“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
These golden words by Mark Twain throw light on the attitude of those who take the risk of experiencing something unusual and leave no room for regret in their lives. Biking in the hills had always been a dream for Chennai-based Vimal Kumar. Managing a gold jewellery showroom for a living, he could not contain his love for nature and had always dreamt to find himself in the lap of mountains.
When he realised that he must explore the Land of High Passes, Ladakh, on a bike, he immediately set off to test his riding skills with a road trip from Chennai to Rameshwaram—covering a distance of 1300 km in just two days. It not only gave him the confidence to ride endlessly, it also warranted that he was taking on the mighty Himalayas this June. After a few days’ research, he got in touch with multiple companies; and finally, he chose Thrillophilia due to the a good number of Leh-Ladakh packages available, quick responses and instant support he received.
The Tell-all Tale in Mountains
Vimal and his wife set off for their sojourn after an early morning breakfast in Manali. While light showers made the ride cold and exciting, the muddy and slippery roads made the journey adventurous. The popular Rohtang Pass ensured that the lively couple does not proceed without getting a feel of the chilling cold before reaching Jispa. The bonfire at night kept the couple warm, making camping a fun experience.
High, Higher, Highest!
Waking up to a rejuvenating morning, the couple started moving towards Sarchu. This was the first time on the trip when Vimal had an adventurous biking expedition—riding off roads amidst a cold climate gave him an adrenaline rush. En route to Sarchu was the popular Baralacha La, which is located at a staggering 16,040 feet, fully covered in snow.
The next day was going to be both adventurous and draining as Vimal had to ride a distance of 250 km in the mountains to reach Ladakh. The transient showers kept drenching them as they moved towards Tanglang La, the second highest pass in Ladakh, located at a whopping 5328 metres above the sea level. By now, the weather was biting cold and snowy surroundings had charmed the young couple. Reaching Tanglang La was a feat, and an ecstatic Vimal ensured that he makes the moment unforgettable by shouting “I made itttttttttt!” from the top of the world.
The journey today was exhausting, but it was all worth it as they finally made it to the mystic land, Ladakh. The night was chilling cold, and this was the first time in two days that Vimal took a bath! While the hot shower relaxed him for a cosy night, an exciting next day awaited them as they planned to explore Ladakh.
The day kicked off with the couple, along with fellow bikers, riding through the popular Magnetic Hill and feeling spiritual at the Gurudwara. The day was a mix of leisure and adventure as they also enjoyed river rafting in the cold waters. They garnered mixed moments from the day as they explored Ladakh on bike. However, it was the next day that had the most in store for them!
As they geared up to travel though the mighty Khardung La, the bikers could not contain their excitement to ride at an impressive 18,380 feet. They rode till Nubra Valley, where the landscape took a dramatic transformation from snow-clad hills to the cold, white desert. Riding through a strong windstorm was an adventure as they arrived in Hunder, where the sand dunes were a picturesque sight amidst the high mountains.
Fun by the Picturesque Pangong
The cold night spent in camps in the desert was an amazing experience as the next day had serenity, in the form of Pangong Tso, in store for the bikers. “The best is saved for the last” was proved right as the highlight of the expedition for the visitors was this majestic lake.
The enchanting views of the valley while heading towards Pangong Tso were a sight to behold! Driving through the mighty mountains and the gushing streams, the ride took them to another world, where nature was at its purest.
The first sight of the lake was so serene that it had the bikers awestruck by beauty. As the cold breeze blew across his face making Vimal drown in the beauty of nature, the majestic lake changed its hues to enchant the travellers. They also visited the popular spot at Pangong Tso where the movie “3 Idiots” was shot, where they clicked pictures with the yellow scooter. To add to the fun, Vimal’s wife also put on the Kareena Kapoor gown from the scene and clicked pictures. Many moments of joy and laughter effected as the bikers enthusiastically posed on the “scratching bum” seats placed there.
The adventure was not ending anytime soon as they camped right opposite the tranquil lake. While the freezing cold temperatures at night made Vimal uneasy, the joy of having visited Ladakh on a bike constantly gave him a feeling of triumph.
The next day was full of mixed feelings as Vimal had to head back. However, the excitement to ride through the same majestic stretch kept him hooked and made him enjoy the day. As they traveled a significant 350 km to reach Jispa, they had garnered memories and visuals of a lifetime, and they knew that it was an unparalleled journey through adventure and solace.
Vimal and the fellow bikers were awarded badges, T-shirts and stickers acknowledging their feat of travelling through the mighty mountains on a bike. The icing on the cake was the “Certificate of Extreme Riders” awarded to the bikers, which was a longing dream for a biking enthusiast like Vimal.
With a handful of goodies and a “heart full” of memories to cherish all their lifetime, Vimal and his wife concluded what will probably the most enchanting trip, ever.