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Old 02-21-2013, 02:37 AM   #1
diffuser911 OP
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Laugh Ladakh on an Iron Horse


The story behind the ride

“Know yourself before you head out to discover the world”

I don’t know who said this, or if someone said it at all. But this became my prime force to undertake the ride, the story of which I am going to share. It must be evident by now that I am an ardent motorcyclists. Around two years ago, I had stopped riding in the truest sense when I opted for an assignment abroad. The assignment was optional, although long term; but it came to me at a point of life where I was looking to escape my demons rather than face them. Two years and tens of thousands of air-miles later, I returned back but my demons awaited me. My plan was set. I needed some answers from life. I needed a direction. I needed a long ride.

The Road had been my teacher for long. I read the signs it throws at me and try to see an analogy they hold in real life. I wanted to unravel some jumbles that life was stuck in using these small fortune cookies that The Road had in wait for me. As we go on together on this journey, I will share my interpretations of the messages from The Road with you.

Fate had its own plans for me. My two buddies who were supposed to join me for the ride were forced to take a rain check a few weeks before due to their personal and professional commitments. I moved back the dates of the ride to suit me and went into consultation with the members of BULLZzz to finalize routes, and seek advice based on their experience from the ride last year. BULLZzz is the name chosen by the group of motorcyclists for themselves, who share a common passion of riding their motorcycles to beautiful destinations. I cannot thank my friends enough for the immense help they provided in terms of advice, riding gear, a postpaid connection, heck, even a place to stay until I finished my trip. They had their apprehensions, yet they trusted and supported my decision to ride alone.

Going into flashback, some members of my office may remember me as the guy who used to provide some entertainment by sharing our group’s weekend escapades and a couple of longer rides as well. Members of the group turned up the flame brighter and did some momentous rides: Sikkim (which I just missed), two trips to Bhutan, and to the Mecca of all motorcyclists in India, Leh-Ladakh. They went on to tease me with the pictures from the rides, and I was dreaming though the eyes of my friends. A temporary measure to keep my flame burning was to buy a pocket-rocket, i.e. a superbike at a client location abroad and push the speed limits for a while. The small island nation, however, had its limits in terms of size, and it would have required me at least eight rounds of the roads, tip-to-tip, to achieve what we like to call a normal day’s ride.

Back to the present, I returned back to India and had around twenty days in hand to prepare for the ride. Preparation is required at multiple levels for the rider and the motorcycle. I myself had to prepare myself physically and mentally before I could seriously consider undertaking such a trip. The most I had ridden till date was 1300 km on a road trip, riding on non-consecutive days with two friends on a reliable Japanese bike through inhabited places. This trip demanded just the opposites; at least 2000 km, riding back to back for days, alone, through places uninhabited most of the year, on a bike the British left behind to torture the Indians even 65 years after freedom from their rule. Psyched, aren’t we? That accounts for preparing myself mentally. Friends helped a lot with that, assuring me nothing would/could/should go wrong in unmanageable proportions. We’ll see!

I was supposed to get back on my cardio regime while abroad, but lethargy was my best friend there. I started when back in India, too late for the ride. I managed to do some running on the days that I had left with me, either on the roads in the office campus, or near the place where I stayed. Swimming would have been good to make lungs stronger, as the diluted atmosphere requires a lot of energy just to breath normally. A proper training should have included some exercises to strengthen the core, which I dutifully skipped. And how did I pay the price later on!

Next comes the other part of the equation for the perfect ride: the bike! A day after arriving in BBSR, I took the train to my hometown Jamshedpur and drove down on the way back. My poor ride had suffered a lot in the hands of its caretakers, but I had blind trust on the machine and didn’t think twice before the ride. The riding gear and tools were loaded and I took some 11 hours to drive down the 400-something km. The bike was handed over to service center for the routine maintenance, plus fixing niggles I had noticed. A trip was made to Cuttack to get some genuine spares direct from the wholesale shop. A set of offroad tyres were shipped from Delhi by a college friend and mounted on the bike. I learnt to unmount tyres, replace a punctured tube with a new one and mount it back – survival on the road in the middle of nowhere! The authorized mechanic gave a brief how-to session on replacing some vital cables. No hands-on there.

Collecting the items required for the trip was the last phase. Bike was shipped by then, along with some luggage, all the way to Jammu via GATI, a renowned logistics company. They charge a bomb but they deliver safely. I went around hunting for toiletries, medicines, eatables, clothes, more spares, quick-fix items, a cheap bag to carry them all, etc. The list was huge, will happily share if someone needs it to prepare for their ride. Document copies, originals, storing them safely. To think back now would surely give me a headache.

Let’s move on to what I would call Day - 1, when I undertook the journey to Kolkata from where I was supposed to catch my flight to Jammu. The damned Dhauli express had it’s up and down trains at nearly the same time. And it was around the same time I lost my common sense that day. I rushed to platform 4, lugging my bags and helmet, and boarded the train, only to realize it was heading to Puri. As I was getting off the train, the loudspeakers boomed to announce the arrival of the up train. I rushed back to platform 1, panting in the heat and staggered into my coach. The journey was dull and I landed at Howrah at the right time. The Yatri Nivas at HWH station was luckily having a vacancy and I bunked up there for the night. After a couple of tries to capture the Howrah Bridge at night, I had my parceled biryani and dozed off, for the next day had to start early.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:59 AM   #2
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:15 AM   #3
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:38 AM   #4
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:55 AM   #5
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Day 0 – Reaching the town of mischief

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Thanks All



Day 0 – Reaching the town of mischief

Day 0 began with hastily packing up at 4 AM all the stuff I had scattered in the hotel and checking out, then heading to the taxi stand and booking a yellow cab to the airport. Kolkata has its distinct charm in the morning, passing through the back streets where the pavement dwellers start their day early and loiter around by the time the rest of the city is still getting its newspapers. I had my breakfast at CCD at the domestic lounge at Kolkata airport. The flight till Delhi was nothing to speak of. I picked up a Calvin and Hobbes book for some light reading during my trip, and a journal to jot down some memories, maybe even create a scrapbook. The food served abroad the Delhi – Jammu AI flight slaughtered a few thousands my taste buds; I could literally feel them dying as I took a couple of bites from that horrible sandwich. I pocketed some tastier options for snacking during the ride.

As the flight started descending, the orange-red Tawi River reminded me of the grim atmosphere of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The weather was no relief either once the aircraft had landed. It was quite a surprise for me; I had imagined a year-long chill to be present in the entire state. The taxis which do local drops were outside the airport, so I dragged my luggage that far and went with a fixed rate taxi union to reach the godown where the bike had been delivered. As the bike had been drained of petrol, I picked up half a liter in a soft drink bottle to help me get to a filling station. After a little delay, the bike was unpacked and lifted down from the garage to the ground outside by the competent men. I loaded my luggage and noticed a few things amiss with the bike; someone suggested going to a mechanic in front of the office. He took a minute to fix the mirrors, and fit a missing bolt that held the bike’s crash guard. Next, I headed to Chaudhary Paratha, a place recommended by an online forum. Great parathas indeed, I wished I could pack a few, but the thought of trying new things stopped me from it. Next stop was to tank up my motorcycle and then get some more spares I had missed getting in BBSR. I also got my handlebar straightened while at it, which must have gone askew during the transportation. The thought of bringing out riding boots from my packed luggage in the middle of the road seemed unwise, so I chose to waste my Ecco shoes for the day with a heavy heart.

Having set the destination to Udhampur for the day, I soon touched the highway. The smooth NH reaffirmed my belief that it would not take long to reach Udhampur. The name Udhampur translates to ‘the town of mischief’, hence the title for the day’s journey. The scenery had turned to bushy hills, not much to write about. It was not long before the roads turned bad and to make it worse, I took a wrong turn into a road under construction. So much for following the signboards! Traffic had thinned out as the road went on and I had to stop and reconfirm that the road indeed joined back the Jammu-Srinagar highway. The highway was not much better, offering uneven surfaces at times but I was happy to be back on the correct road! The road had started climbing and I was able to make out the river bed from the road side. There were some traffic jams at places, but mostly bearable. Langurs were omnipresent as in the rest of India and one had to be careful not to run over one. Army trucks were now making their presence felt in the region. At certain sections, traffic was made one way to allow vehicles ply through a narrow patch of road. I could see lots of motorcycles ‘coming down’, as in descending from the mountains, perhaps in the last stages of their journey. A lot of thumbs-up were exchanged; me offering respect to the fact that they have finished their journeys, they wishing me best of luck for what lay ahead. One troupe contained around seven KTM Dukes that I could count of, if not lesser!

I was near Udhampur and decided to stay in a hotel on the highway. The bypass took me right beyond the town and there were no hotels in sight, so I had to turn back into the town to find a place to stay the night. I stopped at the second or third hotel I saw and negotiated the rent from 800 to 500. The name was Krishna Palace if I remember correctly, and the room was on the second floor. The luggage was unloaded for the night, not an easy chore mind you. I decided it was high time I get some cash on me, so went out to find an ATM. Also on the agenda was to get a rally light fixed on my bike, which took most of my evening. I retired after a heavy and spicy dinner of paneer and rotis. Sleep feels good when the body actually feels tired!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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A story that leads through cities with names as 'mischief" deserves a following.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:09 AM   #7
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Day 2- When I climbed my first mountain pass


Day 2- When I climbed my first mountain pass

When I had hit the pillows the last night, my body was broken and spirits tattered because of the “slight tantrum” the bike had thrown at me. The wooden cabin of a room where I rested for the night had helped take off a lot of that fatigue. I rolled around a bit in the cozy bed before I remembered that I had yet to take photos of Sonamarg, lube the bike chain and of course, head in the general direction of Leh. I freshened up using the chilly tap water to induce some life into myself, then requested for a tea while I went out with my camera and two cans of chain clean/lube.


A beautiful morning


River behind the nightstay

I was unprepared to be blown away as I stepped outside the hotel. A river which was flowing behind the small building was definitely making it presence felt last night in the dark with the gurgling noise. And the front was beyond words: the sprawling green meadows in front of the rocky rise with a hint of snow, with trees and sheep scattered intermittently, and a whiff of a cloud in one spot in the clearest blue skies. I pulled myself away from it and got down to service the chain. Some more folks came around from the last night’s troupe and chatted for a while. I strolled towards the back of the hotel to catch a view of the river. The stunning scenery that awaited me asked, what are you doing back in the cities? The small river gushed along its way in the backyard of dwellings along it, cutting the mountains on its way and reflecting off the gorgeous colors of the sky off it. A pair of mountain horses casually strolled near the shores, far from where I stood. This must be the life, the first horse must have said to the other. The colorful guesthouse stood out against the blue skies, and I felt delighted that I chose it for my halt. One of the persons from the Mumbai troupe left his email id to send the pictures from the trip.


Kolors of Kashmir


Sonamarg meadows

By the time I collected my gear and returned, the fifteen-member team had departed, taking up the hot water supply of the entire hotel for their daily chores. Day 1 without bathing. I cleared my dues at the hotel and packed up for the ride, then joined back my companion and teacher, The Road, for the day’s adventure. As I left Sonamarg, the beauty of the surroundings enveloped me into deep fascination. Occasionally I would see a small group of army men doing rounds on foot at every half kilometer, realizing the sensitive nature of the area I was passing through. Whenever I could lift one hand off the handlebar, I would salute the country’s best men in passing, and was much elated to get a salute back in return! There were camps set up on both side of the road. I got off at one place and decided to mount my snazzy new GoPro HD Hero 2 POV camera, tethered to the bike using my office ID card lanyard. Not too far ahead, owing to bad roads, the camera’s adhesive mount fell off, apparently because I glued it to a paper sticker on the mudguard. The tether, however, saved the camera from serious damage and I packed it back in safely. The bad roads were a clear indicator of what lay ahead: Zoji-La.

Zoji-La connects Leh to Srinagar, and is of strategic importance for India. The pass regulates the flow of supplies to soldiers and civilians north of Srinagar. For me, it was synonymous to the gates of paradise. But from what followed during the climb, one would think that the road to paradise certainly passes through hell. The climb itself was not bad, but the road was in tatters. I was happily negotiating the climb when out of the next turn I see a truck hurtling down towards me. The sheer panic it caused made my bike to stall, and my blood to freeze. Given the experience from the past day, the first thought that occurred was an ominous one. But the bike started back in a few kicks, a slight relief; however, it refused to move forward! The gradient of the climb, combined with the loose surface and the lack of air at this height, made the engine feel powerless. I struggled desperately to get the bike to move, giving it a little push with my feet, an extraordinary feat at such heights. A phuddu Alto crossed me, the occupants looking amused at my situation. I killed the engine, took in some water and deep breaths, then decided to go the way trucks do in similar situation: zigzag a little to gain momentum and then not lose it. The muse worked and I was able to get the bike moving when moving diagonally into the climb. If I could have seen it, my temple veins must have been throbbing, since I couldn’t give a rat’s behind to stopping, not with a whole convoy of trucks heading my way from the opposite direction.

The convoy, however, did not want me to pass since they had a good amount of momentum built up, and signaled me to stop. I was within inches of a rocky wall on my left, and trucks swaying like inebriated elephants a few feet away on my right. I was scared the bike wouldn’t take off like earlier, but when a trucker signaled me to pass, it took off happily. In no time, I was at Zoji-La top, which apparently was just behind the line of trucks. The scenery notwithstanding, finding solid ground under my tyres made me want get down and kiss the road! The road was laid with bricks and the scenery behind and ahead looked amazing. Green velvet carpet on mountains with hints of brown, topped with a scoop of pure white snow: a treat to watch up close. There were some snow walls by the roadside, although most had melted off, leaving behind a dirty looking coat with black patches. And the scenery only got better from there on.



ZoziLa-ed!!

The charm of the area past Sonamarg was equivalent to the wallpapers that we see for computers. Remember Windows XP default wallpaper? You could point your camera in any direction and can get a picture of that level. I was more intent on riding the roads while they last, so I was letting my eyes do the job of capturing memories. One stop was taken to take a picture I had imagined in my mind long back: a wide-angle image with my feet on one corner and my bike’s tyre on the other, in black-and-white. I succeeded after around 20 attempts, and only then noticed a bunker on the hill adjoining the road where a soldier was keeping watch. I moved ahead, only to be intercepted by a flock of sheep blocking my path on their daily trip to the grasslands. I increased my pace after realizing I had covered only a few of the kilometers I was supposed to cover for that day.


Onwards from Zozi La

Covering the entire scenery with my eyes, I decided it was high time I stopped for breakfast. The next village that came in my way, Matayen, I checked the first shop if they had anything to eat. They had, of course, the universal food: Maggie and omelette. I sat down in one of the most gorgeous locations a person can have his grub at: rugged mountains on the front, a green carpet on my left and some children playing with pebbles on the grass. Simplicity is bliss! After clearing my plate, I purchased some snacks for the way, and some chocolates to give to the kids playing. Moving on from the village, the road was rattling my innards within my ribcage so I had to maintain a slow pace. Before I reached my destination for the day, there was a big hurdle on the way: Photu-La.




In B&W

My friends who had run through this circuit the previous year had one lesson to give to me: thou shalt not descend Photu-La after sundown. They had done so, and one guy smelled death a hair’s breadth away, almost riding off the main path into a large drop. This was my motivation for the day to move fast, combined with the unpleasant incident with my bike on the previous day. Of course there was another pass before that, but I knew I would cross it easily during daylight.


A beautiful butt-break

Dras was the next town on my way. I had made sure I took shorter breaks in order to spend some time here for two reasons: it houses the Kargil War Memorial, and it is said to be the second coldest inhabited place on earth. I was dying to experience some cold, after my experience in Jammu and Srinagar! Dras was a small town and I was surprised to see a wall running parallel to the road. Over the shoulder of the wall were hills. I stopped at an army camp where I saw a board saying Kargil Wall Memorial, and went up to the soldiers on the gate, enquiring if this was the place. I remember clearly the soldier saying proudly that when you see a big flag of India, the biggest all over the world, from a distance, you know you have come to the right place. Goose-pimples! I said Jai Hind and continued down the road. The flag indeed was visible, waving in the pure Ladakhi air in all glory, against a backdrop of the brown mountains.

As I entered the parking lot for vehicles in the Operation Vijay Memorial, I spotted another Bulleteer who seemed to be securing his luggage and went ahead to park next to him. An exchange of names and trip information followed; he was on the roads for a good 30 days, visiting Spiti valley in addition to my itinerary. He was now on his way back through Srinagar-Jammu. And he was a college student. Some guys really have all the luck in the world. We went in together towards the memorial, on top of which the tricolor waved beautifully. The memorial built in memory of the 1999 Kargil war and its heroes have been a dream destination to patriots around the country to pay their respects. The ground below our feet was sacred indeed! We asked around about the famed Tiger Hill which was captured by Pakistani army and were surprised to learn it was just in front of us! It sent shivers down the spine to learn that I was standing close to the point that the enemy had captured. I asked the jawaan standing guard near the flag post and flame if there are any bunkers still on the hill that Pakistani. He replied that we have destroyed all of them, and I replied, impulsively, achha kiya (good thing). That was my moment of pride during my journey; I was never overly patriotic, but that moment, I felt proud to be standing with the best men of our country.

Next, I and my new friend visited the memorabilia shop, where I was supposed to pick up a t-shirt for my friend Avik. Unfortunately, the item was fast moving and the officers in charge there said I can buy it from Muskaan TCP, just after crossing Kargil. We thanked them and headed to the war museum where a fascinating array of items and photographs from the Kargil war were on display. Metal splinters, failed bombs, artillery shells and scrap, all from the war itself. And I am sure I was looking at just a fraction of the actual amount recovered after the war. My new friend, being from a military background, was even more fascinated and was taking his sweet time looking at the artifacts. Just about then, the omelette that I had consumed earlier started showing the undesired effects of reused cooking oil. I bade a hasty goodbye and rushed towards my bike. Thankfully, the war memorial compound contained a loo as well. Sometime later, I went back to mark an exit in the guest register and saw the soldiers handling a new machine gun, which reminded me of the Bullpup we love so much in Counter Strike.

I had decided to skip Kargil the town, as per suggestions from friends, and stay at Lamayuru. Reasons: overpriced and not as beautiful. The skip however took time as I got lost in the lanes for a while. When outside the town, the road started climbing and I found my petrol bunk of the day by the road side. If I did not mention earlier, petrol is a rare commodity in Ladakh region, and petrol bunks are few and far apart. If you happen to run dry, God save you! I was making sure that my thirsty Bullet gets a tank-full at each bunk I see. This was done here as well. The view of Kargil town from the outside captured my fascination, which had been busier with warding off what-if situations related to the bike. I halted outside the bunk and let loose the Canon. Remembering I had a t-shirt to buy and two passes to cross, I took off in a minute. The TCP was not far from where I was, and I managed to get there soon. Seining no one available, I put my loaded bike on side stand and shouted out a hello. A jawaan came out, and pointed behind me: the full tank was leaking very freely from the fuel cap, around a liter already on the road and more coming! Disastrous! I quickly raised the motorcycle and put it on center stand, bemoaning the loss of fuel and the overpowering smell that would last for the days to come. The jawaan showed me through the t-shirts available, and unfortunately, the largest size they make is L; Avik, on the other hand, was XXXXX (pause for breath) XXL. At least I think so! I turned back ruefully, not able to get the one thing he had asked me to. I thanked the jawaan and carried on to the next La of the day: Namik-La.


Kargil Town

Namik-La came and went; before I was able to figure out I had reached the top. The reason probably was the good roads that lead to the top. At a tame 13000 feet, this one was the easiest in all passes I traversed during my trip. I took no photo stops though, but the mountains surrounding this pass were one of a kind. Clay yellow in color, they reminded me of a Roman pug featured in the advert of an anti-wrinkle cream. Looking at the folds of the mountains makes one wonder the eternity it took them to form, pressing against each other to climb the highest. An interesting skit was observed as well; a Xylo taxi forces a truck driver on the edge to overtake the latter – the trucker brings out a well-oiled stick and waves it at the taxi driver – the taxi driver, hear this, returns the gesture with an equally well-oiled stick, and adds some more hand signals that can be interpreted as, aage aa, dekhta hun tujhe (I’ll see you!). Amused and shocked at the same time, I decided to fall back a little from either of the vehicles. So next up, and with a lot of sunlight remaining, Photu-La!


Another fantastic break on the road

The climb to Photu-La was a mixed bag – good roads and gravel, both negotiated with ease. Some curves contained heaps of loose soil, which was a little difficult to negotiate, but the rally tyres fitted before the trip helped a lot. Upon reaching the top of the pass, I realized one thing: not even one vehicle was in sight all along, neither coming nor going. I enjoyed this moment of solitude at the top, the wind gently caressing my face and cooling the Bullet’s engine. I looked around and I saw God’s creation. It’s true - Ladakh is the creation of Gods, and the playground of bikers. I gulped some water, some more of the scenery, and clicked around. The ascent was done, now for the descent. The road was under construction, and a few tons of loose soil had been just dropped all over the road. The way down became tricky, since loose soil doesn’t play well with handling and momentum buildup. I was negotiating very carefully, especially at hairpin bends, where you can see clearly what lies a few hundred feet below you. At one point, I was shouted at by a climbing taxi driver, for driving almost on the extreme right of the road! Sucking on a sour lemon, I corrected myself and exercised caution. At another such bend, my speed was a little more than necessary and the bike decided to take a spill, saved by a kick from the foot on the ground. Buying the riding boots was a good decision after all. Picking up a dropped fully loaded bike, with that thin an atmosphere, and alone, not an easy task! Not too far ahead, the tar-top road became visible and I was relieved. Just where the road started, a Westerner was riding up his bicycle; I smiled and gave a thumbs-up, feeling sympathy for what he was about to bear.


Pinnacle


A dry landscape


This was my most cherished spot with the smooth mountains all around

Now that Photu-La was done with, and the heavens still lighted, I cruised happily towards Lamayuru. Roads were mostly good, save some patches under construction, and I glided into the town through the curvy roads. I was on lookout for Shanti Guest House, of which good things have been said on forums. Lamayuru ended soon like a puff of smoke and I turned back to go into the town. Seeing me confounded, a lady emerged from her shop and asked if I needed a place to stay. I nodded and she asked her husband to show me the way, the stay with dinner and breakfast coming to 550. The room was on top of two flights of stairs, the second being quite steep and cut out of stones. Carrying my bags in the boots was not an easy task, but the gentleman helped and I was done in two trips. The room was quite nice for the price paid, consisting of a double bed, sofa and center table. Its windows overlooked the mountains up front, something I would definitely love. A common bathroom was used to get fresh and clean up the grime I had collected.

The day was still on, so I decided to pay a visit to Lamayuru monastery. I took the road back towards the start of town and a diversion led me towards the stupa, also the Shanti GH next to it. The monastery was closed for the day, so I chatted up with the monks sitting outside and they advised to come early next day. Quite unlikely, as I had to start early in the morning. I walked around the structure and took some pictures of buildings around it, as well as the mountains and the road that descends into Lamayuru. The setting was absolutely stunning. A small shop selling memorabilia was just closing as I returned back to my bike. I looked up the price of a handy prayer wheel and said I would come back with cash. Upon consulting with the homestay lady, the same was available in Leh and Manali at less than one-third the price, so I did not bother returning. I put my electronics on charge and sat down in the dining area with my diary and pen to take down my experiences from the day. I was soon joined by a Spanish couple, who I fell into conversation with, and shared tips on photography. The lucky chaps were there for a month and in Lamayuru itself for a week! We decided to go out for night photography after dinner. At dinner, two American ladies joined us, whom the house owner had invited to taste the authentic Ladakhi dish she had prepared for dinner. I forgot the name of the dish, but it was like a soup containing momos, nice big ones. Not too spicy, just right for a traveler’s stomach. By the time I finished dinner, I was already yawning. I went downstairs to park my bike away from the road, at an elevated farm that belonged to the owners. I had earlier washed the bike using water from a tap by the roadside, after returning from the monastery.



On the photo-ride


Behind Lamayuru Gompa


My favorite shot from the day


Zooming in

The night photography session, I thought, would be done on the roof itself, but the Spanish couple had other plans. They were going to hike to the upper roads and take some pictures from there. I excused myself saying I had to leave early and was tired. We said our goodbyes, and they suggested I visit their country, north of Spain to be more specific. Someday, I said. I setup my camera and tripod on the roof, and took pictures as long as I was able to bear the cold winds in a thin t-shirt, then stepped down the wooden ladder into the house. By ten o’ clock, I had retired to my room inside the cozy blanket. No laptops, no emails, no FaceBook, heck, not even cell phone signal. It feels good to be away from technology at times!
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #8
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one to cherish

The very first photo of your thread is attractive. Now reading how you came about to make it, on Zoji La, and how it was a pre-conceived composition, made me look at it again. It is a really appealing picture.
So, after all the huffing and puffing to overcome the pass, it took 20 takes to make the photo. A photo that breaths an atmossphere of determination and calm resolve.
Bravo.

Every picture tells a story and this one has a worthy story of its own behind it. Would make a fine addition to the gallery, me thinks.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:46 AM   #9
diffuser911 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rango View Post
The very first photo of your thread is attractive. Now reading how you came about to make it, on Zoji La, and how it was a pre-conceived composition, made me look at it again. It is a really appealing picture.
So, after all the huffing and puffing to overcome the pass, it took 20 takes to make the photo. A photo that breaths an atmossphere of determination and calm resolve.
Bravo.

Every picture tells a story and this one has a worthy story of its own behind it. Would make a fine addition to the gallery, me thinks.
Thanks for your appreciation Rango. Ladakh is one of the toughest and most varied terrains around the world. It certainly has moments that took my breath away (literally!!). I started this thread as I hardly found any mention of the heavenly destination in the forum.

Given a choice, I would chuck aside the keyboard and head for there for a peaceful life. Nirvana indeed!!
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