Mad-Man's Solo Cycling Trip to Ladakh. #travel #leh #ladakh #bicycle, Follow on Instagram@ ravin303

Tripoto
1st Jun 2017
Photo of Mad-Man's Solo Cycling Trip to Ladakh. #travel #leh #ladakh #bicycle, Follow on Instagram@ ravin303 by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 2

I woke up and there was this wonderful view of the Beas river flowing, clean and cold water, packed my tent and bag and left for Manali. Just before Manali I found a hot water pool, stopped for a bath and reached Manali by the noon time. There I roamed around the main market, did some shopping for the way and by 3 pm I decided to leave for the Solang valley as I wanted to have a day's rest before leaving for Leh. So I left around 3:30 pm and reached Solang by the dark, didn't find a place to put up tent, had dinner, and climbed down a kilometre to find a hotel to spend the night.

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 3

I woke up late as I had planned to rest today but around 12 I had to cancel the rest and within an hour I was on my way to Marhi. The real test of my strength had already begun yesterday after leaving Manali and it was getting more difficult as it's going to be higher and higher till Rohtang. So kept on cycling, taking breakes for rest and finally around 7:30 pm I was in Marhi. There I had some tea before dinner and enquired about the staying arrangements for the night at the same dhaba. Marhi is a small settlement with a few dhabas 16 Kms before Rohtang.

Photo of Marhi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Marhi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Marhi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Marhi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 1

This crazy idea of cycling solo to Ladakh entered my mind like madness just a month before I embarked on this journey and that one month between seeing this dream and going to live it was perhaps the most restless one in my life. Well, I am adding a few things here after I received many queries about the possibility of such an adventurous trip so that the ones who are reading this and planning to go can get helped. First thing that happened to me and most likely will happen to you is that there will be a lot of people around you who will ask you to reconsider this dangerous idea and some might even discourage you not to go but remember one thing that this is the only life you have got and you cannot afford to postpone your dreams just because somebody else is afraid of your courage. My philosophy is that your dreams may not make sense to everyone and neither these should. Inspiration and fear both lives inside you and both will try their hands at you but its all up to you which one you go with. Now coming to the planning of this trip, fist of all by the end of the May I got my bicycle Raleigh Terrain-10, a camping tent, a sleeping bag, a first-aid kit, and a tool kit for bicycle and on 28th May 2017 evening I climbed the bus to Bhuntar with my bicycle on its roof. I reached Bhuntar at 4 am on 29th and at around 5 am I started cycling to Kasol because by then the Manali-Leh Highway was not opened so I thought of spending a couple of days in Kasol and I had a good time there, on 1st June I started cycling for Manali in the morning. My plan was to reach Manali by the end of the day. It was a great day as I rode by the rivers, first by the Parvati river and then from Bhuntar to Manali I rode by the bank of the Beas River. It was my first experience of cycling in mountains and it was a tiring day as I covered around 75 Kms before stopping in the village 17-Mile just a few Kms before Manali and decided to stay here for the night. I asked a family and they let me put up my tent in their garden there I met a curious kid, had a good time, conversation and dinner with him and went off to sleep.

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 4

Here, at Marhi, I felt the real cold, the temperature was very low and by midnight the cold wind started blowing with a speed over hundred miles per hour. I couldn't sleep properly post-midnight because of the wind and the next morning I decided to leave my tent, sleeping bag and the plastic cover for the tent at Marhi, at the dhaba, and told them to pick these things up on the way back. I had heavy breakfast as they told me that there will be no shop or food corner till Khoksar (around 40 km from Marhi). I left Marhi at 9:30 am for a 16 km climb to Rohtang, which I completed in 3 hours with some short cuts, after Rohtang started the worst road till next 20 km or so, had lunch and tea at Khoksar at 3 pm and left for Sissu at 3:30, the road after that is very beautiful to ride on. I reached Sissu at around 5 pm, my bicycle had been troubling me with its gear and chain so got it oiled at a mechanic shop, stayed at Manoj's tent next morning woke up at 7:30 had breakfast and left around 9 am for Jispa.

Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Rohtang Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 5

Today I had a target to reach Jispa, around 62 Kms away from Sissu . It has been a wonderful ride through beautiful valley as the road is quite good, amazing at times, also rough on occasions. Saw BRO workers working. Had another parantha and tea at Tandi, and started again for Jispa but next 15-20 Kms were really irritating because of the wind and it caused a lot of difficulty in riding. But once reaching Gemur it was an easy ride till Jispa where I reached at 5 pm. In Jispa I stayed at Mountaineering and Allied Sports Institute, they provide night stays dormitory to the travelers. Jispa is the last established village on this highway till Ladakh, also the last place to have electricity and mobile network, only BSNL and that too is weak and uncertain. But I had no BSNL, so I was already out of network and would remain so for the next 7 days.

Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of L e h Keylong Road, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 6

Yesternight I planned to wake up early and leave asap as I had to reach Sarchu and before that had to go through Baralacha la pass which is 4900 meters high. But nothing worked as per my plans and I didn't get disappointed because in such conditions you can't help. Woke up at 7:30 with rain and wind, so had to wait for a while and left as usual around 9 am. After crossing Darcha, 6 km from Jispa, I had to struggle through bad road, freezing cold wind and climbing till next 15 Kms and just a few Kms before Zing Zing Bar Mercury went off and it started raining and I could see the clouds so down so eventually I had to stop there at a dhaba for around two hours, had to change my plan and I started looking for a place to stay for the night since it was already 4 pm and Sarchu was still over 50 Kms so I got to know about a camping site just 6 Kms from there. Finally I reached the place where I saw the Peace Cafe and spent the night there. It's 14300 feet high altitude and temperature reduced to sub-zero with night approaching, wind was also blowing outside but once entered I didn't leave my bed.

Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Zing Zing Bar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 7

It was a day when I woke up in Siberia, it was snow everywhere. The four guys(each from Nepal, Germany, France and Canada) who came back last night were there and we got ready and couldn't wait for the snowfall to stop as it was already past 9 so we left and I walked up to the stream flowing over the road a kilometre above where they had parked their bikes last night. Snow was falling, though not heavily, temperature was under zero I guess and around 10:30 we all were set to depart and so we did. I had to climb up 17 Kms at the height of around 16000 ft. It was one of the hardest part as always the way and mountains were covered with snow and it was so cold, it took me 3-4 hours and right at the spot I met the first cyclist on my trip, a German man of around 60, he was coming from Kargil, after crossing the Baralacha la I came down to Bharatpur, a settlement of 3-4 tents there I had something to eat and met Catherine, a British girl, who was also going to Leh, so the second cyclist. For that day our destination was same, Serchu, so we rode together for 25 Kms, first 10-15 of which were really bad but the last 10 Kms, just before Serchu was an amazing ride with beautiful landscapes on both the sides and plain road in front of you. So we reached our destination and stayed there for the night.

Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Baralacha La Pass, Lahaul And Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 8

This morning I had to leave early as I had to cover around 80 Kms to Pang, Catherine left earlier than me and I left at around 7:30 am. First 25 kms, till Gata loops, were quite good and I covered them by 9:15. But after that began the hardest phase of my trip n life as well. First I had to climb 21 Gata loops and after that started the climb to Nakee la. This was the most difficult part as I struggled to survive many times. I fell short of water and it was getting harder for me to climb. I started recalling all the survival movies I have watched. I didn't ask anyone about the next tent just to keep my hope and spirit alive. Finally after over 5 hours a tourist van stopped, as they were amazed to see a solo cyclist struggling through that barren landscape, they asked about myself and I asked them for water, they gave me a sandwich too with water and only I know how delicious it was and the water proved elixir for me. After Nakee la I found some tents down the valley I stayed there for the night cancelling the plan to reach Pang.

Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Nakee La 4739 m by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 9

I woke up at 6 with very bad headache but prepared myself to leave and I left at 6:50 am. First of all I had to climb Luchlung la so it was so tiring after that the road down to Pang was in really bad condition. Reached Pang at around 11 or 11:15 had lunch and left. After climbing for 6 Kms I reached the most wonderful landscape More's plains which stretches over 40 Kms. This was the most amazing road n landscape during the journey so far. After crossing the plains I reached Dibring, a camping site 24 Kms before Tanglang la, at around 4:30. I decided to stay there and thankfully I met Lamo, a cute little girl who became a friend by the next morning. She is so naughty and cute​ that it was hard to say bye to her the next morning. Before Dibring I also saw a tribal family a few metres by the road I went there, met them, had a tea with them in their tent house they have a cute son, a family of 3 people, it was a good time with them.

Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of More Plains by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 10

At Dibring, morning was good,. Cold but happy as the first face I saw was of Lamo, we had good time for an hour till I was ready to leave, had some pictures with her and with a sad heart I had to say bye to her, I know she was also unhappy with my departure. So my plan was to reach Upshi, a place 50 km before Leh, but the climb to Tanglang la reminded me of the climb to Nakee la. I was climbing a place at 17500 ft high and the oxygen was so low that I had to keep stopping every few metres. It took me five hours. Thankfully I found a tent serving tea at the top, had tea and left for Upshi very hopeful, but weather in these places is unrealiable, it started snowfall and there was a jam and when finally I found the road clear I was coming down but had to struggle through the below degree temperature and cold wind blowing over 100 mph. After reaching Rumtse I had another tea and observed the conditions and decided to stay their for the night.

Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Tanglang La by Ravinder Bishnoi
Day 11

The big day, woke up early in the morning got ready asap and left for Leh at around 7. First hour and half was so cold that I had to stop soon for tea twice. After Upshi I thought it would be a good ride but no, wind had some other plans for nearly an hour I rode against the cold wind and drizzle. Then I stopped for another tea and after a few Kms at a palace to see it. So leisurely riding I reached Leh, finally after 11 days of arduous journey, at around 2:30 pm. It was a dream that I had seen just a month before starting the trip, people, including my family declared me crazy, some tried and suggested not to go and especially alone for this venture, but you know then how the minds of crazy people function. I simply left. That's it. Dreamt it and have done it, after 11 days super-challenging journey, 555 Kms, struggling against weather, cold wind, rain, snowfall, five highest passes, altitude ranging from 14000 to 17600 high, fighting for breath at height and most of all temperature under zero degree, finally I have made it. Thanks

Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
Photo of Leh by Ravinder Bishnoi
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