After Nakeela and Baralacha La, we reached Sarchu safely and were tired as hell. We had a cup of tea, it is 5 pm already and we knew the fine line between cautious and reckless. So, decided to stay the night at Sarchu.We got two beds for Rs.200 each, geared down, parked bike, stretched on the bed for awhile. Anshu then called home via a satellite phone through a Military Station nearby. Anshu settled down for sleep as I kept up for awhile taking long exposures of stars peeking through the clouds.
Last year, I went solo cycling 🚴🏻‍♂️ from Manali to Leh ❄️. It was one hell of an adventure , I must say. While coming back, I asked for lift from a truck driver 🚚, who was accompanied by 4 other truck drivers 🚚🚚🚚🚚 driving their own trucks. I had also got a chance to make a new friend on my solo trip🖐🏻, namely Himanshu, who served as a trip leader of a cycling group.🚴🏿‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️🚴🏻‍♂️Coming back to the point, at around 11 pm the drivers stopped the trucks in the middle of no where near Sarchu, to wait for some friends coming from opposite direction🚚🚚 so that they can take rum shots 🥃 together (you know how cold it gets, right)It was when I was sitting alone in the truck, gazing at the magnificent starry sky ☄️ that an idea popped up in my head. I called Himanshu and asked him if we could lightpaint there.📸I wrote ladakh with my phone torch 📲🔦 while cycling but it didn't come out as I had imagined in my head. So I planned to shoot stars by holding out the torch in my hand. Meanwhile, Himashu was quite confident 😎 about his idea to shoot a 30 second long hand held exposure.. which actually turned out to be amazing, definitely better than my expectations.🤩
After a quick breakfast, we started our journey , on the way we halted at the most wonderful Baralacha pass, which was covered with snow, and there were many other water bodies, on they way, small lakes with beautiful colors giving peaceful vibes.Also not to miss the quirky sign boards of The BRO ( Border Road Organization), they made it super creative and fun for travelers.We were supposed to halt at Sarchu, here's some information about this place, Sarchu is a major halt point with tented accommodation in the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali Highway, on the boundary between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh in India. Also, one has to necessarily carry Diamox (Altitude sickness tablets and a lot of Energy drinks like Glucond, Tang etc) not to scare you but you may face a lot of AMS (Acute Mountain sickness here), When we reached the camp site by evening,it was quite cold, the temperature dripped below 10 degrees, and by then, a lot of them travelers had puked, fallen sick and were facing a lot of headache issues, it is highly recommended to take oxygen cylinders with you , as the oxygen level decreases .These are quite a common symptoms here as Sarchu lies at the height of 14,070 ft. So it's advisable to constantly stay hydrated, and just sink in the process, you may want to carry camphor tablets as well as the oxygen drops when you go on higher altitude, luckily I had the best team ever, they were constantly keeping a check on the health of their travelers.
Crack of dawn on day 3 we had our breakfast and resumed our trip. What we were about to be experience was exhilarating. The stretch of 250 kms from Sarchu to Leh has salient acquaintance. Coz we were about to incident few stirring part as riders,1.Gata loops: A 10 km stretch with a series of 22 hairpin bends that takes you to the top of Nakeela La-Pass with an altitude difference of roughly 500 metres between its start and end point. As if this was not enough, The multiple stories of a mysterious ghost encounter in this region will surely send a chill down the spine for travellers.