Leh-Ladakh Bike ride- Sept-17

13th Sep 2017

After a lot of "Yes's","No's" and 'Why Ladakh' thoughts, I finally decided to book my flights to Leh for the month of September keeping in mind the weather and roads conditions after Leh. I managed to get the round trip flights through Go Air for INR 6500. I was excited but still unsure of my decision as I was alone in the plan and was never amazed with the idea of riding a bike in Ladakh Solo( Well, I am not a biker, only ridden few times during my school days- Give me a car and I can do the world trip twice! :D). After trying to successfully convince my fellow colleague about the idea of hiring a bike in Leh and completing Khardungla, I was happy as my MBA skills of selling an idea was finally working. I finally managed to convince 7 of my friends (I am pretty good with convincing) and began the Journey we had always dreamt at some point of our lives! :). At around 4:30 a.m., we were at the Delhi airport thrilled about the idea of sipping a tea in Leh within a few hours (1 hour 20 minutes by flight and almost 2 days and countless memories by road :D). We Finally reached Leh's Kushak Bakula Rimpochee Airport at around 7:40 a.m and were at our new temporary home booked through Airbnb by 8:20 a.m..Our host, Mr Ali, was a real gentlemen and made wonderful Kahwa tea for us along with a scrumptious breakfast every morning- Without fail :). Our first day was mainly spent 'acclimatising' with a visit to the Leh Palace and a local restaurant 'Himalayan Cafe' in the evening. If you are in Leh main market and hungry, make sure to visit this cafe and try their Thukpa- it was authentic and extremely delicious!

On our second day, we woke up early and were all set to conquer the highest all weather motorable road in the world- The mighty Khardung La! I was all geared up and had my bike ready in the parking lot. After fixing the luggage on our bikes- which was equivalent to clearing any UPSC exam, we were finally clicking our 'Start of the epic journey' pictures- All smiling and happy but inside, I was still unsure if I can ride a bullet with a pillion (Pillion was my best friend Saurabh, who was full of confidence and Rum but less on experience of what was required of him at that point of time). We finally began our journey- thrilled, excited, nervous and what not. We had made sure to keep all the required documents handy- like the ILP, ID proofs, medicines, water etc. just in case bad luck tries to say 'Hi' to us in between this epic road trip. I was riding slowly, trying to be familiar with the gear shifts and braking capability of my bullet.

After reaching South pullu, we had to get our permits checked and there we met fellow riders who were coming from Khardungla and informed us about the snowfall there which made the roads very slithery and how many of them had a fall. I was really very scared. At a point, I told my friend Rishabh (My first "Yes" for the trip) about my apprehensions of riding in snow with a pillion. But somewhere in my heart, I really wanted to complete the ride without falling for even once- This became my aim, goal and I became a bolshie for the rest of the trip! :D

Saurabh, who was my pillion, managed to convince me to continue the trip and after resting for 20 minutes- we were again on our way towards Nubra valley. After reaching Khardungla, we couldn't hold our excitement to be finally riding on the highest motorable road of the road of the world! (Now its the highest all weather mootorable road).

We continued further with our trip after spending another 20 minutes at the top- clicking pictures and videos (for my youtube channel - (@Julleyhimalayas).

In my experience post completing the trip after covering Nubra Valley, Village Turtuk, Pangong via the Agam-Shyok is the everyone should once in their lifetime definitely take a trip to a place that will challenge their inner strengths and capabilities!