Pangong Tso…Chang-La….Leh

DAY 13
Chushul-Leh
Total Distance covered-200km approx

The last night policemen had told us to leave as early as possible.It was 6.30am when the same men knocked the door of our room.There was a soldier along them and they didn’t ask us bus ordered us to take him along and drop him at Tang-Tse. I just nodded and told him we’ll report at your place after getting fresh and a coffee.

Now from Chushul,actually Pangong lake is just 6-8km.But the road goes very close to China border and no tourist vehicles are permitted there.This road goes along the entire Pangong lake which is in India right from the China part.And this was the route we wanted to go through.The other road goes to Tang-Tse/Tanskey with Pangong nowhere around.Meanwhile the soldier we were supposed to take along had left by a military bus going his way.

So the first one was the option we were looking upto and the policewala was adamant not to leave us through that way.We had a chat with the caretaker and he too said that the road is very scenic but since the Chinese forces are up on the mountains,we could be direct targets.Amish said that we’ll leave through the Pangong way without reporting the police station,let them do whatever they want to.But I really didn’t wanted to fuckup with the forces.

As we approached the police station,Amish requested them again,on which he readily agreed but warned us not to stop or shoot snaps anywhere.He also told us to report at Lukung military base camp on way.So we started off,the road was worst,with just 2 stones as roadmarkers,worst than last day.We climbed the mountain and there it was,I was able to see the deep blue Pangong.What a sight it was.I should have got some snaps there.In between,we saw a diversion and Amish went the way showing a board Thakung base camp-4km to report.All the people at the base gathered to see 2 bikes coming their way.They were playing volleyball in the morning sun of 8.30 and were surprised to see us there.Amish told that we were heading to Spangmik…Everybody there laughed a bit and one of them pointed the opposite direction and said “Dude,this road goes to China,wanna go?”
We all laughed and we told them we missed the road.We headed back to road after waving them bye and further reached a point on the bank of the lake.

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I would like to mention that the water of this lake is salty.And that is because this lake was formed out of the merger of Indian sub-continent to the Asian.In between there was a sea called Tethis,the there are some other lakes along with Pangong as the remnants of the sea.I heard this story,dont know whether it is true or not.

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The road went all along the lake,just some meters away from the shore.At many occasions,the road went through deep sand and it was fun riding the bike through the sand.I love to play with my bike in sand.In case it would have been a cruiser bike,it is so heavy and control when it gets into sand.But Passion,it simply floats on sand and it was fun watching Amish stuck in sand sometimes and I used to wroooooom passing him….
The color of the lake changed from time to time…deep blue,sky blue,brown……..colorless sometimes

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At about 12noon,we reached the end of the lake.It was here we got a tar road after almost 120 km since LOMA the previous eve.

After about 2 days I could see a crowd shouting and screaming.People just dont understand what to do at what place.Again my mood went off,and so the camera inside.While we were having lunch at the hotel besides the lake, I could see a large mob down there. Some guys with bullet had parked the bike in the water and were posing in the TITANIC fashion standing on the bikeIt was looking funny…..
There we met two other guys.Manish and Devdeepta.Now this guy Dev happened to be Amish’s junior in school.Manish is a local guide in Leh and Dev hired him along with his bike upto Shrinagar.Dev is also native from Pune,right now studying in Singapore and he had his flight for Delhi from Shrinagar.These guys were also following the same timetable and we decided to join.We exchanged our numbers and started for our return journey at 2.

Now it was Chang-La,the 3rd highest pass in the world in our way.I was to confident that we have crossed so much what the hell is Chang-La now?……..But as soon as the climb started,I started to feel the intensity of uphill.The road was good,but the gradient was worst,worse than Khardungla or Tanglang-La.At some points,damn bike simply refused to move.It dint respond at all and I waited for a minute or more thinking what to do.Amish was far ahead of me.But again,I started,I lifted myself from the seat,let the bike take some speed,atleast move from its place and quickly sit after giving a mechanical push.
This was the moment I thought I had made a mistake by bringing a Passion there.But later I realized,the mistake was,I thought I like that.Twice later I had to repeat the above procedure.But somehow,I reached the top. The road was too slippery where the snow had come down on the road. The sun was shining bright and because of that the streams in between were flooded. This was the worst for me…..

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There’s a military camp at C-Top and they offer complimentary tea.I went in but the paaji there said that tea is finished.It was freezing cold out and he gave me a stove to heat up a bit as he saw me shivering.I thought about Amish and guessed that he would have left rather than waiting for me there.
I was about to leave and putting my gloves on when the same sardarji came with the big punjabi lassi glass full of tea.I refused to have so much but he forced me with some lovely words and I took no time to gulp it. I thanked him moved. The downhill was gentle but the slope increased as I moved further.I switched off the engine and never turned it on till I reached the base.It took more half an hour to reach Leh and it was 7pm. Amish had reached an hour earlier,all because of the steep climb at Chang-La.

Day 14
Leh

Got oil changed,visited Shey Palace and Thiksey gompa…..

2 comments on “Pangong Tso…Chang-La….Leh

  1. divs says:

    d photographs are amazing… m goin der too…end of may… hope i enjoy as much as u guys did!! 🙂

    • ashutoshmahajan says:

      Thanks a lot…. Sure you’d enjoy a lot.The place has that ‘enigma’ to get you high!!
      Best of luck for your trip. Do let me know if you need anything there.have some contacts

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