Sunday 31 August 2014

Day 6 : Kargil - Mulbekh - Namik-La - Lamayuru - Leh

Day 6 : Events (Aug 20)

  • Daspa Ji, the owner of the hotel (/homestay) in Kargil took us on a rare mountain road to show the Indo-Pakistan border
  • Had a good breakfast at Daspa Hotel and started for Leh
  • Stopped at Mulbekh for water and to check out the ancient statue of Buddha
  • Crossed Namik-La pass
  • Had traditional Ladakhi food for lunch somewhere near Lamayuru
  • Reached Leh in the afternoon
  • Headed straight to a bullet workshop for a general check-up, as the road to Dras had shaken and stirred both the ride and the rider

Kargil - Mulbekh - Namik-La - Lamayuru - Leh

Road condition:
At a high level, I could recollect, Kargil till Leh roads were good. I didn't have any challenge, other than feeling drowsy on the way, so stopped the bike on side of the road and caught a quick nap in shade. Amazing feeling, you must try that. I had left Kargil by morning 9 and was in Leh by afternoon, while still, the whole of the afternoon (=light) was there. This includes many stops, lunch breaks, etc all through the way.

The climate was moderately cold all through, but during the clear sky daytime, sun rays are strong too. So when on the bike I was getting a cold breeze, but if I stand longer in the sun, it was a bit annoying.

Fuel Stops:
Kargil : 
Rs 500 / 77.40 pl = 6.5 Ltrs

The last village on Indian territory is called Hunder-Brok.

The greenery seen at the bottom of the photograph is the village named 'Hunder'. Again the green patch  (valley) visible in the distance is the last village of Pakistan called 'Brolmo'. Upon close inspection, you may see some of the army camps that are far from the mountain. The faint line/road visible is the Silk Route. Click on the link to know more about it. Currently, civilians are not allowed on this route and it's used only by Indian Army.

Special thanks to Daspa Ji for taking us to this place and sharing his first-hand experience of the Kargil war.

There are still many landmines planted in the whole region, hence it's instructed not to step away from the road. Notice the bullet holes on the signboard.

Leaving Kargil for a new destination. Kargil will remain a special place in my memory and I may come back again to experience the winter here.

A view of the city of Kargil from the higher mountains.

She gave me permission for shooting a portrait of her:)

Notice the pollen of cotton plants.

The temple at Mulbekh. There is a statue carved on the big stone, which is said to be of the next Buddha. Not sure of the story behind it.

In search of a statue I had heard of, I took a detour and came across this school. Students are seated outside the building to enjoy the warm morning sunlight.

Very excited to see me taking photographs.

Here is a cool dude in the making. Must admit I wasn't half as cool as this kid when I was in school:P

Selfie with Dan (UK) and Heiko (Germany)

Heiko's 20 years old Honda African Twin 750cc tourer with a custom 47-liter fuel tank o_O

Dan's BMW GS Dakar (650) Edition. He used to own a GS1200 and got rid of it as it was too heavy for adventure touring. I too share the same opinion as Dan on this one. GS1200 was my dream bike of sorts until I kept seeing it in my office parking in the UK every day, just to realize, it was too heavy and too bulky for me for world adventure touring needs. Hence this 650cc single cylinder looks like a good option for me for future upgrades.

Prayer wheel at Mulbekh village.

Passing Namik La

That bridge on the left is the road to Leh.

Leh - 225 km

Leh, another 120 km.

Entrance to the area called 'Moonland'. 

A selfie at 'Moonland' for FB.

Notice the road has got washed off due to water in the river. When I passed the river had very less water, maybe during a heavy shower this damage to the road might have happened.

Heading from snow caped mountain to a more sandy region.

I just love drooling over my ride next to a breathtaking view. Thanks, Pegasus for the friendship and support.

Got to see many such straight roads, I had seen in wallpaper shots. Due to many reasons, I had a bit conservative approach while shooting at such places. However would take my time to shoot some beautiful shots, when I visit this place and not ride a motorcycle (*maybe!).

Some adventurous riders testing the magnetic field bit too literally. Made an interesting shot for me though.

The stretch is known to have the magical (/scientific) reverse effect of Earth's magnetic field.

Ahhhhhh what a view this was!!! :)

I was feeling sleepy, so stopped after this stretch and caught a nap, and had some water on a shady patch of the road.

Entering the city of Leh.

The first visit after reaching Leh was to a garage run by Mohan Sharma.

This is a completely worn-out disc brake pad. You can see a thin layer of the pad is left on the metal.

This is the disc pad of one of the riders in my group. Yep, there is no pad left, it's the metal base that has been rubbing against the disc. Scary stuff!

Beware when you ride long and keep using your disc brakes. A brake pad at this stage damages the disc and may make it unusable.

A contraption outside a welding shop. Not bad I say!

Until I reached Leh, I never really expected to see a city again, especially after doing the Sonmarg-Kargil strip. By the term city, I meant a place with a lot of people and all luxuries like restaurants, mechanic workshops, hospitals, shops, etc. Nope, the riding route wasn't definitely far from a straight line, as it appears in this screenshot above.

Night Halt:
Place                : Leh
Accommodation : Reeyork Hotel, Near Police Station Area
Cost per room    : Rs 1200
Room Capacity   : 2 + 1 additional mattress
Other Details     :
- Bikes parked inside the hotel's main gate
- Simple rooms with hot water facility, but not available all the time
- For the shower I needed hot water, rest all chores were manageable in cold water
- Food quality and taste were not bad, and the cost of food was almost the same as outside (so when feeling lazy it makes sense to order here)
- Owner/Odly-acting-like-owner was a stingy guy and was trying to make money out of everything
- Leh is the district and I found it has the most modern conveniences, so for any needs, it's a good idea to roam around in the market
View the Main Post for this ride

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