INDIA in July, 2019 (9)

INDIA in July, 2019 (9)

2019-08-04T11:53:10+00:00August 4th, 2019|Lee & Paul Update|

We have a late start from Jispa and everyone is feeling relaxed after hot showers here, cold Kingfisher beers and a chance to dry our boots out a bit! We leave town on a reasonable road as we head up to the next major pass. It’s a definite tourist track now with everyone coming up from Manali – there’s a lot more traffic with other bikers on tours, domestic bikers and masses of fuel trucks. We come across a section where the road has been taken out completely by snow-melt and has become a nightmare of large boulders, gushing water and massive queues of army trucks and traffic. We get through one by one and all meet up for chai and a lunch-break while we wait for our support vehicle to catch up.

The cafe precinct – Himalayan style
Efficient heat source when required at the Zingzingbar
They tell us they have slept 120 people in here when the weather comes in
Kamal gets a chance to empty the water out of his boots

There is a choice on the menu for either magic noodles or a bread omelette and what a discovery the latter is! Basically, they saute some diced onion, garlic and tomato on a skillet, place two slices of bread sliced diagonally onto the mix and pour over the beaten eggs. When the bottom is done they flip it like a pancake. It was sort of like fried bread but we all thought we’d like to try it at home.

Suraj Tal Lake on the way up the pass
Breathtaking views on this barren pass
Baralachala panorama

Coming down from Baralachala Pass it was my turn to come off in a tricky river-crossing! There was nothing to do but wait in the cold water for someone to lift the bike off me – no injury except my pride and a boot filled with water!

Never-ending river crossings
Discussing the atrocious road conditions and endless river-crossings

We arrive in Sarchu, a major halt point with tented accommodation which sits at an altitude of 4,290 metres. We are sore and tired from a rough day of riding but there are no hot showers here. The tents have a floral inner liner and an ensuite attached at the back with a flushing toilet, a cold-water basin and very dodgy plumbing. We have proper queen-size beds with really heavy quilts and after everyone retires for the night, a voice at the tent door asks if we want a hot-water-bottle for one person or two! With very low temps outside, this is a very welcome treat.

Our basic camp at Sarchu

Giant ground squirrels called marmots appear in the morning sun on the hillside above the camp and if alarmed they emit a sharp, piercing whistle and scurry back to their burrows.

The black strip of bitumen runs right through this valley
Sheep graze around us in this unique location

After more dodgy river-crossings, we climb up the Nakeela Pass with it’s infamous 22 hair-pin bends called the Gata Loops – to be honest there seemed to be a lot more than that!

I wonder where I am
A bleak wilderness
A welcome chai stop oasis between passes

No sooner were we down then it was back up again and over the Lachangla Pass with the scenery becoming very barren, bleak and devoid of life.

Not much to look at on this pass except the marker post
Bleak, cold conditions through the river valley
And even bleaker for some!
Into another valley filled with spectacular eroded rock formations

Riding through the Bargha Canyon is another world of limestone and land-forms sculpted by wind erosion until we arrive at the intriguing Moray Plains – a vast 40 kilometres long and 50 kilometres wide.

The vast high-altitude desert of the Moray Plains and river valley
Paul is able to change his cracked handlebar as of course, Imran has a spare!
Handlebar repairs on the spot

We turn off the main road and wonder where we’re heading – the broken bitumen is single-lane and there isn’t much in view. Finally, a small town appears beside Tsokar Lake…our home for the night and our last remote location on this tour.

Deserted Tsokar Village with the frozen salt-lake behind


  1. Gay Watson August 26, 2019 at 12:59 am

    I have a whole new respect for you my friend! WOW…..

    • Lee August 26, 2019 at 10:23 am

      Thanks Gay…it was a big call at times but a great adventure xxx

  2. Tammy August 8, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Amazing! You’re so adventurous!

    • Lee August 14, 2019 at 5:36 am

      This ride was almost TOO adventurous Tamm!

  3. Jenni August 6, 2019 at 7:47 am

    Spare parts?, sure he doesn’t have a kitchen as well…😉

    • Lee August 14, 2019 at 5:37 am

      Ha ha, everything pertaining to motorcycles!!

  4. Susie August 5, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    You sure have a thirst for adventure, great reading.

    • Lee August 14, 2019 at 5:37 am

      Wait for the final instalment…

  5. jenelle green August 5, 2019 at 8:22 am

    wonderful scenery. I think it would be far safer on the bikes than in a vehicle. Take care 🙂

    • Lee August 14, 2019 at 5:37 am

      Especially if you have long legs…

  6. Ken August 4, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Keep up please I keep finishing before the next one arrives.

    • Lee August 14, 2019 at 5:38 am

      Final blog on its way…

  7. Mal Cremer August 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Lee, Paul, you will have to present this adventure at the next HU at Boonah!! Mal

    • Lee August 14, 2019 at 5:39 am

      Maybe Mal, will depend on where we are but worth a thought!

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