Leh – Manali Bike trip: Part 5
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
In continuation from my previous blog series on Leh Ladakh bike trip, will be sharing the different experience of Riding Solo to the Himalayas. Before that check out my previous blog series.
Episode 1: "Leh Ladakh Bike Trip - Part 1"
Episode 2: "Leh Ladakh Bike Trip - Part 2"
Episode 3: "Leh Ladakh Bike Trip - Part 3"
Episode 4: "Leh Ladakh Bike Trip - Part 4"
I all woke up early and went to the Army office to check the status of the road, but the answer was shocking. Army officer told it may take some more time, but u can go & request the army officer there, if they permit u can cross the landslide. But keep one thing in mind, yesterday a group of riders tried to cross the same and got stuck in the middle, after doing so much of effort they somehow manage to take the vehicle off from the landslide. After listening to this have decided to take a look at the condition of the landslide and it was so shocking.
After some 20min of conversation with Army officials finally I managed to convince them and got permission to cross this mighty landslide, we are about to start the motorcycle, I heard a some weird sound and saw people are running towards us. Then I take a look into the mountains, Yes another tiny landslide was about to start, the army officer told this is the effect because the adjacent river has changed its flowing route because of the previous landslide, again we got stuck!!!
After waiting for 45min I started requesting an Army officer, surprisingly he agreed and told it will be at my own risk, and he explained how to ride on this situation, it’s about some 100mtrs is what I was supposed to cross I decided to unmount the entire luggage from the bikes so that bikes can move easily to cross the Landslide.
Goosebumps, for the first time that am doing such an adventurous thing. All other fellow travelers, from different parts of the country everybody starting looking at me. And with a lot of fear I started to cross the landslide, it was full of boulders/slush & sharp rocks. Since the altitude of the landslide is more than 16000ft ASL I started to feel suffocated and within a few sections, I was tired and exhausted. And riding on the boulders are another havoc, after riding for 3 mins finally I reached another part of the Landslide and finally I did it, I heard a big shout from the crowd. Then suddenly I felt some burning sensation on my nose, somebody told me it's BLOOD… yes I was bleeding badly, after some medication I stopped bleeding then one of the Army officers told this is because of AMS, u need to go towards lower altitude as early as possible…..
Journey started towards Leh-Manali motorbike adventure!!!
After conquering the massive landslide, as per the Army officer’s advice, I started to ride towards lower altitude, since I need to cross the Mighty Changla again I started to ascend towards it and reached Changla very soon. I didn’t spend much time in Changla and straight away headed towards Karu. In my entire stretch after crossing Landslide, I have not seen any soul/vehicle, since all of them have been blocked at Karu only. I reached Karu at 1.00 pm and had lunch. At Karu, I filled the fuel tank in full since Karu is the last petrol pump on this road the next one is at Tandi only. That means 300km.
After Lunch I started riding towards the Manali-Leh highway, initially, the roads are in good form, but when I start to ascend towards high altitude passes there are no signs of roads at all or it was at the construction stage.
Reached Upshi within 20min and went to the Army check post to enquire about Hanle, they completely denied and told u can go to Tsomoriri and u can enter Manali highway at Moore plains after Debring. But I was not in the mood to take risks anymore and started to ride towards Keylong first & then I can take a call on Spiti Valley. Without wasting much time I started to drive towards the Manali highway.
I was so excited that I am crossing “TanglangLa” which is the second-highest pass of the world, that is 17,582ft asl. I crossed Tanglangla at 4.00 pm and entered Debring then Moore plains. Driving in Moore Plains is one of the most awesome experiences in the world, a straight road of some 30km will give you immense pleasure for any rider. But still, the roads are under construction at Moore Plains, it’s too bumpy and fun. I reached Pang at 6.30 pm and called the day end on my adventure motorcycle trip to Ladakh.
Day 12: Darbuk to Pang
Time: 7.00am to 6.15pm
Again Pang is a nightmare because of AMS, somehow I managed and bid goodbye to Pang & Headed towards Lachungla, the roads are good till Lachungla without any hassle I reached there. After that, I crossed Nakeela. After Nakeela I started descending to Sarchu via Gata Loops. The moment I reached Sarchu I saw a board saying “end of Ladakh region” welcome to Himachal Pradesh. Virtually I was upset because of multiple circumstances I couldn’t able to do Hanle & tso MOrirri circuit, but for sure next time I will conquer this without fail.
Then I headed to Baralachala, the views are spectacular from there, even Deepak Tal is also magnificent. I spent some time there and met a lot of bikers who are coming from Manali side, they all started to enquire about the road condition & accommodation options, after spending some time with bikers I started towards Jispa & reached Keylong at 4.00 pm, I stayed at Hotel Chandrabagh a unit of HPTDC.
Day 13: Pang to Keylong
Time: 7.00am to 4.00pm
Day 14: Keylong to Manali
The next day I woke up and enquired about Spiti valley, after a lot of inquiries made with the locals I come to know that there is a landslide Kunzum La pass and it may take another day or two to clear the road, another hiccup in my journey. Because of this, I was forced to not ride to Spiti valley this year and ride towards Manali instead. The journey from Keylong to Manali is very adventurous since I need to cross Rohtang Pass and reach Manali. Upon reaching Manali took a halt in one of the small hotels in Mall road. It’s been one of the wonderful journeys of my life that I ever did. I would never know that this amazing journey will change my future course of action/my career completely. Yes, that’s where a “Motorcycle Escapades” born!!!
After doing this Solo Trip, till date have done more than 100 motorcycle trips and rode almost 300k Kilometres on my Royal Enfield classic 350cc, the journey includes Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Pangi Valley, Spiti Valley, Kerala, Rajasthan, Western Ghats, Konkan regions, Coastal India, Tamil Nadu, Srilanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Mount Everest base camp, Vietnam and Colombia!!!