Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Khardung La - 20 Jul 11
With the expedition behind us and two days in the kitty, we thought of homing to Khardungla, the highest motorable pass in the world. A ride in a 4WD with all the creature comforts would have been just what the doctor ordered. But that's the thing with me, I never much liked doctors. I suggested we rent bikes instead and the team were thrilled at the idea. So we got 2 red Pulsars and we set out to the nearest Petrol Pump. Nearness is a very relative thing, since we had to ride for about 5 kms and when we made it to the place, there was a long rueful queue. Anyways, we waited patiently and fueled the bikes and set out on our relatively easier adventure. The ride was spectacular and roads were terrific till the Police check post about 14 km short of K top, another name for Khardungla. After the check post, there was hardly even a semblance of a road. The ride beyond the post was terrible, to say the least. Anyways, we made it to the top in about 2 hours.
It was quite chilly and windy at K Top and there was a team of bikers who were a noisy bunch to be frank. May be it was the altitude getting to them. Ram and Siva got busy with their cameras. We had a snack at the cafeteria there, lazed around for a while and then set out to return to Leh. Ram returned his bike to the rental guy but I wasn't gonna let go of mine so easily. Ram returned to the room for a siesta, while Siva and I rode around Leh. Changspa, Shanti Stupa, Fort Road .. well most of the places really. We even managed some last minute shopping. Returned the bike at about 2000, had dinner and returned to our room to pack up. We had a flight at 1000 the next morning.