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About the Destination:
Fixed Departure: 30th July 2016
Welcome to Ladakh – The Land of High Passes. This is a destination is blessed with unique and interesting diversities that make travelling here seem much more than it is! Nestling the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges in its midst, Ladakh is one place where you will see lush, green fields at one glance and dry, arid deserts at another. Where your perspective is being coloured by the impeccable blue waters of the Pangong Tso Lake at one go, at another it is blinded by the harsh afternoon sun reflecting light off the snowy mountains.
Adventure and travel enthusiasts alike, have crossed the threshold of this blissful destination, only to come away with the feeling of having witnessed Mother at her best!
About the Departure with Details:
Put on your riding gear and combat the toughest, highest and yet the most beautiful landscapes on a bike tour to Ladakh. Watch the beautiful vistas pass you by as you begin this epic journey at Manali. The rivers of the Himalayas keep you company throughout the way as you climb higher altitudes and combat some of the highest passes in the world. Since Ladakh is a land of extremes, you can see snow-capped mountains at the same time as, arid sand dunes; azure blue lakes flow alongside some of the highest mountain peaks and rough, rocky roads give way to smooth highways!
If you want to know the meaning of ‘space’ ride on through Ladakh and its unlimited expanses, full of natural beauty!
Meal Types: Veg
Activities: Riding, Camping
Total Distance: 150km per day (approx.)
Highest Altitude: 18380 feet (Khardung La pass)
Temperature Range: 3 – 35 Degrees
Your riding expedition to the valleys of Ladakh begins with your arrival in Delhi, rest for the night in a hotel as per your convenience.
Flight to Leh, Acclimatize to the climate
Take the early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. The 70 minute flight takes you from sea level to the ancient Himalayan city of Leh at an altitude of 11,500 feet.
Due to the rarified atmosphere at that altitude, it is of utmost importance that you rest all of this day to avoid the onset of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Your body needs one day's rest to get used to the thin mountain air.
You will be given a detailed briefing of the whole ride and also provided with maps and information on the places you will be travelling to.
Getting used to motorcycle in Leh
After a day's rest, it's time for you to start the Ride of Your Life.
But before that, you will go out for a spin so that you can get used to riding the motorcycle.
The ride will be on smooth tarmac and on dirt tracks to give you a feel of the Himalayan adventure in store for you.
This ride will ensure that you get used to riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle and if you need any adjustments, the mechanics can do the same.
Leh to Pangong Tso Lake
Arguably the most breathtaking region of Ladakh, the 18,500 square mile (30,000 sq km) Changthang Plateau is where you ride to on this day.
To reach Changthang, you have a long and steep ride through the third highest motorable pass in the world, the Chang La pass at 17,586 feet.
But the real treat is the 84 mile (135 km) long Pangong Tso lake. A lot of migratory birds come here during this time of the year.
You will stay with a Ladakhi family as their house guests. Home-stay is a concept developed by the Ladakh authorities wherein locals are empowered through tourism. The home-stay will be on the banks of the Pangong Tso lake and you are treated to traditional Ladakhi and Tibetan cuisine.
Pangong Tso lake to Sakti
You can ride another 12 odd miles (20 kms) along the banks of Pangong Tso lake to Merak village.
From Merak village, you retrace your ride back to Chang La pass and descend into Sakti village for the night.
Set up the campsite complete with a kitchen, dining area and bathrooms.
Sakti to Hunder
Drive from Sakti to Nubra.
This forgotten route has no traffic at all. Amazing switchbacks for 12 miles (20 kms), mesmerizing views of valleys, the 17,000 feet high Wari La pass, narrow snaking roads along the mountains, stream crossings, riding on flat river beds and finally entering the Nubra valley - a unique landscape of desert, rivers, snowcapped mountains and farms. Hunder town in Nubra valley lies amidst big sand dunes and small streams. You stay at a resort camp at Hunder.
Hunder to Leh
Today, you take the road to the highest motorable pass in the world - Khardung La - at a dizzy height of 18,380 feet. In spite of the altitude, today you ride on the smoothest roads so far and the landscape also becomes grand.
After celebrating at Khardung La pass, you descend into Leh for a bigger party in the evening.
Today you take a breather from the grueling ride you have had. After a half day's rest you explore various parts of Leh, such as the Namgyal Palace, Tibetan market and the Shanti Stupa.
Leh to Tsomo Ri Ri Lake
Todays ride is one of the longest in the tour - 150 miles (240 kms), out of which 25 miles (40 kms) is through sand and over very bumpy roads.
But the initial ride is along the majestic Indus river and the rough part is through the 17,000 feet high Namshang La pass and along the pristine Thaksang karu lake.
The road from here to the Tsomo Ri Ri lake through sand and stone track will eventually make you realize how beautiful mother nature is.
Tsomo Ri Ri Lake to Tso Kar Lake
In the morning, you visit one of the Changpa nomadic campsites to get a first hand experience on how these amazing human beings have been living in perfect harmony with nature for centuries.
After spending time at the nomadic campsite, you retrace your ride back a little bit and cross Pologongka La pass at 16,000 feet to reach the Tso Kar basin.
Tso Kar Lake to Sarchu
Undoubtedly the best stretch on the Manali-Leh highway, this section of the Manali-Leh highway will feel as if you're on a roller coaster ride climbing up and down from one Himalayan pass to another.
From the Tso Kar basin, you touch the Manali-Leh highway on a 26 mile (42 km) long table land, called More plains.
Soon after that, you ride up and down two high altitude passes, Lachlung La (16,616 feet) and Nakee La (15,547 feet) and a section of 21 switchbacks called Gata loops.
Before reaching Sarchu, you leave the state of Jammu and Kashmir and enter the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Since Sarchu is snowbound for most of the year, there are no permanent structures here so you stay in Swiss Tents with attached toilets.
Sarchu to Jispa
This day's ride is where you are amazed by the passing landscapes, small lakes, rivers and one high altitude pass.
The landscape too will transform from barren desert land to sights of green plantations and small patches of forests.
Jispa is a small town on the Manali-Leh highway and here you spend the night at a hotel.
Jispa to Manali
The Manali-Leh highway is considered the most beautiful yet demanding highway in the world.
Your ride today is the toughest since you started. The slush covered climb and descent of the 13,051 feet high Rohtang pass will test your riding skills to the max.
That's the tough part, but what about the landscape? Lush green Himalayan mountains and waterfalls appear out of nowhere once you cross the Rohtang pass.
Nature here is at its best. After the descent from the pass, you ride into Manali, a popular hill station in the Himalayas and call it a day at a hotel here, your thirst for adventure undoubtedly satiated.
Manali to Delhi Bus Ride
Instead of waking up early, today you can sleep late as after lunch, you have a 390 odd mile (625 km) bus ride to Delhi in an airconditioned bus. The bus journey to Delhi will take around 15 hours.
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