Ladakh Memoirs (Spectacular Journey with awesome friends)
First of all let me introduce all the members of my group who were part of my trip as I am going to mention them a lot. Ankit (Myself), Afzal (Jumpy), Harsh (Hattu) , Prateek (Lev) , Rahul (Gabju) , Rohan (Ronny) , Shubhang (Bhang Boy) and Vijay (DJ), in alphabetical Order. They are my school friends and my best buddies. We wanted to do Leh for a long time now and out of 8 of us Lev, Ronny, Hattu and Gabju already did the Leh trip last year, which made me even more determined to do Leh this year coz of 1) their beautiful pics of beautiful place 2) their amazing experience 3) their constant nagging.
Most difficult part was the planning on dates since we all are working in different parts of the world and coming together at same time for a 15 day trip was a challenge & required meticulous planning. So after many permutation and combination we decided to start our journey on 8th August. Well actually, getting approval from my parents was even more difficult and I promised them to consider marriage proposals after coming back from Leh, so trading my freedom for this trip. But must say it was worth the gamble. Reservations (Train and flights) were done well in advance. Most important thing was to book the bikes first, august being the peak month for travelers, we didn't want to miss this important aspect and suffer later. So after a few research we decided to go with the same garage from which Ronny & Group took bikes last year. We opted for 4 bikes, all Royal Enfield Electra 350 cc.
Finally 8th August arrived, Lev, Ronny and Bhang Boy were amongst the first one to leave home as they hail from Pune. My group has a tendency of racing against time specially when we have to catch long distance trains and this time was no exception. But after few tensed hours they reached Mumbai at around 5, picked me up and we boarded the train from Bandra Terminus. Hattu and Gabju joined us from Baroda. Jumpy was coming from Dubai and we all reached Delhi at the same time in the morning, where DJ was waiting for us. We went to a pub (My Bar) to celebrate the first day of tour and of course we all were together after a long time. I and Jumpy bought our trip goggles (This was the start of a new custom for I & Jumpy, different glares for different trips). At around 6 we started our journey to Manali by a luxurious Volvo. We had a great fun in journey watching movies and pulling legs of each other. No body slept coz of excitement of each other's company, had so many stories to tell each other and the view outside was simply magnificent after we reached Kullu with the Beas River flowing alongside the road.
We reached Manali in the morning at 8. We already knew where we had to stay as I along with Jumpy made a small trip to Manali just 2 months back. So we directly went to famous Moon Dance Cafe in Old Manali and booked 3 rooms in nearby hotel. After freshening up we started roaming in the streets of Manali. We all had been here before so we already were in love with this beautiful city. 1st day is always for acclimatization so we just relaxed for most of the afternoon. Evening we went to Manali Market, had to buy few motorcycle accessories, gum boots, rain coats, jackets, tarpaulin covers for luggage, bungee ropes, 8 petrol canes of 5 liters each etc. we also went to the garage to check on the bikes and were assured that the bikes are more or less ready. Happily we went to rooms, bought Malana and booze from the owner of the hotel, ordered Maggi and settled for the first room party of trip. Even visited moon dance cafe after midnight in somewhat sloshed condition.