Road to Pangong Ladakh, bike

Practical guide for LADAKH

Day 7: Pangong Tso

Now, this is going to be some day! You must leave early in the morning, though. Else, the road can get slushy, and it becomes difficult to ride. But, this is the ride you will remember this trip for! 120km of pure madness! Hire a bike with, at least, a 350cc engine if you are sharing the ride with someone. The roads from Karu have quite drastic uphill slopes; moreover, you may encounter several streams on your way, uphill. Be cautious. Ride slow. Wear all the necessary safety gear, if possible. And, of course, do NOT ride drunk!

Road block in Ladakh
This could happen on the way. But, no worries, that beast, there, is really efficient.

Before noon, you should be close to your destination. The changing landscapes will always be there to tingle your awestruck eyes, along the way. In between you may take halts, according to your needs. The major pit stop would, inevitably, be at Chang La. And, you’d be reinvigorated by the sight of some crazy French men riding on their jam-packed mountain bikes.

After sometime, you may not even feel your fingers, anymore (wear gloves!), or, at times, they turn bouncy. But the mind-boggling views along the way will soak up any lethargy caused by the constant vibrations of your body flab. (No, I’m not saying you are fat!)

Pangong Tso camping with bikes, tent
Proud to say, this may be the worst pic, ever taken, of the magnificent beauty called Pangong Tso!

Night at Pangong Lake would be one of the most beautiful nights of your life. On a good night, you can see several constellations of our galaxy. Just get out of your tents after 8 pm, (don’t forget those thermals!), and you will find some people staring at the sky. Most probably, one of them would be an expert. You may end up getting awed on a different level, altogether. The sky, really, is amazing! Don’t believe me? Well, sorry, I didn’t have my (yet to be bought) DSLR, with me!

Day 8: Back from Pangong

It will  be difficult to leave the place. You’d want to stay there for one more day. But leave, you must, early in the morning to avoid finding streams of water on the road. You can have more halts, on the return leg, to take all those missed photo sessions in the excitement to reach the lake, on the previous day. By 2 pm you would be back in Leh.

at pangong lake on bike
At Pangong lake (3 Idiots point)

Later in the day, you could visit the Leh Palace, or just roam about in the market. As they say, the culture of a place lies in its markets. And Leh offers a wide range of options, if only you would be willing to explore those alleyways and secret paths!

Day 9: Leh – Bus adventures: part two!

Early morning, at 05:00hrs the bus leaves from the Leh bus stand. Have a long hard look, for one last time. Okay. Now, take out your neck rest and eye masks, and you are good to go!

green valley ladakh
One of the several valleys along the way.
Day 10: Keylong halt

Did you miss out anything at Keylong? Well, you get another chance. How many get another chance at exploring the gateway to one of finest destinations in our Himalayas! Yes, Keylong is the gateway to Spiti and Lahaul valleys.

Day 11: Back to Delhi!

Back to the mad city life? Well, one thing’s for sure, the person that you become after this stint in the greater Himalayas would be drastically different. You will appreciate humanity, better, and see the world around you in a much brighter light.

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FOOD: Food and water is easily available at good intervals, throughout our route. Even at Pangong Lake and Khardung La! In most of the places you can find Aloo paratha and Momos; whereas, in Leh, you can feast on whatever you want; did I say there is a German bakery, even?

Last time around, in Leh, I celebrated Germany’s world cup victory in the company of four burly, beer-guzzling Germans! Fun! 🙂

Tip: Go through your pictures, or the diary (that you maintained on this trip; cue: maintain one!) to refresh your memories whenever you are much stressed out. It will bring a smile. Try it.

Extra chew: Legend has it that the only remaining pure-bred Aryans reside in the villages of Dah and Hanu (~150km from Leh). On my latest trip, I visited this place in search of this mysterious group of people. (coming soon)

Image Credit: Flickr

Ps: Oh, btw, check out this silly video taken at the Pangong lake. A cheerful Spanish fellow, who, I must say, is skilled at recording while riding, (Obviously!) gave us this one to cherish. 🙂

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Travel transports me to some euphoric placetime. Once there, I, almost, only, meet beautiful people; see places that fill me with pure bliss; and face experiences that inspire me to be more of myself. Then I go back home and write about them. Email: thehoboist[at]gmail[dot]com

2 Comments

    • Anil

      We stayed at Malpak Guest House, last time. There are several guest houses along the main market as well as the Changspa area.
      There’s also Dolma Guest house, then, Irfan Guest house, Julay…quite a lot, actually! 🙂

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