Spiti Valley – The hidden Shangri la of Himalayas

Spiti Valley – The hidden Shangri la of Himalayas.

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WRs in Himalayas -6

25th Sept:
Just opened my eyes and looked around it was already morning. All of us were in a hurry to reach Leh. Bikes didn’t give us much trouble, everyone started their bikes and drove off. Bharath, me, Basha, Ginix and Kumar were a little late, we were just hanging around for a while on the nearby valleys and walked along the frozen streams on the road side. But then Basha’s bike had some problems, it dint start at all. We poured hot kettle water on engine (we usually did that every mornings), and tried to meddle with the bike as much as we could but even then it dint start. At such altitudes, if you try to kickstart your bike like 10 times you would get totally tired. We couldnt do much, so Bharath drove till Karu, found a mechanic and got Basha’s bike fixed, in the mean time me and Kumar left on my Pulsar to Leh. 
On the way to Leh, we drove across the place where Lakshya movie was filmed. We met all other folks in Leh, who were eagerly waiting for us. Our mobile phones started working again. We then kept circling in the beautiful town of Leh looking for hotels. And finally we checked into a youth hostel ‘Hotel Hortze’. By the time we checked in, Bharath and Basha joined us.
We took almost three to four hours settling down and freshening up. Much before I begun the journey to Ladakh, I already had read a lot about Leh on blogs and had an image of Leh in my mind. Leh was almost like the way I had imagined it to be, just like town descripted in the first few pages of Tintin in Tibet. A town in the valleys surrounded by big mountains, roads with several ups and downs, just a few people on the road, most of them Buddhists in their traditional attire, wrinkled Tibetian faces with prayer wheel constantly turning in their hands.
Houses seemed to be made of clay and looked as if thery were carved out on the steep mountain slopes. The polo grounds in front of the Leh palace looked something like the castle in Minastiris (LOTR). We could hear humming sounds of monks chanting in a nearby place.
But the town seems to be changing fast, in most parts it is packed with travel services, hotels and restaurants. Eventhough we coudnt shop much as we dint have room to carry much, the market place looked really tempting.
We had a nice dinner at a posh restaurant, and later we booked a mini van to go to Pangong lake the next morning. The confidence level, excitement factor was all time high at this point. This day we not only enjoyed a lot, we also got the much needed break from our constant driving.

Nail Biting start..

It was a long day yesterday, we loaded our bikes at Yeshwanthpur railway station. We had to collect all the documents required for parcelling our bikes in the morning… DL, RC Book, Insurance and Emission Certificates of all the bikes…
We reached Yeshwanthpur Rly station at 4 ish, emptied petrol tanks, got our bikes packed, paid transport charges and parcelled off our bikes.
Once everything was done, I went to Chinnaswami Stadium to watch KPL match between Belagavi Panthers and Mysore Maharajas. ArunKumar and Manish Pandey played brilliant knocks.
It was 11 when I reached home with tired legs and sleepy eyes.
Next Day–
Today all of us, ‘The Wildriders’  had lunch buffet at  ‘Legacy of Punjab’. It was fun all the while, with lots of Lolzz nd LMAOzzzs, we ate as if there s no tomorrow. 🙂

Btw, theres a lot of facts thats worrying us-
1. Heavy rains in Delhi, floods in many parts of the Delhi.
2. Snowfall continues in Himachal Pradesh, Rohtang Pass closed as of now
3. News on Chinese infiltration in Leh
4. Pakistan firing on LOC near Wagah.
5. Jet Airways strike continues, lucky we dint book Jet.

HIMALAYAN ODESSEY 2009

All set to get Lehd

Flight tickets:
Departure Kingfisher airlines – BLR to DEL 19 Sep 17:30 PM – per person – Rs. 3718
http://www.cleartrip.com/ticket?confirmation_number=908247720&last_name=Kamath
Rest of us return Kingfisher airlines – DEL to BLR 2 Oct 8:45 PM
http://www.cleartrip.com/ticket?confirmation_number=908251778&last_name=Aradhya

Since last week all we have done is serviced our bikes and got them modified to suite Ladakh conditions.
Shopping is almost done.

The final list of Wild Riders all set to ride through the Himalayas..
Bharath,Kamath,Subhash,Lingesh,Ganesh,Shreyas,Satish,Kumar,Vinay

6 bikes, 9 WRs

Our Draft Plans are all ready, Sunil has done a fabulous job in sketching out this plan :

Sep 20 –
Depart by 11AM to Rupnagar (60kms from Chandigarh), Better to stay in towns than cities for cost cutting. ( Rupnagar hotels url : http://rupnagar.nic.in/html/hotel.htm ,you can check out BHAKRA NANGAL damn if u have time as its just 10kms away :), easy for you kickoff the lesser himalayan terrain early in the morning avoiding traffic.
Total Km Coverage: 250kms ( Achievable )

Sep 21 –
Early morning Leave to Manali which will take 8 to 10hrs so by 5pm easy check at MANALI.Check in
Total KM coverage: 250 kms ( Achievable coz good roads and no stop overs )

Sep 22 –
Just 3 to 4 places to see in Manali which can be covered in 2 to 3hrs so by 12NOON if u depart from MANALI you can reach SISSU or reach KEYLONG if possible. SISSU again is COST CUTTING compared to KEYLONG just 25kms away from KEYLONG.
Total km coverage — 100kms ( Quite achievable as you crossing one of the first big PASS — ROHTANG, traffic expected )

Sep 23 –
Morning Sissu Dept by 9am(worst case) reach SARCHU(J&K border)by 5pm.Check in to a TENT AT SARCHU 🙂 enjoy the AMS ( acute mountain sickness)
Total km coverage– 170kms ( Achievable by 8hrs considering 20kms per hr and you will be passing the second highest pass on the manali-leh highway – BARALACHA LA )

Sep 24 –
Depart to Leh from SARCHU by 7AM (****important****) reach LEH by 6pm.Check in LEH, RELAX RELAX RELAX.
Total km coverage — 200kms ( Achievable with in 10 to 12hrs and you will be passing thru 2 highest passes on the way — LALCHUNG LA and TANGLANG LA, passes take much coz of ascending and descending them, MORE PLAINS is one where you can test your LIMITS… LOL )

Sep 25 –
Depart to KHARDUNG LA ( HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD IN THE WORLD) by 9am and be back by 4 or 5pm as MONASTERIES and LOCAL PLACES at LEH can be seen at night too 🙂
Total kms coverage: 120kms ( Easily achievable To and fro KHARDUNG LA )

Sep 26 –
Here starts the confusion in your MINDS—2 options> COME BACK VIA SRINAGAR or VIA MANALI…THINK THINK THINK… can you make it??? bharat has only 3 days to hit back DELHI including this day….
PLAN 1: Dept to KARGIL
Total kms coverage: 210kms ( SUPER ROAD as you will also pass thru MAGNETIC HILL, remember DONT TRY STUNTS as BULLETS WILL START INCREASING) lmaozz
PLAN 2 : EARLY morning dept to PANGONG TSO ( Beautiful high altitude lake) which is on the way to MANALI Route and come back and stay at PANG/ Go as further as possible as the objective is to RETURN ASAP.
Total kms coverage: 230kms ( Achievable)

Sep 27 -According to:
PLAN 1- Reach Sringar by evening, check in.
Total kms coverage: 230kms (Achievable as you will be passing thru one of the coldest passes in south asia — DRASS)
PLAN 2 – REACH KEYLONG or SISSU by Evening and CHECK IN
Total kms coverage: 180 to 200kms ( Same route 🙂 )

Sep 28 – According to:
PLAN 1: Check out in and around Srinagar– like GULMARG and PAHALGHAM and depart to JAMMU (150kms ) if not time reach straight down to PATHANKOT ( 250kms)
Total kms coverage: 150kms if site seeing in SRINAGAR , 250kms if nothing 🙂
PLAN 2: Dept to MANALI— and CHECK IN
Total kms coverage: 150kms ( Same Route)

Sep 29: According to:
PLAN 1: Now DESTINATION is DELHI. Go to AMRITSAR check WAGAH and come to JALANDHAR/ LUDHIANA for staying back.
Total kms Coverage: 250kms to 300kms ( It is NH-1—-JUST IMAGINE!!!)
PLAN 2: Depart to CHANDIGARH or DELHI STRAIGHT
Total kms coverage:– DEPENDS ON YOU HOW FAST YOU CAN COME BACK!!!!

Sep 30 – According to:
PLAN 1 —- CAN EASILY REACH DELHI!!!!
PLAN 2 —- CAN EASILY REACH DELHI!!!!

P.S:— PLAN HAS BEEN MADE CONSIDERING COMMON UNCERTAINITIES 🙂

Weather at Manali, Leh has become verry unpredicatble in the last few days..Keeping our fingers crossed..
Plan 1 or Plan 2????????????