Saturday, August 21, 2010

3 Bulleteers getting Leh'd for the first time

Ride dates 
3rd July 2010 to 13th July 2010

1) Advriderakshay (Myself) on Black CI Std350 : can see my profile for intro
2) Raaj on Grey CI Std500 : Tall Black haired & white french beard guy.With whom I had never ridden any long ride , except for a short announce ride to Savandurga probably a year ago.


3) Inderneel on Magic Black CI Electra 5S : Guy with his belly out of the T-shirt & riding jacket most of the time. With whom also I had never ridden any long ride, excpet for a couple of short announce rides.

The trip to Leh Kick started with all three of us meeting in Delhi On the 2nd July 2010. As per plan planned by the planners/riders (Myself, Raaj and Indraneel), we all landed in Delhi on 2nd July 2010. I took a afternoon flight from Hyderabad to Delhi. Raaj took a morning flight from Bangalore to Delhi and then Indraneel took a Rajdhani from Mumbai to Delhi. Inder's bike was already in Delhi. Mine & Raaj's bike which was shipped from Bangalore to Delhi also landed in Delhi on 2nd July 2010 at the scheduled time. BY the time I landed It was around 1410 hours, I thought as per our plan Raaj would directly head to Pahargunj from Airport and take a room for the Night's stay, freshen up and then he would go to the Nizamuddin Station to get the bike's offloaded from the train. This did not happen.

 Raaj took a cab from airport to Inder's house spent time there for couple of hours. Then Raaj and Inder during the afternoon went shopping around the town to buy a pair of shoes for Inder. At around 1500 hours when I was out of the airport, as per the plan I took a cab from the airport and reached the Tolstoy Marg TNT Office to pick up our luggage which was suppose to have been arrived from Bangalore. Due to mislocation, the luggage had reached the Connaught Place TNT Office. Then I called up Raaj and Indraneel asked them to come directly to the H.Nizamuddion Rly Station to pick up the bikes. At around 1730 hours we met at the Nizamuddin Rly Station. But the bikes where not getting offloaded at the station they were getting offloaded at a Yard which was about 4 kms from the station. Myself and Raaj took a rik and went to the yard to pick up the bikes. There we had the first glimpse of our bikes after the transit from Bangalore to Delhi. We met a person there named Jai Singh who was in charge of delivering the bikes at the Yard. We handed over the receipts to him and took our bikes. Since the bikes were in transit without fuel first thing to do was to get the fuel from a close by Gas Station. I requested for a bottle from Jai Singh who politely gave the bottle and showed us the direction of the Gas Station. I was dropped by a two wheeler guy who happened to pass through the gas station. I filled up couple liters of fuel in the bottle and came to the Yard after a 15min walk in the hot & humid climate of Delhi. Inder who was suppose to catch us up at the yard on his bike reached there 20 min late. Fueled up the bikes and left for Karol Bagh where Inder had to get his bike checked and fixed at a mech place. On the way to Karol Bagh myself and Raaj Fueled up the bike in a gas station just before Karol Bagh. We fueled up around 10 liters each. All three of us reached the Karol Bagh spares shop and parked the bikes. Inder was getting his bike checked. Meanwhile Myself and Raaj left for Connaught place TNT office in a rick to get our luggage. After picking up our luggage we left for Karol Bagh in a rik where our bikes were parked in front of the spares shop. We reached that place with our luggage and saddled up, left to Pahargunj for that night's accommodation. By time we found accommodation the time was around 2030 hours. Once we hit the room myself and Raaj relaxed with couple of beers and ordered dinner in the same place and hit the bed around 2300 hours.

3rd July 2010 (Day 1)
Delhi to Jammu (600kms)
We were alarmed at around 0345 hours and got saddled by the 0430 hours waiting for Inder at the hotel reception. Inder reached the place at around 0500 hours. By the time we left Delhi city and reached the Highway to Ambala the Time was around 0600 hours. The next stop was at the Ambala Cant where all three of us filled the tanks and started riding back on the Highway. Just after we left Ambala city we stopped for breakfast at a Dhaba. Had some Paranthas and Tea in about 40 mins. At around 1230 hours we had reached the city of Ludhiana, we still carried on riding on the highway till we reached Jalandar. We had reached Jalandar at around 1430 hours, on the way to Jalandar from Ludhiana we did get drenched in bits and pieces of rainfall. We did loose Raaj in the Jalandar city traffic. Again on the way outside Jalandar city I also did loose Inder. I had to wait at a place for 20 min. Then I get a call from Inder that himself and Raaj have met each other and are waiting for me out just outside the Jalandar City on the deviation to Pathankot. 20 mins time wasted. I meet them and all three of us ride for about 5 kms and stop for lunch at around 1500 hours just outside Jalandar. There we spend sometime after lunch drying our wet shoes and sox. We leave the place around 1600 hours and reach Pathankot at around 1730 hours and decide to stop for Tea, smoke, pee etc. Here we decide to ride further 100kms to Jammu which was not in the initial Plan. Since It was still 1730 hours we decide to ride till Jammu and rest for the day in that place. In Jammu we did find a decent air-conditioned accommodation for around 1200Rs. Freshened up in the room with couple of beers each and went for a stroll around the locality for dinner. We did find a fish joint had a couple of fried Amritsari fish and rushed in local food joint for some roties and rajma. After dinner hit the bed at around 2230 hours and fell fast asleep.

4th July 2010(Day 2)
 Jammu to Srinagar (300kms)

Again we were alarmed at 0400 hours, woke up and saddled up by 0500 hours settled the hotel bill and left Jammu by around 0545 hours. On the way to Srinagar we were stuck in a chaotic traffic of Amarnath Yatra devotees. 25kms just after Jammu we fueled up and hit the highway. Every 50kms the cops were stopping the traffic for about couple of hours because of overcrowding Amarnath Yatra devotees at the basecamp. At every stage the police use to let only around 200 to 300 vehicles in a batch. We were let off by the cops since we were on 2 wheels heading to Leh. It was not good scene each time passing 200 to 300 stand still vehicles. Just after passing the Patnitop I stopped for breakfast at small Dhaba followed by Raaj. Inder did not notice mine and Raaj's bike parked on the side of the road and vrrrommed off. Myself and Raaj had couple of toasted bread and Omelet there and were back on the Highway. We rode for about 100kms and no sign of Inder. At one place since it started raining cats and dogs, myself and Raaj just pulled ourselves under a shelter. Raaj was not prepared for the rain. So he had to do rain packing for his stuff & Even I had to change my gloves from Leather one's to Rain one's. At that place we got a call from Inder saying that he is just outside the Jawar Tunnel waiting for us. We were under shelter 20kms just before the Jawar Tunnel. Rain slowed us down. Raaj and Myself hit the highway crossed the 2.8kms long Jawar Tunnel built in 1950s. Enjoyed the short ride in the tunnel in between the army convoy's followed by Raaj couple of kms behind me. Just passed the Jawar tunnel, after couple of kms did not notice Inder standing on the right hand side of the road in the rains was shouting at me to stop. Since I was fully packed did not hear Inder. I reached a place name Quazikund saw several Hotels & Dhabas there, stopped there for a while and checked if Inder is waiting for us here. Then I see in my rear view mirror Inder is behind me. Raaj also joins us immediately. We were completely drenched, feeling hungry and dam Cold! so we get into a hotel hog hot-hot roties with hot rajma curry. The food on the plates disappeared like cheese on hot pan. We stayed there for some time had hot coffee and cigarettes.

Also realized my shoe had lost a hard fought battle of 8 years against my wear & tear. My shoe's sole had started to open up due to rain. Rain water had already started making my feet numb. After an hour's break we were back on the highway, another barricade with army & JK police asking all the people travelling on the highway to enter gate on the left hand side. I was astonished to hear that because after telling them I am heading to Leh they still asked 3 of us to get inside the goudown. We did not get in instead we parked our 3 bikes after the barricade and were speaking to the guards there. There was huge number of people standing inside and outside the gate watching at us. After speaking to couple of people in the crowd we realized that the gate was leading to a huge goudown where all the Amarnath Yatra devotees along with their vehicles were kept there for 24 hours with hospitality provided by the Indian Army. This was done to avoid the overcrowding at the Amarnath Yatra base camp. In the meanwhile we had already spent couple to mins at the barricade discussing with each other what to do. One of the Jawans came to us and said that once the officer goes inside you guys can leave towards Srinagar one by one. As soon as the Jawan said that we didn't even care for the officer to go inside. We just kick started our bikes and left the scene in a hurried manner thinking that some fellow will stop us again. All this happened just 70 kms before Srinagar. We did reach Srinagar by around 1730 hours. As soon as we reached the Dhal Lake we inquired for the accommodation and found the same in about 15min very close to Dhal Lake. We decided we will freshen up and comeback to Dhal Lake for some well deserved pics at the Dhal Lake before 1930 hours. We reached the accommodation freshened up in an hour came back to the Dhal Lake,
took some pics and directly headed to the Lal chowk area to buy myself a badly needed shoes. Once the purchasing of shoes was done directly headed for a booze shop next to Dhal Lake in Delta Towers. ON the way to Dhal lake we purchased a small bottle of rum. As per earlier plan we were suppose to buy rum and finish the same at the accommodation. Then head out for dinner. Plans changed we did not booze that night and headed directly for dinner. Since It was a Vaishno Dhaba no non-veg food again had some hot roties with shahi panner & Mali kofta. Food there was okay not that great. Once dinner was done went to the room hit their respective beds by 2230 hours. Another day of excitement was completed.

5th July 2010 (Day 3)  
Srinagar to Kargil (210kms)

Got up at around 0500 hours as usual freshened up and saddled myself. By the time all three of us saddled the time was time was 0600 hours. To reach the NH1D we had to drive around the Dhal Lake for more than 10 kms and take the highway from there. This is the same highway which passes through Sonamarg. Sonamarg was around 83kms from Srinagar. The base camp for Amarnath Yatra devotees was just 10kms outside of Sonamarg which is Baltal. Again had to take a lot of pain overtaking 100's of buses. After around 60 kms we decided enough was enough and took a tea break at around 0730 hours. Spent some 20 mins there and took off. We wanted to cross Sonamarg and then stop for breakfast to avoid the chaotic traffic. Baltal is the actual base camp for Amarnath Yatra devotees. We just crossed Baltal and stopped at a place for taking pics and smoke break. Also at the same time there was the army Convoy which was coming from the opposite direction. We thought we would take the clear road once the convoy as passed us. There were around 50 trucks which were in a convoy. On the way to Drass we had to cross the Zoji La and reach Drass. From Baltal to Drass there are no restaurants in between so we could not stop any where for breakfast. We had to pass the road less Zoji la starving. when we crossed Zoji La the time was around 1130 hours. All three of us were starving. After crossing Zoji la we rode for around 30 kms and found a straight stretch for about 3 kms in the valley. Myself and Inder stopped there for taking some pics. Then Raaj who was 1 km ahead of us took a U-turn and joined us there. There we also realized that I had also packed the Kakra's which was in Raaj's tank bag. We started hogging that once Raaj joined us. We spent around 20 to 30 mins eating and Chit-chatting. There we decided we will stop at the next very restaurant we find on the way. At one of the check post we inquired about the next available hotel on the way, the person told the next available hotel is only at Drass. Just before Drass check post we saw the board of the famous Tiger Hill which was captured by the Pakistani's during the Kargil war & was re-captured by Indian army. We just stopped there to take few pics. Once we crossed the Drass check post we just saw a hotel next to the check post, we stopped there and got in there for lunch. There was only couple of things available in that hotel Lamb, Rajma & Rice. Without much of hesitation we ordered for 3 plates Lamb & Rice, Later also just one Rajma curry. The Lamb there was tender and tasted good but with too much of fat in it. We did definitely enjoy the meal. it was around 1530 hours when we left Drass. On the way from Drass to Kargil the road was full of dust, due to more landslides the roads were filled with stones, rocks & Dust. Lot of road construction work also was going on in between. On the way stopped at lot of places to take pics. By the time we reached Kargil the time was around 1800 hours. Unfortunately Kargil as only two good Lodges. In Drass we had taken the lead of one hotel, the name of the hotel was Zoji LA Restaurant & Lodge. We enquired the traffis there he was charging was around 1300 per night which was a bit expensive there. So we went in search of another lodge which was slightly in the hilly area of Kargil. There he was charging us 1000 per night. We then came back to the town and went to a dormitory kind of stuff there he was charging us 700 per night. In this place we were not comfortable with people around that place and lack of bike security in that place. So we decided to go the second lodge which we had earlier visited and stay there for the night because of good parking facility. SO we went back to that place, Inder used his skills of bargaining and bought down the price by 200 RS which came down to 800 Rs per night. The only problem in Kargil we faced was there were no local, std phone lines working. The only network available there is the postpaid connection of Cellone. Therefore that day we couldn't make any phone calls to home or dear ones. The food was prepared in the same hotel for us, so we didn't have to go to the town for dinner. We were just having general discussion with one of the guys in that hotel regarding the route to Leh from Kargil. There are actually two routes from Kargil to Leh one route will be through Mulbek, Fotu La, Lamyauru, Khalsi, Leh and the other route is through Batalik, Khalsi & Leh. We decided we will take the Mulbek, Fotu La, Lamyauru, Khalsi, Leh route. The person who we spoke with was suggesting us to take the more scenic Batalik route. In the room Inder for couple of hours was sharing history gyan of, Partition of India & Pakistan during the 1947's. Once food arrived we hogged and hit the beds. The temperature that day was around 3 to 5'C which was dam cold for us.

6th July 2010 (Day 4)
Kargil to Leh (235 kms)

Day 4 we will have to travel around 235kms to reach Leh. Again alarmed at 0500 hours, freshened and saddled at 0600 hours and left the place around 0630. Previous day we had seen a big poster about the Buddha's Statue carved in a big rock.

Myteria Buddha statue in the background

 This statue is known as Champ Mulbek which is situated in the village of Mulbek on the way to Leh. Once we hit the highway and travelled around 40 kms from Kargil, we stopped at Mulbek to have a look at the statue and the Gompa. Just opposite to the Gompa was a small restaurant serving Aloo Paranthas & Maggie. We did finish our breakfast there and took a break for about 15 mins. The road to Mulbek from Kargil is full of stones and dust. The ride was not that easy. Though are bikes was fully loaded with luggage the bike felt stable on those off roads. We were again back on the off road towards leh. It was a climb from Leh from Kargil we were riding at a steady pace. On the way to leh once we reached Fotu La (another pass at high altitude) we stopped at the pass for some pics and re-grouping. The road from Fotu La to Lamyauru is in loops. Those loops consist of roads with tarmac, Stones, rocks, dust. Once reached Lamyauru really astonished to see the road leading to the Monastery was closed. Though did not know what the reason was. Did stop there for some pics, we could see the monastery from a distance. We kept on moving on the same NH1D in anticipation that we would be meeting the other friends (Arvind & Gang) who rode to leh from through Manali. We were supposed to meet them on the Leh-Kargil route. It was around 1500 hours when we had reached Khalsi. So we decided to stop there for lunch. Leh was 90kms from Khalsi. We took a lunch break of about 45 min. The ride from Khalsi to Leh is good with only tarmac roads, you will just find kilometers of road in one stretch without any deviations. At one big stretch we even stopped to take some pics. Couple to truck drivers also stopped there to take pics with us. They did take pics with their own camera as well. There were very much excited to take pics with us. On the way we passed many small Villages and army drill area, where we could hear frequent sounds of firing drill going on. Initially I did get a feeling of crackers being busted which was actually not the case. On the way we stopped at a interesting hill called the Magnetic Hill. We did reach the Welcome to Leh board at around 1700 hours and took the pic of the boards and headed straight to city. Once we reached the city gave a call to Arvind, to find out where they had taken shelter in Leh. We did manage to get connected to Arvind and informed him about our wear about. Within 10 mins he and his cousin came to the place and picked us. Took us to the place where they had taken shelter in Leh. Once we reached there started negotiations for our shelter for the next three nights. The shelter for the next three nights was finalized in the same place and we started unpacking all our stuff from the bikes. The room boys did help us to carry all our stuff to the rooms. Once all 3 of us reached the rooms, Raaj and Inder were losing their breadth. They were not able to stand. I was fine with the breadth. Though all 3 of us started taking the tablet Diamox from Srinagar on a daily basis. We did take two Diamox tablets per day as a precautionary measure to avoid AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). After 10mins of relax both were fine though none of us could get to normal condition because of 40% less oxygen at high altitude.
After freshening all 10 of us sat in one room sharing our experiences and pics of course with one large bottle of Old Monk on the table served with hot water. The other gang wanted to hit the bed early so that they could leave the next day early. So most of us just had couple to drinks and headed to the dining room had dinner and hit the beds after wishing goodnight to each other.

7th July 2010 (Day 5)
Leh - Khardung la (95kms)

The day without an alarm. But still since Arvind & gang were leaving at around 0500 hours I did ask Arvind the previous day to wake me up when they are leaving. So that I could bid bye for their rest of the Journey. Arvind woke me up, along with me even Raaj woke to bid good bye for the rest of gang. Myself and Raaj bid good bye to Arvind & gang and hit the bed back and woke up around 0900 hours. Since it was crapping time for all of us. We had to order bed tea and also most important thing was to get the permits for 3 of us to visit Kardung La & Pangong Tso. The tea was not that okay, because all three of us for the first time tasted Yak's milk in tea. I personally did not like Yak's milk, Yak's Cheese etc which was the only milk products available in leh. For the permits, we did give our original Pan cards to the room boy. After couple of hours he did get us the permits. As promised by the room boy the permits were ready by 1100 hours. In the meanwhile we went around the town of leh. We did go to a German bakery and try a chocolate roll and a peanuts biscuit which was good. We also had to go for the ATM and breakfast. There are lot of German bakeries, Italian , Israeli, Chinese food served at most of the restaurants. Just opposite the ATM Myself and Inder picked up a gear to keep our ears warm at 50 bugs each. Also just opposite the ATM was the restaurant serving only good Videsi breakfast. Myself & Raaj ordered for English breakfast and Inder ordered for Israeli breakfast with of course black tea. Once we were done with the heavy breakfast we directly headed to the place we had taken shelter. The Room boy there handed over the Permits along with the 5 photocopies. Since the time was around 1230 hours we decided we will head to Khardung La with just some spares & Camera Kit in the tank bag. Khardung La (Khardung Pass, La means pass in Tibetan) was just 90 mins ride from Leh. Because of the heavy breakfast we had nobody was intending to have lunch. Thought of skipping lunch and having some snacks in the evening. We reached Khardung La at around 1500 hours. Spent around an hour there clicking pics and relaxing on the pass.
The ride was definitely fun & exiting. We also had couple of cups of Black tea which was served there at 10Rs each cup. On the way back we did stop at few places clicking snaps. We did reach Leh at around 1800 hours and we decided that we will rest for the day so that we could leave for Chang La & Pangong Tso early next day. We did order dinner on the house. Another accomplishment for the day was completed.

8th July 2010 (Day 6)
Leh - Pangong Tso - Leh (340kms)

We woke up at around 0500 hours and saddled by around 0600 hours. In the meantime I had asked the room boy to heat about 2 liters of drinking water and fill the same to my camel bag. He had also readied the same. This day as we were going to be back to Leh, Not much packing of our luggage was made. We started off towards the road which leads to Manali. We reached a place called Karu from where there was a deviation towards Pangong Tso. We rode about 50 kms to reach Karu, We stopped there for Tea and smoke. Once we took a deviation towards Pangong Tso we had to pass a check post, where he had to submit a photocopy of the permit to the guard along with our vehicle numbers written on the backside of the permit. In order to reach Pangong Tso we have to pass the might Chang La (This pass is the Third highest motor able pass in the world). At one point on the road there was a deviation to Wari La & Chang La, Here I missed the route and took the road towards Wari La. We had only traveled around 5 kms to Wari La. We realized then we were on the incorrect route took a U-Turn reached the deviation point and took the route towards Chang La. Just before Chang La climb there was sudden drop of Temp and it got very cold. So I just stopped by a army post to cover my face with a balaclava. The army people were kind enough to offer all 3 of us 3 much required cups of black tea. I am not sure what the ingredients were in that tea for sure It kept all of us warm for quite some time. There the army people said us that at Chang La the temp will drop further and they also said us that, we can go on top there visit the army camps where tea will be provided free of cost to the tourists you pass the might Chang LA. Once we reached Chang LA first thing I did was parked my bike at the basecamp rushed inside the camp for hot tea. The temp there was around -2 or 0 C. Once I drank the tea we just took some snaps of the post there climbed down towards Pangong Tso. Also realized the pickup of the vehicle close to Chang La had dropped because of 40% less oxygen compared to normal places in the world. Most of the time during climbs at Chang La had to ride with holding half clutch. During the climb down towards Pangong Tso there were more number of water crossings to cross. Raaj was riding over cautiously during water crossings. At One place he put both his feet in the water. The water as usual was freezing, so just after the water crossing we had to stop at the side of the road because Raaj had to dry his socks, shoe and feet. We nearly spent around 20 mins at that place. Once the stuff was partially dried we hit the road back. Once we reached Talste we saw couple of tented restaurants in that place. Since we did not have breakfast in the morning all of us were starving. We just stopped at one restaurant, there was one group of tourist who also where there at the restaurant. They had travelled from Leh in a Scorpio and a rented bullet. Unfortunately due to electrical problem the bike did not start and this happened the previous day evening. So they had tried all sort things to start the bike but were unsuccessful in doing so, and stayed the night in same place. Once We had reached that place they approached me for help since I was riding the same kind of bullet. I just asked them what the problem was they said the bike was not starting. So I just examined the bike and asked them if the battery is fine in the bike. They said it was also fine. I kick started it couple of times and it did not start for sure I came to know that it was some electrical failure. So I asked them to check if the fuse of the battery was fine and asked them to check the same. One guy did check the fuse cleaned the fuse case and put the fuse back. He kicked started and the bike came back to life. The excitement on everyone's face suddenly lit up. They thanked us and left that place. all this took place in just 10 min. Then we entered the restaurant and sat down to order food. The only things available there was Maggie, Fried rice, schezwan noodles and omelet. So without any hesitation Myself and Raaj Ordered Fired rice and Inder ordered Schezwan noodles with Omelet. When that guy in the restaurant served us the food, we started hogging. The fried rice was okay but Inder some reason did not like the noodles he called that guy and asked him why is the noodles half cooked? he just said in Hindi that, "Ider itne hi pakta hai sab". Without nothing much to do he had to eat the half cooked noodles. After our brunch and relaxation we saddled up and hit the roads back. We started riding back towards Pangong Tso, we had to ride through the cold desert vallies to reach the Pangong Tso. We reached Pangong Tso lake around 1330 hours. Once we reached there we rode few kms beside the lake finding good place to take pics. Those few kms which we rode was a complete off road experience.

After reaching Pangong Tso I just sat there for few minutes looking at the lake, all the effort put is defiantly worth it. Then Raaj and Inder took a few minutes to catch me or where I had reached close to the lake. We started taking pics of the lake.
Pangong Lake

 Spent close to an hour near the lake, we left the place and reached the Soverinors Shop. Along with Soverinors shop there was a restaurant & public toilet. Since the food which we had was not that good. We had to crapp in the only public toilet available there. All this was just around the entrance of the Pangong lake. Raaj picked some stuff at the Soverinors shop and we started riding back towards leh around 1500 hours. Ride back till Talste was as cool as cucumber. In between we stopped for some pics in the dessert and in the valley. After Talste we had to climb the Chang La again. This climb was a bit hard compared to the climbs of other passes. The bikes pickup had come down by 50%. At some places I had to get off my bike and ride the bike walking beside it. Since it was afternoon the water levels at all the water crossings rouse high. It is actually very dangerous driving in the passes during the evening because the ice melts faster during the late afternoon & early evenings. After a big water crossing i just parked my bike at the side, waiting for Inder & Raaj to catch me. In the meanwhile I was taking some pics. Once both Raaj & Inder crossed me I followed them. Raaj was the first to reach Chang la. I was a bit slow as I was taking pics on the way. Raaj & Inder also faced the same problem with bike as I faced. Even Raaj at some places had to push the bike, but it was not the case with Inder We was not able to get off the bike and do the same. While Inder was struggling on the climb I crossed and reached Chang La. In the process Inder had burnt his bike's clutch plates. If he could have climbed another 1km and reach Chang La from there it was just riding down a lot of time & energy of Inder could have been saved. Myself and Raaj were waiting for Inder to catch us. In the mean while we were relaxing so that we could breathe normally with the hot cup of tea. Inder was just 1 and a half kms away from Chang La. after 10 mins four people in the car came to us and informed us that Inder's bike broke down and refused to climb. So myself and Raaj were trying to speak to the army people and arrange a truck for Inder's bike till Leh. The army people agreed to help Us with Inder's bike. After 5 mins a small truck climbs up and reached Chang La from Pangong Tso side. We were surprised to see Inder and his bike already in truck. Even the truck driver stopped for some tea at Chang La. We spoke to Inder and told him to carry on till leh we will catch him on the way. So myself and Raaj were much relived to see Inder on the truck. on the way back Once We reached Karu myself and Raaj stopped for tea break at the same place where we stopped for tea in the morning. Somehow I had a feeling that riding in the twilight was dangerous. Though the roads from Karu to Leh is flat and we could ride at decent speeds. Since I was not comfortable driving in twilight and nights I was cruzing at 40s & 50's. At one place Raaj was just around 30ft front of me, both were riding on the centre of the road. I saw a medium sized stone placed in the middle of the road at a semi curve from quite a distance. Raaj did not notice the stone which was on the middle of the road. He rode over the stone, lost bit of balance and luckily balanced his bike back on the road. From around 20ft distance I saw Raaj doing the balancing act. We did not stop after this Raaj kept on ripping and took off. Finally I met Raaj only in Leh, then I asked him what had happened to him . He said he was fine. Raaj was already with Inder in Leh at the bullet Mech shop. The mech guy told it was late and he will be able to work on Inder’s bike only next day. So we just bought a bottle of brandy from a closeby shop and all three of us rode back to the accommodation place and ordered dinner on the house. As per initial plan and discussion we were suppose to ride back towards Delhi the next day. Since Inder had to get his bike checked and repaired we decided we will stay back another day in leh. We also thought we will relax and only relax the next day in Leh. At the time of parking I noticed that Raaj's bike at some kind of bend on the front wheel rim. I just informed him about that, he did have a look and only then he realized that the rim was bent because of the impact of stone. Now he also had to get his bike fixed tomorrow. After freshening up Raaj & Inder had couple of drinks with some discussion on the table. After this we headed straight to the dining hall where food was served. We ate food and hit the bed for much deserved rest.

9th July 2010 (Day 7)
Local Leh - Bike Maintenance day

Another day without alarm, I woke up around 0900 with bed tea on arrival. We got freshened up around 1000 hours and left for breakfast. Once we were done with the breakfast, Primary task was to get Inder's and Raaj's bike fixed. Once we went to mech he said to get the spares from a nearby Automobile spares shop and he also mentioned the address of the guy who fixes the bend on the rims. He said he would charge more than 500 Rs to remove the bend on the rim. In the meanwhile Inder was getting his bike fixed myself and Raaj went to spares shop, We purchased a new rim for Raaj's bike, two sets of clutch plates, tire removing levers when puncture and Engine oil. Just as a safety measure even we wanted to change the clutch plates because of the climb on the Rohatang pass on the way back to Delhi. During the time when we were fixing our bike couple of other bulleteers also had arrived at the Mech shop. We were discussing their experience on the Rohatang pass and regarding the rains in Manali. They had a horrible experience. Even Arvind had given the same kind of feedback. Inder daily was getting the update regarding the roads from Manali to Leh. Inder and Raaj started to have second thoughts regarding the ride back through Manali to Delhi. He also mentioned that the Beas river in Manali is overflowing because of the floods. It would be dangerous to ride on that road. I had made up my mind no matter what happens I alone will drive through Manali. Then news of floods in Ambala, Jalandar & Ludhiana was coming in saying that the roads are completely flooded. By around 1400 hours bikes were ready we took of from that place to have lunch and then relax the rest of the day at the accommodation. Since Raaj had replaced the entire rim, he wanted the wheel hub back so we went to Moti market to find the guy who works on rims, we found him and told him that we wanted the hub and spokes back. He then charged 100Rs for the same and asked us to come after couple of hours. We went to same place for lunch where we had breakfast. Hogged some Paranthas at a busy area and then went for some shopping of T-shirts, other stuff etc. After we had to go back to Moti Market to collect back the hub. From there headed straight to accommodation to relax. After a couple of hours nap we again started discussing about the ride back, there we had some change of plans regarding the ride back. Inder was suggesting that if there are floods in Ludhiana and Ambala going to Delhi via that route would be impossible. So the other option would be that from Amritsar, Raaj & Inder would go to Jaipur Via Batinda and then Inder would ride to Delhi which was a safe road and it would cost us extra 300 kms. Raaj's plan was then to drive from Jaipur to Hyderabad. Then I had to drive from Delhi to Jaipur to meet Raaj and ride with him to Hyderabad from Jaipur. Sounds like big confusion. Then I had to change my plan of riding back with Raaj and Inder. Because in this case again I would have to drive to Jaipur from Delhi to meet Raaj. This plan was finalized for that day. Since we were in Ladakh we were fed up of eating those Paranthas, omelets and Maggie we wanted to try authentic Chinese food. We decided we will have some Momos and Fried rice. at around 2000 hours we left to gas station to fill our petrol tanks for the next day's ride because of early departure from leh, we then barged into a Dragon restaurant which was in the main street of Leh city. We had some good food there like, Momos, chicken soup and some fried rice. After dinner headed straight to our rooms. Did some packing and hit the bed wishing good night. This was the only day in our trip where we did not ride for more than 10 kms

10th July 2010 (Day 8 )
Leh to Drass (300kms)

Our plan for day was to reach Srinagar before it gets dark i.e. by 2000 hours. Alarmed at around 0400 hours, got ready and saddled up by 0500 hours. We had to settle the bill of the accommodation and food for the last 4 days. In meanwhile I had asked the room boy to heat 2 liters of drinking water for my camel backpack and I ordered 3 cups of tea for all three of us. All this process took us around 30 mins. we started from Leh around 0540 hours headed towards NH1D. We had crossed a village called Machakka, after Machakka we had to cross a small mountain with few hairpin bends. Inder and Raaj were way head of me, I was cruzing at around 60's and stopping by to take few pics on the way. On the way down from one of the mountains I saw from top in one hairpin bend Raaj had parked his bike on the right side of the hairpin bend, shaking his head with hands on his hip. I couldn't understand why Raaj was doing this, once I reached the spot and parked my bike next to Raaj's bike saw that Raaj had rear tyre flat. As soon as we saw the next vehicle we asked him to stop and informed him to inform Inder who was 1 or 2 kms further about Raaj's Flat tyre. This could happen only if Inder would have stopped somewhere waiting for us. After 3 Or 4 kms there was a village. Raaj was telling that he would remove the tyre take a drop from some vehicle get the flat tyre fixed and would come back somehow. I was wondering with all the tools available with us we didn’t have to this. So I asked Raaj to take out his tool kit, He then realized that he didn’t have a spanner to remove the wheel. So quickly pulled the same from my tool Kit. Removed the wheel from the bike, identified the culprit & removed the dam thing from the tyre. Luckily in Leh we had purchased the lever to remove the tyre from the wheel which was there for our rescue. So I removed one side of the tyre from the rim. Since I was wearing gloves and removing the tyre I was not able to pull the tube from the rim, So Raaj helped me out in pulling out the tube. We did not repair the puncture on the tube but we replaced the tube so that saved us bit of time. Raaj In leh was talking about not opening the seal of the foot pump during the ride, We had to open the seal of the foot pump and use the same for inflating the tube. For some reason the air pressure in the tyre was not going above 23. So we decided we will ride slowly till the next village and inflate the tyre at the next available puncture shop. Good that we were able to finish all this in 20 to 25 min. We again had to pack luggage on Raaj's bike and started riding on the highway slowly till we reached a village where there was a puncture shop just in the entrance of the village. We stopped there inflated air in Raaj's rear tyre checked his front tyre and left the place towards Khalsi. Our next stop was at Khalsi village for breakfast. In one of the restaurants Inder was already waiting for us he then told us that the vehicle guy just informed him 10 mins back that Raaj's tyre was flat 50kms behind. Myself and Raaj had some bread toast with jam and single omelet, of course with black tea there for breakfast. The route was already decided that we are not going to ride through Lamyauru and Fotu La but we are going to ride through Batalik village which was 30 kms more than the NH1D. All three of us hit the road back took the deviation to Batalik at Khalsi, though the road for about 80 kms initially was boring, at the Kargil reaching stages it was a bit scenic and lot of water crossing on the way. It was at around 1430 hours we had reached Kargil. Once Myself and Inder had reached Kargil we waited for Raaj to join us after the Kargil town. We waited for about an hour & half no sign of Raaj. We went back for about 15 kms no sign of Raaj. The Last time we met Raaj was just 10 kms before Kargil. Except for Cellone postpaid connections no other network works. We were in a not call position. We inquired at shop in Kargil if there is any other shortcut to avoid Kargil from the Batalik route. The shop guy said there is short cut over a bridge which will take you directly 2kms after Kargil. First thing what we did was we reached the bridge and asked the army guard over the bridge about any bullet with yellow helmet crossed this road. He said the bike had crossed long back. Myself and Inder were annoyed because Raaj had taken a shortcut which even he was not aware off, we realized that after speaking to him. Myself and Inder didn’t even have lunch. Then immediately we took off to Drass where Raaj was waiting. We actually wanted to cross the Drass check post before 1800 hours because the road to Srinagar will be closed after 1800 hours. Since we had wasted so much time we were not able to make to Srinagar instead we stayed back in Drass. The road back from Kargil to Drass was one of the toughest ride I had done on the mountains. The time was around 1700 hours, on the road back to Drass there were only water crossing and the water was flowing heavily. Since it was evening the water flow from the mountains was more and the entire road was filled with water and only water. Thank god it was not raining. The freezing water was already in the shoe and my socks already wet & freezing. it was only around 1900 hours we were able to make it Drass check post where Raaj was waiting for us. My feet were freezing & I was hungry for not having lunch that day. We again stopped in the same hotel where we had stopped for lunch on the way to Kargil. Myself and Inder only had to eat the left over rice from lunch. In the meanwhile Raaj had already inquired for place to stay in Drass. Just beside the Drass check post there was a J & K Tourism guesthouse. We decided to stay there. The cost of the guesthouse was 300 Rs for one night. Unfortunately we had to stay there without hot water for the night. Drass is the second cold inhabited place on the world. Imagine without hot water there is terrible. Since it was a Govt guest house it was not maintained neatly. The guy said us that along with the room he can give us more number of blankets. Which was a good news for us. Since Raaj was carrying the hub along with the foot pump on his rear career, Because of bad roads nearing Kargil the Bag fell off more than twice. During this we had lost the liver to remove the tyre from the rim. the TNT bag which was holding Raaj's Hub, spokes and Foot pump was fully damaged. We had to buy a new bag in Drass to put them in a proper bag and tie it. I badly required a shave, So myself and Raaj went around the only street in Drass for the search of a Gunny bag types and a Saloon. Firstly I found a Saloon who gave me a clean shave and secondly we found general stores selling bags, Good quality bag there costed us only Rs30. the time was already around 2100 hours. We went back to the same hotel where we had our late lunch, there we had very light dinner and hit the bed for a very much-much deserved break.

11th July 2010 (Day 9)
Drass - Srinagar - Patnitop - Udhampur - Pathankot (500kms)

This day's plan was to make it to Pathankot by Dusk, As usual we woke up around 0500 hours, It was like 0700 hours in Hyderabad Or Bangalore. The previous night we didn’t have to unpack our stuff so very less tine to saddle up. Since the same old hotel in which we had food more than twice was just beside the check post which allows vehicles to travel on the road from Kargil to Srinagar, we went there to have Tea before we leave Drass. The poor guy was just then opening the doors of the hotel. He was excited to see us back. We ordered 3 cups of Tea and I again requested him to heat couple of liters of water for my camel backpack. After having Tea we left the check post and passed the Zoji La and reached Sonamarg around 0900 hours. Again the traffic of Amarnath Yatra devotees was back again to haunt us. Lot of traffic halts on the way to Srinagar. We thought we will go to Srinagar and stop there for breakfast and fuel up. Though a lot of hotels and gas stations were open we did not bother to fill fuel. I insisted we go to the city and fill fuel and have breakfast. Once we reached the city only then we realized the entire city was shutdown because of the bandh called by the Separatists. For sure we knew that the gas stations and Dhabas are open only on the highways just outside the city. SO we went outside the city found couple of gas stations open, filled fuel and hit the highway back in search of a Dhaba for breakfast. I was leading till the we reached the Dhaba, to my surprise after waiting at a Dhaba for 10 mins both of them did not turn up. I just went back couple of kms and found out that they had stopped in a dry fruit shop for special requests from home. After shopping I we stopped at the same Dhaba where I was waiting for both of them. The time was around 1130 hours, so we decided to have brunch followed by Sweet Lassi. We took a good hour's break. We again started back on the highway with the agitating traffic. All three of us had decided we will stop for a pic at the Jawar tunnel. Once we reached there we realized that photography there was strictly prohibited. After crossing the tunnel and riding for 2 kms again the J&K police along with the army people were halting the traffic for the stage by stage traffic clearance of Amarnath Yatra devotees. Since we were on two wheels we could easily escape the traffic. Also avoided one such traffic a Patnitop. Though myself and Inder stopped at couple of places to smoke Raaj did not stop he just kept on riding & riding. Finally we reached Udhampur junction from where there was a deviation. Again myself and Inder stopped there for tea, finally Raaj also stopped there for tea. Earlier we had decided we will not ride to Jammu city but we will take the non NH from Udhampur which will directly lead to Pathankot. By taking this road we nearly saved around 150 kms flat. The road from Udhampur to Pathankot was a kind of a haunting experience. This was our first ride in the entire trip after the dark. The ride in the dark started from the 3/4th way to Pathankot from Udhampur. Since we were driving down south of J&K it would get dark around 1930 hours earlier than proper J&K. The ride in the dark was through silent forests that I have ever ridden in J&K. Probably this is the first forest region ride in both J&K and Punjab borders. As usual Inder had taken off, it was me and Raaj who were riding slowly at around 50s. I still remember a scene for first time I had seen couple of Jackals crossing the road just in front of me. I am not sure if Raaj behind me did see the same. They just were crossing the road. I thought I will pull out my camera in the dark for a pic buy by then they just had crossed the road. Since it was dark couldn’t figure out which way they went after crossing the road. Anyways I also did not stop for the same. After riding for a while we reached the NH which connects Jammu & Pathankot. We just were around 25 kms away from Pathankot. At the junction we met Inder who was waiting for us. There we decided we will stop for dinner at a next non-Vaishno Dhaba, since we were fed up of eating vegetarian food at the Vaishno Dhabas. We were around 10 kms behind Pathankot we found couple Wine shops, We enquired there that if there was any Non-Vaishno Dhaba around the shop guy just said it was inside. We were happy to get in and see the real Dhaba kind of environment though from outside it just looks like a normal Wine shop only selling Liquor. The Shop owner was very keen on speaking to us and knowing about from where we had travelled and where we were heading. Since the wine shop was next to us no fuss of getting the liquor. Since it started to get hot myself and Inder drank couple of beers and Raaj had couple of pegs (Royal Stag) with yummy tandoori chicken, butter roties with authentic Punjabi chicken. Since we were completely relaxed and in no mood to ride anymore we thought of speaking to the Dhaba owner and sleep there only, but after speaking to him he just said that there is a resort next door and good accommodation is available there at a decent price. We were very happy on hearing the same. Myself and Inder went to the resort had a look at the room there, Inder bargained and the room was finalized. We could have just pushed our heavy bikes next door, since we were dead tired we thumped into the resort parked the bike asked the room boy to get the luggage into the air-conditioned room. After freshening up we did have a bit of discussion regarding the next day's ride to Amritsar. Earlier all three ware very keen on riding to Amritsar. All of a sudden Inder and Raaj had some other plans, Inder wanted to reach home ASAP and Raaj wanted to reach Delhi and relax in the room for a day. Then we decided that I alone will ride to Amritsar and Both of them will ride to Delhi. Then day after I will ride to Delhi from Amritsar and meet Raaj in Delhi. Then we hit the bed and bid good night after a lengthy ride in the hilly region of India.

12th July 2010 (Day 10)
Pathankot Dhaba - Amritsar (100 kms)

Myself riding to Amritsar, Inder and Raaj will be riding to Delhi. All of us got saddled by 0600 hours had tea in the same place and all three of started riding together. Unknowingly Inder and Raaj had taken the same deviation that would go to Amritsar. They both had taken off, since I had all the time in the world to reach Amritsar I was cruzing at 50s on a flat road. Then I was astonished to see Inder and Raaj waiting on the same road at one place, I asked them what was the matter and why are they waiting here? They said that unknowingly they have taken this deviation, So Raaj decided then he will also ride to Amritsar with me. Then Inder was also saying that there is a deviation at Gurudaspur, by which we can go to Delhi. But then he had to ride alone then even he decided to come to Amritsar with us. All three of us rode till about 0900 hours. The sky was full of only dark clouds, it was going to rain heavily for sure. Any layman could have said this after looking at the clouds. We stopped at Dhaba for breakfast, we had breakfast there and left for Amritsar which was around 25 kms from there. We reached the hotel room in Amritsar about 1030 hours. The atmosphere had become so much dark outside because of the dark clouds, It was like evening around 1800 hours. We decided we will take bath, freshenup and visit the Golden temple then have food at the Lungerhouse. Since there was no power for couple of hours we then had to wait for the power restoration, then get the water heated for bath. It took nearly couple of hours for the power restoration, got the water heated, by then Inder had already taken couple of hours nap. Myself and Raaj were just watching TV and roaming around the corridor to see the heavy rainfall on the road. All three of us took bath in turns and were ready by 1330 hours, left for golden temple in a Rik because we did not wanted to ride anymore. he dropped us close to the temple, though it was drizzling we decided it’s no point waiting in shelter on the roadside so we walked to the golden temple. We purchased couple of scrafs for myself and Inder to cover our forehead & head, Scrafs/turbans where mandatory inside the temple. Without which you will not be able to enter the temple premises. Took pics in & around the temple, after visiting the shrine we then went to the Lungerhouse had food there came out of the temple went around for some shopping. Inder still wanted to do some more shopping for home so myself and Raaj asked him to continue we will head to the room. There was no point in visiting the Wagha Border because of the rains so Myself & Raaj reached Room and we took a nap for couple of hours. Meanwhile Inder also reached the room and he also took a nap for couple of hours. Raaj wanted to get his bike chain tightened and Inder wanted to replace his air filter. So Myself and Raaj went out to the mech's shop which was hardly 200 mts from where we were staying. Once Raaj got the chain tightened he was inquiring about any availability of spares for the CI 500 bike which he was riding. The availability of spares for CI500 was very hard in Bangalore. So the Mech was suggesting some Spares shop just behind our accommodation. We visited that place and Raaj was able to find Piston Rings for his bike. He bought that, along with that we also purchased Air filter for Inder. We reached the room and Inder came down to replace the air filter on his bike. This was the second airfilter Inder had to
replace during this Leh 2010 Ride..
Since it was around 1800 hours we wanted to try out the Amritsari Fish with couple of drinks of course. Just next to our accommodation was a tyre shop. We were just enquiring a boy in the tyre shop about where we can find the fried Amritsari fish. He was just explaining us some place, we were not able to understand the exact location. Then the owner of the Tyre shop came out of shop and spoke to us. He introduced himself, His name is Rony. He again started questions like from where are you guys, from where we were riding etc etc? Which we were fed up of. Surprisingly he just uttered he was free and would like to join us. We were also kind of Happy and in a bit of hesitation about new guy joining us. But we took him. Before he took us to that fish joint we wanted to fill our tanks for the last time before reaching Delhi which was around 480 kms from Amritsar. We went to a gas station, Inder filled for 700Rs, Raaj filled for 600Rs and myself filled for 500Rs, because I was getting better mileage than both of them. Then in one junction Rony who was pillion on Raaj's bike asked to stop and park the bike just in front of wine shop we again were confused. Then beside the wine shop just saw a meat frying shop next to that. He took us inside and ordered fish. Drinks were also allowed in that fish shop since both were next to each other. Both the Wine shop and the fish shop did not have name boards. Rony & Raaj were enjoying royal stag with fish, Rony was sharing all his experiences about travelling in India and about food in Amritsar. Since Brandy in that season not available in Punjab myself and Inder opted to enjoy Fish with couple of beers. Though fish in Amritsar in that season was not recommended for eating because of offseason. We still ordered one plate of fish followed by one plate of Tandoori chicken. Then Rony was discussing that the best chicken fry you get in Amritsar is in different place. He also mentioned the delicacy and name of the restaurant. The names of both were same, the name was "Beera Chicken". He also mentioned that he would take us there after the session here. But he said we cant go there on two wheelers, rather he will take us there in his car. After that table session which went for an hour there we came back to the hotel where we were staying, parked the bikes went with Rony. On the way Rony mentioned about him visiting his home for 5 mins (Just to show his face at home) and we wait in the car outside his house. Without any option we said yes, "we were fine". He took us in front of his house said "Hi" at home and joined us back in 5 mins. Then on the way to the restaurant he again stopped at a Wine shop and asked us this if anyone require drinks we have to buy here since this is the last wine shop enroute to the chicken restaurant. Raaj & Rony again opted for Royal stag, I asked Inder if he would like to have beer he said yes and I also bought couple of bottles of Tuborg beer. As Inder mentioned he would like to have couple of sips of beer, he actually did not do have beer. Rony in the meanwhile took us to Beera chicken place. There we ordered couple of plates of chicken and started to another place where we get very good chicken rolls. On the transit Myself and Raaj sitting in the rear seats enjoying drinks with Chicken, in the front seats Inder not eating chicken and not having drinks holding the plate for Rony who was driving eating chicken. The place where we get this famous chicken rolls in Amritsar Is a kind of big complex area. Open air parking, In the parking we finished the left over drinks and only I ate the chicken roll and the rest were full. After this Rony dropped us at the hotel biding goodbye and safe trip. It was an amazing hospitality from a stranger turned friend. All this concluded by 2240 hours. While discussion about tomorrow's ride plan to Delhi, Inder wanted to leave by 0200 hours, myself and Raaj were okay leaving at 0400 hours at the earliest. Only then we realized that this was the reason why Inder did not drink much and eat much. Anyways this was finalized and we hit the bed.

13th July 2010 (Day 11 )
Amritsar - Delhi (480 kms)

I recon it was around 0400 hours when Inder woke us both. Surprised to see him saddled up, he woke us both just to say that he is leaving. Then with no wasteing of time myself and Raaj also freshened up and saddled up. We left Amritsar around 0500 hours. Our plan was to ride till 0900 hours and then stop for breakfast and tea. It was drizzling when we started so I said Raaj lets not stop to rain anywhere, anyways both were prepared for rain ride. Since the road till Delhi was completely 4 lane we went on cruzing, crossed Jalandar, crossed the horrible traffic in Ludhiana city also saw couple of vehicles colliding in the Ludhiana City. Then we agreed we definitely require a break after crossing Ludhiana city, we stopped at next available Dhaba. We nearly spent an hour’s time in the Dhaba. After the break we again started riding after about 100 kms I again stopped for a tea break, it was rather a regroup of myself and Raaj. We again had couple of cups of tea. It was around 1200 hours. Here we decided that we will stop for lunch just before Delhi. From here Delhi was around 110 kms. Here we just took a 10 min break. We again hit the highway, It was cloudy right throughout the ride till Delhi. Delhi was just around 25kms since was in the lead I was searching for Non-Vaishno Dhaba to stop for lunch. Finally found one and we stopped for lunch. Belted some amazing butter roties with Kadai Chicken, the only problem there was that we did not serve Lassi that day. We were disappointed. Never the less since we were approaching Delhi we had to make some phone calls for arrangement of transport of our bikes and transport of luggage in TNT. We entered crowded Delhi around 1600 hours, Firstly we had to reach the Connaught Place TNT office to dump the luggage & Secondly We had to head to the same hotel Where we were staying on the first day. We dumped our luggage at TNT Office & directly headed to Pahargunj the hotel where we were previously staying. Since It was a relax cruzing we were not that tired, So we decided to visit few places in Delhi in a Rik or a cycle Rik. At the time of freshening up we ordered couple of beers each, we had decided we will have dinner at Chandini chowk. Raaj also wanted to experience Delhi Metro. So We walked down till the New Delhi station which was close by to the place where we were staying, Took a Rik from there to Connaught Place roamed around the busy Pallika Bazaar area. From Connaught Place we took the metro rail to Chandini Chowk, Roamed around the paranthwala gully had some delicious Paranthas, Sweet Lassies topped with Malai and took a cycle Rik to Pahargunj. That day we were pleased and happy for our safe & sound completion of the trip. We Hit the beds once we reached the rooms.

14th July 2010 (Day 12)
Delhi - Bangalore (Flight)

As soon as we woke up around 0930 hours we firstly wanted to have breakfast and buy a long soft bag to carry all our Riding gears & Secondly handover the bikes to the transporter. We finished our breakfast and purchase of the bag for about 200Rs, came to room packed all our stuff and directly headed to H.Nizamuddion Railway Station to hand over the bikes. We had already decided once we handover the bikes we take the next available flight to Bangalore. Once we handed over the bikes to that transporter around 1030 hours, Then we took a prepaid taxi to the airport. On the way to airport we were browsing over the phone to find out what time was the next available flight. It was at 1310 hours an Indian Airlines flight. We had to reach the airport and around 1210 hours. We informed the taxi driver to speed up, he ensured & safely took us to airport well before 1210 hours. We booked the tickets on the spot and boarded the flight to Bangalore. We safely landed in Bangalore at 1500 hours came out of the arrival area and boarded a Vayu Vajra (Volvo bus service from airport) to home.

Route map

View Larger Map
 Expenses during the trip

460        Kicker pump n Levers Paid
1000      Fuel in Delhi
1300      Accommodation and dinner in Delhi
160        Breakfast In Karnal
2150      Fuel In Ambala
500        Beer n Snacks at Jammu
1260      Hotel Accommodation at Jammu
2200      Fuel at Jammu
420        Oil at Jammu
160        Lunch & Coffee on way to Srinagar(Quazikund)
180        For Booze in Srinagar & Leh
1950      Fuel In Srinagar
210        Dinner at Srinagar
1100      Hotel Accommodation at Srinagar
330        Lunch at Drass
1130      Acco at Kargil
1000      Fuel at Kargil(400 to raj,300 each to Inder and Paki)
160       Bfast at Buddha Statue(Mulbek)
260       Lunch at Khalsi
130       Evening Snacks in Leh
1740     Fuel In Leh
150       Mech charges at Leh for raj and Paki
460       Oil at Leh
130       Puncture lever
200       Clutch Plates
2640     Fuel expenses at Ladakh
5000     Accommodation & food at Leh Hotel
250       Lunch at Ladakh
250       Lunch at changla
500       Breakfast in Leh(English & Israeli)
630       Dinner at Chinese Ladakh
150       Lunch at Drass
350       Accommodation at Drass
1900     Fuel in Srinagar on the way Back
210       Lunch In Quazikund(Srinagar)
500       Dinner at Pathankot(Partly Accom)
900       Accommodation in Pathankot
1800     Fuel at Amritsar
800       Spent the Night in Amritsar for food and Beverages
650       Hotel Accommodation at Amritsar
350       Lunch at Panipat
300       Beer in Delhi
240       Dinner In Delhi
800      Accommodation at Delhi
36760  Total*

*Small Expenses like Cigrattes, Water, Tea etc Excluded.

"At last we got Leh ‘d"

Link for the pics

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ride Planning for World's Highest Motorable Point

Though I had bought my Bullet in 2007, Should ride to leh concept in me started from the year 2006. Finally got to plan the leh trip in 2010 after a longtime. As usuall started of the planning with tonnes of research on internet and tonnes of discussion with those who have done the ride. Also from the research found out that a lot of foreigners come to India especially to ride to leh. Few come to India rent bullets and few others ride on their machines from their country. Which built more eagerness in me to complete the leh ride ASAP. Anyways the planning goes like this:

Planned Ride Dates

3rd July 2010 to 16th July 2010.

Confirmed Riders

1) Advriderakshay (Myself) on Black Std CI350
2) Raaj on Grey Std CI500
3) Inderneel on Magic Black CI Electra 5S

Planned Itenary

The Itenary was planned in a conservative approach, since the road from  Manali to Leh is mostly terrain we did not want to climb up that way but we wanted to climb down on the road from Leh to Manali. The road we are taking is NH and Tarmac till Srinagar so we can cruise at decent Speeds . Since it would be Tarmac we can cover decent distances as well. We also wanted to spend more time on the Leh -Manali Highway, we would get ample time to spend in the places on the way to Delhi.

Day-1(3rd July 2010) Delhi-Pathankot or Amritsar
Day-2(4th July 2010) Pathankot or Amritsar-Srinagar
Day-3(5th July 2010) Srinagar-Kargil
Day-4(6th July 2010) Kargil- Leh
Day-5(7th July 2010) local Leh and permits
Day-6(8th July 2010) Leh-Kardhungla-Nubra Valley
Day-7(9th July 2010) Nubra-Leh
Day-8(10th July 2010) Leh-pangong TSO
Day-9(11th July 2010)  Pangong –Leh
Day-10(12th July 2010) Leh-Jispa
Day-11(13th July 2010) Jispa-manali
Day-12(14th July 2010) Manali-Shimla through Jalori
Day-13(15th July 2010) Shimla-Delhi

Planned Ride Route

View Leh Trip in a larger map

Clothes to Carry

1) 4 Lightweight Cargo pants
2) 8 T-Shirts
3) 6 Vests
4) 6 Briefs
5) 5 Handki's/ Wet tissues
6) 5 Pairs Socks
7) 1 Fliece Jacket
8) 1 Thermal Pant
9) 1 Pair Woolen Gloves
10) Woolen Monkey Caps
11) 2 Night Pants
12) 2 Shorts

Riding Gears

1) Helmet with plain visar
2) Riding Jacket with Armours (Cramster K2K)
3) Riding Gloves (Cramster DewRex this one I picked up especially for Ladakh Ride)
4) Knee Guards
5) Buff/ Balaclava
6) Riding Boots

Miscellaneous Stuff

1) Saddle bags (Cramster - Stalin)
2) Tank Bag (Cramster - Turtle)
3) Camera Kit
4) Cellphone & charger
5) Maps
6) Sun Glasses with UV protection
7) Cold/Sunscream Cream/Lotion
8) Toiletaries
9) De - Hyderation Bag (Camel Bag)
10) Sneekers
11) Tool Kit for the bike(Fit in Toolbox)
12) First aid kit (carried by RAAJ)
13) Altitide sickness medicine (carried by RAAJ)
14) Bunge Cords
15) Tarpauline Sheet/ Rain Cover for the Saddle bags
16) Chain and locks for the bikes safety at night
17) Lip Balm
18) Water resistant sleeping Mat
19) Sleeping Bag
20) Biscuit packets
21) Swiss Knief(Fit in Toolbox)

Spares to carry on the Ride

1) Spark Plug (Fit in Toolbox)
2) Clutch cable Set(Fit in Saddle bags)
3) Accelator cable set(Fit in Saddle bags)
4) De-Compresor cable set(Fit in Saddle bags)
5) Front break cable set(Fit in Saddle bags)
6) Spare Clutch Lever with York(Fit in Saddle bags)
7) Chain link(Fit in Toolbox)
8) Point Set(Fit in Toolbox)
9) Gear lever shifter spring(Fit in Toolbox)
10) Extra fuel pipe(Fit in Toolbox)
11) 2 Tubes(Fit in Saddle bags)
12) Break shoes one set with Spring(Fit in Toolbox)
13) Rear wheel ball barrings set(Fit in Toolbox)
14) Front wheel ball barring set(Fit in Toolbox)
15) Chain sprocket ball barring set(Fit in Toolbox)
16) Spare Keys kept separately(Fit in Saddle bags)
17) Fuses(Fit in Toolbox)
18) Head & Tail lamp bulbs(Fit in Toolbox)
19) Spare walpin for the tubes(Fit in Toolbox)
20) 1 Litre Engine Oil for Top up(Fit in Saddle bags)

Documents to carry

1) Bike registration certificate
2) Bike Insurance certificate
3) Pollution Check certificate
4) Rider's Driving Licence
5) Rider's Medical Insurance Card

Servicing for the Bike (Planning to get it serviced in the 1st week of June 2010)

1) Engine Oil Change
2) Gear Box Oil Change
3) Front Shocks Oil Change
4) Replace Clutch cable Set
5) Replace Accelator cable set
6) Replace De-Compresor cable set
7) Front break cable set
8) Replace Point Set
9) Replace the Clutch Plates (Will put 5 plates this time)
10) Spark Plug cleaning
11) Change Oil filter
12) Air Filter cleaning
13) Carborator cleaning
14) Replace Rear wheel ball barrings set
15) Replace Front wheel ball barring set
16) Replace Chain sprocket ball barring set
17) Tappet adjustment
18) Battery re-charge
19) Chain Lubrication
20) Bike Washing

Modifications on my Bike

1) Replaced Standard rear Shocks with Gas Shocks
2) Changed connectivity of the head light from Battery to Coil
3) Replaced 15 litres fuel tank with the 24 litres fuel tank. Below is the pic of 4 tanks getting painted. Mine, Inder, Raaj and Arvind's Tanks in the pic. This was done basically to avoid carrying fuel cans on the bikes.

The tanks that are shown in the above pic, These tanks where bought and shipped from Delhi. Since Inder's home is in Delhi. He was on a usual visit to home. There he had enquired about the tanks in Karol bagh and Kazanchi. Finally the price in Kazanchi were the cheapest. After a long conference calls between Me, Raaj and Inder we finally decided we will go for the 24liter tanks. Inder shipped all the four tanks from Delhi to Bangalore. Once the tanks had arrived in Bangalore myself and Raaj went to Kalasipaliya to pick up the tanks from parcel office. As usual some small dents on the tanks during transit. Got rid of those small dents easily & quickly at a fabrication shop in RT Nagar. Then the tanks were also painted in the same area. Spent a lot of time getting 4 tanks stickerd in Shivajinagar after the paint but before lackering. The tank is ready, but I am yet to fix the same on my bullet due to time constraints. Will get it fitted at the time of serivce.

Fittness for Myself

From almost a month started jogging at a brisk pace, which would cover about 4 kms and light workout in the gym with the help of coach

Myself, Raaj and Inder have already booked Flight Tickets to Delhi for 2nd July 2010.

Amount Spent on the bike for this Ride

Rear Carrier                                                  900
25 litre Fuel Tank including Painting                2400
1 pair Brake Shoes                                        130
2 wheel bearings                                            120
Sproket Wheel bearing                                  115
Petrol Pipe                                                    30
Kicker Springs                                              25
Clutch plates                                                 230
2 Tubes                                                        540
Springs                                                         20
half litre Gear box oil                                    100
STP                                                             220
3 Litre Oil                                                    520
Front Brake Cable                                       55
Decompresor Cable                                     35
Accelator Cable                                           55
Point Set                                                      160
Labour                                                         350
Total                                                           6005

Amount Spent of the Misc stuff

Tank Bag                                                  1450
Dew Rex Gloves                                       1600
Knee Guards                                            1500
Flight Hyderabad to Delhi                         3350
Bike Shipping Charges Bangalore to Delhi 2900
Nikon D90 Camera Kit                            72000
Total                                                        82800

Wait for the next blog, will post the same once the ride is complete.

Till then cheers! Ride Safe

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ride to Rider Mania - X

Rider Mania  is an event where bulleteers with same passion from different parts of the country spend time together for a couple to days. Exchange ideas, Share their ride experiences, have loads of Fun, participate in the events etc and lot more. Only a person who has riden to rider mania can experience this.

Rider Mania - X was organized by the Inddiethumpers (Bullet Club from Mumbai) on 23rd and 24th Jan 2010 in Vikramgad (150 kms North of Mumbai).


Since I have been part of RTMC(Rolling Thunder Motorcycling Club - Bangalore), Had represtented RTMC along with 40 other clubmates to the event. Intial plan was to ride from Bangalore with fellow RTMC'rs. Due to leave constraints I had to ride to the event from Hyderabad along with fellow RTMC'r Mamidi who is in Hyderabad.

Route Plan.

Hyderabad - Zahirabad - Homnabad - Solapur - Pune - Lunavala - Navi Mumbai - Manor - Vikramgad (Venue) - Wada - Shahapur - Murbad - Ahmednagar - Tuljapur - Umarga - Zahirabad - Hyderabad approx 1600 kms.

View Larger Map

As per our pre-ride discussion it was decided that myself and Mamidi will start riding from BHEL maingate, Hyderabad at around 1530 hrs on Thursday 21st Jan 2010 accompanied by few riders from Wanderers(Bullet club of Hyderabad) and halt at Solapur for the Day.

As usual I left to office on 21st Jan 2010, along with packed pair of saddlebag. Once the clock clicked 1500 hrs I left office and reached BHEL maingate which was around 20 kms from my office. Reached the regroup point at around 1520hrs. Mamidi arrived at around 1527 hours. After discussing for couple of mins regarding JD & Gang(Wanderers) catching with us, came to know from Mamidi that those guys will be starting couple of hours late and will regroup with us in Solapur.

Myself and Mamidi left the 1st regroup point and had reached 5kms before Zairabad at arond a1700 hours. Stopped at that point for smoke, to make some calls to JD & Gang, heard from them that they would be leaving Hyderabad in an about 30mins. After taking 10 mins break we decided that we would ride till dusk.
We had rode for about 100kms in one of the busyest National Highways (NH9). It was around about 1830 hours it started to get dark and the number of insects on the road at that time started to increase as well. Then we took another break for Tea and smoke. It was a  30 mins break. We were about 110 kms away from Solapur. We started of  at around 1900 hrs the traffic had increased. It was really difficult to drive on a single lane with all the trucks on highbeam. We had taken an hour and half to cover about 70 kms on that road. We decided to take another break for tea and smoke obviously few phone calls. In the meantime JD & Gang has sms d us to also make arrangements for 4 of themselves in Solapur. We took 10 mins break and started of around 2040 hours. We reached Solapur around 2130 hours. Searched for accomadation in  the city for about 10 to 15 mins. Finally after a lot of enquiring found the Krishna Lodge for cheap. It was okay types. He charged us 350 bux for a doublebed room. We also confirmed the accomadation for JD & Gang. As usuall we had couple of drinks and dinner. It was at around 2330hours JD and Gang had arrived to the lodge. We had planned to hit the road at 0630 hrs,Timed the alarm at 0600 hrs for the next morning and  hit the bed at 2345 hrs.

Alarm woke us up at 0600 hours and we woke JD & Gang. Myself and Mamidi were ready by 0630 hours. JD & Gang were still saddling up, they would take another 10 mins. As instructed by the lodge owner we did not fuel up in the city we fueled up outsite the city due to some Tax issues. We informed JD & Gang we would wait for those guys just outside the city. By the time we fueled up those guys had already caught up.
We rode together till Timburni which is 70kms after Solapur towards Pune. We stoped there for breakfast and decided that Myself & Mamidi will join the RTMC Gang at Lonavala, JD & Gang decided they would take the Ahmednagar scenic route. We split from there on, JD & Gang took a right turn from Timburni and we hit straight to Pune. Pune was about 170 kms from Timburni. We reached Pune by 1230 hrs. Enquiring the route towards Lonavala from Pune took us 10 mins. By the time we left Pune we had wasted around an 1 hour in the city traffic.  We reached Lonavala at around 1400 hrs where RTMC gang had halted for lunch. RTMC gang on 22nd Jan 2010 had rode from Kolapur to Lonavala. By the time we had done with our lunch it was around 1500 hours. On the way to Navi Mumbai we stopped for another break(for Re-grouping) by the time we re-grouped and made Mr.Clueless (Prem) the point it was 1630 hours. Most of them had to stop for fuel and ATM. Reached Navi Mumbai, Mr.Clueless showed us some good looking buildings and roads. After that sightsighing in Navi Mumbai Prem was named Mr.Clueless. I am still wonering what was the route which we took from Navi Mumbai to Fountain Plaza Hotel on the way to Manor. In one of the toll gates in Navi Mumbai we met the Mamda, Lloyd and Vijay. They were waiting for Adrain was bike broke down a few kms behind. Mamda with high concentration was guiding Adrain on rejovanating his bike. En-route to Fountain Plaza hotel from Navi Mumbai, we had lost a lot of fellow RTMC'rs in the Navi Mumbai Traffic. I along with few surviving RTMC'rs from the pack had fueled by in Navi Mumbai, Cant rember the exact place of fueling up. Traffic at around 1800 hours was horrible. Myself, Prasy, Mamidi, Dicso, Bumboo, Aditya, Prasad and Prateek were the only RTMC'rs surviving in the pack guided by Mr.Clueless to Fountain Plaza hotel. That was supposedly last regroup point before reaching Manor. This was the hotel Where Preeti was waiting for Heroin. Finally we all met at Fountain Plaza hotel. Took a break for riding in the traffic. Poo had some lighting issues in his bike. Seenu anna the bullet mech from Hyderabad happened to stop for break in the same hotel at the same time. He fixed the holder issue in the Poo's bike.

From then on again we rode in the pack. Most of them were riding in the 60s and 70s. Manor was about 50 odd kms from Fountain Plaza hotel. after around 30 kms Dicso ripped breaking from the pack. Followed by Myself, Poo and Prasy.  We 4 of us reached Manor and waited for the rest of the pack to join us. But the rest of the Pack had already halted for dinner just before Manor. We 4 then decided we would have our dinner in Manor and we would not go back. Poo was desperate to eat Non-veg, from past two days he was only having veg food. So we just crossed over to the other side of the road for dinner. The time by then was
around 2200 hrs. After dinner we gave a call to Bamboo was said, "Wait for us" then Poo suggested we will cruize slowly to the venue which was around 18kms from Manor, and then the pack would catch us up. So after Poo's suggestion we were cruizing slowly, we had already reached the venue around 2300 hrs.

The few Inddiethumpers who were awake welcomed and guided us to the parking lot. We then there met our Chumma Chamak who was the first from RTMC to reach the venue, who guided us to our accomadation in the venue. After 15 to 20 min the rest of the pack arrived. Since most of them were tired we had a relaxing chat, smoke and booze for about couple of hours and then hit the bed.

23rd Jan 2010, Day 1 at the RMX for me was exicting since it was first RM ride for me. Got up in the morning at around 0900 hours stepped out of the room saw resort staff boiling water just beside our accomadation. Prashy along with a Inddithumper had carried our registraition kit to our accomadation. Went back to the room saw some slots open in the bathroom finished my quota of freshening up. Mean time few other were still snooring on the bed and few other were already of their way to the dinning hall were breakfast was served.
After breakfast every body were suppose to assemble at assembly area for introductions from the participating clubs. This happened till lunch. Since the beer counter was already open from morning and ready to serve. The day started to get hot. So without any choice had to opt for beer rather than drinking water. By the time I had finished three bottles of beer it was time for lunch. Had lunch came back to the accomadation area where we all had a relaxing meet going on. It was like decideing who will be particpating in which event. after the meet i joined the club in cheering our guys in the dismantling the bike and fixing it back event. this took place for an hour and half i guess.
RTMC team in the dismantling event
 After that went for strol around the venue and to the parking lot just to look at the different kinds of modifications people have done to their bullets.
Hulk Paint job
Decent paint job
Some kind of announcement and events had started in the assemble area. We went to assembly area with the drinks we had carried from outside. Just stayed away in one corner with fellow RTMC'rs and other club bulleters and enjoyed the drinks till they lasted.
After that had dinner with eveyone at around 2230hours, After dinner went back to the accomadation area where all the RTMC'rs were just chilling, smoking, boozing, relaxing etc. All the RTMC'rs had some kickass time for the next three to four hours. KD and gang making some "Apte" Jokes. Ofcourse "SeeMeee" jokes. All of them sitting in the group had a wonerful time. People who had already gone to sleep also woke up and joined us for chatting. Still cant remember the time we hit the bed..

24th Jan 2010, Day 2. As usual got up and used the empty slots in the toilets. Still some fellow bulleteers snooring. Rushed for breakfast since it will be last served till 1030am after breakfast assembled back at the accomadation by that time
Adk had made up his mind to take part in the dirt track event on his Classic 500. Only guy on the circuit with Classic 500.
One of MrMadbull full poseing with cigar
The rest of gang walked around the dirt track to find a less crowded place to relax and cheer the riders taking part in the event. The event was delayed in between because of few crashes on the circuit.
Myself at the Dirt Track
Our Beer stunt man
All of us relaxing during the break of Dirt event
After a while we can back to the dinning area where we had couple of beers with fellow bulleteers and then followed by lunch.
Myself, Charan and Aditya
Poo & Lloyd
Karna and Sam Cooling off

The time by then was around 1500 hrs.
Poo, Seemee and Nai-gun in the relaxing meet
The club had decided we will back for a meeting regarding tonight presentations from all the clubs. Even we as a club had to do presentation. Then It was decided intially Myself, Deepshit and Oily Nickerss will go on the stage and will start the presentation and then the rest of the RTMC'rs will come and join us.

After the meeting we decided we all will get our bikes from the parking area to the accomadation area and would go an RTMC parade to surprise everyone in the venue. The parade happened and most of them watching us had a lot of smilies on their faces.
RTMC RM-X Parade
RTMC RM-X Parade
Kind hearted ADK Crying
The crowd watching us definitely enjoyed that moment. In the night as the event started Our turn had arrived after 3 or 4 clubs had given their presentation and then the presentation happend in the way it was decided. Since I was the participant was not able to have a look at how the presentation came out. People from other clubs did say that It had come out real good. Thanks to all RTMC'rs. After that event had couple of beers during other presentations and headed straight to the dinning hall to have dinner. Since next day would be start of another journey. So had dinner most of them had already started packing and hit bed early. Myself also did some packing and hit the bed at around 2230 hours.

On 25th along with other RTMC folks Myself and Mamidi started the ride at around 0630 hours towards Wada.
Cup & Adk Starting from the RM-X Venue early in the morning
Where Myself and Mamidi will be heading East just to avoid the city traffic in Navi Mumbai and Pune and rest of the RTMC folks will be heading south.
Mamidi's Bull at Lonavla and Kandala ghats
My Bull at Lonavla and Kandala ghats
My Bull at Lonavla and Kandala ghats
After Wada we took the Shapur route which was scenic and the route was like passing through the forests inn Maharastra.  On the way to Ahmednagar from Shapur we stopped for breakfast at around 1100 hours.After having a bit heavy breakfast we left the breakfast point at around 1130 hours and headed towards Ahmednagar. We reached Ahmednagar at around 1300 hours. Myself and Mamadid had to fuel up and draw some money from the ATM. We drew money from the ATM and fueled up in Ahmednagar. After enquiring about the route to Tuljapur, we halted for a break just outside of Ahmednagar.
Pitstop at Ahmednagar
The breakfast which we had around 1100 hours was a bit heavy, So we did not feel like having lunch. After the Ahmednagar outshirts pitstop at around 1400 hours we started off towards Tuljapur, Tuljapur was about 60 kms away they we decided to take another break around 1600 hours. There we decided that we will halt for the day at Tuljapur.
Resting Bulls just before Tuljapur
Wanderers Gang Catching US at the Resting place
Resting Bulls just before Tuljapur
After the break we started off to Tuljapur and reached there by 1730 hrs. Till then we had compelted around 550 kms for the day and we had another 300kms to cover for Hyderabad. We took shelter at another lodge for the night. That evening we freshened up at around 1800 hours and left the Lodge for a strol around the city in search of drink and food. Just below the lodge we had a bit of snacks since we had skipped lunch and went for a strol around the town. After walking for about 20 to 25 mins Myself and Mamidi found the drinks, we parceled it to the Lodge and started pardying once we reached the Lodge. I was around 2230 hours we finished our pardy and again came down in search of dinner. Then we decided to have the dinner in the same place where we had our snacks. We had dinner and hit the bed at around 2300 hours.

On 26th Jan 2010, Again alarmed at 0600 we woke up and saddled up. Hit the roads at around 0630 and started towards hyderabad. We had reached Zahirabad which was 200kms after Tuljapur at around 0930. In search of breakfast we rode to the outskirts of Zahirabad and found a place to halt for breakfast and smoke. In the place where we had stopped for breakfast, a fellow bulleteer from 23one(Another Bullet club in Hyderabad) riding solo from RM-X had also stopped there for breakfast. Even that guy was travelling to Hyderabad. Once we were done with our breakfast and smoke we hit the  road at around 1015 hours. By 1200 hours we were about to reach the BHEL main gate which was our first re-group point, we decided to have a break for smoke and bid adieu. After that break I safely and soundly reached home by 1230 hours. After a satisfied ride to Rider Mania.

One of the should ride events in my list was completed.

For More RM-X pics