Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 2 - Keylong to Sarchu...

We left Keylong as per the plan... But where are all the plans?
We were at the disposal of one of the most difficult paths and most beautiful terrain... the beauty attracts and calls us ahead to reveal most exotic views but the difficulties challenge us at every move. That makes it more desirable.

One more thing... We saw so many plastic bottles and chips packets here and there. We go to Ladakh for adventure, to know the nature, to know our country not to pollute the fragile environment. It cannot bear such load. Nature has to be respected because if it decides to take revenge, there is no escape at all. Uttarakhand tragedy and J&K floods are live examples. So please be with nature. Enjoy it without disturbing it.
As i told, we were unaware of what lay ahead but now when I know, I would suggest to go with large group and a guide, if possible. Lot of Zanskaris work as travel guides.  



Punctured bike
Just when we were enjoying our ride, one of our bike gave us a jolt. At a time when we were already running late, one bike got punctured and we were all alone with our spares and tool kit. We all struggled with whatever we had but could not even take out the punctured tube let alone change it. 
Time was flying by, we started feeling hungry and helpless. (But the place was just spectacular!!!). 

When everybody was fixing the tyre, Vikram made full use of the view

Just then we saw 2 bikers, one was an NRI from New York accompanied by his friend from Hungary.They were riding with a jeep with mechanic.  Those guys helped us like anything. They helped us to change the tube and fix it again.
Great help in the middle of the crisis
 We felt so relieved, thanked them and moved ahead. After few kilometers, we faced first stream of our trip. It was really a normal stream, if we had crossed it in morning, there would not have been much water but at around 5 p.m., the waters looked scary.. (It wasn't scary, it was just that we were scared as it was our first major stream). We stopped our bikes, analyzed the flow and depth. After much analysis, we crossed it. 

 Once we crossed it, we feared less of the waters (Only to fear more... Lots and lots were coming ahead... that too in full flow during evening. And we were just unaware).
Numerous such streams come along this route
We were thoroughly enjoying the ride through the mind numbing terrain. We were passing through highs and lows, going from one mountain to another moving towards Baralacha la pass (16050ft).

We crossed the famous Surajtal and the view was amazing. Although, the thin road above hundreds of feet on which we were riding could be dangerous and the depth and extension of Surajtal seemed unfathomable. Even the thought sent jitters to my bones. 

Baralacha la Pass- Truly a mind numbing experience
We were crossing all the streams, increasing layers of clothing, with floaters in feet, we were freezing on Baralacha la pass. After Baralacha la, we crossed two more streams and as we were crossing them in evening, water was till waist. Totally drenched in freezing cold at around 7 in the evening, we had to travel around 40 odd kilometers to reach Sarchu. Nearest stay could be at Bharatpur. We did not know about it but as soon as we saw the glimpse of warm tents, we dropped our bags and spent our night there. It is always suggested to take a night's halt at Bharatpur or Sarchu so as to get acclimatized with altitude and low oxygen. Another reason was that 3 more streams (and the toughest of this route) were ahead of Bharatpur and streams are most dangerous in the evening. We decided to leave first thing next morning and had lavish dinner with tea and "angithi" to keep us warm.

Tents at Bharatpur
That night, we could not sleep. Either you stay at Bharatpur or Sarchu, heavy winds blow all night and the sound is deafening. Even though we were tired, we could not even sleep for an hour. It is strictly advised to take 1 whole Dimox tablet everyday and drink as much water as possible. (However, you will hardly find any toilets.. None after Keylong.) Low oxygen and AMS(Acute Mountain Sickness, read more about AMS at )  may hit any time and once it hits, it can be dangerous.

And as planned, we left for Leh with the morning light (Although packing everything made it late morning light!!! Still at 6:45 a.m., it was too early by our standard!)


We are leaving early and we want to reach Leh... Today!!!!


  1. Simply adventurous...thanks for sharing your experience.