Srinagar to Kargil
Again, the rain has been falling since last night. I waited till 9 am; from heavy it goes to drizzle. I can do it in the slow rain as I wouldn’t want to wait another day here. Packed up and in 10 minutes, was rolling in light drizzle. The cloud seemed breaking up but I predicted that it should be ok along the way. But after 20km, my prediction was so wrong…the rain became more heavier.
Saw some small stalls by the roadside and I stopped for a break…well, to take cover from the heavy rain actually. Cloaked 50km in 2 hours. Too slow, but I think it was good; safe ride uphill.
Again, I have been bugged by kids asking for money. At first I just ignored them but when one of them acted to the extreme, like trying to grab my helmet, I just snapped and my plastic chair flew straight at him. He fell, dropped my helmet and ran away. Thiefs.
Locals just look as if nothing happened. And some even have the guts to scratch on my helmet. Lucky it didn’t break the visor.
Finished my drink and light snack (didn’t know what was it) and moved on riding. It was really hard to ascend the steep mountains in rain and muddy ice. Watch the video and you will know. But believe me that the view was worth it. Lil G was working really hard today. Pushed her to the limit.
Along the way Lil G had some difficulity breathing. At times, in thin air, she just died. Air starvation. It’s ok if it was downhill but uphill among the big trucks is no fun at all.
Along the way in the heavy rain I met a group of local riders of Royal Einfield; all soaked and shivering. Short break with them before I moved on.
Reached Kargil at about 7pm. Almost dark.
Wet and cold as I was looking for a room and the whole town went dark. Power was gone again. Took me more than an hour to find a room within my budget in the dark. And nothing can be done in this darkness. Had my dinner and G is sleeping outside in the cold.
Enjoy the short video of me in the rain, ice and what ever in-between.
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Kargil to Leh
Today I started early. Trying to catch the morning sun and morning ride. Beautiful scenery. Morning sun was nice but it didn’t get me warm at this altitude. Pretty slow and easy ride though. By 12 noon, was not even halfway. Was just ascending higher and higher and higher all the way until I reached the highest peak. G had to be re-fueled twice. Uphill riding like this she drank too much fuel.. Suprisingly today she performed really well. Not once she died of air starvation, even at almost 14000ft. After that most of it was downhill. Guess I started early and managed to avoid those trails of big trucks.
Entered Leh almost 4pm.
Leh is a beautiful small town way up high on the mountain, 3500meter above sea level. Though it is very far away, really worth it. Got a small simple room with hot shower near old bazaar. And wonderful view from the roof. It’s not just the cold here in Leh, it’s the chilly wind that makes me shiver. Am really shivering while typing this. Wearing layers of all the clothes I have with me, I am still shivering. Chilled to the bone. Hahaha.
Went around this small town trying to get myself familiar to where I stay and where I will be heading. Time to grab a bite. Hungry. Saw a local food joint filled with people. Must be nice if it’s full. Masala tea and garlic fried rice to warm me this evening.
I have been on the road too long I guess that I lost track what day it is. I need to get a permit to go to Khardung La tomorrow. Khardung La is the highest passable road on earth.
And silly me, tomorrow is Sunday. District office that issues the permit is closed. Gotta wait till Monday I guess. Another extra day stay for me.
Found few cyber cafes here but the fee were way out of my budget.. Cost me more than a meal for an hour.. Guess I have to wait till I am back in Srinagar.
Getting dark and too cold for me. Need good hot shower and hit the bed.
Happy sunday.Khoda Hafez