A Trip To Heaven - Ladakh in 2007

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by Vargis Khan, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    A motorcycle trip to Ladakh had been a dream for quite some time. I have heard people talk about it. I read about it and always thought how it would feel to ride your bike on the highest roads in the world. How it would feel to stand in what everyone calls as "Biker's paradise".

    I have been planning and cancelling for last 5 years. It was 4th time that a plan of taking my bike up there was all set again. A plan that was finalized 3 times before and then got cancelled, last time a day before I was suppose to go with my cousin. So the fear of plan getting cancelled again was very high. I kept my fingers crossed for months and didn't talk about it at all, to anyone.

    I made a list of to do things weeks before and as the day kept getting closer, I started preparing for the "ride of my life". Got my Royal Enfield ready and packed my bags.

    Finally the D Day arrived and I was all set to start my journey with a very close friend, Mohammed Shoaib.
     
  2. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Day 1 - Delhi To Sunder Nagar

    My original plan was to start as early as possible, max by 2 am so we can reach Manali comfortably with still some time left to get a final check done on my bike. Instead i found myself sitting at work at 2 am telling people that me and Shoaib were going to Leh. Finally around 2:30 am, we left work and headed towards my place where i was to pick up my bags.

    Delhi was getting too hot for last few days wth temperature in 40s and there was no sign of rain. But as soon as we got out of office, it started to rain heavily. Shoaib wanted to get back in and wait for the rain to stop but i decided to take it head on as we were already running behind the schedule by a couple of hours. Within 45 mins, we were sitting at my place fumbling with ropes and chords, tying the luggage on my bike. BY 4:30 am we were all set to start the ride that we both have been waiting for.


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  3. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Rain arrived again as soon as we started. None of us had rain gear so we were left with no option but to get drenched. Luckily by the time we reached outskirts of Delhi, it wasnt raining anymore. Soon we were on NH1 heading towards Chandigarh. After a ride of about 1hr, we decided to stop and have a cup of tea because both of us were soaking wet and feeling cold.


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  4. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Dawn was breaking and pretty soon we crossed Karnal. At around 10 am we were close to Chandigarh. By this time we were both getting very hungry as none of us have had dinner the night before. I managed to spot the same dhaba where we have had food once before in one of our earlier trips and decided to eat at the same place.


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  5. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    In about another hour we were in Chandigarh and decided to buy a couple of things that we forgot to get in Delhi and here is where the trouble started. In took us 2 hrs to find a shop where we could buy what we wanted. Once that done, next task was to get back on route to Manali which kind of became impossible. We kept roaming around in Chandigarh for another hour asking people which way to go and 8 out of the 10 people that we asked wanted to send us to Mohali, not Manali. Finally after what seemed like a lifetime, we were able to get out of Chandigarh and head towards Kiratpur. By now the mercury has risen and it was getting very hot. We took a stop again at a shop to get a bottle of water and thats when Sir Shoyab spotted a tubewell in a field next to the road and wanted to take a bath. He walked upto the tubewell but just went there and stood still looking towards the road. I went to him and when asked why is he not taking the bath, he pointed towards the road where some girls were looking in our direction.


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  6. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    I too decided to take a dip and we both felt relived from the heat. After another cup of tea, we were again ready to continue the journey.

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  7. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    Somewhere along, looking at the road signs, I realized that we were not going in the right direction. We asked a passerby and he told us that we missed a turn about 15 kms behind and were now heading towards Ludhiana. We backtracked and found the small turn towards Manali that we missed earlier. After riding for another 1 hr, we got our first sight of hills.


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  8. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member

    By this time we both had realized that reaching Manali the same day before it gets dark would be impossible. Both of us haven't slept the night before and were starting to get tired now. So we decided to go as far as we could and continue our journey to Manali the next day. I was a little hesitant because it would mean a delay of an entire day but had no option. By 5 pm we were in Sunder Nagar and both of us agreed to halt here for the night.


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  9. Ashima

    Ashima New Member

    Day 2?
     
  10. Vargis Khan

    Vargis Khan Administrator Staff Member



    Day 2 - Sunder Nagar To Manali

    As it always happens with me in the trips, I woke up early. There was no need to hurry as Manali was just 140 kms away and I knew we were going to stay there at night.

    My cold and cough has gotten worse over the night and I knew I will need some medicines if I was going to enjoy the trip. At about 9 am, we were both ready to hit the road again.


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