Tiffany's blog

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

Leh

Ladakh is known as the Little Tibet of India, I'd already noticed the similarities in dress, language and houses and now here was a monastery that looked like a copy of the Potala in Lhasa

I'd reached my destination - Leh, having ridden from Dehradun in four days.

I found a good place to stay - Enfield owners can't be wrong I thought as I parked alongside the others

Chai Stops

The Road Stallions had stopped for chai (tea) again


so I pulled up with them

One of the nice things about riding in India is everyone is riding an Enfield.

this car pulled up

Tyres...

Leaving Pang, I realised I had a flat tyre, luckily this guy was on hand

He usually works on trucks but took on the Enfield with gusto (though not very competently as I was to discover later).
I had prime viewing spot, sat next to the Sikh guy on the seat ripped out of a bus

Hunger Pangs at Pang

For those of you who are familiar with my travels and may be thinking - where's the rufty tufty Tiff who take her own tent everywhere and camps rough - yes I did have my tent in my Giant Loop panniers. And I was prepared to put it up and had spotted a few secluded spots to wild camp in, but I was extremely worried about how cold my feet were and with no source of heat at these altitudes I knew I was in danger of frostbite. My poor circulation means that high altitude travel is a bit risky and I'm prone to cold feet at the best of times.

Limited Accommodation Options

I'd arrived at Sarchu, the tent site, evening was fast approaching, the light was going

My face is pale and looking a bit pinched, I'm cold and as I'm at 4200m (13,800 ft), I've got a thumping headache - and this is AFTER descending 30km from the mountain pass. I spot a suitable tent place and head off the road

Getting Wet and Cold

Trucks, ice and snow

A frozen lake

But my favourite sight has to be this broken down lorry and the guys squatting beside it lighting fires

Going Down is Harder

As we all know, what goes up must come down and the downward bits are often a little bit more tricky.
Yes, there was a bit more snow than I had expected - after all just a couple of days previously, I'd been sweltering in temperatures in the 40's (110 F and upward).

Still, I didn't have much to worry about as I was warmly dressed (like many cold-blooded people I have a morbid fear of getting cold) and so I was wearing plenty of layers and on top had my Rukka jacket and Gerbing trousers, with my Gerbing heated gloves in reserve as well.

Going Up

I left Manali and Ride Inn, fingers crossed for fair weather, one of the bike riders I had spoken to (Eric originally from America but now resident in Manali with his wife and son) had told me about his journey a few days previously when chaotic traffic and bad snow conditions had made Baralacha La impassable and trapping vehicles up there - even motorbike were stuck, for 14 hours, whilst vehicles from the size of a car and upwards were trapped there for 36 hours.

Ladies in Ladakh - The Reconnaisance

I've been back to Asia, to the Himalayan region of India to be precise and I'm leading an all-female group of riders through Ladakh. Beforehand though, I had the opportunity to do a thorough recce and familiarise myself with the route..read on

Let me introduce Enid, a Royal Enfield Bullet - 500cc, fuel injection, gears on the correct side (unlike the older models of Enfield) and she's a great bike.

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