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Old 06-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
GurgaonTrails OP
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Joined: Feb 2012
Location: India
Oddometer: 94
Rest of the route - or How to have fun in Ladakh

So the point of going to Ladakh ends up being going to Leh.....which beats the point of going to Ladakh!
So we will end up reaching Leh right at the end of our spins around Ladakh.

The more interesting parts of Ladakh all require permits issued in Leh as they are "sensitive" areas, with militarised borders with China and Pakistan. Evrybody needs these permits, including Indians. And the even more interesting parts of Ladakh are restricted to only Indians, with permits. And then there are even more interesting parts that no one expects anyone to go to so there is an absence of policy on issueing permits for them. But this can obviously be interpreted two ways

So ofcourse that's where all we'll go. From the route to Leh, about 150kms short of Leh we will cut off east to two lakes...Tso Kar and Tso Moriri. Big huge lakes at 14000 feet altitude. Used to be an offroad route, but may have some roads now. Hoping not.

Then we head through a new track, off the map, to a place called Hanle which has the world's currently highest Observatory, though people reach there via a proper other road from Leh. My interest is only that it's a very rarely travelled (or even known) track connecting the two places. Nothing like offroading in the back country at 14-15000 feet altitude.

Then we ride through some interesting valleys, mostly offroad up to the giant mother of a lake, Pangong Tso. 130kms long, crystal clear salt water lake at 15000 foot altitude. Then off through one of two interesting routes to Nubra Valley. Here we'll end up at Hundar, with it's massive sand dunes and double hump camels in a 14000 foot altitude valley.

And then ride up Khardung La, the erstwhile/disputed highest motorable road in the workd at 18000+ foot altitude, and down into Leh in the Indus valley. Then finally head on back home via the spectacularly beautiful Kashmir.

The trick is to obtain all the permits in advance for which many efforts are currently on. Not only is it unusual to receive these permits in advance, some intended spots have suddenly been re-restricted. Apparently some bikers rode off into Chinese territory and got arrested....

Fingers crossed.

'04 Honda XR 400 | '08 Royal Enfield 500

Himalayan Ride Report 1997 | Ladakh again (2012)
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