“Everything I was, I carry with me. Everything I will be lays waiting on the road ahead.”- Ma Jian
‘Age is just a number,’ they say. For some people labelled with the ‘senior citizens’ tag, life is all about lying back in the sun, reading newspapers and enjoying the second innings of their lives in the most relaxed manner. For the other lot, nothing changes at all and life is still about being passionate and doing what the heart wants to do. Mr. Prabhakar had a total assistance from Thrillophilia during his trip.
Welcome to Prabhakar’s adventures of how he covered the challenging terrains of Ladakh in a span of 11 Nights and 12 Days; and made it back more than alive, ever.
The 60-year-Old Rider – Chenigunta Prabhakar
“Everyone must be happy. We must be one of them,” said a wise man, one day after ticking off one item off his bucket list at the age of 60. Say hello to the adventurous soul, Prabhakar, whose bucket list still has skydiving, bungee jumping, snow-mountain trek and a long-long drive to be ticked off.
The Other Riders on the Manali-Leh Bike Trip
Prabhakar’s Manali to Ladakh bike trip would have been incomplete without his fellow riders. He describes them as “friendly and jovial”, and goes on to praise his guide by saluting the attempts he made in bonding them all together.
Truly said, when the wheels are rolling in the Ladakhi region, it is no longer the race to reach first; it is the race to reach together safe and sound and to etch memories forever. Apart from safety, it’s also important to make the most of the trip. Prabhakar’s group bonded really well, and as each night would come to knock them with cold winds, they’d light up a bonfire and sing songs sung and unsung before.
Ladakh was in the air, and the riders were already in love.
The Journey Begins
An adventurer decided to pack his bags, board the flight and kick-start the bike trip to the land of high passes, at Manali. As the landscapes promised, they kept changing their faces every few miles. Sands came, rains came, and so did snow. Suddenly, they realized that it was all magic. And that magic was Ladakh.
Prabhakar’s adventurous journey began on the night of 21st June, 2018 when he boarded the semi-sleeper bus from Delhi to Manali. As the morning sun brewed, he was already in Manali.
Riding Through Rohtang Pass and Check-in at Leh
As Day 3 came, the group took off from Manali to reach Jispa by sunset. At the campsite, they rested and got to know each other better over dinner and bonfire. Truly, the adventure had begun. In the next few days, Prabhakar and fellow riders witnessed Ladakh change its landscape as and when it wanted, no limitations! One cannot help but just soak in the enchanting beauty of valley; and everything went smoothly apart from the slight signals of AMS at Jispa, which was immediately taken care of by the group leaders.
The journey was getting more thrilling and beautiful as days passed by. In the words of Prabhakar, “Each day was getting better and better with every mile ahead.” Day 5 marked the group check in at Leh, as the evening bid goodbye to the Ladakhi skies. After a quick briefing about the days ahead, they comfortably settled inside the centrally heated rooms and celebrated their feat. Of course, they had earned this!
The Ride to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso Lake and Back to Manali
Ladakh is a letter not written completely if one has not visited the white sands of Nubra Valley and the blue-hues of Pangong Tso Lake.
The group spent the day doing local sightseeing of Ladakh and engaging with the local folks of Leh. They covered the famous Sham Valley, Hall of Fame, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib and Sangam. Now was the time, each of these bikers had desperately waited for right since the time they booked this trip. They were to ride on the highest motorable road in the world, the Khardung La Pass. We guess that it is the dream of every biker to ride a two-wheeler at the highest motorable road in the world. After camping for a night in the white sands of Nubra, the group headed on to the blue-as-sky Pangong Tso Lake, which was absolutely the highlight on their trip. Prabhakar often complained (in fun!) that Pangong Tso deserved another night, at the least!
Their return journey marked them cross the world’s second highest pass, i.e., the Chang La Pass and finally onto Manali. Well, now was the time to hand over the bikes, pack their bags and bid adieu to the roads.
Goodbyes are difficult, but then, Prabhakar was already silently planning his next adventure!
Riding to Ladakh? – Check These Pointers by Prabhakar
Prabhakar’s journey is proof enough that there is no right age to do things. The roads command and the wheels follow. In case Ladakh has been on your mind for long now, check out these pointers before you go.
- Always have multiple layers of clothes on you. Certain points of the day and night get really cold
- Do not compromise on utility tools, at all
- A good camera is an absolute must
- Overtaking is not required. Enjoy the journey at your own pace, and feel the mountains.
- Waterproof gloves and boots are really helpful while riding in the rains