a Visa to visit this place
A view of the tiger hill again.
It was around 13:50 that we took leave of the martyrs, and started our journey for the next destination - Sonmarg.
TO BE CONT............
|8th October 2009, 11:31||#360|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanked: 325 Times
I salute those brave soldiers!
I almost shed a tear, reading about those brave warriors!
I dont know if I will ever visit this region or this memorial, so thru your travelouge, I salute their brave spirit and their sacrifice.