Time to start heading back, I’m afraid. Back to Manali then home in a few days. Our plan to was leave the main Leh-Manali highway, head off-road for a couple of days staying in camps next to two massive lakes.
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Day 20: Leh – Khurdungla – Leh 80km – who cares how long it took!
A few months ago, I wrote in the planning section:
This is it, the whole point of the trip… I have wanted to ride this area since reading articles by Damon I’Anson in Bike magazine back in 2005-6 – so you could say this trip has been 10 years in the planning. It feels like a millions miles away from Manchester…
And today’s the day Continue reading
Day 19: Leh to Alchi, Likir and back to Leh – 130 km – relaxed riding… 6 hours.
Now, ask anyone. I’m all for workers’ rights and the right for workers to strike and protest, but the dispute going on when we were in Leh left me baffled. The union for taxi drivers and goods carriers are not happy that so many people hire cars and bikes from outside Leh to visit Leh, so they were currently blockading some of the routes out of town to any vehicles registered outside of Jammu and Kashmir. It means that, if we want to travel to Alchi (and tomorrow for Khardungla) then we need to hire new bikes in Leh. Conveniently, you don’t need to shop around, the union will find one for you… handy that.
North from Manali for the start of a three day ride up to Leh on a highway that is, in the main pretty good tarmac. The route will take in several high Himalayan passes over 5000m. There have been delays this year in the road fully opening up to traffic because snow and drifts still block the road in places – at the time we rode north, only motorcycles were allowed over Baralacha pass (by the time we returned 5-6 days later all vehicles were allowed).
Day 14: Spello to Jalori Pass, 210 km, 10 hours
Any plans for sight seeing today were thrown out of the window because of yesterday’s accident, our task was now to get back to Manali as soon as possible in order to start the second leg of the Indian trip up to Leh and the Khardungla Pass.
Before I woke up, a team from Motorcycle Expeditions had arrived and delivered a new bike for Moti to ride. They had traveled overnight, only being held up at the police check at Akpa which obviously isn’t a 24 hour operation.
Our goal today was to ride to ride the 130km from Nako to Sangla – to see the sights and spend the night. Well, that was the plan…
I’ve just published two blog post (which were timed for the last couple of days but for some reason didn’t up load). But this is probably going to be it until I get home in a few weeks.
Dozy so and so that I am, I’ve lost my iPad – took it out of my tank bag to grab my camera, placed it on top of my other bags, forgot about it, rode off… It will either be in someone’s lucky hands or half way down the side of a mountain by now. With it has gone any chance of dealing with pictures from my cameras and blog post without pictures are soooooo dull.
The best I will be able to do is tweet pictures from my iPhone.
Like this one from today on what they claim is the second highest road in the world. Scary-bright-pink-faced selfie alert!!!!
But, there is good stuf to come… Thrills & spills and hopefully no ills. So hold the front page!
Finally, I get to use the ‘punctured bicycle’ line
Day 11: To Kaza – via Gulling and Pin Valley
A short simple ride planned today to visit a Monestary at Gulling and stay overnight in Kaza.
Day 9: To Kalpa – 140 km.
The road to Kalpa is laughingly called National Highway 5, the Hindustan Tibet Highway – the word ‘highway’ suggests something… Tarmac at least. But this road must be one of the worst roads I’ve ever ridden (Albania, all is forgiven), huge lengths of it resemble the surface of the moon – dust, rocks and craters – Tarmac is a scarce commodity on this road. There are photos of some stretches of road in the write ups for days 13 and 14 (hotel wifi doesn’t like this many photos…)
Kalpa is said to have been the place where Shiva spent her winters, so there are a few temples and shrines in town. Early evening I spend some time on my own walking around the town, visiting temples and sneaking into the school grounds.
I haven’t had any internet connection for a week, so Expect a spurt of blog posts / post cards that cover a 9 day ride through the Spitti / Kinnaur Loop in Himachel Pradesh – except that I’m doing it in reverse (Kinnaur Valley then Spitti Valley) and I’m not doing the full loop because the last section is off limits as the final pass, Khunzum La, is still closed, so, 3/4 of a loop then I have to reverse my steps.