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rkbharat 26th September 2009 14:26

Saying JULAY Bachelor style - Leh 2009
This was supposed to be different, this was supposed to be fast, this was supposed to be full of adventure and uncertainty.

How unaware I was, that it will be much more.

I had Leh shaking my mind from last year, but conditions were not allowing me to do it. Things were not even better this year. So I almost lost the hope.

None of the friends were planning the trip and family was simply against doing it solo. So by July 09, this chapter was closed and put to rest.

Then came Rohit, another like me, planning Leh for long time but not able to do it.

One day, in office we crossed each other, talked for a minute, and came the name Leh in between. I told him about my plan already buried, He told me his intention to do it and we decided to talk over it later.

That was the ultimate trigger, Leh Ginnie was shaking hard to come out of bottle.

After that discussion, we could not meet for few days, and could not take it forward. That was enough, so we started planning over IM.

We checked the intentions and by that time both of us were 100% affirmative. So started the planning. Car SX4 or Scorpio?. We opted for Scorp. Although Scorp is 5 year and around 70K km, but was like all muscled up. AT tyres, inumerable numbers of fog lights and search lights(though there is very funny story about them, later) etc etc. But alot was required as backup.

We did little day wise planning but I was aware that it will all go for toss, so we had two dates in mind, Start Date and End Date .

We decided for Manali-Leh-Manali, and day after we got the news of Manali-Leh closed and snowed out. Bad news for us, but we kept our plans on.

Rohit took the ownership for Scorp and all support tools/spares for beast. I took the ownership for maps/GPS/food/Music etc etc

To be continued...

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rkbharat 26th September 2009 15:02

Day -2, -1 & 0:

These were the most uncertain days of the trip planning. Weather getting bad, Red alerts at office, panic levels at homes, sick kids, angry wives and bad health (my kidney stone & Blocked left ear ).

It started raining badly in North India, a week before the Start Date and heavy snow at Manali Leh. My daughter caught fever and both kids of Rohit were not well. I just recovered from severe kidney Stone pain and got rid of left stone. Right stone was still in there. Wives were angry with our plans, and they have full rights to do that.

But the ultimate threat to the trip was a red alert in one of the Projects Rohit was heading. Trip was almost off because of this, but Rohit did some last minute trick and pulled the project & Trip back in control. Two days before the trip, we both had our right thumbs up and Face smiling.

But there was one more threat to the trip, I had got the tests for my motherís cancer treatment done last week and had to collect the reports. Anything wrong on those reports was a direct hit to the trip. I kept my fingers crossed and went to collect the reports and meet the doctor two days before the trip. Luckily reports were good and doctors declared all clear. So Lord Buddha had started showering blessing on us.

Then came some last minutes perps, like BSNL postpaid (A MUST HAVE), Oxygen Cylinders, which literally happened last day and few more. Plan to get the K&N filter was dropped as it was a last minute change we were not comfortable with. Beast was all souped up with lots of support tool, tent, cylinders, Two 20 Liters Jerry Cans and full of all kind of eatables.

By that time things were going worst on Manali-Leh road. We had no intentions to put our trip in trouble while going, so we decided to go via Srinagar and return via Manali. How important and great decision it was, though I was very uncomfortable going via Srinagar.

We planned to start 11-Sep night, but it rained all day on 11th and I was not really comfortable starting at night in rain, So we decided to start 4:00AM in morning next day.

To be continued...

rkbharat 26th September 2009 22:27

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Could not continue today due to some work at home, so enjoy few pics, while I continue tomorrow

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pulsar56 26th September 2009 22:36

man, that's one serious number of threats to a trip.
And it's good that everything turned out well and you were finally able to make it!

The Scorpio pic with ice all around is a keeper! :)

Awaiting the rest of the travelogue!

Indizen08 26th September 2009 22:57

Interesting start of the travelog.

maddy42 27th September 2009 04:48

Brilliant that you could go ahead with this trip though you faced so many hurdles. God really smiled on you guys. Waiting for more

sudev 27th September 2009 07:24

@rkb: Nice excitement levels right at the start. Buddha indeed smiled at you two. One complain: Pics without narration is no good.
@all: Apprehensions about going through Kashmir are genuine but boss with a trip like this there are many more and certain risks that you undertake and Kashmir does not even come close by in probability. Personally I say it is also one of the places that must be visited in a lifetime. Not just Srinagar.
Waiting for the rest.

Going OT here but boss you do not need those extra lights for normal driving. Except blinding the oncoming traffic they end up doing not much else. And blinding the oncoming guy is worst thing you can do, especially if there is an obstruction in his path. At last moment when he sees it / realises this full chance that he will steer right - into your path - to avoid it. Or may actually ram in to it. Either case the outcome is not safe. Make roads safer, use headlights as aide and not as weapon.

rkbharat 27th September 2009 12:08

Day 1 - 12/Sep/2009

Gurgaon, Haryana – Kud, Jammu & Kashmir

Km : 730

I was all ready at 4:00 AM, received a call from Rohit that he has started from his home and will reach my home in 10 minutes. I had already transferred most of my stuff in scorp a day before, so was only carrying essentials, Laptop and electronic bags.

Unfortunately it was raining all day and night and it was raining when we started from my home at around 4:30 AM. Just before we left, Rohit felt that he left his camera at home, so we had to detour to his home back, to collect the cam, which was actually lying in one of the bag in scorp, so we lost some time there.

Also we had to collect the oxygen cylinder from Rohit’s BIL at Shalimar Bagh. Leaving Delhi border was smooth because of the new bridge, it was an un-eventful ride. Rain accompanied us till Jalandhar.

Road from Karnal to Ambala has lost its smooth standard with lots of bad patches, we were driving like a F1 game, trying to avoid the patch,

We took our first break at a dhaba before Jalandhar and had a cup (I had 2 cups) of tea, with a Aloo & Prantha Rohit brought from home.

Further drive was event less and slows due to day time traffic building up. Twice we were stopped in Punjab by police and we got out one way or other.

We reached Kud around 8:00 PM. Now the task was to lookout for the hotel. We had JKTDC GHs in our mind. Kud have two premises for JKTDC, one near the petrol pump and the other in the Market.

The one in the market is the good option as its livelier and better parking space; other one is bit isolated but very quite and calm, but low charges.

Anyways we got the rate of 350 Rs for a room, with hot water and TV, which was a good deal. We had a budget in our mind for every day, and which allowed us to take two rooms.

We parked our parked and freshened up. This hotel does not serve food on short notice but market is just a minute walk away. We had a mediocre food at veg hotel in the market.

Market in KUD is famous for sweet shops. 90% of the shops in the market are sweet shops selling very fresh sweets. One of the most famous specialties here is Ghevar or Milk Cake. I took 250gm fresh ghevar for 40 Rs. It was fresh, hot and made of desi ghee.

There were very less photo opportunities on this day.

Note from the Team-BHP Support: Pictures deleted. Please note that it is now imperative for you to upload pictures directly to the Team-BHP Server. Click here to view our simple help article on uploading pictures.

rkbharat 27th September 2009 15:41

Note from the Team-BHP Support: Pictures deleted. Please note that it is now imperative for you to upload pictures directly to the Team-BHP Server. Click here to view our simple help article on uploading pictures.

rkbharat 27th September 2009 15:42

Note from the Team-BHP Support: Pictures deleted. Please note that it is now imperative for you to upload pictures directly to the Team-BHP Server. Click here to view our simple help article on uploading pictures.

gonewithwind 27th September 2009 16:15

Good writing. Looking forward for more.

sami316 28th September 2009 11:36

Very exciting travelogue, well written. Awaiting more pictures to the most threatening

mpksuhas 28th September 2009 23:07

Awaiting for the rest of the journey and the pics..

LongDrive lover 3rd October 2009 17:50

Nice travelogue building up. But, suddenly, yahan par itni khamoshi kyon hai bhai? come on rohit and rkbharat. you cant devoid us enjoying the travelogue of one of the very adventures trip. we deserve to it. hope you will soon find time to move ahead with the story.

akroy 3rd October 2009 19:28

rkb, its great to see you start this wonderful trip inspite so much hinderances (an genuine/logical ones as well).
Hear to see more pics of the same.


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