The thunder between the legs, the snow-capped summits of the majestic Himalayan mountains, a hot cup of tea at 11.562ft, and the conquest of the highest motorway on earth – yes, I’m talking about a bike trip to Leh Ladakh, one of the more exciting trips of the biker’s life. Every curve, every breath, every breath, every kilometer, every kilometer, a step closer to nirvana!
The journey will not be an easy one, it will make you feel weakened, hurt your body and mind, and change how you see the world. It will make you feel weak. When you travel a lifetime, you gain an eternity experience. The hurdles are numerous, the variables numerous and innumerable things could go incorrect, but the euphoria they give is unmatched.
Dropping the gear
I woke up to the fierce sound of horns and cars in Delhi. I woke up. It’s been the day! I’ll go on today to the captivating and peaceful landscape of Leh, one of the most demanding voyages of my life. He was ready to show his mettle to the mighty mountains. I was hurrying to my machine, looked for any defects. Tires, guns, clutch, oil levels, brakes, suspension – everything looks good.
In a bright morning, I began my journey, with the orange-red sun shining in red tones on the blues of the sky. My next destination is Manali, the splendid mountain station. The 573km long route leads me across Karnal, Kiratpur, Mandi and Kullu to the “Valley of Gods.”
As I went through the slowly moving transport of Delhi, I was greeted with a warm welcome by its long stretches and uninhabited plains. After about 15 hours of riding in different landscapes and cultures. My Ladakh motorcycle tour’s first pit stop was Manali.
The moon replaced the orange sun by that time and the stars lit up the dark, shaded heaven. The cold breeze that fondled my hair added to my ecstasy. In the cold night a heated cup of tea warmed up and in one of the cottages I found shelter there.
The warmth of the local people aroused my soul, over and above the serenity of the landscape. They show each other their respect, their welcome to their guests, and their love for Mother Nature—something that humanity must learn from them.
The Pahadi Lifestyle
The honeybees were my wake-up warning, but here the fresh frost and a hot taste of tea aroused me to the amazing view of the glacial mountains and the exuberant green valley. Manali is now my place to study. I left my house and started the exploratory journey into the gullies and the valley. The faces that you pass, the quintessence of landscape serenity.
The local market is a pleasant place to spend time and buy local products. There’s a true paradise food that you can even enjoy here. Meet local people and get to know their livelihoods. Adventure junkies can go to Solang Valley for paragliding thrills.
A dip in Vashisht village’s natural hot spring will alleviate your tiresome journey. Also worth visiting is the Hadimba temple. Enjoy the day, sleep well, and get ready to make your adventure ride through the giant Himalayas, Pir Panjal, the very following day.
Ride to Leh
I went on my way to Leh, my dream destination, after a healthy breakfast. On my first stop on this bike ride from Manali to Leh, I passed the renowned Rohtang Pass and crossed the Manali-Leh highway through the curvy roads to Jispa. The trail is surrounded by beautiful panoramic views and the charm of Chandara and Bhaga Rivers.
The view is so fascinating that you will have to stop and enjoy the beauty for some time. When I arrived at Jispa I was greeted at the cold atmosphere around me with a hot tea. The fatigue of the demanding journey I just finished I went to my room to sleep.
I started my trip to Sarchu, the Cashmir border town and Himachal, leaving Jispa behind. I was greeted with a wonderful view of the mighty Himalayan countryside. You will reach the heart of the icy mountains by the route.
As I crossed the Baralakha Pass at 5000 meters above sea level, my backbone had a splendid view of the mountains and the valley. I reached Sarchu after hours of exciting journey. I have found a good sleeping spot and I’m quick to get drunk.
Following a satisfying breakfast, for the second stage of my cycling ride to Leh Ladakh, I revived my machine. I went through the 21 Gata Loop’s hairpin bends and took the road called ‘Highway to Hell.’ I crossed the road. The road stands up to the name it has gained, from ash to stony to rapid and exhilarating U-turns.