Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew

Tripoto
8th Jul 2016
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Visit this doc link for much details about plan, route, requirements etc -

Ladakh Plan Details

Link to all photo and videos - [Also I have attached all of them here too ]

Media Link

Day 1 : 8th July 2016 -

Totally excited for Ladakh trip, a typical kinda first flight guy. I was pretty enthusiastic about my first flight travel. The 4am train from Pune to Mumbai, I always like to sit in the doors even though every time I make efforts to grab the window seat on my name. Hahaha :P I was nervous about this ride as I felt that I might have issue with the heights. Feared about Khardung La ( 17580 or 18380 feet ) but the flight attendent announce that the flight will reach upto 37000 feet. Damn I was worried that I might pass out before the trip. Duh, nothing such happened and I was perfectly fine. Grabbed window seat "Badal important hai than anything else during flight journey". Hmm, Enough about myself, lets come up with "we", yeah "us"; The people all together who made this expedition possible - myself "Azee" riding on my babe Honda Stunner CBF, my school friend "Anya" with his beast Honda Unicorn & "Gaurav" our best buddy with the Street King Yamaha FZS.

Reached Jammu via flight from Mumbai and to Mumbai via train from Pune, awaiting for our bikes as the transport got delayed. And believe me 35 degress temperature in Jammu is hell than 35 degrees in Maharashtra. I have lived in scorching heat of upto 50 degrees in North Maharshtra but this 35 was killing me. Auto rickshaws are very costly in Jammu for tourists. Too costly. Instead of getting bike immediately after landing in Jammu at 2PM, we got it at 7PM & my bike was completely wrecked. Broken body parts, main stand was broken and was stuck in such a way that neither main nor side stand could be used. The bike was kept with support of other materials in the truck ( Hence I will nerver transport my new bike ). A mechanic nearby helped in breaking the main stand completely and I made it worked with the bent side stand. So obviously they have to fool me with their policies and rules and yepp I got fooled plus I was too busy with my sentiments rather than getting folled by the courier service ( Gati Couriers ). Now what can be more worse when there was no petrol pump nearby & we had to empty our fuel tanks before transport. Somwhow we managed to find it and at 9.30 PM we left Jammu for Udhampur ( decided to travel the least to make the further journey less hectic ). Reached Udhampur at 11.30PM. We were hungry and whole of Jammu area was shut down that time ( mostly post 9PM ). But our hotel owner ( Indraprasth Guest House, Udhampur ) was kind he had already assumed our situations and kept ready some food for 3 of us. Simple food but we were satisfied with quantity and taste :) ( Well he didnt even charge for the food, he said he wanted to help us ). Also this rooms were not booked, we got them on the spot at like 11PM the same day. End of day 1.

We Always Create a Mess in The Rooms :P >>

We Always Create a Mess in The Rooms :P

Photo of Udhampur by Azee Shady

Maharashtrian Guy Dressed Up as South Indian Guy In North India - Indian Unity In Diversity >>

Maharashtrian Guy Dressed Up as South Indian Guy In North India - Indian Unity In Diversity

Photo of Udhampur by Azee Shady

Day 2 : 9th July 2016 -

" I'm waking up from my summer dreams again, try to thinking if you're alright " - Not With Me by Bondan Prakaso

Is this about waking up in the morning ? No, but currently lets go with the trip ahead. We woke up, got fresh and left the room without breakfast because we had a hectic journey to be completed. Udhampur - Patnitop ( site seeing ) - Srinagar ( stay plus Dal Lake ). Hectic huh ? yeah right. First day of tying all baggages, what a tough task it was. But more tough was handling the baggages on bike. Believe you dont need much clothes, so guys dont keep heavy luggage. I actually made the trip with 1 jeans, 4 tees, 1 shorts, thats it. Reached Patnitop within 2 hours or so. And here the traffic jam starts :-| After getting stuck in traffic, ohh at the same place for more than half hour we decided to take a big halt there. Parked our bikes and took a break of more than an hour and then came to know a major thing, yeah man, FUCKING KASHMIR CURFEW it was. Thats when my dreams came crushing towards me. Now you can refer the above quote & I realised that why was I singing that somg that morning. It was a sign of a disastor. Burhan Wani was shot the moment we landed from flight and a chaos made by militants created riots leading to curfew. Kashmir curfew it always lasts for months and months. So we left that halt place and riding through the traffic we reached Patnitop Main Square. At the checkpost, military wasnt allowing any tourist go ahead, so I was stopped thereat side and was ordered not to wait there and wait somewhere else. So while I was finding a place to park my bike, my friends somehow swept from the military check post. So now how to contact? My sim card wasnt working. My Dad had one number of my friend. Somehow managed to get that number and called back my friends who went almost 30km ahead. By that time met almost all tourists and locals at Patnitop. Cool people were they and I got famous there with the story I had with me that my friend went ahead and I got left back in the curfew. Hehe. Finally met my friends, was feeling light then. Found a room and decided to stay there. The room was exact in that square. From my window we can see the checkpost. Had dinner and planned to leave early morning next day in the dark, at dawn.

Beautiful Weather at Patnitop >>

Beautiful Weather at Patnitop

Photo of Patnitop by Azee Shady

Day 3 : 10th July 2016 -

Lol, we slept like a baby that night. Overslept :-D Same scene next day and couldnt pass the checkpost. Took a hasty decision of going back. Back where ? No, not abondoning the trip. Going back means back to Jammu and then to Manali. Found a hell of shortcuts to Manali and we left. Original plan was to reach Leh in 2 days from Srinagar but it took a road that will lead us to Leh in 5 days from Patnitop. Detour starts - Today's target - Palampur. A beautiful town in the mountains. Again traffic in Udhampur, politicians protest over curfews and ambarnath yatra. Hell. Why local people keep on referring me as "lambey baalo wala" I couldnt get it. Hectic ride it was, hot dry Udhampur & Pathankot while cool ghats in Himachal <3 :-) End of the day we reached Palampur.

One Rare Pic Of Mine With Helmet :D >>

Day 3

One Rare Pic Of Mine With Helmet :D

Photo of Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Ranjit Sagar Lake Near Pathankot >>

Ranjit Sagar Lake Near Pathankot

Photo of Ranjit Sagar Dam Lake by Azee Shady

Couple's Point, Palampur >>

Day 4

Couple's Point, Palampur

Photo of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady
Photo of Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Day 4 : 11th July 2016 -

Palampur to Manali day. We were so proud of discovering this shortcut. The roads were awesome. Small road, good condition, complete ghat area, typical pahadi roads were they. Enjoyed the greenery, the mountains, it took more time than expected as the picture visible to eyes was scenic. Enjoying the route somehow we reached Manali in the eve. To reach Rohtang top one needs permission and the DC office was closed for the day as we reached late. Checked in to room, had dinner, few drinks and slept.

Day 5 : 12th July 2016 -

Rise and shine buddy. Time to wake up & seek permission for Rohtang La :) We went to the DC office and came to know that Rohtang is closed on Tuesdays from Manali side while one can come to Manali from rohtang but not got to Rohtang from Manali. We knew it but any way we risked it because we had no other option after taking this detour. Collected all letter for permission. The form is generally free but get it from the vendors who sell it for 10-30 rupees for faster work. And permit charges are minimal, I dont remember exactly but must be something 100 - 150 per bike. Visited Hidimba Temple & Vasishta Temple too. Hot water bath is awesome. The water is damn hot & yepp I jumped into it. Trout Fish is speciality of Manali. We loved that fish. There's also some stuff like 6-in-1 softy ( ice cream ) ,tastes superb. Sleeping early was the only way to wake up early the next day as we planned to leave by 4am.

6 in 1 Softy, Manali >>

6 in 1 Softy, Manali

Photo of Manali Mall Road, Mall Road, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Kid of Owner of a Restaurant in New Manali >>

Day 5

Kid of Owner of a Restaurant in New Manali

Photo of Aleo, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Vasishta Kund, Manali >>

Vasishta Kund, Manali

Photo of Vashisht Temple, Bashisht, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Hidimba Temple, Manali >>

Hidimba Temple, Manali

Photo of Hidimba Temple, Old Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

We At Hidimba Temple >>

We At Hidimba Temple

Photo of Hadimba Devi Temple, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Day 6 : 13th July 2016 -

We all were shock as we woke up on time at 3am and were ready by 4am. Tied the flags to our bikes and totally ready to climb the Himalayas. Ready, Get, Set, Go. Here we go. Climbing up the ghats in heavy rains, darkness and fog; It was very difficult to see a thing. Showed documents of permits at the checkpost, made an entry in register and went ahead. Marhi ( pronounced as Madhi ), a beautiful place, I mean a perfect place for breakfast. Cold weather, rains, fog, tea, maggi and omelette, what else one wants ? After Marhi there is not food joint till small place Koksar & a little bigger place Keylong. After having breakfast we reached Rohtang Top in next half an hour. That was the first moment when the fog got cleared and the beauty, scenic picture was in view. <3. Snow clapped mountains, greenery, everything at the right place. Its a place which wont let you move ahead. After spending some time there it was time to climb down to Koksar. The road was under construction. Cross beyond 30kmph and there's an appreciation from me for you. I travelled at 20kmph while other people couldnt cross 10kmph. Worst was that road. Somehow reached Keylong at 12PM. 12 ? Yeah. 4am - 12pm, 100km !! Ain't that bad huh for a first timer Himalaya Bike Ride :-D Reasons for so much time consumption - Long halts as the places were best to spend time and very bad roads. You will find 'Tandi' just before Keylong and for 365km after Tandi there is no fuel station. And dont risk for the next pump, it shuts down in evening only. So prepare yourself till Leh. For any 100cc to 200cc bike consider 25 - 30 kmpl as your bike mileage. Everything changes in the Himalayas. 12PM - 1PM had lunch and rest. The hotel where we had lunch was really best. Homely cooked food. Was the first hotel once we enter Keylong main area. We enqired about the 'Pagal Naala' which is probably near Baralacha La and people told us that we actually crossed it and the description given by them was exactly what we knew ( heard ) about it. So we were happy & left Keylong at 1pm following the awesome road of Jispa, Patsio, ZingZing Bar till Baralacha La top. Baralacha La is also that beautiful as Rohtang Top. Baralacha La is worth visit in May, June, September, October but keep in mind its risky in these periods because the oxygen level goes very low due to low temperatures and snow / rains. While we were enjoying the Baralacha La top at 4.30 pm, someone informed us that why are we wasting time, the water is flowing like hell and that we need to cross it before it goes more mad. Damn, here we are at the correct 'Pagal Naala'. Water was gushing through the roads like seriously hell. I thought of risking it first and yes got a little stuck, managed to get out of it. There were large stones under the water which were not visible and thats why vehicles get stuck plus the high pressure of flowing water. My friend also got stuck with his heavy weight FZS, some random guys helped him out. And now imagine that some random guy's friend's RE Classic got stuck there. The weight, OMG. As he helped my friend I immediately went to help him. It took 3 of us to take out that RE, one rider and 2 of us lifting the fork & wheel out of the rocks. I was complete wet ( shoes and legs ) in that freezing water. Reached Bharatpur Tent Colony in next half an hour. Bharatpur is a place with like 8 tents, thats it, literally nothing else. We all were looking white in black clothes :-D Lol the white sand and under construction roads near Koksar and Tandi. The white sand made our clothes look white. Cleaned up our bikes, air filters, ate food and into the blankets due to freezing temperatures. Bharatpur is suggested instead of Sarchu or Pang for halt due to difference in altitudes.

Typical Photo, 365km No Fuel, Tandi, Leh - Manali Highway >>

Day 6

Typical Photo, 365km No Fuel, Tandi, Leh - Manali Highway

Photo of Tandi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Bharatpur Night, Damn Cold >>

Bharatpur Night, Damn Cold

Photo of Bharatpur Tent Colony, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

That One Risky & Foggy Ride at Rohtang >>

That One Risky & Foggy Ride at Rohtang

Photo of Rohtang Pass, Burwa, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Last Food Joint at Rohtang, Mardhi >>

Last Food Joint at Rohtang, Mardhi

Photo of Marhi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Rohtang La Top >>

Rohtang La Top

Photo of Rohtang La, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Rohtang Top, Himachal Pradesh >>

Rohtang Top, Himachal Pradesh

Photo of Rohtang La, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

View from Rohtang Top >>

View from Rohtang Top

Photo of Rohtang La, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Helping The Friend of the Guy Who Helped My Friend Here Itself, Paagal Naalah, Baralacha La >>

Helping The Friend of the Guy Who Helped My Friend Here Itself, Paagal Naalah, Baralacha La

Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Day 7 : 14th July 2016 -

Longest day for us in our whole journey and I will let you know how and why.

Bharatpur to Leh, 280km to travel. After breakfast we left Bharatpur at 9am. Ater climbing up and down the small hills for many times, reached Sarchu, Himachal - J&K state border. A guy came out of state transport bus literally crying and asked me 'How I managed to bring my bike ( Honda Stunner CBF ) here till Sarchu?'. He said his RE broke down at ZingZing bar and he left it there and now travelling by bus. He was in a very sad situation, I had nothing else than sympathy for him. But I was like 'Dude this is just Sarchu, I have Lachung La, Taglang La, Khardung La and Chang La in front of me.' Made an entry in cross border registers and left. Entry is merely for them to keep a record of all people who cross the border. As altitudes increase, the oxygen level to decreases. Just like humans, vehicles also need oxygen to burn their food. Soon bike performance showed its worst level. Speed could not cross beyond 20kmph. Low oxygen, less combustion of fuel, so if you rev the engine gets flooded. With these 20kmph speed I covered 21 Ghata Loops, Nakee La, Lachung La and eventually reached More Plains. We were in search of a mechanic since morning to mend my slow speed and the FZS was in a serious mood of breakdown. Couldnt find any. More plains is a beautiful plateau, a stretch of 40km plain road at an altitude of 15.7k + feet. The only place to test the limits of speed but mind well performance is anyway down than regular one as you are at a great height. Somehow I reached 50kmph after travelling at 20kmph for 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours and travelled not even 100km :-P And here starts the epic ride. Late eve, post 6pm, after sunset but its still bright but with cold winds blowing, it is scary because there is no one on road after evening. We took a one last halt, catched breathe, filled up tanks with the petrol we had with us in cans and continued with journey. Had to tow the FZS with my leg for some time during the climb of Taglang La as its engine was getting killed due to very less burning of fuel na heavy load on bike. Gaurav also tried to push his bike to reach top but he got exhausted within few seconds. Doing any work which needs much energy at such high altitudes should be avoided as it is very risky. One might catch breathlessness or any symptoms of AMS ( Acute Mountain Sickness ). Anywat generally one should be at Taglang La around 12pm - 3pm or max 4pm. But we ? We are kings ! We were there at 8pm in the night, in complete darkness. Freezing temperatures and bike ride, what is more awesome than this ? But mind well its risky too, visibility going down along with temperature and sleepy mood due to exhausted body. It rises at 5am and sets at 8pm in Ladakh. A speechless, unpredictable ride it was. Reached Leh in our room at 1am. 9am - 1am journey, 16 hours which reminded me of one of my favourite song.

Bharatpur Tent We Stayed At. Lol, Mess Again >>

Day 7

Bharatpur Tent We Stayed At. Lol, Mess Again.

Photo of Bharatpur Tent Colony, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Prayer Flags Protecting People & Nature Together >>

Prayer Flags Protecting People & Nature Together

Photo of Gata Loops, Leh by Azee Shady

Lachung La to Pang >>

Lachung La to Pang

Evening at Taglang La ( one should be reaching here by noon ) >>

Evening at Taglang La ( one should be reaching here by noon )

Photo of Taglang La Hill by Azee Shady

View from top of 21 Ghata Loops Top >>

View from top of 21 Ghata Loops

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

No Caption Needed. Taglang La at 8PM >>

No Caption Needed. Taglang La at 8PM

Photo of Taglang La by Azee Shady

The Update I Made, My Fav Song >>

Day 8

The Update I Made, My Fav Song

Photo of Leh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Azee Shady

Day 8 : 15th July 2016 -

We should have been here at 11th night, but we are here, at Leh on 14th night. 3 days lag. Slept late yesterday and woke around 9am. Were doing some serious planning over breakfast of how to do the further trip as we have lost 3 days. With a pain in the heart, we decided to skip Nubra Valley ( tear rolling already over cheeks ). Chalked out to get Inner Line Permits [ILP] & visit Khardung La today. Generally ILP is not required, but our plan was crazy so we needed ILP to visit some places and these places are allowed only for Indians with prior permission. Foreigners are not allowed due to security reasons. But it was Friday, Friday is weekly off for Leh DC Office. Post lunch thought of finding a good mechanic to show our bikes, was a tough job finding one. Got the FZS repaired with reducing the fuel intake which balanced the air-fuel intake ratio. My Stunner's all bolts and screws were so tight and jammed that it couldnt open. Hence didnt repair my bike as I didnt want to tear of any of the remaining fibre body after the heavy damage during transport. There's an amazing War Memorial in Leh. Its a must visit. I guarantee you will feel proud of Indian Army after visiting it. Watching the parade and sunset flag lowering was a moment and worth watching scene. Attended the national anthem and left the place. Now, the beast, the Honda Unicorn was not able to start. Uh-Na, dont think it was also wrecked. Remember we filled up our tanks before Taglang La yesterday ? Well we did that task in rains, so some amount of water entered the tank and then ultimately the carburettor. We got the mechanic again, he fitted a local cheap quality spark plug, removed water and made it worked again. He warned that the spark plug will go only 500 or 1000 km. We were fine with it, called off the day, had some chinese food and slept.

Leh Visit Opened My Eyes >>

Leh Visit Opened My Eyes

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

ILP For Indians, PAP for Foreigners >>

ILP

Photo of Leh by Azee Shady

PAP for Foreigners

Photo of Leh by Azee Shady

Machine Gun. <3 Heaven >>

Machine Gun. &lt;3 Heaven

Photo of Hall of Fame, Leh by Azee Shady

AK 47 & AK 56 >>

AK 47 &amp; AK 56

Photo of Hall of Fame, Leh by Azee Shady

Ladakh History >>

Ladakh History

Photo of Hall of Fame, Leh by Azee Shady

Places & Meanings >>

Places &amp; Meanings

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

View from Hall of Fame, Leh >>

View from Hall of Fame, Leh

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Scene :) Hall Of Fame, Military Meusum, Leh >>

Scene :) Hall Of Fame, Military Meusum, Leh

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Day 9 : 16th July 2016 -

Time for Khardung La, Time to wake up early :-) but we are a little lazy asses Hahaha. Left at 9am from room. Reached Khardung La base to make an entry at check post. The registration said that "We are on our own, We live on our own and die on our own". What own ? Responsibility man. We got a token of our registration, they told to keep it safe. It was a random number of a shit piece of simple paper. Umm, it wasnt a simple paper, it was a dumped paper of old registration forms. I guess if I die then they can trace me with that number about details of mine which I submitted during the registration. Haha Jokes apart. Khardung La, climb mountains over mountains. This is unlike other parts of India where we climb mountains after mountians. Getting the difference ? Had breakfast at base and left ahead. Lucky we that roads were awesome as the construction was just been done few days back. We started in a sunny environment, reached the base it was cold and windy, climbed first range it was foggy and more windy, second range it was rains and small hail storm, the third i.e K-Top &lt;3 it was snowing. Believe me, its not fun in snow. Snow there is deadly. Well they say spending more than 20 minutes is harmful for health at Khardung La. But if you travelled this much and you are fine then nothing can harm you. We waited for around 2 hours, smoked and had some alcohol too for keeping us warm from the cold. [ But all on your own risk, I am not responsible for anything :-P ]. Was feeling great and proud at the highest motorable road of the world. After having fun there we descended to Leh DC office for ILP.

Why we needed ILP, well we had a hilarious plan of going to Pangong - Chusul - Nyoma - Tso Moriri. For this route one needs ILP. But if you want to go to Pangong and come back, and go to Tso Moriri via Chumathang then you dont need ILP. ILP is for restricted areas like Chusul, Nyoma, Hanle etc.

We were frozen, shivering in the sun when at Leh. All people were shocked that why are we shivering at such hot temperature,then we told that we are completely drenched and that it was snowing at K-Top. After a lot of struggle we got ILP at end of the day. Around 350 per head was the fee for 3 days ( basic amount lasts for one week and some amount is on per day basis ). Immediately hooked up with shopping and a last glance of Leh city we were done for the day.

Snowed at K-Top >>

Day 9

Snowed at K-Top

Photo of Khardung La by Azee Shady

Hands Off My Bike!! I Found It In the Room's Wardrobe at Leh. Now Its Mine, haha >>

Hands Off My Bike!! I Found It In the Room's Wardrobe at Leh. Now Its Mine, haha

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Snow In My Gloves >>

Snow In My Gloves

Photo of Khardung-La Souvenir Shop, Leh by Azee Shady

Lol That Warning at Khardung La. We Halted for 2 hours >>

Lol That Warning at Khardung La. We Halted for 2 hours.

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Blessed. K Top >>

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Blessed. K Top

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Day 10 : 17th July 2016 -

With the sunrise we got up, checked out the hotel and left for Pangong. Longest journey of the trip, 650km no fuel station in our route. In the dried up mountains we were riding and leaving Leh - the city of monestaries. I was feeling a little low as we left Nubra behind without visiting and was hating more for the curfews and riots in Kashmir. Road to Chang La is tough. Khardung La might be highest but Chang La is mighty. Conditions change here anytime, any moment. So tough roads, 10kmph speed of my wrecked bike, unable to burn fuel we reached the Chang La Top. Its like an achievement to be at Chang La ( World's 3rd Highest ), Taglang La ( World's 2nd Highest ) and Khardung La ( World's Highest ) Tops - The series of highest motorable roads. Thanks to BRO ( Border Roads Organization ) & Indian Army. Met a couple on rented RE Standard 500 just before the Chang La Top. Their bike was seriosuly in worse condition. We helped them for some patch. What excited me that time I dont know, I never got exhausted in the trip and wanted to get that feel. So I ran a little towards a small waterfall to wash my face. It was hardly 25m to and fro and hell I got wasted. Guys, never do any hardwork at such high altitudes. Our body cant sustain it. We had lunch with that couple at Chang La Top, talked with them. She was getting nausea about heights, but we all, we were on Dimox dosages. Guys a suggestion, take one diamox daily and live care free. One joke at Chang La I will always remember, we were 5 - we 3 guys and the couple. She asked me how I got so much leaves from office for this trip. I answered that I have no issues with leaves and my company supports employees enjoying their leaves. Gaurav explained how he worked over weekends to get complementary offs and use to comp-off for the trip. She was like 'this is nothing' she was on LWP ( Leave Without Pay ). We laughed a lot. Now time for Anya to say something. These are his words as quoted - "I left my job for this trip" Now this is something huud huud dabangg dabangg. They requested us to stay with them to help them with their bike, we agreed and left together. So cruising through all narrow roads we climbed up & down the Chang La and covered the plains of Tangtse to reach Lukung, the first sight of Pangong &lt;3. We were so busy in enjoying the beauty of lake and clicking photographs that we forgot we have no accomodation arrangement done. Lol. There we met someone whom we met at Khardung La too, that person also belonged to Pune. I felt proud about him, A father and his son are covering Ladakh. Just before it gets dark at 8pm, they asked me where am I staying and it clicked me. Till then it was dark already. After some effort got a nice room. A room of 6 people just for 3 of us :-) There was some petrol leak due to a crack to the can which was in my saddle bag. Our food, sweets, namkeen got wasted. Time passed by and now I was worried about the couple, they didnt reach, I thought they were following us. I looked through the window whole night as long as I could keep myself up. I really wanna know that happened to them. Hope they didnt get into any problem due to bike as there would be no one to help them. After dinner I continued looking for them and dozed off. The night was dangerous. Winds blowing with bery high speed, the noises it makes. Ladakh has epic nature. It rains at nights and shines bright the whole day.

Thiksey Monastary >>

Day 10

Thiksey Monastary

Photo of Thikse Monastery, Thiksey by Azee Shady

Entrance to Thiksey >>

Entrance to Thiksey

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Chang La Pass by Azee Shady

Run to the Chang La Top >>

Run to the Chang La Top

Photo of Chang La Pass by Azee Shady

Visit Here To Know Why Its Named as "Mighty" >>

Visit Here To Know Why Its Named as "Mighty"

Photo of Chang La by Azee Shady

And They Say This. Hahha. Was I Born Dead ?? >>

And They Say This. Hahha. Am I Born Dead ??

Photo of Tangtse by Azee Shady

View From The Same Location Above >>

View From The Same Location Above

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Double Flags. Much Needed Prayers & Wishes for My Bike >>

Double Flags. Much Needed Prayers &amp; Wishes for my Bike.

Photo of Pangong Tso by Azee Shady

Wait For Real Beauty Of Pangong >>

Wait For Real Beauty Of Pangong

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Us, Evening at Pangong >>

Us, Evening at Pangong

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Please Dont Carry So Much Load >>

Please Dont Carry So Much Load

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Day 11 : 18th July 2016 -

I was waiting for this moment ever since I saw first time the wallpapers or clips of Pangong in movies. Especially from '3 Idiots' [ 3 Idiots is an Indian Movie ]. Our plan today was go parallel to Pangong via Chusul & Nyoma to Tso Moriri. Pangong - Chusul - Nyoma - Tso Moriri - Tso Kar - Debring is the toughest part of Ladakh. Complete off road and 4 x 4 recommended for cars. Road is complete sand. Snow clapped mountains on right, barren lands on right side of road, sand on the road, blue crystal clear waters on the left and dry mountains beyong lake on left. Nature's magic, aint it ? Just like water gushes through the narrow creeks in rocks, same we gushed our bikes through the sand. Oh but did I say road ? Sorry couldnt find any term to describe but the reeality is that there are no roads. Just go parallel to lake, if you change route you are surely lost. It took almost 3 - 4 hours to cover 55km to reach Chusul. Luckily found one restaurant open in Chusul, ate some rice and omelette and left. Submitted permit documents at the army office there. We were ordered for not to leave the road on left side. ( I have heard an inner tip that there are shoot on sight orders if one leaves the road, not sure ). This is because it is LAC - Line of Actual Control - Indo China Border. Trishul Mountains is the Indo China Border. Ladakh has a lot of history with this during wars. So here there are no roads, we travelled in a fixed directions, some patches had road after Chusul. Scary thing was that an army bus was following us. I saw a river which need to be crossed, so I let that bus go ahead just to confirm how deep it is. And damn, it was almost 3 feet deep. The bus wheel was nearly 90% in water. We stopped and start thinking what to do until I started to traverse the river and found a way. After Tara checkpost the road is best, full tar road and now the time was to achieve some time based targets. We rushed a little but could make till Nyoma only by 8pm which is 150km from Pangong. No any restaurant there. Got a home stay but the owner left giving us the keys and allowed to use their kitchen for free. Our eyes lit when we saw a dozen eggs in kitchen. Unfortunately all were rotten ;-( Thanks to me, I had some buscuits, chips etc what we typically call it as chakna, Hehehe. Couldnt eat much due to exertion and body pain because of off road biking. We had a bigger target next day. Nyoma - Sumdo - Tso Moriri - Sumdo - Tso Kar - Debring - Bharatpur. This is soomething kind of an impossible target. Now it was almost 11pm and we decided to sleep & wake at 3am or so to cover the next part. And here we sleep.

But wait how can a beautiful day end like this ? Why it took 4 hours for us to cover 55km only ? Why didnt I tell you what we did at Pangong ? Well, I will describe it less in words and let the photos talk about it. I am actually showing you my today's sweet dreams &lt;3

This Is What I Saw Early Morning Today, My Bike >>

Bad Quality Petrol & Less Oxygen To Burn Fuel Leads To Smoke

Bad Quality Petrol & Less Oxygen To Burn Fuel Leads To Smoke

Anyway Chuck It, Lets Get Back To Dream Come True >>

"Mind Should Be Crystal Clear To See Your Own Reflections"

Mind Should Be Crystal Clear To See Your Own Reflections

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Shades Of Blue Pangong"

Shades Of Blue Pangong

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Pure Blue, Peace"

Pure Blue

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Morning At Pangong"

Morning At Pangong

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

This Water Is Very Deep & Temperature Might Be 2 or 3 Degrees Celsius >>

This Water Is Very Deep &amp; Temperature Might Be 2 or 3 Degrees Celcius

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Yes, This Is Water >>

Yes, This Is Water

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Now See The Hardships To Enjoy The Above Beauty >>

"Where Is The Road Man ??"

Where Is The Road Man ??

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Couldnt Find Road, All We Know Was To Go Parallel To The Lake"

Couldnt Find Road, All We Know Was To Go Parallel To The Lake

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Jump Over The Damn Sand"

Jump Over The Damn Sand

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Memories"

Memories

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"This Was The Best Condition Road Throughout The Pangong"

This Was The Best Condition Road Throughout The Pangong

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Stream Crossing After Chusul"

Stream Crossing After Chusul

"Gaurav Crossing The Same Above Stream"

Gaurav Crossing The Same Above Stream

"Evening, Dying For A Halt. Destination 100km Far Still"

Evening, Dying For A Halt. Destination 100km Far Still

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Sunset, Nyoma"

"Trishul Mountains, Chusul, Indo-China border, LAC"

Sunset, Nyoma

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Trishul Mountains, Chusul, Indo-China border, LAC

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Chusul - Nyoma Road"

Chusul - Nyoma Road

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Ladakh Map >>

Ladakh Map

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

"Yes, This Is Road. Nothing New Now For Us. Tara Town, Ladakh" >>

Yes, This Is Road. Nothing New Now For Us. Tara Town, Ladakh.

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Well Lets Memories Again The Happy Moments >>

Day 12 : 19th July 2016 - This what Ladakh trip is all about !!

3am, The active time for all paranormal stuff, me in dead sleep, some sound going on in my head, with lot of efforts opened my eyes, OMFG, it was the effing alarm !! I shut that thing off and went back to sleep ( ofcourse with a snooze, I am not that mad :-P ). 3.15, 3.30, We all were discussing what to do. Cancelled Tso Moriri, slept again, 4, 4.30, finally came time to wake up, its 5am now. Got fresh, went outside the room, came back again; Really ? I am not ready to go in that cold weather :-D Slept a little more and left Nyoma at 7am after filling up a daily quota of fuel from our storage cans. I had 21L of petrol in my saddle bag plus 10L in my bike, similarly 10L in saddles + around 11L in other bikes each when we left Leh. Left Nyoma, after Mahe bridge it was fun to ride on the rough roads parallel to river. We are at Sumdo post, saw a board for Karzok, missed Tso Moriri, long breath and went ahead. Puga Hot Water Springs, all dried up. All my imaginations in vain. Had imagined how could it be after visiting Vashishta Hot Water Pond. It was very hot and sunny. First vehicle we saw since morning, a car but it went too fast in this dust. Riding on the rough terrain past Puga we reached Polo Kongka La, the reason of Sino-Indo War in 1962. Indo-Chinese conflicts are since way back, through the 1900s. Polo Kongka La is a pass of complete sand. Our bikes got stuck at many places. Imagine my bike, max speed 20kmph, cant rev due to flooding, terrain full of sand, gradient or road inclination of more than 45 degrees and 60 degrees at some places, NO WORDS AT ALL. Found one Bajaj Chetak off roading in this pass, it was fun to watch that man, moreover he was double seat with his kid. After grazing in the sand and that high altitude pass, further covered rocky patches, off roading to reach Tso Kar. Had breakfast near Tso Kar. OMG, those people are too helpful, we had rest in the tent, ate many maggies ( noodles ). Tso Kar also dried up, such was the heat in Ladakh durign day time. But it had some water very far away inside the lake. Already knew that vehicles get stuck in the quicksand kind of sand of Tso Kar, so didnt risk. Clicked pics and left as we were known of some good road ahead as per the aunty told us where we had breakfast. The last patch of 20km before Debring ( More Plains & Tso Kar road junction ) was good. We were excited as we decided to click pics and spend time at More Plains because last time we were more interested in speeding due to time limits. I somehow managed to travel with 20 - 30kmph speed till Debring hoping to go beyond 60kmph at More Plains. More Plains is one best place to click photos.

Who thought that there's a very very fine slope on the roads towards Taglang La. In short we had to climb that 1 or 2 degree gradient where my bike showed its colors once again, couldnt cross 25kmph. Thought of changing the spark plug, there's no logic but I hoped, my wish if it could have helped. My spark plug was at bottom of my saddle bag. Till now you must have seen the load on my bike, so didnt want to open it. Took Anya's spark plug but as usual failed in opening the panel of my bike. One difference in Himalaya and the pahadi area is the mountians there were green, chill weather and calmness under the shadows of mountains while here ( in the Himalaya ) its dry n cold air even in hot sun with all barren lands around. Took an hour to reach the top of Pang ghats. And now the scene from here, sexual :-) sensational. But I was in my own mood as I was frustrated with the speed of my bike, was not able to enjoy much. All I was using my will power to complete the trip. The moment I started to descend the Pang ghats, speed increased to 80kmph. I started rash riding, careless once again like I be in my city or on highways. Was crying all alone, I realised that I am riding rash, what was I about to do, I dont deserve to live, blah blah, typical common sentimental guy like me would think like this. My whole life came up on me, remembered each n every moment of my life and was ready to die in Pang ghats,me along with my bike. Just before I could slip off the road into the valleys, I woke up and managed to save myself. Reached the bottom and waited for my friends to come, till then made myself calm. Filled up some air in tyres as the pressure was nearly 10 psi in both. I had a manual tyre air vacuum filler which does not work at all. I tried using it in the morning and ended up losing some air more from the tyre. Tried a lot to open the spark plug, but couldnt. Instead that person stole my spanners. Some rude people and thieves are also present there, beware. It was almost 3 - 4 pm, my friends decided to have lunch there but I had a target to reach Lachung La top with 20kmph, so i went ahead while they had lunch. The gradient is not much from Pang side as compare to Sarchu side for Lachung La, but my bike was very sensitive while climbing up, even very small inclination, speed will drop to 20. I had climbed the Chang La at some points at even 4-5kmph. It was better walking than riding. Cyclists were overtaking me at Khardung La. Ok, No more looking back to bad parts, coming back here to present, just before the top my friends joined me after they had lunch. A large military convoy made them stop so that they can pass, i was lucky I was able to go through the convoy as the army saw my speed, they let me in. We were at the Langung La top once again, insane cold breeze, difficult to lit my cig, smoked that stuff once and for all and we left. Here I go 80 again while coming down from the top. Fast & furious descend the Lachung La, once at bottom, again 20 to climb up Nakee La. At Nakee La,clicked one pic at top with the altistone ( mile stone mentions distance & I call altistone which mentions altitude ) mentioning the height as I made a pact that I wont be slowing down again and wont breakdown my mood. Couldnt stop more as we were getting late and couldnt sustain cold, we zoomed in the slopes on Nakee La. I still get goosebumps when I recollect my super disc brake incident. Thought that the road was straight, but when reached somewhere near it was a deep valley between ( a moment where I could have died when I didnt want to :-P ). Heheh. More speed during descending 21 Ghata Loops and skids at turns in the Ghata Loops. Such was the fun in covering back to back ups and downs of Pang Ghats, Lachung La, Nakee La, 21 Ghata Loops. It was almost sunset at the base of Ghata Loops. Second time we got chance to ride in the dark. We were able to see Sarchu, but a long distance needed to be covered to reach there. Bharatpur was way too far, we planned not to risk to go Sarchu - Bharatpur in the dark. Reached Sarchu at 9pm. It was too cold, found immediately a place to stay in the tents. People really risk there life and think that it is very normal to roam anywhere in the Himalayas. But no, AMS can kill you. Few peple near our tent were feeling nausea, headache, vomitting and what not. Anya helped them out. Last time at Bharatpur he felt diziness but this time he was, we all were completely fine. Feels like now we are used to the altitudes, rather used to Himalayas. Ladakh & Himachal feels like home. The family Anya helped out were having drinks during dinner, we were lucky they offered us from their limited stock. We also had some. After dinner went out of kitchen tent, perfec temperature. But soon the effect of alcohol vanished and we were frozen at the place, immediately ran inside our tent and into the blankets. Zzzzzz.... Something was bothering me in my pocket, it was Anya's spark plug. I told him to take, but he refused and it remained with me.

Quite epic and happening day it was :-)

Polo Kongka La. Really One Of The Deserted Pass >>

Polo Kongka La. Really One Of The Deserted Pass

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Tso Kar, The Lake & Land of Salts >>

Tso Kar, The Lake &amp; Land of Salts

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

The Only Kinda Scenes That Drove Me To My Destinations In Ladakh >>

The Only Kinda Scenes That Drove Me To My Destinations In Ladakh

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Tso Kar >>

Tso Kar

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Moment of Off-Roading >>

Moment of Off-Roading

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Some Fun At More Plains >>

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Gaurav, He Just Loves That Jacket :D >>

He Just Loves That Jacket :D

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Free Time, Sukun at More Plains >>

Free Time, Sukun at More Plains.

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Day 12
Photo of More Plains by Azee Shady

Ride At More Plains, Ladakh >>

Ride At More Plains, Ladakh

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Candid, Bachpan Ka Attitude #HondaStunnerCBF125 >>

My Baby Has Got A Totally Different Kind Of Vision

Candid, Bachpan Ka Attitude #HondaStunnerCBF125

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Anya's Nautanki >>

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady
Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Some More Places That Frustrated Me >>

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Heaven, Indian Version of Die In Style If You Want To, Ghata Loops >>

21 Ghata Loops

Photo of Gata Loops, Leh by Azee Shady

Day 13 : 20th July 2016 -

Woke up on time. It was so cold that I refrained from getting fresh. How did Gaurav and Anya managed, I dont know. I was in bed only. The moment they were ready, I woke up, attached bags to bike and wrooommm, we left. Now we realised, thank God we mad our mind to stay at Sarchu. Covering these roads at night was damn risky. Mandatory halt at Bharatpur, just to reminisce, remember all events happened till then. So, at Bharatpur I took risk of brushing my teeth. Hehe, Naah I am not a dirty guy, but I didnt want to let that cold water touch any part of my body ;-) ( If you know what I mean ). The no potty day for me, Lol. Anyway we left after breakfast. Went to Baralacha La top, slowly, not to mention about my bike. Played a little in the ice fallen along the road side. This time there was negligible water at 'Pagal Naala'. We were shocked and happy, both. Last time it tested my guts to climb up so much. Now it was time for some payback and have fun. Climbing down Baralacha La, ZIngZing Bar, Patsio. It was real fun to ride on that slope, fully paved tar road, speed, turns, banks, enjoyed a lot. Gaurav distributed some sweets and namkeen to the army camp at Patsio. He had brought separate box for them. Gaurav and Anya decided to take a halt at Jispa base and maybe eat some. I went ahead to climb up Jispa, but false alarm, it was easy to go and was leading till Keylong where we waited for lunch. Me and Anya are just so similar about everything. Anya gave me horn when he managed to reach near me, I looked in my mirror and we both did the same hand gesture for having some food. Finally time to eat at same place in Keylong where we had previously. Thukpa is an amazing dish, depends where you eat. After lunch went to Tandi petrol pump, here we complete our 650 km without fuel station. We were happy that we made it. After a long wait and guiding some other Punekars at the fuel station about their trip ahead, we left. I was leading and I went ahead in that white dirt track. It was so dusty I couldnt see a thing ahead ( because of a dust & a truck ahead me ) and nothing behind too due to much dust. I continued Tandi, Reling, Sissu, Koksar, still no one reached till me. Thought I will start my patent riding of climbing up Rohtang with 20kmph and hope they will come. It was a very sunny day, I started with Rohtang from Koksar. As I climbed up, it start becoming cloudy and dark due to clouds. Umm it was just 3pm. Was waiting when will the rough patch come, when will I reach top. But realised lately that the road was done and complete was of tar. Smooth. About last 3 loops and I cried again because I couldnt see anybody now, neither anybody nor my friends. At the last loop I saw someone similar to Anya, I waved hand to him, he also waved back. I was happy, I reached top and waited for him. But fate didnt want me to be happy, he was someone else, he gave a smile and left. Now at top, real cold at 4pm. I waited for an hour till a bullet guy came up and I enquired with him, he told he might have seen a MH-12 FZS but no idea about Unicorn. He told me not to worry and they left. His words gave me hopes. And here I saw Gaurav. I called him, shouted so loudly, my voice echoed and he couldnt guess from where the voice came. Finally we met at top. Then he told me that Anya's bike was not starting the moment we left the fuel station. I was like oops, and they both scolded me lot for going ahead alone, leaving them back. But my intentions were different, I didnt want all of us to be slow just because my bike isnt going fast. Anya had got a pickup truck to transport his bike for 2300 INR. While me and Gaurav enjoyed the Rohtang in the clouds, full fog. My bike's response was quite unusual but expected. Post Rohtang top it started behaving normally. And the moment we were in Manali, bike was totally fine. Its just the altitudes that haunted her. We reached room and waited for Anya. Dinner done, drinks to celebrate success of our trip. Good Night.

Baralacha La >>

Baralacha La

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Much Needed Pic >>

Much Needed Pic

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Rohtang Again Into Clouds >>

Rohtang Again Into Clouds

Photo of Ladakh 2016 - Cursing The Kashmir Curfew by Azee Shady

Day 14 : 21st July 2016 to 25th July 2016 -

Morning we woke and Anya took his spark plug from me and ran towards his bike. He replaced it and yeah it worked. Oh God, Damn, He spent 2300 instead of 100 /- Either he should have taken his spark plug from me when I gave or I would have gone back in search of him :-( Anyway, It was shopping time and we again changed plan. Wanted to go to Delhi on bike, changed that to Ambala and again changed to Chandigarh. On 22nd we went to Chandigarh, complete ghats of 200km ( Manali, Kullu, Simla ). Gave bikes at Chandigarh, took a state transport bus to Delhi and reached Delhi on 23rd at 4am. Enjoyed Delhi, met my Pune friends there and left on 24th via train, 25th late night I was home sweet home, baby :-)

Long wait of one week for my bike to reach Pune. And I was done with it :-) B-)

What missed - Kashmir, Nurba, Nubra - Pangong road & Swimming in the Pangong, feel free to Join us in June 2017 to cover this. Let me know if any body wants to join.

Mail - azeeshady2@gmail.com

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