Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#lehdiaries: the trip

so, as i mentioned earlier, we did a fair bit of planning. i'm not saying it was all in vain, but we certainly didn't follow more than the basics. this is what our itinerary was, at the start of the trip:
  1. train to jammu
  2. reach jammu, unload bikes, ride to patni top
  3. patni top to srinagar
  4. srinagar to kargil (with a stopover at the drass war memorial)
  5. kargil to leh
  6. rest, bike servicing, permits in leh
  7. shopping in leh, shanti stupa in the evening
  8. local sightseeing (hemis, shey, thiksey)
  9. leh to nubra valley
  10. nubra to pangong (spangmik)
  11. pangong to hanle to tso moriri
  12. tso moriri to pang
  13. pang to manali
  14. rest in manali
  15. manali to chandigarh
  16. train to bbay
  17. arrival in bbay
This is what we actually ended up doing for the first half:
  1. train to jammu
  2. reach jammu, unload bikes, ride to patni top (116 km)
  3. patni top to srinagar (180 km)
  4. srinagar to kargil (drass war memorial was shut by the time we got there) (205 km)
  5. kargil to leh (222 km)
  6. rest, bike servicing, permits, shopping, shanti stupa
  7. local sightseeing (hemis, shey, thiksey), shopping. this is when we realized we had shopped more than we could carry, and there's no way we could ride to khardung-la like this.
  8. leh to khardung-la and back, packing, replanning (83 km)
now, this is where we changed the course of our trip a bit. slightly miffed at missing nubra valley, we decided to do something crazier to compensate: cancel our (confirmed) train tickets and ride back to bbay. the plan was changed to:
  1. leh to pangong (spangmik)
  2. pangong to hanle to tso moriri
  3. tso moriri to pang
  4. pang to manali
  5. rest/buffer day in manali
  6. manali to chandigarh
  7. chandigarh to rajasthan (our pillions would spend the day in chandigarh)
  8. rajasthan to gujarat (our pillions would take the train to bbay)
  9. gujarat to bbay
however, fate had other plans:
  1. courier extra luggage (two bags!) to delhi, ride from leh to pangong (lukung) (153 km)
  2. flat tire at lukung: spent the entire morning fixing it ourselves. lukung to merak, the streams were in full flow so we couldn't go any further and stopped at 5pm. (forgot to turn gps on this day, but about 35 km)
  3. merak to hanle to nyoma (239 km)
  4. nyoma to tso moriri to pang (210 km)
  5. pang to keylong, 2 hour delay due to landslide, keylong to khoksar (228 km)
  6. khoksar to rohtang to manali to kullu to mandi (223 km)
  7. mandi to chandigarh, bike servicing (158 km)
  8. chandigarh to rajasthan (our pillions took the train to bbay) (517 km)
  9. rajasthan to gujarat (we wanted to do a night ride to bbay, but i had a fever) (538 km)
  10. gujarat to bbay (562 km)
interestingly, my gps logs and my estimates for the two days i didn't turn tracking on, add up to around 190 km short of what my odometer reported (3754 vs 3945 km)!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


I was on my way home from Goa. i was sleeping in a deserted bus stand on a highway at 3am. the ledge had a wall on one side, and was so narrow that i had to sleep on my side, or I'd fall off. it's quite hard to sleep on your side, but i used my arms as a pillow, best as I could. it was uncomfortable, but i couldn't be picky - i was extremely sleepy, and i was 100 km from home.

I was so sleepy that i was dead to the world in seconds.

until I turned in my sleep, and i felt myself roll off the ledge. i tried to stop myself, but my arms were tucked under my head, and there was nothing else to use to stop myself from landing face-first. i braced myself for impact, but it didn't come. I continued falling for way longer than I expected the two foot drop from the ledge to take. it wasn't long enough to open my eyes though.

but then, I wasn't falling anymore. i was being dragged sideways out of the bus stand, onto the highway. i spread my arms, so that I could get a hold on the entrance of the stand. i could hear trucks pass by, and i was scared. i struggled violently to shake off whatever or whoever was dragging my out by my legs.

and that's when i woke up with a start. i was still on the ledge, sleeping on my arm.

for some reason, I hurried away from that spot. i was doing 80 on my bike before I was even reoriented. but luckily my consciousness held, and i was home an hour and a half later.

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