Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Leh Road Trip SAGA - Prologue & Preparation


I have been itching to go to Leh on my bike since i bought my bullet around 4 years ago. The problem was that it was difficult to find anyone to accompany me - out of my friend list ofcourse. Around 3-4 months ago - a friend of mine suggested a bike trip that he was trying to materialize. But after trying for a month or so, he finally gave up. But this news had upped my spirits and hopes and i had again started planning for the trip. When he gave up, i had two of my friends who were ready to go - but not on bike - by hired cab. I was like - what the hell - lets make it atleast. Maybe i would join the royal enfield himalayan odyssey next year to satisfy my biking desires. After lots of ifs and buts finally the trip was finalized and the members finalized. We booked a hotel in Leh - fearing that due to peak season, we might have difficulty in getting one. Rest - we left to fate. The characters in this tale are ->

1. J : me, the enthusiast who wants to do the trip at any cost. Who wants to cover everything leaving nothing.
2. N : jayant's wife - who will be accompanying him - a member of the trip.
3. R : A friend who is also willing to cover everything on this trip. He is even enthusiastic to take his bike.
4. B : Rajneesh's wife
5. L : He is the lonely batchelor who has been dying to make this trip.
6. Guddu Khan : The driver and the angrej - not english but angrej.

Disclaimer : The dialogues and characters may be mismatched. Any irregularities are pure co-incidential. There might be some dialogues and scenes to make the tale more spicy.


At first we were trying to get a Scorpio for our trip - cause we had heard that the road was very bumpy and we needed something with really good ground clearance and lots of space. But the driver we had booked for scorpio backed away the day before we were to leave - leaving us in the
middle of nowhere.

L : yaar, this guy is backing off. If we press the cab owner, he might force the driver to go. But do you want a arrogant and complaining driver.
R : No yaar, we wont enjoy the trip if we get such a driver.
J : Lets ditch the girls and hit the road with out bikes.
L : I cant go on bike man. Firstly i dont have a bike and secondly it would be very tiring - believe me.
J : Ya, i believe you - it could be very tiring. But it would be enjoyable as well.
R : Lets look for other cab drivers.
J : Ya, lets ask around. We would prefer someone who has already been there before. Lets meet back in some time and discuss the situation.

After 2-3 hours

R : I talked to a cab owner, the one we hired for going to railway station (refering to J). He has 4 innovas, but all the drivers are not willi
ng to go. They say that the road is closed due to heavy snow fall.
J : Bull****, I talked to a cab owner who had taken Deepak and all to Chakrata. His feedback is good. He says that he has been to leh before. They are 2 brothers but both of them are out of town now. One is in manali and another is in Agra. The manali brother says that he would be here by evening and would pick us up tomorrow for the trip. But i am not sure whether he would be able to go on without rest on such short notice.
L : Should i ask the scorpio owner again.
J : No man lets wait and watch. I will call this man tomorrow morning and see his status.
R : Lets get lots of food and water for the way. I have read that there are not enough shops on the way.
J : And i would take printouts of all travel guides from As well as a printout of a map.
R : Please pack your bags and bring it to office. We would leave from here only. It will save time.

Now, lets wait for the next day and see what happens.

The initial plan was:

19th : Delhi to manali -> 500 kms - [10 hours]
20th : Manali hotel -> stay and freshen up - [4-5 hours]
20th : Manali to Sarchu -> 250 kms - [7 hours]
21th : Sarchu to Leh -> 250 kms - [7 hours]
22nd : leh to pangong lake and back -> 340 kms to and fro - [8 hours]
23rd : Leh to nubra valley via khardungla -> 130 kms - [4 hours]
23rd : stay in nubra valley/desert safari
24th : nubra valley to leh -> 130 kms [4 hours]
24th : leh local sight seeing - magnetic hill, shey palace, patthar sahab
25th : Leh to kargil -> 225 kms [6 hours]
25th : stay overnight in kargil
26th : kargil to srinagar -> 220 kms [6 hours]
26th : stay in house boat in srinagar
27th : srinagar to chandigarh -> 800 kms [14 hours]
27th : stay overnight at R's place
28th : chandigarh to delhi -> 250 kms [5 hours]
29th : join office [:(]

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