This year, Until now I have been preoccupied with all the preparations; planning and building the bike, testing and crashing, route plans and frequent updates on road conditions, logistics, spare parts, travel gear etc. Another project in the making, and that’s the way I went about it. But, Back to what happened last year from where we left off.
We had a few days to kill in Leh and rest much. It was entertaining with the Football World Cup on big screens. It got a little strange after a day or two of not riding. It was very impulsive and we just met with a bunch of friends who had ridden 10000+ kms all the way from the tip of the peninsula up to where we were. Little did I know, that the next 5 days will be spent in great places, bad weather coming our way and a lot more of adventure. We had no idea where we were heading. All that was spoken was, we were going to be in Nubra for a few days. So, we packed our tents, sleeping mats and bags and swiftly on our way, all 5 of us.
Camping did'nt go really well on Day 1 I must say. We were wandering a way bit too late and it was almost 9pm and it became dark in a flash. It lead to camp in an abandoned sand quarry with no food, no fire, no water. It was freezing cold in the night at some 16000+ ft and barely slept.
Day 2 of camping did'nt go too well either. Just like how sand quarries are terrible places to camp, so are river beds, and river beds where it rains balls at night. Again, barely slept that night. Now we are at Turtuk, some 200+ kms away from Leh, where it doesnt rain as much as its in a rain shadow region. But guess what, Not so much in Turtuk.
With most of our riding gear wet, and all of us a litte tipsy, I lazed in my tent for another 45 minutes. The only option was to leave the comfort of my sleeping bag, put on my cold, wet riding gear and crawl out into the slight drizzle. Mornings like that really were what an adventure was all about. Enduring. Enduring fatigue, malnutrition, being cold and wet. Finding the mental strength to get up and out when the body resists. The reward is priceless. Only for the mind though, for the body it was more of the same and we decided that "camping" really was not our cup of tea given the weather and our present condition.
|There's a storm brewing !|
We spent the next 3 days riding and exploring. Found a hot spring in Panamik and took a bath with a Japanese guy, stayed at local home stays in the valley, ate some great food and ran out of fuel. After a little bit of begging on the road, we got some fuel (thanks unknown german guy whose name I dont remember !) for my crazy friend who had ridden his old stroke all the way from home. Like some 10000+ kms away.
|The historic silk route from Summur|
It was time to part ways and it all happened a little too quick. We were back in Leh, and I left solo from there riding to Srinagar from where I'd ship my horse and fly back home.
The road from Leh to Srinigar was all Tarmac. The infamous Zojila pass was joke after riding thro Spiti. It was all too easy and comfortable. The journey is extremely picturesque and Kargil, Sonmarg are indeed charming. Its a switch in terrain once you hit the low lands. There was paddy and lots of familiar sights ! The mountains in the rear view mirror, It did'nt feel all that good.
I reached home the very next day and it was a gruelling wait for the horse to come home, which took a good 2 weeks. When I woke up in by room, in my bed, I felt like a stranger. True story. But, nevertheless, I gotta keep doing boring stuff when I am not doing awesome stuff and for me, life's such a fine balance, as I was already dreaming about a Winter Spiti and test my luck to spot some wildlife.
Up Next - The Winter Chronicles ...