Khardung La - Almost

A rest day and then I was ready to hit the road once more, the mountains were calling to me and so I headed up Khardung La, the highest road in this part of the Himalayas.

An easy enough road to follow without the drama of river crossings etc, and little in the way of other traffic except the occasional dog

But there was a dodgy moment when I found out at the checkpoint that I didn't have the correct permit. I smiled nicely and the checkpoint officer said if I left my passport with him as insurance then I could go IF...I took one of his soldiers who needed a lift up - no problem I said and so onto the Enfield's pillion jumped a sapper.

We didn't get far before we had to wait for some roadworks to clear

I was particularly taken with the bulldozer driver who resembled an IRA hitman from the 80's

Soon after this the soldier jumped ship but his place was taken by a civilian hitch-hiker. I often give lifts to hitch-hikers on my travels and I have to say it is a lot easier in India where everyone seems to be around my height or less, unlike Scandinavia where one of my hitch-hikers was 6'8" (AND he was carrying 7 foot fishing rod). We were doing well, the Enfield's engine ging away as we headed up the mountain road.
I paused for a photo opportunity

Hitch-hiker proudly posing with the bike and then I gave him my camera to take a picture
at which point...

Damn - another puncture.