Monday, 16 March 2015

Leh-Ladakh : Pillion rider's chronicles!

6 souls, a wonderland, 2626 kms and sheer willpower! – The journey made thus!

Chapter 1: The Pre-paration!

                                                         Image Courtesy : Sanjay Dwivedi

The Leh fever caught on pretty early. 3 months prior began all the online shopping and the friendly 3 pm buzz in the afternoons became a routine. Parcels delivered would be opened and awed at. I had never known what the likes of saddle bags, tank bag, knee and elbow pads, barcalava masks were! The sheer wonderment soon built up into curiosity leaving us hungry for more. I started reading up on bike rides and decided to undergo some basic weight and cardio training. 

It proved to be a pretty uphill task, way before we even reached the hills! I slowly increased weights and Shiva (gym trainer) structured the way my cardio exercises were to happen everyday. Legs day, chest-shoulder-biceps, back and triceps suddenly assumed meaning in my life. The best part was that I was enjoying every bit of it, precisely why I could even continue easily. My waist line became inversely proportional to my dedication and it was great to see the results, like literally! These 2 months were to prove crucial in my onward journey in Leh as someone who could not walk without bated breath for a kilometer, now could easily cover a few uphill, sometimes even giving our carrier a push! That was a mountain-change…just being situational ;) ;)

With just a week left for the trip, we started with shopping for medical and other essentials. Bought a few tees that would look good with the cargo pants we had got stitched locally (good decision!) and leather boots (even better!). Hemu (co-pillion) and self went CSD (Army canteen) hopping for helmets, toiletteries, medicines and other 'chakna' items for the train journeys. The day and the night before, I downloaded songs and successfully transferred them onto my new mobile (ohh that required some running around too…) (and btw…best decision!) and had all our stuff rolled and packed into the saddle bags. The tank bag was filled with handy essentials and valuables. With our jackets and shoes in place, we were ready to embark upon a journey that was to leave an untold and an uncalled for impact on our lives! Though untold, this is a humble attempt to pen down what we went through and what went through us!


Route : Jammu – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Dras – Kargil – Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Leh – Pangong Tso – Merak – Karu – Upshi – Chumathang – Mahe - Tso Kar – Pang - Sarchu – Keylong – Manali – Nahan – Dehradoon.

Distance covered : 2626 kms

Total days : 14 days including 2 rest days

Passes : Banihal, Zoji La, Khardung La, Chang La, Polokung La, Lachung La, Namik La, Baralacha La, Rohtang.  
Memories : Lasting a lifetime!

Riders : Sachin Ozarkar and Sanjay Dwivedi.
Pillions : Saroj Joshi and Hemu Sundriyal.