Himalayas on Enfields ; The Easy Way.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by nikhuzlan, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. baja1kwinner

    baja1kwinner Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    66
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Outstanding memories of a great trip, unbelievable scenery and excellent accommodations + everyone on the trip added to the positive. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #41
  2. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Himalaya Ride. Day 7. Tso Kar - TanglangLa - Leh

    We woke up to a beautiful morning. The cobalt blue skies was initially covered by wisps if stratus clouds, awaiting the heat of the sun to before dispersing. Today we all are looking forward to staying in a proper hotel room in Leh after two nights in tents.

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    Chotu as usual is busy taking care of the bikes.
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    Flo basking in the heat of the rising sun.
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    Getting ready to ride
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    We rode to TsoKar, a lake just 3 kilometers from our campsite. At 14,500, its 1,000ft higher than Mount Kinabalu, and twice the height of Gunung Tahan. Fed by two snow melt streams, flanked by two mountains taller than 19,000ft, the Thugjey and Gursan Peaks, the plains surrounding Tso Kar support a small community of Gulls, Terns and Cranes. Salt used to be collected from this brackish lake by Nomadic Tribes until the last decade. Mountain Goats and Yaks, belonging to the tribesmen are left grazing wild.
    This place is a popular stop amongst Adventurers going to Leh, another 140km North West. Just off the Manali - Leh "Highway", the turnoff is unmarked and can be easily missed. The ride to the camp is all gravel, but the best kind, no rocks, no potholes, just naturally compacted sand for about 10km.
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    After 30 minutes we turned back onto the plains and rode towards the 'Manali - Leh Highway'
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    We were on higher ground looking back at our campsite and saw our support car bringing the ladies to where the Yak were grazing.
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    We regrouped and continued
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    After an hour of riding up 3,000ft we reached TanglangLa, the 2nd highest Pass. From here its downhill all the way to Leh, another 120km away.

    Chris
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    Bruce
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    Soon everyone arrived.
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    Time for some camwhoring at the Pass
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    A Monk setting up prayer flags at the Pass monument.
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    Heading downhill for Rumtse, our planned break stop for some refreshments.
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    The road down from TanglangLa was pristine, fresh tarmac hardly a month old, not a dip not bump on the road, the kind a Panigale rider will shed tears for. This road went on for 20kms and we made good time coasting downhill aided by the probably 10hp the Enfield engine is putting out at this altitude.
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    Saw this Mule train at the bottom of the mountain just 10kms from Rumtse
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    Onwards to Rumtse
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    Stopped by this stream for a picture
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    Rumtse is a Military Outpost. Nearby there are a number of Dhabas offering tea and snacks, along with dormitory type beds for travellers.
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    From Rumtse we ride along a Valley, following the river that feeds the Gangga at Karu. We saw a few small settlements, and some Stupas that looks at least 500 years old. Stunning rock formation, soil colors running riot, in various shades of brown to orange.
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    Close to Upshi we found another Mule Train. Beautiful village though.
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    Upshi is a checkpoint that has a huge Military presence with a Camp just 3 kms away. We rode along a Camp perimeter that must have been at least 4kms, almost a quarter of the distance to Karu.
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    Onwards to Karu, our lunch break before Leh, our final leg of the day.
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    Karu is about 35kms from Leh. After lunch we rode on a North-Westerly direction to Leh. The roads were excellent, with no gravel section whatsoever.
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    15 involved just to put up a sign.
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    Thiksey Gompa.

    From Wiki
    Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery (also transliterated from Ladakhi as Tikse, Tiksey or Thiksey) (thiksok Nambar tak pe ling) is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect, located on top of a hill, approximately 19 kilometres east of Leh in Ladakh, India. It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh.
    The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus valley. It is a 12-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords. One of the main points of interest is the Maitreya (future ****) Temple which is installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970. A 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two storeys of the building is deified in the monastery. A nunnery is also part of the complex.

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    Leh ahead, just 15kms.
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    Our Hotel in Leh.
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    Dinner
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    Our Route Today
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    From Wiki

    Leh was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, now the Leh District in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh District, with an area of 45,110 km square, is the second largest district in the country.
    The town is still dominated by the now ruined Leh Palace, former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace. Leh is at an altitude of 3524 metres (11,562 ft), and connects via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via Leh-Manali Highway

    Leh was an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China for centuries. The main goods carried were salt, grain, pashm or cashmere wool, charas or cannabis resin from the Tarim Basin, indigo, silk yarn and Banaras brocade.
    Although there are a few indications that the Chinese knew of a trade route through Ladakh to India as early as the Kushan period (1st to 3rd centuries CE), and certainly by Tang dynasty, little is actually known of the history of the region before the formation of the kingdom towards the end of the 10th century by the Tibetan prince, Skyid lde nyima gon (or Nyima gon), a grandson of the anti-Buddhist Tibetan king, Langdarma (r. c. 838 to 841). He conquered Western Tibet although his army originally numbered only 300 men. Several towns and castles are said to have been founded by Nyima gon and he apparently ordered the construction of the main sculptures at Shey. "In an inscription he says he had them made for the religious benefit of the Tsanpo (the dynastical name of his father and ancestors), and of all the people of Ngaris (Western Tibet). This shows that already in this generation Langdarma's opposition to Buddhism had disappeared."[3] Shey, just 15 km east of modern Leh, was the ancient seat of the Ladakhi kings.
    During the reign of Delegs Namgyal (1660–1685),[4] the Nawab of Kashmir, which was then a province in the Mogul Empire, arranged for the Mongol army to (temporarily) leave Ladakh (though it returned later). As payment for assisting Delegs Namgyal, the Nawab made a number of onerous demands. One of the least was to build a large Sunni Muslim mosque in Leh at the upper end of the bazaar in Leh, below the Leh Palace. The mosque reflects a mixture of Islamic and Tibetan architecture and can accommodate more than 500 people. This was apparently not the first mosque in Leh; there are two smaller ones which are said to be older.[5]
    Several trade routes have traditionally converged on Leh, from all four directions. The most direct route was the one the modern highway follows from the Punjab via Mandi, the Kulu valley, over the Rohtang Pass, through Lahaul and on to the Indus Valley, and then down river to Leh. The route from Srinigar was roughly the same as the road that today crosses the Zoji La (pass) to Kargil, and then up the Indus Valley to Leh. From Baltistan there were two difficult routes: the main on ran up the Shyok Valley from the Indus, over a pass and then down the Hanu River to the Indus again below Khalsi (Khalatse). The other ran from Skardu straight up the Indus to Kargil and on to Leh. Then, there were both the summer and winter routes from Leh to Yarkand across the Karakorum. Finally, there were a couple of possible routes from Leh to Lhasa. The first Englishman to reach Leh was William Moorcroft (explorer) in 1820.
    The first recorded royal residence in Ladakh, built at the top of the high Namgyal ('Victory') Peak overlooking the present palace and town, is the now-ruined fort and the gon-khang (Temple of the Guardian Divinities) built by King Tashi Namgyal. Tashi Namgyal is known to have ruled during the final quarter of the 16th century CE. The Namgyal (also called "Tsemo Gompa" = 'Red Gompa', or dGon-pa-so-ma = 'New Monastery'), a temple, is the main Buddhist centre in Leh. There are some older walls of fortifications behind it which Francke reported used to be known as the "Dard Castle." If it was indeed built by Dards, it must pre-date the establishment of Tibetan rulers in Ladakh over a thousand years ago.

    Today Leh is home to 20,000 locals, but during the peak season, the population easily doubles. It has one of the highest airports in the world, with the runway length long enough to accomodate big jets like the B737 and the A320.
    #42
  3. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,612
    Location:
    vancouver bc
    wow
    stunning.
    thank you.
    #43
  4. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Video; Day 7. Tso Kar, TanglangLa, Leh

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    #44
  5. nikhuzlan

    nikhuzlan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    116
    Himalaya Ride 2013. Day 8. Leh - ChangLa - Pangong Tso

    Today we ride to the magnificent Pangong Tso Lake, a 185km journey that will take us across the ChangLa Pass ( 17,586ft ) after which we descent onto the ChangTang Plateau ( 14,000ft ) to Tangtse then onwards to the lake.
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    Pangong means " Long, Narrow Lake of Enchantment " in Tibetan. The saltwater lake sits at just over 14,000ft, is 135km long and about 7km at its widest point. Surrounded by high mountain ranges all round it looks like a longish bowl that begins in India and stretches into China. The border is still in dispute, so getting there will require a permit from Leh. The road to Pangong is mostly good, however there are portions that are still without tarmac and we found a number of water crossings that makes the riding interesting. The climb up to ChangLa Pass is steep and about 10km from the top the tarmac gives way to a gravel pebble strewn roadway. The ride down from the summit is also similar, with tarmac making an appearance after another 12 kms.

    An Inner Line Permit must be obtained from Leh, to be presented at Tangtse, a checkpoint about 50km from the Lake. Only semi-permanent / seasonal accommodation is available, all in the form of tents with attached toilets. These tent complex are set just a few meters from the Lake Shore.

    Departing the Hotel, we filled up for the 370km round trip. There is no fuel available for the whole length of this journey.
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    The road to Pangong Tso takes us to Karu, about 35km from Leh.
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    We rode along the same road on our way to Leh yesterday when we came from Tso Kar. A repeat along the same road was welcome, giving us another chance to see the numerous Stupas and Monestaries.
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    The Himalaya Range is still growing at the rate of 5mm per year. Apparently, Geologists attribute this to the collision of the Indian Sub-Continent with Asia, pushing the mountains up. They also believe that this will only stop 20 million years from now.
    I have no reason to doubt them as evidence of 'Fold' Mountains are everywhere. Three pictures below shows the uplifting forces pushing up layers of rocky sediments to acute angles forming mountains from previously flat land that was below sea level.
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    Bruce having a moment of 'indiscipline' just for the camera.
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    Khem near Chemrey.
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    The climb to ChangLa Pass ( 17,586ft ) starts gradually from 11,000ft. The climb is made gradual to allow for underpowered lorries to use the pass. This means the road zig-zags along the steep slopes. The road is narrow, most of the time only 1 1/2 lanes wide that tightens up to just one lane at many points. The horn on my bike becomes a lifesaver.
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    The numerous amusing roadsigns keeps us entertained.
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    Shakti Valley.
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    This is the only area of greenery that we will see throughout the journey to and from Pangong. Tangtse on the other side of the Pass has some greenery, even a few trees exceeding 10 feet, but its was just small patches. The residents of Shakti Valley diverted man snow melt streams for agricultural use.

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    Remarkable place. Picture time.
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    We rode on, with ChangLa still ahead.
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    Mountain sheep seems comfortable grazing on steep slopes.
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    The road in the background zig zagging on the sides of the steep slopes makes for shallow climb angle, but adds tremendous distance to the ride.
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    A checkpoint that seems uninterested in us so we did not even stop.
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    More pics of the ride up
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    Rockfalls and landslides are common. Ths boulder probably just rolled down a few minutes ago.
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    Just 4kms from ChangLa we found this stupa, built in honor of a Monk named Chang. The Pass borrows his name.
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    ChangLa Pass.
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    Plenty of Military movement. Pangong Tso Lake is still in dispute.
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    The Pass is guarded by the Indian Army. They also have a teahouse wher complimentary tea is served. Great people.
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    Hot Tea at 17,700ft is just the thing to do.
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    Our mechanic stands guard as we had our refreshments.
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    ChangLa Pass. 17,586ft / 5360m
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    Con't
    #45
  6. BillUA

    BillUA Las Vegas, NV

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    281
    Location:
    Las Vegas Nevada
    This is an awesome report!

    Where is the rest?
    #46