Tour de Ladakh : Prologue

There is something about Ladakh; The beautiful lands of Kashmir where Hell and Heaven come together. Isolated from the rest of the rest of the country for 6 months a year, the only two roads connecting Leh with Srinagar and Manali open up in May/June after the BRO (Border Roads Organization) clears the roads. hundreds of miles of difficult terrain, treacherous weather, Bad or No roads replete with Black Ice, Slush, Glacial Melts, etc make the Manali-Leh ‘Highway’ one of the toughest roads of the world. Needless to say, the challenges offered by Ladakh, makes it a Mecca for the bikers of the world. As soon as the roads are declared open hundreds of bikers from all over the world assemble at Delhi/Manali/Srinagar, start their engines and turn their throttle to set off on what can be aptly called as The Ultimate Motorcycle Pilgrimage. 

THE FLASHBACK

It was a frightfully cold night in 2011. Maybe the coldest, me and my friends have experienced.  After hours of fighting the deadly Rohtang La (Literal Meaning: The Pass of the Pile of Corpses) braving the and the landslides that happened a couple of days ago, we had finally holed up in this small idyllic village called Khoksar. Drenched, hungry and tired, we had lost contact with half of our team. They were supposed to catch up with us almost half a day ago. With no mobile connectivity in that area and the sub-zero temperature outside coupled with the pitch black dark of the night, we had no option other than to wind up for the night and backtrack to Rohtang the next day. At the break of dawn, we started our two bikes and fought arguably one the toughest roads of the world for the second time in 24 hours to get back to Rohtang La where our team split the previous day. After 3 hours of riding in the horrible slush there was a rendezvous with the rest of our team. Turns out that they were having a much harder time than us. They along with two bikes and our backup vehicle, a pick-up truck, were stuck all night in the freezing weather of Rohtang. Badly hit by AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness. Happens in high altitudes due to the lack of oxygen supply to the brain.) and battered by the weather, our morale was down; Our trip had to be cut short. Out first attempt to Get Leh’D had failed. 

PRESENT DAY

Two years later. We are reattempting to get Leh’D. This time with a much smaller team; Me and two of my buddies, Sukesh and Rahul. We have ironed out a majority of our last time’s rookie mistakes. This time we had a better planned itinerary courtesy BCM Touring, better know-how of the trip, Better motorcycles, Riding through the summer to avoid the freezing rains and lots of informational and mechanical support from Rajpath KTM, Bhubaneswar. All locked and Loaded,  I’m starting tomorrow. Will group up with my friends in New Delhi and commence this Himalayan Odyssey. Juley 😉

THE BOYS

I, Vrigu Mohanty was doing my SIP at Bhubaneswar. I would be taking my bike with me via train to New Delhi. Reach on 28th. Have fun for a couple of days and start on 31st for Leh! Sukesh Dash who is working at Chennai will be flying down to New Delhi on 30th and will be riding pillion with me. And Rahul Pant who was doing his SIP at New Delhi would be playing host and will be starting with us!

AND THEIR TOYS

My gleaming new orange monster, The Duke 200 will be my ride. All checked and decked up with Ceat Vertigo Rage to conquer the toughest terrain on Earth. Rahul Pant will be riding his seasoned Pulsar 150, also all decked up for the challenge.

Me and my Machine!

THE ITINERARY

DAY # DATE DAY ORIGIN DESTINATION NOTES
Day 0 May-30 Thursday New Delhi Reach Delhi
Day 1 May-31 Friday New Delhi Manali Phase 1: Delhi to Manali
Day 2 Jun-01 Saturday Manali Jispa Phase 2: Manali to Leh
Day 3 Jun-02 Sunday Jispa Sarchu
Day 4 Jun-03 Monday Sarchu Leh
Day 5 Jun-04 Tuesday Leh (Acclimatization) Phase 3: Leh
Day 6 Jun-05 Wednesday Leh Nubra Valley (Turtuk)
Day 7 Jun-06 Thursday Nubra Valley (Turtuk) Nubra Valley (Sumur)
Day 8 Jun-07 Friday Nubra Valley (Sumur) Pangong Lake
Day 9 Jun-08 Saturday Pangong Lake Leh
Day 10 Jun-09 Sunday Leh (Reserve Day)
Day 11 Jun-10 Monday Leh Kargil Phase 4: Leh to Srinagar
Day 12 Jun-11 Tuesday Kargil Srinagar
Day 13 Jun-12 Wednesday Srinagar Pathankot Phase 5: Srinagar to Delhi
Day 14 Jun-13 Thursday Pathankot New Delhi
Day 15 Jun-14 Friday Reserve Day
Day 16 Jun-15 Saturday New Delhi Bhopal Phase 6: Delhi to Nagpur
Day 17 Jun-16 Sunday Bhopal Nagpur
Rest of the Travelogue will be posted on my other blog http://www.TourDeLadakh.wordpress.com
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