Tuesday, 2 July 2013

LEH -LADAKH bike trip - Behind the scenes

iLeh Swargha
Which translates to “Heaven is right here, in Leh”

Imagine yourself in this situation: “An ardent traveler, new bee in the motorcycle touring world, dreams of the "Leh-Ladakh Bike trip”. Popularly known as the holy grail of all bikers, is synonymous with the saying - "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" .  Since the journey involves a lot of planning - you start early, as early as 10 months from the probable travel dates. 

Discussions with cousins begin & frequent mailers with the subject “%Leh - Ladakh%" start floating around. Gathering information about weather, working out the financials, negotiating deals for the bike transportation, catching up with friends who have already achieved this dream journey & collecting information on the challenges & risks involved, you name it & everything is on in full swing.

5 months to go, you are all set to book the tickets & terrorist attack hits Srinagar. That being one of the major destinations on the itinerary, you are forced to wait it to out. First set back, but a month later your tickets are reserved & you see the plan materializing! As each day rolls on, your anxiety builds & all you can think of is - “Sitting at the popular Pangong Tso Lake in Leh and enjoying nature with your beloved cousins".

Out of the blue, 2.5 months before the journey one of the cousin hints the possibility of cancellation due to new developments at work. The explosion although mild initially, puts the complete travel plan in jeopardy as the enthusiasm in the group shrinks drastically and individual travel plans to other destinations crop up. The LEH dream seems like a diminishing star in comparison with the ever growing personal commitments! This is our story of Leh, what happened next? Sit tight & read on..

In the middle of such turmoil, one of hubby’s cousin whose initial plan was to borrow a friend’s bike for the trip surprises us by purchasing a brand new Pulsar 200ns. Another cousin, who had the plan to buy a new bike, invests more than his estimated budget for a Bajaj Avenger. We at the other end purchased a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 a month before the two others.
Thus the current situation was similar to the saying – “Adding fuel to fire”! since after such investments the trip was at the verge of being cancelled.

“Certain things are just beyond our comprehension” how true does it get?! Ask the ones who have experienced incidents which fall into that category. Being an atheist, an event in relation to the Leh trip makes me conclude as stated above. The whole plan which was in withering state gets rejuvenation after the “Probable canceller“ cousin a.k.a my hubby confirms his attendance :-). Yes, the trip gets back on our map when we have about 45 days left for the start of our 19 day journey through Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali,Leh,Kargil & Srinagar.

So, what next?? Our preparation is underway at supersonic speed, with bike fabrication & shopping for essentials topping the list.Even though we all have discussed a lot about the fitness regime, no one has really been diligent enough in this area. Owing to the fact that acute mountain sickness (AMS) & long distance rides are not our forte, we are working on making the most of the last few days at our disposal. 

Our Route Map

Doesn't it all sound very exciting?!  Need more information on the essentials, shopping guides & transport options? Keep watching this space; I shall publish a blog exclusively on all that is needed to make a trip to Leh happen along with our experience.

For now, wish us luck !! 

Happy Travelling :-)


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