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 >>