The Bro is back from his bike trip to the Upper echelons of the Himalayas. In short, he’s back from his bike trip to Leh-Ladakh. It took him a while to get back to routine and work, but somehow, he managed to take out time and compile his travelouge and send it across to his dear family (who were frankly, frantic with worry about his expedition. The ‘frantic-with-worry’ clause applies only to the parents. Of course 😀 )
So , since I’m proud of his adventure and am a doting sister (if not anything else) I present to you, his travel logs (with pictures) of lands that threaten to touch the heavens. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome, *drumroll* BROSKY!!!
Over to you Brosky –
This ride took a lot. Over a year to make up the mind. 6 months of planning. Dates, leaves, bikes, equipment, routes, contingencies etc. Applied for leave in January, boss was gracious to approve it after a month 🙂
Day 1: Friday July 1, 2011:
Big Day. Fond farewells later, took a volvo to airport. Evening flight to New Delhi. My old school buddy had tied up some lose ends for us at Delhi. Picked us up from airport. Fed us the most delicious kadi-rice at Narula’s, CP. Dropped us at ISBT for the 10 PM bus that was to take us to Mandi (HP). Had to climb on top of the bus to tie down our luggage! Spent a rather restless night in a cramped seat and 3 and a half hours later, got down at Mandi (HP)
Day2: Saturday July2, 2011:
We got down bang opposite the GATI godown. Tearful re-unions with our bikes 🙂 Un-packed them, mounted them with clean luggage, filled up fuel tanks, freshened up at a nearby hotel & started the ride. Rode to Manali, covering the 100 odd kms in 3 hours. Reached at 6 PM & stayed overnight.
Day3: Sunday July3, 2011:
Up north, the sunrise is pretty early – 5 AM. Started from Manali at 6 AM. Reached Marhi at 8 AM for breakfast. Then started our torture. There had been a landslide on Rohtang Pass (Rohtang – literally meaning Pile of Corpses) at Rani-Nala and traffic jam was more than 1 km long. Being on bikes, we were able to get to the front of the jam by negotiating the rocks, boulders, mud & 1 foot deep slush. Still had to wait there for nearly 3 hours for the jam to clear. Meanwhile, clutch plates on the iron-maiden got fried. Pulled the bike to the side after a lot of pushing & pulling. A mechanic who was on the way up from Manali saw our plight (and he saw a money making opportunity!) He also saw 6 other iron-maidens with fried clutch-plates waiting at the same spot. He started fixing them & made a neat 2.5K per bike (in a city, the same can be fixed for 700-800). This took another 3 hours. We were able to finally start from Rohtang at 2.30 PM. Had some lunch a little ahead & started at 3.30. Reached Keylong at 9 PM. Total distance 120 kms in 5.5 hours. The iron-maiden with us was having gear-shift problems, so that kept us slow as we could ride only on 1st & 2nd gears.
Day4: Monday July4, 2011:
Rose early in the hope that we could get the iron-maiden fixed & be on our way. Little did we know. Went to the only bullet mechanic in town & there was a line of 8-10 other bullets already lined up! We were told to wait till 3 PM for our turn. Spent time shopping around town, had a local brew that goes by the name of beer, saw a local wedding, visited a nearby monastery. By 4 PM, the waiting was getting on the nerves & 2 of us decided to ride on to Darcha. Reached there by 6 PM. Total distance covered 35 kms, in 2 hours. As we left Keylong, we didn’t know that would be the last we would bathe for the next 4 days 😐 !!! Stayed overnight at a tent accommodation at Darcha (INR 50 per bed 🙂 )
Day5: Tuesday July5, 2011:
The iron-maidens from Keylong reached us @ 8 AM this morning. Started after breakfast at 8.30 AM, hoping to make Pang before night. This was a most memorable ride. After innumerable water fall crossings, a very high pass Baralacha, a deserted army camp called “Killing Sarai” we managed to reach Sarchu camp at 1.30 PM. I could already feel symptoms of AMS. We decided to stay over @ this camp. Another reason to stay over was, there is a river crossing 9 kms before Pang. If you reach there after 4, water flow is heavy due to snow-melt during the day. It’s a dangerous thing to do, crossing that river in the evenings.
Thats all for today. Rest of the stuff tomorrow 🙂
Photo Courtesy : Bro and friends 🙂