A land of colossal mountains, highest passes, ever-changing landscapes, and pristine lakes, yes! you guessed it right, I am talking about Ladakh.
A dream destination that tops the bucket list of any adventure enthusiast.
After planning for almost 3 years, we finally made it!
I, my husband, our friends Shishik and Pawan were determined that it’s now or never and that’s why we got going by selecting our travel partner 'The Great Next' and making an advance payment in the month of May. And it made us smile wider because we knew that whatever it may be, we are going to hit the roads at the end of August.
Here, I must mention the efforts put by the bestie duo- Shishik & Kartik (my husband) for selecting the travel company and taking care of accounts and all other necessities, while I and Shishik's husband Pawan, relaxed and waited for the day to come!
We decided to go with a travel company instead of taking our own bikes (which we initially planned) because we wanted to relax, enjoy riding through the virgin nature without being worried about the stay, permit,s etc and also we wanted to meet people whom we have never met before, that is other fellow riders in the group and it was so well done, our travel partner was right there to take care of stay, food, bikes, fuel, permits, medical assistance and all that we could think of and our group of two other pillions and 2 solo riders was all that we could have asked for.
Our trip coordinator sent us the route itinerary after asking us about our preferred dates, our 11 days trip had to start in Srinagar by picking up the bikes covering Sonmarg, Kargil, Turtuk, Pangong Tso, Tsomoriri, Nubra Valley, Leh, Sarchu, Jispa, and then end in Manali. Our excitement knew no bounds, I won’t lie, I could not control smiling knowing that I get an extra day to look around in Srinagar as I haven’t been lucky enough to explore it till now, though I am already in my 30s :(
Finally, after a lot of video watching, multiple visits to Decathlon, setting up the camera, buying a GoPro, unlimited gears for the GoPro (husband’s requirement) just when we thought we are ready, we received a bad surprise after turning on the T.V.
It was the starting of August and the Government declared to lift off Article 370 from J&K, no doubt it was great news but at that point of time we were just being greedy and all we could think of was our trip, all flights to Srinagar were getting canceled and roads were blocked by Indian Army due to security reasons.
Well, our men were relaxed and just sat back, while I and Shishik (Shishik did more) kept following up with the airlines and Harshal (our trip coordinator), who was patient enough to calm us down and gave us the hope that whatever it may be, our trip will be on, but we may have to change the route.
Finally, Harshal sent us the updated itinerary minus Srinagar, Sonmarg, Kargil, and Tsomoriri, I was pretty sad but then again the excitement of seeing Ladakh on a bike told me to cheer up and go with the vibes.
So now our new route was:
Manali- Jispa- Sarchu- Leh- Nubra Valley- Turtuk- Nubra Valley- Pangong Tso- Leh- Sarchu- Manali
Since, now we were taking the same route back so 4 of us chose to skip returning by bike and decided to stay back in Leh, explore the city, and then fly from there.
Finally, after a lot of waiting, excitement, and planning, the day arrived! Our friends, Shishik and Pawan reached Delhi from Bengaluru, we were all set with our backpacks!
On 30th August we boarded our bus to Manali (we decided to take an extra day since it’s the first visit to Manali for our friends)
(Day-1) Otherwise, reach Manali on this day.
Checked into Hotel Seven Hills followed by a briefing given by Nitin from the travel company and the most exciting part was meeting the beasts- Our Royal Enfield 500CC bikes and the trip captain- Tenzin (a part of the awesome trio of trip captain, driver, and mechanic)