Day 8 : 13th June 2009 (Destination : Pang, Distance Covered : 110kms)
Today was the second day for us to again stay somewhere in between Himalayas inside some tent, expecting to take a halt at Pang. We woke up quiet early & it was all chilling around as expected. We took diamox. I was not feeling well, my head was still spinning. Frankly speaking I was getting nervous for the unknown suprises waiting for us ahead. This kind of climate, chillness, altitude so far was getting too much for me. The view was just too gorgeous around. It was something like this outside our tents.
Finally saddled up everything & machines where ready to roar in the 'true' mountains. Just went some couple of kms ahead, saw a damaged bridge. We where just praying no obstacle should come in our way which may delay our schedule. Thankfully on inquiring, the metal planks had come off from one side, hence no four vehicles can go. On requesting they took a risk of allowing us as we had just two wheels smallest vehicle & finally we did make through.
Started our journey in full form again. It was extremely cold, & not to mention again about the astonishing views we where coming across. Better I have a control on my words & let the image express you what it looked like on the way.
After riding for some real good kms, we encountered for the first time a "Snow Fall".. Vow.. we where shouting & dancing on our bikes looking at each other with a wide smile having a feeling of some great achievement in ourselves. I always dreamed about facing a Snow Fall & here it was. We forgot all our stress & shiver, expressed our feelings by hugging & congratulating each other.
Located a small tent dhabha & thought of taking a tea break in there. We where letting the snow fall on our hands & showing it to each other. Trying all possibilities to treasure this moment. Am sorry guyz, we where just too excited that my dear friends forgot to take out their cams & capture the snow. Most importantly the temperature had started reducing drastically now onwards.
Here at this stall, some officials had come. They where some CID from Delhi, if you see here up, their vehicle with red-light. Spoke to us for a while, appreciated with the task & journey we have been doing. They told us about the heavy snow at the next point "Baralacha La". We where little nervous after facing the temerature & weather so far & hearing the amount of snow & kind of climate awaiting us further. We had to do anyhow, no turning back.
Its really difficult to take a break in this kind of chilling weather & then resuming your journey. It was definitely in minus temperature. Our bike seats where wet with melted snow & hence it was difficult to sit on it for first few seconds. But there was no point in delaying our journey & with courage we started again. As we where moving ahead, we could feel the rise of altitude & increasing snow. The mountains where getting more & more snowy as we moved ahead. Now the major concern was the temperature rather than the altitude. Our fingers had started getting numb & it was getting difficult to breathe atleast for me. Each of us where shiverring like crazy while riding. The pictures on the way to Baralacha La no doubt look beautiful & stunning, out of the world but it takes a lot to reach here & pass by. As we expect the altitude concern, now it gets double as the freaking minus temperature starts adding up.
can u see that lovely road
gopi getting freezed
the black lines are actualy the ROADS
its me & winzeee
Its certainly looks so tempting, that by looking now we think to stop here play around with snow, but its really difficult to wait here for a long time. Atleast, I wasnt much able to stop for long time on this place. Baralacha La was nearing, the snow was telling us. We finally start entering the "Freezer" which is inside each of ours refridgerator. Its exactly the same with heavy snow surrounded & icicles hanging out pointing down.. The temperature was somewhere around -10 degrees & sometimes more lesser.
Baralacha La has an altitude of 16,500 feets.
Finally at Baralacha La
razors cutting the snow..
at last, in the most chillest region around Ladakh
winzee & prasad
It was getting more & more difficult for me to breathe here. Unfortunately I couldnt even stop here for a minute, just clicked some random snaps & I told them that I cannot wait here as am not able to breathe at all. It was the height of chillness. Hence I decided to leave ahead & waiting on a bit lower altitude & on next tent stall. But strangely all others where playing around fighting with icicles & posing around. Specially Prasad & Gopi are daredevil & I was seriously stunned when I saw this snaps & started wondering how they can wait for so long & bring this creative ideas of clicking snaps. If you see winzee, u will hardly find him without helmet. He was darn scared to remove his helmet as even hes bones where freezing like crazy.
Alright now, better I dont make you curious much about the visuals
taste the thunder
gopi getting his first saber to fight with the devil
finally a gun tooo
now hes darn angry & wanna shoot at someone
light-saber finally made in use, wish we could get it home to show my mom
helmets off , winzeee
they are pointed & dangerous.. be careful
isnt it awesome
me in the snow-land, that good atleast my windscreen showed up in this pic for an evidence
Winzee with frozed 'X'
we all know, you have managed to touch it..
So guyz.. Drooling..?? Indeed its a place to be.. I can proudly see yeah its in India.
I went ahead & after certain kms, coming little low on the altitude I located a small tent stall & waited there awaiting for others. To my realization, yes it was the most heard of "Sarchu" My health was not responding well, head was getting heavier. I was feeling restless. In some while others joined in, no wonder they took so much time.. Courtesy: Above pix.
Look at me.. may be AMS
others came in
da stall with stunning himalaya in the background
We had good food here like parothas, omlet & tea. Rested for a while & resumed the journey.
After riding for descent kms, suddenly we came across another state of the art beauty which we never dreamed about & totally unexpected for us. It was a frozen lake. We where comming across lot of jaw dropping beauties on the way which we could not think or dream about.
Presenting you "The Frozen Lake"
Prasad & Me..
Gopi.. he knows the perfect pose for the perfect frame
We where getting pulled forcely by the natures amazing beauties comming across. After a ride for 45 min, we saw a wonderful open desserted place with dry land spreaded till your sight can take you. Surrounded wonderfully with mountains which where barely covered with snow. The climate & location was just perfect for us to take another halt.
zma.. standing like a rock.. & ofcourse me too :D
a perfect place to cherish the journey we had so far
small tents for a halt.. not for us though
whose shoes are they.. no.. not of any soldier.. they r of razorss..
Took enough rest & ignited our machines to continue the remaining journey. After an hour we had to stop at a Military Post of Sarchu to make our entry. Here they noted our names & bike no.
the check post at Sarchu
some distances we covered proudly
Soon after riding for another 1.5 hrs, came across another breathe taking beautiful valley "Tsarap Chu valley". It was so amazingly beauteous. Am going out of words to describe this natures ultimate creations.
Then in half an hour we again started climbing the mountain, there we read a board "Gata Loops" start from here. Total 21 loops. This means there where 21 sharp hair pin curves. This loop will let you climb over an altitude above 15,000 feets. We took almost an hour to complete this. This kind of curves where not unusual for us as learnt from the journey so far, but this many curves in a single mountain is something unseen & un-thought.
look at those hair-pin curves
finally all the loops are over.. Phew..!
Riding for over an hour we come across another Pass "Lachulungla Pass" (Altitude : 16,616 feets)
We didnt found it worth putting in much time here, as we had to reach Pang before it starts turning dark and it was almost 4.45pm now. While continuing the further journey towards Pang, we encountered more astonishing views such as Frozen waterfall, Amazing shapes of mountains given by the speeding winds.
winzee too is frozen
thats truly stunning.. natures creation
We where closing to Pang now. All of us where darn tired & extremely chilled as all the time we rode in minus degrees which was considerably less. The surprises where not over for us, a worst river crossing was right in front of us welcomming, called as "Kangla Jal". We where like "Shit.. Not again..!!" It was just 10kms away from Pang. All of us waited to see each other passing & ensuring help in any trouble. First Prasad went in with his bullet in a swing, all of a sudden maybe a big stone may have slided & he stayed inclined in the water with his front tyre raised up. He tried a lot but in vein & finally looked at me for help as I was next. Helplessly forgetting my shiver I had to step down in that cruel ice-cold water making my shoes/socks all wet & push his bike by whipping out of so called left out energy. He went through, now it was my turn. I went slowly but all of a sudden even a stone beneath my tyre slipped which is very obvious. But after some tries of revving hard & on 1st Gear I could make it out. Gopi & Winzee passed it without much problems. I was badly chilling, with my body parts fallen numb.
Finally, we saw a small village which was out next destiny "Pang".
Pang is at n altitude of approximately 15,600 feets & has the Worlds highest Transit Camp according to Indian Army. There where couple of tents which provided bed on sharing basis to sleep. We chose a tent & thought of taking a night break over there, got it for mere 100 Rs per bed. This place was little better as there was no much snow around but the chillness wouldnt reduce at all. My health had worsten due to stepping in the ice-water to push prasads bike, I badly wanted to change my cloths & rest. The tent owner aunty looking at our condition, she gave us hot water to drink. Believe me as the water was just taken off the stove, we gulped it without waiting for a single second. I felt a bit OK getting my body internally warm. Had little food & went down to sleep as all of us where crazy tired.
This was our tent. The pic was clicked the next morning
We all where darn excited for the next day & couldnt wait to hit the road the other day as our Next Destination was LEH, the dream destination & a tag of success.
Next : Day 9th (Pang-Leh)
This blog is dedicated to my dream lifetime ride I had in June 2009.. On bike from Mumbai - Leh - Mumbai We four (Me, Gopi, Winzee & Prasad) conquered the worlds 3 highest motorable roads on the smallest vehicle on the Road- The MotorCycle