Day 5 Leh to Spangmik(Pangong Lake), Changla TopWe started our journey to Pangong Lake at 10 am. This drive is very similar to the Nubra Valley drive. The distance is 200 kms and the time required is 6 hours. The route has steep ghats and mountain passes. We reached Chnagla top at 12 pm. This pass is the second highest after Khardungla Pass. It's located at a height of about 17000 ft above sea level. We halted there for 15 mins, and then resumed our journey. At about 2 pm, we stopped for food at a small cafe. There are many small cafes on all the routes in Ladakh. We reached Pangong Lake at 3.30 pm. Pangong Lake can be described as adorable beyond imagination. This lake has a unique nature of changing it's colour. We sat at the lake till sunset and could actually see different colours as dusk was approaching. We had booked our stay at a tent house in Spangmik Village called "Pangong Delight Camp." There are about 100 tents opposite Pangong Lake. The concept of having so may tents opposite a lake exceeded my expectations and made this place even more happening. The tent stay was comfortable and they served good food.
When you've been travelling alone for a really long time, sometimes you want a person who can listen to all the things that cross your mind. Your fears and your passions are all very welcome, without being judged. Sometimes you need a person who can be a witness to this amazing journey you're on, hold your hand and say, 'You know what, you're alright kid!'
We left there with heavy heart. Leaving the shores of that beauty was heartbreaking. We brought back to normal by Rigzin’s statement “abhi hum issike sides se aage jaayenge aur aapaka stay shore k kaafi najdeek hai”. Well that was the case as we started driving towards the village of Spangmik. We reached there in no time. For entire time of our ride, we were driving along the coast of Pangong Tso. We checked into Pangong Villa guest house and we were so damn hungry by now. We freshened up a little and went out in search of a nearby restaurant to have some food. I was kind of suffering from acidity by now and was in no mood to have anything, but to negate acidity I had to eat something so I ended up ordering a curd and a jeera rice which happened to be the best dish we ordered. This was a feeling since we saw a group of Israelis not liking the food there at all; not up to their Expectations maybe but we ate that nonetheless.We decided to head towards water again when the wind really picked up speed and it started bustling through our jackets and the rain followed the suite. We had to take cover near tents which are set up right next to the lake. When we looked towards the mountains the entire snow covered peaks had nearly vanished in clouds. We suspected or rather expected snowfall that night. All this weather change subdued in around 20 minutes and we were finally able to make it to the water. After some customary photos we headed back in a room and we found ourselves sitting on the verandah edge peacefully sipping tea, few of us were sipping rum all this while Pink Floyd was playing on a Bluetooth speaker. Man that is some experience I tell you. We spent somewhere around 2 and half hours that way. That setting was a pleasure and an absolute one. Soon the sun had set and the cold started increasing we wear relaxing in a room and went out for dinner in sometime. Dinner was delicious consisting of Roti, Rice, Dal and Aloo sabzi.Post that we sat in our rooms playing cards mendhicoat to be precise(The king of hearts is still ours btw) that is one funny little incident that occurred and the lights went out at the same time. In no time we hit the sack. I just probably had slept for an hour when Nitesh woke me up to show him the mobile torch, I was having cold and my nose had choked up and I was having trouble breathing, I just couldn't sleep after that. It was becoming hard, extremely hard to breathe while lying down. Soon I realized I had hardly drank any water since afternoon and I was feeling dehydrated so I woke Nitesh up this time and asked him to accompany me in our other room so that I can at least grab a packet of Electal. I took the packet and had some with little water that was available. It was around 3:30 in the morning when I was finally able to sleep, it was 5 hours since I had woken up. This probably was AMS hitting me but I could sleep a bit after that. Next morning we had to wake up early to witness the famous Sunrise of Pangong.
Day 17 August23, 2016:- Nubra valley – Pangong TsoAccording to initial plan, i was about to travel to leh and leh then the next day from leh to Pangong also till now to whomever i asked about the direct route from nubra to Pangong tso, i got only a negative feedback. But i had lost 2 days while traveling from manali to leh. So thought of choosing this route and believe me this route was the most adventurous route in the whole trip. So started from hunder (nubra) and went to the white desert as we reached nubra yesterday evening, so couldn’t go to the desert. So i reached the desert and the plan was to do a double hump camel ride. But they said it will take an hour to start, but I had no time as few said there is a water crossing before pangong tso and water level rises in the afternoon due to the melting ice. So clicked few pictures and came to dikshit to refuel my machine as only dikshit has a small petrol pump which has only the petrol dispensing machine with no roof above it or board. The roads were totally deserted as you will hardly find any soul not even any bikes as this road is least accessed by anyone, even there is no village on the way. So the risk is higher. The landscapes are so beautiful that it makes difficult to concentrate on the road . Initial roads were good as they were currently being laid. After which there was no roads or hardly any road. This was the day where i rode several kilometres on chiselled rock pieces, and several kilometres on loose sand, then on pebbles. The fear while riding on the chiselled rock pieces was that the tyre shouldn’t get punctured as those pieces were so sharp and it was as if they were dumped on the whole road. Loose sand is another fear as one can easily skid easily so you have to hold your handle tight, lower your speed. While crossing one of the water crossing my machine got stuck and it couldn’t move, luckily 3 bikers helped to move my machine. After facing such bad roads (no roads) reached a place where there was no road at all. I was totally blank at that point. But there were few tyre marks, followed it but after certain distance those tyre marks were disturbed by the flowing water. It was like solving a puzzle. I had to face such puzzle for at least 2 to 3 times till pangong tso. After solving this puzzle and riding sometime on those deserted roads, came to a junction where one road goes towards leh another towards pangong tso. There are few dhabas on that junction. So stopped there for lunch, while having lunch met 2 guys from jaipur, one of them said that it is just a lake, you won’t be amazed to see it. But i was confident that he is wrong. He also said there are 3 to 4 water crossing and the water is deep. I thought pangong tso was 40km from here so there won’t be any water crossing of which people told me earlier. Deep water sounded a bit scary as i didn’t want my machine to stall anywhere. Finally i reached the water crossing, so i waited there for some vehicle to pass so that i can get an idea of the depth of water, saw one xylo coming as soon as it crossed i followed it as the water was not so deep and luckily the surface below the water was smooth and didn’t have much big pebbles. After few minutes, came to a place from where the first view of pangong lake was visible. 4km from there i reached the world’s most beautiful lake. It is so beautiful that one will fall in love with it . Spend at least one day there. Choose to ride to spangmik and stay there in a tent which is 10km from there. I really had a tough time to concentrate on road while the lake was on your left hand side. Those 10km ride was just awesome, reached spangmik, it took a while to get accommodation. Found one double bed tent with attached toilet just few meters away from pangong tso. It was a package with dinner and breakfast. After dinner got an awesome kheer.
Spangmik is a small village on the bank of Pangong lake where our camp was located.