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Old 08-05-2009, 06:41 PM   #1
Marcbar OP
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Dun-Ya-Butt Adventure in India.

Two and a half years ago my friend James and I decided to do something special for our 50th birthdays. At about the same time I was looking through a bike magazine and happened upon an advert for Ferris Wheels. The trip that interested James and I the most was the Himalayas trip. We decided that this was what we would do for our 50th’s and the planning commenced. As we got further into the planning stage we started to question if we really needed to do this trip with a tour or could we organize the trip ourselves at a substantial cost saving. There was no reason why we couldn’t do this trip on our own and all it would take was to research the trip and away we would go.
Along the way we had two other friends Dick and Phil decide to join us making it a comfortable number of four riders. Lots of research later it was decided to do the same route as Ferris Wheels but also add in a trip out to Pangong Tso and on the return from Kashmir to Delhi we wanted to call in to Ludhiana to visit the parents of a friend we know here in Australia. We had worked out we would need three weeks to do the trip which left us three spare days for lost time due to sickness or break downs.
We decided that we would hire the Royal Enfield motorbikes once we had arrived in Delhi, thinking we would have a greater ability to negotiate on price but more importantly make sure we were getting a good quality motorbike.
So on Friday the 10th of July the four of us met at Tullamarine airport for our flights to Delhi via Singapore. James and I had booked our flights about three months before Dick and Phil and had paid $1400 for our tickets but when the other two booked their tickets the price had dropped by $400. This obviously meant that they would have to shout the beers on the plan to Delhi!

We arrived in a hot steamy Delhi at about 2.30am on the Saturday and took a taxi to our hotel in Karol Bagh, which we had already booked. However the hotel being fairly new was proving very difficult for the taxi driver to find and after asking several people eventually found it tucked away in some back streets. At this stage we were really starting to ask our selves what the hell we were doing here. India it seems is a real assault on your senses, sight, smell and taste. OK time to get a few hours sleep before starting our hunt for motorbikes we could rent.
We all woke fairly early to find that Dick had left one of his bags on the carousel at the Delhi airport. As all the baggage had been put under my name it was decided that I had better be the one to go back out to the airport to see if the bag was still out there. So James and I took another taxi back out to the airport and came up against some incredible red tape to just get into the lost baggage area but finally I was able to reclaim the bag.
So it was back to the hotel in another taxi and again the driver couldn’t find the hotel, starting to get quite angry he drove down a one-way street the wrong way and was nabbed by the Police. After some animated discussion between he and the policeman he came back to the car and demanded that we pay the policeman a fine of 800 Rupees. This guy was getting quite cranky so we decided it would be a good idea just to pay the fine which amounted to about $24 Australian.
Finally after some really aggressive driving we found the hotel and there to meet us was fellow ADVrider Chanderjeet who was going to take us around to some of the bike shops and help us with negotiations. I can say that Chanderjeet is a great bloke willing to help us as much as he could before and during the trip and I look forward to repaying the hospitality if and when he comes to Australia. We went to a couple of shops with no luck before going to see Lalli Singh who is a real legend in India when it comes to Royal Enfield’s. We were very impressed by Lalli’s standard of bike and how well the bikes were prepared for the sort of trip we were going to be doing.
Yes we could have hired cheaper bikes but none that were in as good a condition as Lalli’s. We hired four 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet Machismo’s with left foot gear change and right foot brake. We did not see the point of hiring right foot gear shift bikes when it was going to be a difficult enough ride as it was. Lalli would need the next 24 hours to prepare the bikes with racks etc and we would be able to pick them up the next evening.

This gave us a full day to fill and we decided to hire a taxi to take us down to Agra so that we could have a look at the Taj Mahal. We left at 5am on the Sunday and were in Agra by 9am where we went straight to the Taj Mahal. On exiting the taxi we were immediately set upon by souvenirs sellers who followed us all the way to the entry before promising to see us on our return! The Taj Mahal was magnificent and a must see if ever in India. The extent of the marble with inlaid semi precious stones was just incredible and to think it took thousands of craftsmen 21 years to build. It does seem to be looked after well and we can only hope that this continues. From Agra it was back to Delhi to finalise our bike rentals and for us to take them out for a test ride.

With the incredible amount of traffic in Delhi we decided it would be a good idea to get out very early in the morning so the alarms were set for 4am.
On Monday morning we were away by about 5am and already the traffic was quite bad. Chanderjeet had given us directions on how to get out of Delhi and apart from one wrong turn we managed to get out of Delhi unscathed. Driving in India is like nothing I have ever seen and I would liken it to being in a washing machine full of trucks, buses and cars. Most vehicles don’t have mirrors so the horn rules, if you want someone to know your there you toot the horn. If you want to pass someone you toot the horn and then wait for a finger signal from the driver to let you know he wants you to pass. Most of the drivers are very obliging but we did find a proportion of drivers who were just mongrels. Vehicles coming around blind corners on the wrong side of the road is common and even worse are the one’s that overtake coming around a blind corner. This is were the Royal Enfield’s are great because they are basically a fairly gutless bike and so are difficult to get into trouble on. If I had my BMW 1200GS in India it would be all too easy to get into trouble because of the power it has.

After a big ride that day we made it to Shimla with sore butts and tired heads only to spend ages trying to find the Lonely Planets accommodation choice “Spars Lodge”. For some reason we found that most of the Lonely Planet picks were in out of the way spots and hard to find. When we finally found it the rooms were good and the tariff about $25 Australian for a bedroom with king size bed. This was the first of many nights spent sleeping in the same bed as James but I can assure everyone there was no Brokeback Mountain experience. After a nice cold Kingfisher beer (has an alcohol percentage of between 3.5% and 5.5%!) I started to get quite cold and started to shake uncontrollably and decided to go to bed before dinner. The food that night was really good I was told. The next morning I woke up fine and to this day don’t understand what happened. Even the Expedition Doctor James was unsure maybe it was the shock of it all!!!

The next morning Phil and I needed to get a few things from the town so jumped on the bikes with no helmets like every one does in India and took off, as we neared the town a young policeman jumped out from behind a bus and waved us over. He demanded to know why we had no helmets and did we ride in Australia with no helmets. After we apologised profusely he said that one of us would have to walk back for the helmets while the other stayed with him and the bikes. Phil chose to walk back to the hotel while I stayed with the policeman and watched 30 or 40 motorbike riders go past with no helmets on. Strange days indeed!

By the time we left Shimla it was midday having got completely lost leaving but eventually we were on our way to Mandi. This was a great ride with roads winding through the mountains with a picture postcard view around every corner. We stopped at a Dhaba (road side stall) for a lunch of vegetable samosas and cold coke or limca. We arrived at Mandi at 4.30pm and booked into the Raj Mahal Palace Hotel and with the owner being in Delhi for a few days we were greeted by the owners Dad 78 year old Ashok Palsen who turned out to be a real character keeping us entertained at dinner that night with stories and riddles. The next morning he again joined us for breakfast and it was a bit of a battle to escape!

This stuff was growing wild everywhere but not wanting a holiday in an Indian jail decided to stick with the Kingfishers!

The next morning we made good time to Manalli where we had some lunch and decided to continue on to Keylong. The ride from Manalli starts to climb again and the slopes of Rotang La started to appear from behind some cloud. No sooner had we started to climb when we were stopped due to some road work, clearing a land slide halted our progress for about an hour. We worked our way to the front of the que and thought we would have a great run up the mountain with no traffic in front of us. Wrong again, just after we got started we came up behind hundreds of buses, trucks and mini vans that were stuck in a huge traffic jam. In India when things start going pear shape they just keep trying to push their way through so instead of having one lane going up and one down they had all tried to get past each other ending in no one going anywhere. So we then spent a few hours trying to inch past on one side or the other or even in between dealing with clutch problems along the way, but still got stopped at another land slide. At this stage it was getting late and we were thinking that we might have to use the tents we had bought along for emergency accommodation which would have been difficult seeing as there was no flat ground to put them on.

Eventually the army cleared the road again and we were first away again slogging our way through thick mud. We got to Marhi which is basically a tent town set up for the 4 months of summer and thought it crazy to continue to try and get over Rotang La in the dark. We checked with a Dhaba owner if there was any accommodation and were told there was just one hut with one big bed so we happily took it. Wow were we getting our Indian experience, the bed was big enough for all four of us! Just a hand basin with cold water outside the hut and a squat toilet out the back.

This was the tent town of Marhi and our bed for four!

We were up very early the next morning to get started before the trucks started which ended up being a great idea. The mud was knee deep for a few kilometres and not having to deal with trucks and buses was a very good thing. None of us stopped to take any photos which was a shame but I think we were just to keen to get past this part. I while riding my bike through the mud at about 5kmh hit a rock with the front wheel which just caused the wheel to slide sideways and the bike decided to just lie down for a few seconds. My first and last drop for the trip! Not a lot to look at the top of Rotang La and we could not work out why all these Indians had been coming up here with skis on their car roofs, there just wasn’t enough snow to ski on.

Not a lot of room to move on some of these roads.
Once we got down to the bottom on the other side we entered the Spiti Valley, which was beautiful, and I would like to spend some more time having a look at this valley one day. A lush green valley hemmed in by snow capped peaks, great stuff. We got into Keylong with the intention of going on to Sarchu but we were all a bit tired and needed to catch up on some washing of both bodies and clothes. As we were carrying all our own gear most of us had only two sets of clothes, the one we had on and another set so needed to get laundry done regularly. Most places we stayed at did the laundry very cheaply. Not long after we got to Keylong we bumped into two Poms called James and Alexis who we invited to have a beer with us. Great blokes who also were doing the trip unassisted and somewhat ill-equipped. Not even carrying puncture repair stuff. Alexis had ridden a substantial distance that day with a flat tire and had it fixed twice in Keylong the first time not working.

I had purchased a sim card for my phone in Delhi only to find you needed a different one for the mountains so purchased another one in Keylong. The sim cards are so cheap ($20 Aus) it really doesn’t matter and then the calls are really cheap too. I would make a 20 minute call home to Australia for about $3 dollars Aus. Better than global roaming for sure!

Up early the next morning and off to Sarchu by 8am, the road to start with was quite rough but very scenic with snow-capped mountains one after the other.
We followed a fast flowing river with little settlements along the valley.

We had a nice lunch at Darcha before starting the climb up Baralacha La 4980mtrs crossing many water crossings where Phil was unlucky to stall his bike half way across one of them.

At the top of the pass we stopped for a group photo in front of a snowdrift and had a bit of a play at the same time!
The other side of the pass was a great ride and we stopped at Bharadpur for a police check and a chai.
We also had a chat to some swiss tourists who were getting around in a hired taxi for 3 weeks.

The rest of the way to Sarchu was a combination of rough gravel and tar with flood ways, which were not marked and so would catch us out every now and then.
We got to Sarchu at 3pm and found some accommodation in a tent that had 11 single beds in it. We were the only ones to use it that night so were able to spread out.
The Dhaba next door did not look inspiring but we did not have a lot of options so ordered what ever they could make and it turned out to be really good tucker.
We took a walk down to the river before dinner and came back huffing and puffing from the 4000mtr altitude.
Phil at this, stage was feeling the effects of Acute Mountain Sickness with nausea and headaches.

This was our 11 bed tent, nice and comfy!

The next day was going to be a long ride so we were into bed early and up and gone by 5.15am.
Had an interesting ride through a high plain where it was hard to know which track to take not to mention big patches of bulldust, just like Aussie bulldust.
All of us including James were handling the bulldust well unlike 7 Indian riders we had caught up to.
These guys were all arms and legs and had obviously not encountered this before.
As I was passing some road works a guy flagged me down and I stopped thinking he was something to do with the roadworks but he just jumped on my bike and told me to take him just up the road.
Now this ended up being a bit further than I thought so kicked him off after a short ride.

Next came the Gatta Loops which is a series of 22 switch back loops that climb quite a height in a short distance, mostly good tar and a heap of fun.
Then came two big climbs in about 15kms, the first Nuchi La at 4900mtrs and then Lachalang La at 5065mtrs.
On one of these James had a TaTa truck come roaring round a blind corner leaving him no where to go and so headed for the rock wall and lost the front wheel in some gravel,
luckily for him he fell off on the rock wall side and not under the truck.
James has only been riding for just over two years getting his licence to do this ride and with the conditions we were encountering was doing really well.
I am sure his many years on a bicycle have helped him with balance etc.

The Gatta Loops.

Then came the climb up Taglang La at 5328mtrs, about half way up a dozer was clearing a landslide and three of us got past but Dick was caught
waiting for a good half hour while Phil waited for him James and I found it too cold at the top to wait so continued on to Rumtse where we had lunch of an omelette and Chai.

After this we followed a beautiful gorge called the Gya Gorge all the way up to Upski where we turned left to head for Leh.
In this Gorge, Phil again had trouble with a creek crossing but this time took a swim, he was not very happy and apparently may have picked up a big rock and thrown it in frustration.

We bumped into James and Alexis on the way into Leh again and organised to stay in the same hotel.
We had dinner and beers together at a Pizza place called Il Forno. The pizzas were pretty good, not to mention a nice change from rice and dahl!
We spent our first day in Leh trying to organise our Inner Line Permits so that we could visit Pangong Tso and also Khardung La but being Sunday
we would have to wait till the next morning to have them signed off.
So we spent the rest of the day shopping, doing laundry and using James Skype A/C to ring home for 2.7 cents a minute.
Made a mental note to sign up for a Skype account. We also met 3 Israelis at lunch that we had a good chat to, could be a good place to go for the next adventure ride.

Monday morning and we had our permits by 10.30 am and were out of Leh by 11.30am heading for Pangong Tso or Tso we thought but in actual fact Dick was taking us to Kashmir!
Mind you this happens very easily due to a complete lack of signs telling us where to go.
Turned around and took off again and had a stunning ride up through a valley towards Chang La at 5290mtrs.
We had to pass through several Police Check Points where we had to leave a copy of our permits.

This is the valley on the climb up to Chang La.

On this ride both James and I had quite severe cases of Delhi Belly and felt terrible but were able to keep riding.
The ride down the other side was along a stream with lots of what I would call Tundra grass, just stunning again and I never tired of the scenery.
There were sheep, goats, cattle and horses all grazing on the abundance of grass. We got to Tankse and as usual James just had to eat even though he was sick.
His philosophy was to continue eating sick or not. We also found out the road to Pangong Tso is closed after 1pm due to the snow melt filling the streams so full they were made impassable.
So we stayed at a guest house that we were told by a guide was very expensive, it turned out to be $3 each even though we had 4 to a room. Bugger me!!!
I could not eat that night and James decided to put both of us on Antibiotics to get over this bug.

Marcbar screwed with this post 08-07-2009 at 09:02 AM
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #2
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Great report
6 of us are off doing the same thing on the 1 Sept
Waiting for the rest of the report with interest
'I'd rather have a (bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy) leg that works'
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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bloody hell!
awesome pics!
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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Our room for four and at only $3 was quite good value. Thank goodness for ear plugs though!

I just love donkeys and little ones are just so cute, I wanted to take this one with me!

The next morning I was able to eat a bowl of porridge, which went, down well and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We left for the lake at 8am and had a great fun ride out going through some quite deep streams and rough rocky crossings.

Pangong Tso is just spectacular being 135kms long and at about 4000mtrs high completely freezes over in winter.
It was an overcast day but the blue of the lake still came out and we took a group photo on the edge of the lake.

We spent some time looking around and I spotted these two kids washing dishes in a little stream and I thought how nice it was that they could play like this when I realised that they were doing this as a chore.
My kids grumble when they have to put their dishes in the dishwasher!

The trip back to Leh over Chang La was bloody freezing with little snowflakes coming down up the top unlike the previous day when it was quite warm at the top.
On a brighter note James and I were starting to feel much better and my appetite had returned.
During one of our stops Dick noticed a lot of oil coming from the front sprocket area of James’s bike and it had sprayed all over the back wheel.
As it turned out the oil had come out of the breather and possible from when his bike had had a lie down.

All was good for the trip up to the Highest Motorable Road in the world.
We had to be at the South Pollo Police checkpoint by 11am to be allowed up.
We made it with about 30 minutes to spare. Then we had a bit of a shock when Dick told us he had forgotten to bring his passport but luckily I had a photocopy of it and the policeman after some sweet-talking let him through.
The views on the way up were just spectacular looking from over 5000mtrs over the Indus valley and back up to 5000mtr mountains on the other side, you just don’t get that in Australia.
We reached the top and there were a lot of high fives and hugs to celebrate the occasion.
I think I was happiest for James as it had been one hell of a challenge and he had accomplished what we had planned to do over 2 years ago, well done that man!!!

We asked a very pretty Indian girl if she would take our group photo and when she said she would we thrust four cameras into her hands.
It turns out that she was there with her Dad who is a Chopper pilot in the Indian Air Force and she was half way through her Commercial Pilots Licence, wow you go girl!
Dick and Phil then started back while James and I climbed a bit higher for some more photos, this had both of us really puffing by the time we got to the top.

Very high in this photo and if you look across to the other side of the Indus Valley you will see mountains just as high.

This is the valley leading up from Leh to Khardung La.

Marcbar screwed with this post 08-06-2009 at 05:51 AM
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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We got back to Leh ready for a couple of cold Kingfishers only to find out that it was a dry day in Leh on Wednesdays. Double bugger but we did have some good single malt scotch with soda water. That night we had dinner at a restaurant called the Tibetan Kitchen which we wished we had discovered a couple of days earlier because the food was superb and the service just as good.

We were up at 5am the next morning and had the bikes loaded in time for breakfast at 6am. The Hotel Tso-Kar had been a great place to stay, good clean rooms and very friendly staff so I can thoroughly recommend it.
So it was off to Kargil but first we would have a stop at the 10th century Lamayuru Monastery that was about half way. It was very interesting looking around and the sense of history of the place was very evident.

The road from here to Kargil was particularly rough and we had two passes to go over one of them was Fatu La 4100mtrs being very rough.

Once we got to Kargil we booked into the Hotel Siachen that was quite a good place to stay. Kargil is a dry town but we were able to get 4 bottles of beer as long as we drank them in the room.

This was a drink made from fresh ginger,lemon juice and honey and was the most soothing drink I could have asked for, yummmm!
Dinner that night we had the owner just bring food out to us and it was all very nice. The owner then suggested that we might like to rent his houseboat at Srinigar which we did end up doing.

We were starting to get into the muslim area of the trip but all was good so far.

You can't afford to make mistakes on the roads in India. NO armco barriers to save you from going all the way down.

A nice bit of Occ Health and Safety!
The road to Srinigar followed the fast flowing Drass River and was again picture postcard stuff. What we did notice now though was the increased number of army personnel wearing full battle gear and with either machine guns or semi automatic rifles. It seemed they were two soldiers every 300 mtrs and a machine gun mound on every good vantage point and signs announcing, “You are under enemy observation”.

One of the many Police check points. These guys were very friendly unlike some.

At the Drass police check point I asked if I could take a photo but was firmly told not to and then he told us this was the second coldest inhabited place on earth and that in winter the place was covered in about 8 feet of snow. The army has to keep this road open in winter to enable them to get troops to the frontline with Pakistan.
In Drass I took a couple of photos of guys doing carpentry in the old way with no nails or glue.

Some funny signs that were all along the roads.

This was an Indian Army hot air balloon, I'm not sure what they were using it for.

The town of Drass had good chai.
Along the valley here were many families camped with their herds and I presume they are nomadic only coming up here in summer.

The next pass to climb and getting lower all the time was Zaji La at 3529mtrs. This pass had a very steep decent and one needed to have the bike in first gear and lots of breaking to stay in control.

These mountains were so steep I got vertigo looking over the edge.

Trucks filling up with gravel from the river beds.

A glacier still hanging on in the middle of summer.

Marcbar screwed with this post 08-05-2009 at 10:43 PM
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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The Andy Strapz panniers were just the thing for our gear and even through the torrential monsoon rain we went through no water got into our gear.

It was amazing to see these tents clinging on to the sides of mountains.

This was a very steep mountain and these two guys were coming down the mountain carrying huge loads of fire wood.

This was an army camp in the valley.

Down in the valley the mountains are so steep there were lots of recent landslides where great tracts of pine trees had just been ripped out. This was very much wild frontier type stuff.

We got to a town called Sonamrg and looked for a lunch spot and after two restaurants told us they didn’t have most of the items on the menu we went to a third and had some beautiful Lamb Rogan Josh, Mutton Bryani and japatis washed down with mango juice.

It was so nice to have a happy tummy at last and the food was very nice indeed.

This was a very touristy town for the Indian people but not so much for Westerners with lots of camping resorts and activities like horse riding, rafting and trekking. A bit further on there was a flurry of activity from rescue workers and what looked to be a car stuck in rapids in the middle of the river. It did not look good for anyone stuck in the car, as it was mostly submerged.
It was about now that we were in the area where we could be subjected to terrorist activities so we decide to always ride with in sight of each other. Shortly after we had started doing this Phil had a puncture and we had to stop to fix it. Within minutes we had quite a few people around us when a man yelled out from above us not to trust two guys standing near us. Just then two soldiers came walking down the road and told us to get the tyre fixed and get going. In the mean time one stayed with us and the other went to high ground to keep watch so as you can imagine this started to make us all a bit nervous.

Once fixed we took off for Srinigar not stopping until we met up with the houseboat manager who lead us in to the houseboat. The houseboat was very old and a bit dilapidated on the outside but very nice on the inside. The deal was 3000 rupees for dinner, bed and breakfast for the four of us, that’s about $23 Australian each. That night the manager was able to get us some beers even though again it’s a dry town and the food was great. That evening Shikaras (like gondolas) came around trying to sell everything from chocolates, cookies, flowers and trinkets and we did buy some of the chocolates and cookies which were delicious.

One of the house boat bedrooms.

The dining room on board.

Dick relaxing with a Godfather beer.

Sunset on the lake.

Dinner being served.

The next morning we were off to Patnitop and once we were about 30 kms out of Srinigar we stopped at a chai stop and no sooner had we done this when a guy stopped on his motorbike and started asking all these weird questions and wouldn’t look us in the eye. James mentioned that he did not feel comfortable stopping here and suggested we get going as soon as possible. Just then two soldiers came down the road and told us to get going and not to stop until we got past the 2.5 km long Jawahar Tunnel. I’m not sure whether we were just a bit jumpy or if there was a threat but we took their advice and didn’t stop till past the tunnel. All morning we had been seeing many armoured vehicles and heaps of soldiers so it was good to clear the area.

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Old 08-05-2009, 09:16 PM   #7
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Great pics marcbar ,, well done,

My bike is slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:02 PM   #8
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Glad you loved the ride. Told you its gonna be a "whole different" experience.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Marcbar

The town of Drass had good chai.Along the valley here were many families camped with their herds and I presume they are nomadic only coming up here in summer.
You are right, most of them are nomadic and come there in summers since the sector of Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world. Temperatures reach -40 'C in winter.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:13 PM   #10
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Where did you guys stay in Leh? I see you went to Tibetan Kitchen, that a stone throw away from the hotel i told you about !
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:23 PM   #11
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All morning the drivers along this stretch had been particularly aggressive and at one stage a mini van overtook another car coming straight towards me and made no attempt to miss me so I had a rush of blood and as he went past I punched his car. Some of these drivers have no regard for other drivers let alone their own families or themselves. Lunch was had at a dingy roadside Dhaba and Dick and Phil decided not to eat there but in the end the guy cooked up some fresh Dahl and rice for us and it wasn’t to bad. Mind you where I parked my motorbike there were three lots of human faeces within a couple of metres, I just don’t understand why they don’t just go into the scrub a bit.

Lunch most days consisted of Rice and Dahl at a roadside Dhaba.

At Patnitop we looked at two hotels before settling for the third, which was still very dirty, but the best of a bad bunch. Dinner was only served in the rooms but was quite a nice meal.

More of this funny weed!!!!

We were off early the next day to Mceodganj that is where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. This was a great spot and I found myself again wishing we could stay longer to have a better look around. We did stay late the next morning and had a look at the monasteries but the museum was closed for the day. A lot of very old people were walking a circuit around the monastery which was quite steep and with gammy legs and arthritis they just very slowly kept going, great faith indeed.

One of only three break downs. This one was a broken battery terminal.

Just love the way they build here and the important use of bamboo for scaffolding.

Good electrical safety precautions here.

They must be cooking for a lot of people!

The fresh chicken shop but there's no refrigeration.

This is the Chinar Lodge Hotel in McLeodganj.

Marcbar screwed with this post 08-05-2009 at 11:34 PM
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:43 PM   #12
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We left for Ludhiana at about 11.30 am the next morning and all was going well until we came across a bridge that had been washed away so we had to do a 40km detour to get around it. Again we got lost but were able to find a road to lead us back on track. Further down we came across a religious festival that ended up being about 100kms long and had 10’s of thousands of visitors all spread across the road making our progress very slow. A lot of it was at walking pace at best and it wasn’t long before Phil broke a clutch cable and we were forced to stop in the middle of all this and fix it. One of us had to keep watch on the other bikes because if you didn’t gear would go missing very quickly.

That's how you do work on the power lines.
We eventually made it down to Ludhiana right on dark to be met by our friend Jagmohan.

He led us to his house where we enjoyed the first decent shower in 3 weeks followed by some ice cold Kingfishers.

We spent the next two days with Jagmohan and Samir, going to their farm where they grow Poplars for matchsticks, baby corn, wheat and sorghum. We also went out to Jagmohan’s friend’s shirt factory which was huge and a very well run operation.

James was really enjoying the sights!
On the way out to the factory we went through a floodway with the water coming up over the bonnet of his 4WD.

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Old 08-06-2009, 01:21 AM   #13
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The sign says it all "Power, Love, Respect"

This was the colour of my shirt after one day on the road. The black smoke that belches out of the trucks and buses just covered us every day.
Back in Delhi we spent our last day having a look at a a few local sights such as

Red Fort

The largest mosque in India Jama Masjid which was a must see. The mosque can hold 25,000 people and was built by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal.

Dick still wanted to embarrass us by wearing his Stubbie shorts!!!!

India Gate

Early the next morning it was out to the airport and the flight home dreaming of the roast lamb and a fine bottle of red wine that awaited me.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Chanderjeet
Where did you guys stay in Leh? I see you went to Tibetan Kitchen, that a stone throw away from the hotel i told you about !

We actually lost the card you gave us and ended up staying at the Tso Kar hotel which we all enjoyed for their cleanliness and hospitality.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:52 AM   #15
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Well done guys, absolutly awsome photos

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