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Discussion in 'Asia' started by Doogle, Aug 26, 2018.
I'll send you a Royal Enfield shop manual :)
9-5-2018 Chamba Hotel $21 Leh 270 miles
I was on the road before 7 am. I had to go south 15 miles to Keylong to get gas. The next gas station was in Leh 226 miles away. I also bought a 5 liter gas container-not know the fuel mileage of the Himalayan. It was 9 am when I passed the hotel I stayed in last night. There is a lot of new pavement going to Leh. And a lot of not so good dirt,mud, and gravel.
After about 50 miles of rough stuff I looked back at my luggage rack and didn't see my fuel cell. I'm not going back. I hope the bike will make it on the 15 liters in the tank. F not, I've always found good people to help me.
There is a lot of construction on the road. There are groups of 10 to 40 people working. Many are using hammers to break rocks into smaller rocks. I guess if equipment isn't available they use the locals.
With 100 miles to go I stopped to get a drink. I asked the man there if he had any gas. He sold me 3 liter bottles for $7. I would have paid $20.
Then I didn't see anyone for about 30 miles. That's when you start thinking about how reliable the bike is. Another 20 miles and the scenery changed. I rode over Taglangla Pass. They claim to be the second highest pass in the world. But there are different classifications for passes. Anyway the air is thin. And it will affect me for awhile. Head pressure, no appetite, lack of energy.
Rock formations I'd not seen before. I wish my good camera would wake up and I could take my time here.
But I'm exhausted. I ended up riding 12 hours. And many of them were hard work.
I rode into Leh and didn't like the accommodations. So I rode back out of town and found this place. Nice but no WiFi. While trying to eat in their restaurant the manager gave me the password to the adjacent bank. Sometimes if I get close enough to the building I can connect.
I'll post while I can. WiFi comes and goes.
Some more pictures riding to Leh
Some of the road to Leh.
Glacial water flow.
A few more pictures
I think this must be a Buddhist area
The Thiksay Monastery out my room window
9-6-2018 Chamba Hotel again 10 miles
Even though I slept 11 hours last night, I was still tired when I got up. My face was sunburned yesterday. I'm taking some medication that says stay out of the sun. At this altitude there isn't a lot of atmosphere to protect me. And since it was cold when I started riding yesterday , I didn't think to put sunscreen on. About noon I did. The shield on the helmet doesn't block anything. Last night my face was red and I had a purple spot on my nose and cheek. While eating breakfast I told the manager I'd stay another night. Rest, avoid the sun, and adjust to the altitude.
Mid afternoon I was feeling better. I rode about 10 miles to the Royal Enfield shop. They put a new front tire on, changed the oil, put an air filter on, and cleaned my chain.
That was the only WiFi I had today. On the way back I stopped to put something in the GPS. A biker went past me then came back. He saw me at my hotel in Jispa and again at the police check point. He knew the police made a quick permit for me. I think he's stocking me.
I rode up to the Thiksey Monastery before going back to the hotel. A ticket is required and no one was at the booth so I went back to the hotel. And it looked like it was going to rain soon.
Tomorrow I want to go to Diskit. It's an out and back ride and also requires a permit. I might stay there tomorrow night. But I need to start thinking about getting back to Delhi. I'd hate to go back the way I came. The other route south would mean going west 2-3 days and going the Kashmir loop. That's what I wanted to do all along. But I never thought it would take so long to get here. The longer I'm in India the more it cuts into my Nepal time. Or I extend my time and forfeit my flight from Geneva to home.
9-7-2018 Diskit Siachen Hotel $12 100 miles
I got an early start. I went to the Royal Enfield shop so I could use the internet. And wake Gayle up at 1 am. I was there at 8:30 and had to wait till 9, when they opened. I updated 2-3 days of ride reports. Then I went looking for the tourist office to get a permit to ride to Diskit. Many roads were closed till 2 p.m. for a marathon. About noon I found the office. They sent me to a tour operators office. They copied my passport and said come back at 3 p.m. For some reason there is a minimum of 2 passports to be processed as a pair. They found another lonesome soul to match me with. I will probably never see that person. I went to a restaurant to kill time. 4 Indians I talked with 4-5 days ago come in. They are going the same direction. But they will be a day behind me again. It's 4 p.m. before I'm on the road. It's 80 miles to Diskit and they said 5 hours ride. It gets dark about 6:45. The road starts out with switchback that never end. It climbs fast.
And I'm passing everything in site. I don't want to do to much riding in the dark in these mountains. I came to a group of bikers stopped on the road. It's Khardungla Pass.
From here to Diskit I think there are a couple small towns. I doubt if they have any accommodations. Very few people on the road. I think that makes it more dangerous. You think you can go wide on turns. They post signs to blow horn just ahead of the curves. If you don't see anyone for 10 minutes, you will see them in a curve.
I got to Diskit at 7:30. It had been dark for quite a while. Not much here. I got a room at the Siachen Hotel $12. No Wi-Fi. But hot water and my own bathroom. I had dinner here. Another couple were eating and explained things to me. It's like family style. You don't ask for this or that. They bring everything out and you spoon out what you want onto your plate. I have been eating a lot of rice and chicken. I have an idea what it might taste like.
Electric goes off later in the evening. Generator only runs from 7-10 pm. Battery packs finally get to do their work.
9-8-2018 Khaltse room $12 155 miles
This morning I rode 5 miles to Hunder. They have 2 hump camels you can ride. Before I got there I almost had a wreck. They were putting new barb wire on a fence. It was supposed to be on the side of the road. But it drifted about 3 feet into the road. I didn't see it. It looped over my toes and ankle and almost crashed me. 5 minutes later I limped over to the camels. The ride is about 10 minutes in sand dunes. Hang on when the camel gets up or down.
After the r9ide I went to the Diskit Monastery. I seem to always go to religious places when traveling.
They also have a 106 feet tall Buddha statue there.
Next I'm going to Srinagar- 300 miles away. The correct Srinagar this time. Just before I got to Khardungla Pass I stopped to put my rain gear on. It looked ugly ahead. The ground that was bare yesterday is white as I get closer to the pass.
It started snowing just before I got to the pass. There were strong winds and it was extremely hard to see. I didn't stop at the pass. But a couple minutes later traffic was stopped. They were clearing a landslide. I rode to the front of the waiting line. Minutes later I was the first one through. For about 15 minutes moving was cold and iffy. The lower in elevation I got the warmer it got. 10 miles later it was just a slight drizzle. In Leh I stopped briefly at another monastery. It's high above the city and had great views.
I rode through Leh and thought I could get a hotel a few miles out. Well I rode about an hour in the dark. All I found was a "room" in Khaltse. No WiFi.
I passed a large group of people standing on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. They all seemed very happy. I thought I might be a festival getting ready to start.
I stopped and asked some men what was going on. They said one of the local young men was coming home from Saudi. He just finished one of the 5 steps of Islam. May have lost something in the translation there. Everyone sure seemed excited.
He took his first hajj, his first trip to Mecca. It is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
9-9-2018 Srinagar Radisson $80 220 miles
Yes, I'm staying high class tonight. My room at the Everest last night wasn't good. Lately, most of the hotels have one sheet. The bottom one. Last night I slept with my clothes on. It may have helped. I only have about 30 bed bug bites.
The road was mostly paved. There is a lot of military in northern India. And even more seen today. At one time I passed 20 army trucks. A guy at a coffee tent told me it's because this is the most disputed territory in the world. I stopped here to ask why all these people were walking up to this cave. He said it was because there is a glacier up there. I wasn't going to hike up to see.
A few pictures of the road and mountains going to Srinagar.
Really enjoying the report and the photos, thanks
9-10-2018 Srinagar Radisson again $60 with Bookings.com 0 miles
Today was a down day. I walked around town for a while. Still amazed at all the police with guns in hand. One man told me it's because elections are next month. I don't believe that. Some of the little booths that some sit in look like they have been there a long time.
I think these are boat hotels. Not too inviting.
I'm not ready to eat out yet. At least not street food.
Looks like I'm getting a Mohawk. He pinned up the top hair while he cut the sides. He asked what number to cut with. I said I always have number 2 for the sides and back. He said "no, numbet 6. 2 is short." Okay if you think so. After a couple strokes of the clippers I realized they must have a different scale. If the 6 is this short, the number 2 must be cut with a razor.
Even though the Radisson is very nice, this sign doesn't make anyone eager to go down this alley to check it out.
David, wish I had WiFi and got your email a couple days sooner. The eastern area seems to have more to see. I was going to Kargil today. But if ISIS is killing cops I'll pass. Also planned on Sonamarg. I think a permit is required. Then I'll head back to Delhi direction. I'm anxious to get to Nepal. I'll probably go to Taj Mahal though.
9-12-2018 White Ridge Hotel, Dharamsala $49 270 miles
I had Sonamarg as a point of interest. I was planning to ride there today. When I looked at the map,I realized I rode through it on the way to Srinagar. So at 9 a.m. I rerouted my GPS to Dharamsala. That's were the Dalai Lama lives. And it's the way back to Delhi. Nothing worth seeing on the road today. well this might have been the exception.
Other than dusty heavy traffic. I helmet crammed some of it. I probably saw 100 big army trucks going north. Almost every one of them had a soldier on top with a gun aimed forward. Ready for action. Glad I'm going south.
I stopped here for a drink. Wrong place.
At one point I passed 2 miles of trucks parked on the side of the road. After passing them there was a police check point. I asked him what was going on. He said it was a day that no heavy trucks were allowed on the road. I didn't ask why.MMaybe because the military was on the road.
I got to Dharamsala around 8 p.m. I had trouble finding a decent room with WiFi. Finally I took another "room." I looked at this place earlier and didn't care for it. But when I got desperate I returned. The room I looked at before was taken. So I took an identical room one floor up. I put my luggage in the room and went downstairs to order food. 3 men that were in the room I looked at earlier invited me in to talk. They were 3 cops from Calcutta here for religious reasons. The food they ordered and then the food I ordered was delivered to their room. We shared food and solved world problems.
At 11:45 I went to my room. I saw some bugs on the floor and killed them. Then I raised the mattress to check. I did this when I looked at the room downstairs. But assumed since it was clean, this room would be okay. Wrong. There must have been 20 bed bugs in that corner. I packed up and left. I had already paid for the room. I didn't care. Let me out of here. I'm safe and sound in the very nice White Ridge Hotel. Lucky to find a room at this time of night.
9-12-2018 I'm still at the White Ridge Hotel. 20 miles.
I rode about 10 miles up the mountain to the Dalai Lama`s Temple Complex and residence. The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama used to be the political leader of Tibet also. There were many monks in a court yard. They all seemed to be teaching something to another. And they slapped their own hands a lot.
There were many rooms in the complex. I guess they were living quarters for the monks.
I'm giving a prayer wheel a spin.
The Dalai Lama`s Temple.
9-13-2018 Hodal Muni Ji Restaurant & Rooms $21 410 miles
I left Dharamsala at 8 and got here at 7 pm. I'm going to Agra. That's where the Taj Mahal is. Absolutely nothing to take a picture of today except monkeys. And I didn't do that. So, other than the first few hours of curvy roads, it was flat, straight, and boring. I wanted to get close to or a little past Delhi to not have traffic issues again. There's a newer toll road that circles Delhi. Speed limit is 70 and there was very like traffic. I think I was on it for 86 miles. Then I thought, pleasant temperature and not raining, keep going. But it was dusty. And with the lights from people going the wrong direction on the shoulder and bright lights from people going the right direction I couldn't see the road well enough. And of course, the bicycles and farm equipment with no lights. I have another room with no WiFi. But it seems bug free, so far.
2018-09-14 Agra Oyo Sun Hotel $28 100 miles
The Muni Ji Hotel told me the room was only a 12 hour rental. I told him I wanted it till 9 am. He said okay. I left at 7:30 anyway. It was 70 miles to Agra. On the way to Agra I passed this lady.
I got a room at the Oyo Sun Hotel and settled in by 11.
About 1 p.m. I went looking for the Taj Mahal. It's only a couple miles from here. The GPS took me through a maze of very narrow streets. It was a very poor area that was certainly Muslim. Everyone looked at me. I finally stopped and routed the GPS back to the hotel just to get me out of this section. A man stopped me and said the bike was too big to be riding there and where did I want to go. I told him and he directed me the same as the GPS. 2 miles later I am stopped at a police check point. They tell me I can't go any further. The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.
I reroute the GPS again. This time to Agra Fort, also known as Red Fort. It has a 1.5 mile circumference. There was a lot of open space inside. It's big enough to have had a city inside.
There are 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Agra. Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, and Agra Fort. I'll try to see the other 2 tomorrow.
I left the Sun Hotel at 6:30. I'm booked for the Radisson tonight. At 6:45 a.m. I asked if I could leave my luggage there so I could go to Taj Mahal. They checked me in and gave me the key. I got a cab (half mile) then a bike ride to the entrance. It's hot,even in the morning. My cab driver said he would come back for me at 9:30 if I wanted. I did. I paid my $8-9 for the ticket. And I'm in to see one of the seven wonders of the world.TThe entrance after coming in.
And then, the eighth wonder of the world.
I'm not saying the Taj Mahal isn't a great structure. But I've seen a lot of Basilica's that were more impressive. I'm guessing inside the main section is only about 40 feet in diameter. Then there is another corridor around it. There wasn't any water in the ponds except for the one the monkeys were playing in.
When I left, my cabbie was waiting for me. He took me back to the Radisson. Then he was going to take me to the Fatehpur Sikri at 10:15. I took a shower and charged my camera/phone for a while. It was an hour ride to the entrance. I gave the bike a days rest. It wasn't restful watching him drive. But it was air conditioned. He said I should get a guide. $7. I did. And he was right. You wouldn't know anything without a guide.
Agra was the capitol of the Indian Empire, which was much larger than India is now. When Fatehpur Sikri was built in the 1500's, the capitol was moved there. But it was abandoned shortly after because it didn't have enough water to support the people.
No pictures of the Fatehpur Sikri right now. They seem to be lost. A couple times when I move pictures instead of copy, paste, and erase, some of the pictures get lost.
A couple low quality pictures from Fatehpur Sikri I recovered.
Rooftop restaurant and bar last night.
I could see the Taj Mahal when I first got up there.
9-15-2018 Delhi Pride Plaza Hotel $50 160 miles
Traffic out of Agra wasn't too bad at 10 am.I thought, don't get hit by a bus on my last riding day in India. I got to the hotel about 1 pm. All the better hotels have a security check similar to the airports. But quite casual. About 3:30 I took the bike back to the rental shop. They tried their hardest to find something wrong to to charge me with. They said the oil needed change. I said I would take my new front tire, clutch cable, rear brake pads, air filter, new oil line, and bolts that hold the headlight on. Plus I left gas in the tank, was giving them saddlebags I bought, , and a liter plus of oil. And thanks for the almost one day of speedometer use. They finally agreed to give me back my 50,000 rupees deposit. He handed me a stack of money. I count 40,000. Where's the rest? Eventually the other brother coughs up the other 10,000 rupees- about $140. When I first got the bike, he tried a little money "mistake" also. Got a cab back to the hotel and glad to be moving on to Nepal. I guess this is the end end of this ride report. I hope to have a better one for Nepal. I'll post a link here when I get started there.