|28th June 2010, 09:25||#181|
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
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|28th June 2010, 11:13||#182|
Day 11: Zoji La!
Thankfully, at the checkpost, there was no blockade for cars. Trucks were waiting, but we could go through.
Unfortunately, trucks were coming from the other side, and it was raining. Proper raining, with intermittent snow.
This means only one thing. A traffic Jam
One lone pic I took
There is nothing more to narrate here, except for the fact that we could do nothing but wait while millions of trucks came through slowly.
The upper track was not functional yet, and this made things worse.
Finally, it was around 7:30pm we escaped from the pass, and headed towards Sonmarg
I don't know whether my paranoia is justified, but I was not going to travel through Kashmir at night.
This meant a stop over at Sonmarg, which unfortunately was brimming with tourists.
After bargaining and all, we found a hotel in the main market. It was a small 4-5 room setup with tiny rooms, but a comfortable bed. After almost 14 hours on the road, this is what we needed.
Rend : a princely 600rs.
Anyways, it was going to be our only night out of home. Tomorrow, we will reach home.
But there was a puncture to be fixed, and srinagar seemed to be the best place.
Well tomorrow was still a night away
TO BE CONT........
PS: This ends the pics.. Last post will be only narration!
|The following BHPian Thanks tsk1979 for this useful post:|
|28th June 2010, 11:28||#183|
Day 12: Home Ahoy
We started from Sonmarg pretty late, after 7am actually, but no worries, we were going home.
Traffic was thick, esp the taxis going to Leh. The Manali Leh highway closure ensured heavy truck and taxi traffic on this section.
And many of them drive like maniacs. Imaging doing a corner, and seeing two scorpios parallel to each other, racing on the curves.
Having a behemoth helps to push them back to their lane, but some of them were crazy to risk a head one, which only meant one thing, getting off the road onto the rocky shoulders.
The sun broke out as we crossed Srinagar, and much to our luck, all shops except dry fruit sellers were closed due to Hartal.
The roads had rocks on them. Not from some rockslide, but from "Stone fest".
The smaller towns wore a deserted look, and finally we found a puncture shop open after Srinagar.
130rs and you take of the wheel and give your toolkit blah blah stuff. The lazy bum did not want to work at all.
Then we decided to take a chance. Go all the way to Udhampur with 4 tires.
We drove through the valley, with countless CRPF trucks on patrol, and rocks on the road. Ironically, the song playing was "Prisoners in Paradise".
We made a quick stop on the first valley view point, and simply zoomed out of the valley towards Patnitop.
The Random shuffle on the Alpine playing "Keep on rocking in the free world" as we crossed the tunnel.
I guess the Alpine HU has a twisted sense of ironical humor!
Near Patnitop, we got stuck. A huge Jam due to an accident. A taxi or a minibus(tempo traveller?) had hit a truck and rolled down. Casualties expected.
2 days from now, this same road will see a 12 hour jam due to landslides. We escaped!
Finally it was in the evening we reached Udhampur with all shops closed there too! Do shops even open in JK?
I inspected the tires, even if we do get another puncture, slime would take us a 100kms.
So it was time to head towards Dyalchak bypass.
At the border, it was that same nonsense of paying "exit excise tax".
140 to enter the state, 140 to exit the state(in installments of 70-70 at two check posts).
However, some cars were going after greasing the palms of the policemen with 30-40rs.
How do I know? I actually stopped 4 guys in a swift about how much did they pay. Their answer "we are regulars, we give 30-40rs to the cops, and escape paying the 70".
Now this is something which normally angers you, but I am more amused. We are a united country, united even in corruption!
Moreover, when you enter Punjab after two days of ride in Kashmir, the relief is tremendous, esp when all you see is closed shutters and rocks on the road!
Our highway meal was at McDonalds, and before midnight we were home in ldh, back after 12 days on the road!
_________ THE END________
Total kms Delhi to Delhi - 3900
Total Fuel - 406.64 liters
Fuel Cost - 15231
FE - 9.59kms
Total trip cost - 28K all inclusive (Food, stay, Permits, Toll blah blah)
If we had done Manali-leh both ways, we would have spent around 25K
|28th June 2010, 11:38||#184|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Thanked: 29 Times
Fantastic Trip Tanveer and thank you for showing so many new places to us. I was not even aware of the telescope at Hanle till you showed us.
No words to praise the Safari which has not let you down even in the extreme weather conditions. Great pick indeed.
|28th June 2010, 13:03||#185|
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
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Was waiting to find out how bad the damage was to your tyre, that even Slime failed to fix it.
As to the checkpost letting through cars at a discount, I discovered the same on the NH2 at a tollgate too - I'm sure the truckers must have figured this out long ago, and the revenue loss should be substantial for the companies who build & operate the roads, or the government.
|28th June 2010, 13:11||#186|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Thanked: 4,870 Times
It's a gradual progression as I see. During our 2006 trip we saw Sumos and Qualis. Badly behaved but better than we've seen this time. This time cars have graduated to Innovas/Scorpios/Xylos.. More power with more rash driving.
|28th June 2010, 13:12||#187|
As for checkpost, its an excise checkpost. Its not from NHAI.
If you want to go to leh via srinagar, you need to pay 70+70 or 130 if you pay together, at the JK border.
Similarly while exiting JK, they won't let you out unless you pay. Something like Hotel Keralafonia.
Last edited by tsk1979 : 28th June 2010 at 13:20.
|28th June 2010, 13:21||#188|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Gurgaon/New Delhi
Thanked: 671 Times
28K is good.
You managed everything other than fuel in 12.8K, which is amazing, how come?
We ended up in 36K for three people, (16K for Fuel for 3600 Km), where most of the places room was shared except Patnitop and Hanle
Last edited by rkbharat : 28th June 2010 at 13:24.
|28th June 2010, 13:28||#189|
Our trip was just 12 days long.
Our stay in Leh (3+2 nights) was 600/night.
Then we used to have only breakfast in hotel(omelets)
We avoided places like KC Garden etc., had just 2 meals costing 300+, rest was at dogra Dhaba etc.,
At Hanle our stay was 800rs, at nubra 800 and then at Tangste it was 500rs. Food is cheap at those places.
|28th June 2010, 17:12||#190|
Join Date: Dec 2008
Thanked: 10 Times
Wonderful trip , great narration and awesome pics.
Is there a possibility to make to Hanle on a 2 wheeler (out of curiosity)?
I guess , i should make it to leh & Hanle atleast once !
Thanks a lot for the travelogue, guess you should have made a lot of research before the trip.
Last edited by ajay2233 : 28th June 2010 at 17:21. Reason: spelling errors
|28th June 2010, 17:33||#191|
Where cars can't go, bikes go!
Only problem is fuel. So if you carry 10 liters and have 20 liters in tank, I guess you have a good 1000kms range!
|28th June 2010, 20:06||#192|
Join Date: Mar 2005
Thanked: 2 Times
Thanks a lot for the wonderful travelogue. Last year was awestruck with the beauty of Hanle in your travleogue. This year you have shown us new routes and Tso Kyon. Wonderful !
Your one of other trips inspired me to do something similar earlier in Jan(Sambhar Lake). and now this. truly inspiring.
|28th June 2010, 22:09||#193|
BTW, Vaibhav clicked a pic of us at the broken bridge. In the pic you see me and my wife, I had come back from the middle of the river(it was too deep), and we were discussing whether to use the girdirs or not
|29th June 2010, 01:05||#195|
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Faridabad, Haryana
Thanked: 0 Times
Tanveer, are you sure this is the end of your journey or just another tease before you get started again?
Anyways this was Great! Although a lot of office hours went down reading and discussing and planning and dreaming!
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