After several months of planning and itineary preparation we set out for our third consecutive trip to Ladakh.
We started on July 8 morning from Chandigarh and returned on July 18 2017. This trip was shortest of the past two trips.
Biking on roads at high altitudes is something we have got accustomed to. We face no major health issues and when it comes to speed and control of our bikes, we have got better, every passing year.
Key highlights of the trip were:
A. We did not follow the itinerary strictly. We ventured onto Zanskar Sumdo road but after covering some 30 km we decided to return. We did not reach Krugiak. The roads are bad but worst was that the area was deserted with no tourists at all. I had personally expected some pleasant weather and landscape that were different from the usual Ladakh landscape.
B. We did stop at Keylong when I realized that I had left my wallet at a dhaba in Marhi- enroute Rohtang pass. Thanks for the cooperative policeman who helped us trace it and then instruct his colleagues at Marhi police station to keep it safe till I we returned.
C. It did not rain en-route this year and despite being at high altitudes it was unusually very hot- may be we were comparing our experience to last year same period.
D. We experienced rains in Leh for the first time. Khardungla was closed on the day we planned to head to Nubra Valley. Further, Shyok river was flooded and not safe for biking. We dropped the plan to head towards Nubra Valley and via Shyok to Tso Moriri lake.
E. We spent lot of time on recording videos of the moments unlike in last two years when I atleast focused on taking pics.
F. All three of us left our belongings couple of times. Lucky to find them back though.
G. We had two friends joining us at Leh.
H. Breakfast paid by Imran was one of the best I had in sometime. Fell in love with oats porridge mixed with pieces of banana and sprinkled liquid chocolate.
I. Mohsin was much fitter compared to last year.
J. Aditya had gained weight. Further, was more confident while riding his bike. Though he kept missing Sunil – his fellow rider from last year.
K. We promised not to return back to Ladakh and if we did not go beyond Leh to Pangong lake and or Nubra Valley.
L. We split with Swati and she decided to return from Sarchu.
M. I wanted to find sometime alone and focus on few things I would have loved to but could not do so.
N. Aditya had his raincoat tangled in rear spricket of his bike and Mohsin was lucky not to get hurt while helping Aditya pull his bike out of a rough patch on muddy road with loose gravels and water overflowing.
O. Main market of Leh is a place to spend good time. We did justice to this time. We tried Punjabi Tadka, Brazil Cafe and Ladakh-Yeti cafe.
P. Walking for some 30 minutes post a full day of ride is very relaxing.
Q. When it comes to riding at high altitudes limit the ride to max 100 km per day.
R. Was enlightened about Israel and its citizens by Khursheed.
S. We may do North east and or Bhutan next year.
“WE” – Mohsin, Aditya, Jaspal
“Two friends”- Aatif and Khursheed