In continuation with my previous blog series "Leh Ladakh Bike Trip - Part 1"
Day 3 of Motorcycle trip to Ladakh
I was very tired because of a day 2 ride of 12hrs. But I was planning to reach Sonamarg for the day which is another beautiful trail of Kashmir valley from New Delhi to Leh Motorcycle trip. With a lot of expectations & excitement, I started my journey from Patnitop towards Sonamarg at 7.00 am on my Solo Leh Ladakh motorbike trip from New Delhi.
After starting to ride towards Kashmir valley, I started to see a lot of Indian Army convoy which were heading towards the China border due to Chinese incursion in few border areas near Chusul and Demchok villages(Will explain this in future blog series, how this Chinese incursion effected my solo trip to Ladakh was partially spoiled)
Around 1.00 pm I reached Srinagar & spent some time near Dal lake & lad lunch. Headed towards Sonamarg, after crossing Srinagar the landscape will change completely, beautiful villages, roadside Dhaba, Snow-clad Mountains, and lush green forest welcomes you to Kashmir valley. The roads are single track for almost till you reach Sonamarg and one should be very careful while riding on these beautiful roads, as there are lots of villages’ in-between. I reached Sonamarg around 5.30 in the evening and took shelter at Circuit House, circuit houses in Kashmir are very budget-friendly and good for solo travelers. And last but not least it was damn cold during the night.
Day 3: Patnitop to Sonamarg
Time: 7.00am to 5.30pm
For the first time, I experienced severe cold in Sonamarg, at one time I was unable to control the cold & started shivering. I woke up at 6.00 am and started to pack my stuff, the reason for starting very early for the day is, I need to cross “Zoji La” the trickiest pass on Srinagar – Leh National Highway. Before I started riding towards Zoji La I meet army officials where I enquired about the road condition, the answer was shocking… Yes, Zoji La is in the worst condition with a lot of Slush & recently had a landslide at top. I started to ascend towards Zoji La, I tell u it was one of the most memorable, adventurous, thrilling & daring rides of my entire life, coz the roads towards Zoji la is scary, at opposite Army Convey started along with some trucks carrying army supplies. Somehow I reached Zoji La pass and saw a board saying “Welcome to Ladakh region”… What else a true biker wants… blessed by the Mother Nature. Zoji La is the first mountain pass in New Delhi to Srinagar route and it was very challenging though.
After spending some 1hr at Zoji la I started towards Drass…. Before that, I had breakfast at some Dhaba … The road from Sonamarg to Zojila is in bad shape, but once you enter the Ladakh region the roads are awesome apart from Kargil some 30km road is under construction, the rest of the roads are in good condition for riding. After reaching Drass I spent some 30min then I headed towards Kargil, while I also saw “Tololing” Enroute to Kargil. Which is a part of the Kargil war? Around 1.00 pm I reached the “Kargil War Memorial” and spent some 2hrs there. You feel very patriotic when someone stands there. Then I headed towards Kargil where the Army men checked all my documents thoroughly, further I proceed towards Kargil. Kargil is the main Hub for tourist who takes Ladakh motorcycle trip from Srinagar Side & it is very crowded, for that reason I planned to skip staying in Kargil & ride further ahead. After having Lunch in the Indian Army canteen. The real big challenge is still I need to cross Namika La & Fotu La… Namika la & Fotu La roads are in very good condition, but as soon as I start ascending towards Fotu La my Bikes lost pulling power due to less oxygen in the air, but somehow I managed to reach Fotu La & it was heavenly cold to stay there. I reached Lamayuru at 5.00 pm & called the day off.
Day 4: Sonamarg to Lamayuru
The next leg will be Exploring the Himalayas on Royal Enfield and Landslide story.
It was a nightmare for me in Lamayuru, last night I couldn’t able to get sound sleep because of acute mountain sickness. After reaching Lamayuru on day 4 I stayed at a Homestay which was very clean, cozy & in the budget. They offered us a traditional Ladakh style food, I started a conversation with the old granny of the homestay, she has given superb info on the entire Lamayuru terrain like a Shepherd village, chadar trek & so on. After dinner, I went to bed at around 10.00 pm. Since Lamayuru altitude is more than 11,000ft I started to feel a low oxygen level. At sharp 1.00 am I felt that am unable to breathe and started suffocation, soon after drinking the water I started puking like hell. Every 15min I started to puke. somehow I managed to spend that night like that & I are just waiting for some sunrise. At sharp 6.00 am I all packed my stuff & bid goodbye to Lamayuru & descending towards LEH, which is a little lower in altitude than this.
Enroute I saw magnetic hill… And finally, after 5 days of the hectic ride, I reached the capital of Ladakh… am so excited for the next leg of the ride.
Day 5: Lamayuru to Leh
Time : 7.00 am to 1.00pm
Next leg will be Exploring the Himalayas on Royal Enfield and Landslide story.