Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts

Tripoto
20th Jun 2014
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 1/10 by Nishant Verma
TSO KAR- A SALT WATER LAKE
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 2/10 by Nishant Verma
KHARDUNG LA - HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 3/10 by Nishant Verma
TSOMORIRI
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 4/10 by Nishant Verma
STAKNA MONASTERY
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 5/10 by Nishant Verma
RAFTING IN THE ZANSKAR RIVER
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 6/10 by Nishant Verma
PANGONG TSO
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 7/10 by Nishant Verma
NUBRA VALLEY
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 8/10 by Nishant Verma
TURTUK (NUBRA VALLEY)
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 9/10 by Nishant Verma
HEMIS MONASTERY
Photo of Ladakh Survival Guide for Bike Enthusiasts 10/10 by Nishant Verma
THIKSEY MONASTERY

Every year about 50-100 people ask me about traveling tips to Ladakh. Finally I thought instead of giving tips to every individual separately, I should rather write a blog which could be useful for all the travelers who choose Ladakh as their next destination.Ladakh is a not a tourist destination. Its a spiritually charged place with positive energy of great people who survived the harshness of Extreme Himalayan conditions. There's so much to learn from Ladakhis about respecting Human life and how to make the best use of the available resources. Ladakhis are humble and respectful people, so when you to travel to Ladakh, make sure you don't try to teach them your behavioural skills , rather learn from them. You may be the slaves of technology and encaged animals of the concrete jungles , they are not. So Dont cry about the scarcity of the resources but respect and learn from their way of using the resources.For the road trip bikers:

DO'S:

1. Carry jerry cans for extra fuel

2. Your bike should have a carrier for extra fuel if you are on a bike which has the mileage of 40 kms or lesser.

3. If you are not allergic to sulpha drugs then take a diuretic called as diamox. It helps in acclimatising on higher altitude. Have half a tab one day. Drink more water . Start it 3 days prior to your travel

4. Carry basic first aid kit , specially antiseptic , bandages, cotton, tiger balm(most important), strepsils, crepe bandage, candies (that you can suck)-they help in keeping your mouth moist , maintaining your sugar level . Candies also helps in avoiding motion sickness  and Acute Mountain sickness (AMS). Acute Mountain Sickness can get you killed and not to be taken lightly. 

5. Torch (preferably solar)

6. Puncture and tool kit (know your machine better and you should be able to fix anything in bike/motor vehicle). Spare head and tail lamp bulbs, extra spark-plugs, clutch and accelerator wire, vaseline / grease, extra tubes (front and rear) if your tires are not tubeless, extra engine oil (mixing engine oil directly in your fuel (100 ml or so) helps in avoiding hiccups for your bike at high altitude thin air . Air foot pump . Sand paper to clean up your spark plug and for fixing the puncture.

7. While crossing Morey Plains or desert, your air should be comparatively lesser to avoid getting stuck in the sand.

8. If in case, your Tyre gets stuck in the sand, try not to give more throttle and put water in that particular part of sand and then give throttle. Inflate tyres again after crossing the sand.

9. Eat normal and drink lots of water throughout the day

10. Thermals and wind proof jacket(s)

11. Carry a garbage bag .. Don't litter the fragile ecosystem of Himalayas. trash thrown by you may kill a local animal. 

12. Bungee cords / strings for tying your luggage

13. Rubber hot water bottle. After a tough day's ride you would want to relax and sleep well. Hot water bottle helps in keeping your foot warm in your sleeping bag/ blanket

14. Swiss knife

15. Chocolates/ dry fruits

16. Raw garlic .. It helps if u r feeling the headacheor any sort of palpitation . Dont think twice before gulping one whole bulb of garlic. Or keep sucking it like a candy. Chew it and gulp it down if you feel headache.

17. Carry some meaningful gifts for locals , you always take things back from places you visit...sometimes you must learn the art of giving instead of only taking... Money is never a gift..its an obligation. use your creativity. 

18. Carry your driving license (5-7 copies)/ car papers.

19. Obtain inner line permits for places like tsomoriri, nubra valley, Turtuk, dha-hanu, pangong lake and Zanskar. Though there was an order that in-line permission (ILP) is not required for Indian citizens but i have heard local taxi guys still insisting of taking ILP. May because it helps them make some extra bucks.  

20. For photographers, carry spare batteries (keep them in the inside pocket of your jacket- batteries gets discharged quite fast in that terrain..like real fast), polariser, remote trigger for night photography and a good stable tripod.

DONT(s)

1. Do not throw wrappers or your garbage anywhere on the road or in the wild.. Its my humble request with folded hands.

2. Thumb rule of mountains / nature : Don't be a Gama , in the land of Lama.

3. Do not try unnecessary heroics, unless and until you are with experienced and sensible guides.

4. Don't over use clutch/brakes.

5. Ride at ease.. If you are in a rush..better go to the restroom and ease yourself. You are traveling to find peace and enjoy nature. By rushing you are trying to achieve a milestone that has been already done by a thousands of people already. You, yourself are defeating the purpose. It may have been a coolness quotient a decade ago. Now its just another travel which is not a luxurious one. That is it . .

6. Carry your music, if you are such an addict but dont carry those usb speakers to make everyone else hear your collection of songs.. Because there will be people beyond your own group and please respect their purpose of travel as well.

7. Don't smoke - 'up' .. Try not to.. No logic behind it.. Just that it is not good for your health :-P

8. Avoid alcohol.. But try chhang/ arak if you are well acclimatized . If at all you feel uneasy.. No need to even try them.

9. Don't be rude to people you come across, even if the other person is not pleasant to you. Avoid unpleasant things and move on.

PLACES TO VISIT:

1. TSO KAR - A SALT WATER LAKE BETWEEN TSOMORIRI AND MORAIY PLAINS (VIA PUGA)

2. STAKNA MONASTERY

3. PANGONG TSO (TSO = LAKE IN LADAKHI)

4. NUBRA VALLEY

5. TURTUK (NUBRA VALLEY)

6. HEMIS MONASTERY CAVE - TREK FURTHER UP FOR 2 KMS FROM HEMIS MONASTERY

7. Thiksey MONASTERY

8. Khardung LA- WORLD'S HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD

9. TSOMORIRI

10. RAFTING IN ZANSKAR RIVER

11. SPITUK MONASTERY

12. DHA-HANU

Photo of Tso Kar by Nishant Verma
Photo of Stakna Road, Stakna by Nishant Verma
Photo of Pangong Tso, Ngari, Xizang (Tibet), India by Nishant Verma
Photo of Nubra Valley by Nishant Verma
Photo of Turtuk by Nishant Verma
Photo of Hemis Monastery Museum, Hemis Road, Hemis by Nishant Verma
Photo of Thiksey Gompa, Leh Manali Highway, Thiksey by Nishant Verma
Photo of Khardung La Road, Leh by Nishant Verma
Photo of Tso moriri by Nishant Verma
Photo of Spituk Gompa, Leh by Nishant Verma
Photo of Zanskar River by Nishant Verma
6 Comment(s)
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Visakh : Usually, the bike would run fine with adjustment of air intake. Having experienced various seasons, altitudes and terrains that we go through in Ladakh. Sometimes there are no answers to your problems and you find the best solution as to do what the locals do. My Thunderbird had issues and was jerking while riding. A local came in and asked me to mix a little engine oil in the fuel tank. the bike ran fine after that. so this is no science , just sheer experience i have shared.
Sat 02 06 16, 20:34 · Reply · Report
Thanks everyone :)
Sat 02 06 16, 20:30 · Reply · Report
Photo of Visakh Asok
Visakh Asok
"mixing engine oil directly in your fuel (100 ml or so) helps in better lubrication at thin air" Can you explain why??? What lubrication are you talking about? Engine lubrication happens outside of the combustion chamber, not inside. You'll royally screw your engine. :) Your bike, unless fuel injected, will suffer due to thin air at high altitudes, for that jetting & air intake are to be played with, not mixing oil in petrol!
Fri 05 22 15, 05:14 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Sambhav Poddar
Sambhav Poddar
Thank you for all the inputs. I was looking for such checklist and here I have it!.
Wed 05 20 15, 09:54 · Reply (1) · Edit · Delete ·
Thanks Sambhav
Fri 07 28 17, 23:41 · Report
Photo of Vivek Vickzz
Vivek Vickzz
Thank you for sharing (y) :)
Wed 05 20 15, 05:16 · Reply (1) · Edit · Delete ·
Thanks Vivek :)
Fri 07 28 17, 23:56 · Report
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