Hi welcome to RideToNirvana. Some things that life has given me and I am so greatful to share them with others. There are somethings that make us diffrent from others and give us our identity ,Then we find people with similar notes and it becomes music. Most of it is dedicated to Himachal , The Himalyas, Rock Music and other things that matter.
- ▼ 2008 (10)
- ► 2007 (14)
Friday, October 31, 2008
Ecosphere Spiti is a collaborative effort of the local community of Spiti and professionals from diverse backgrounds with a wide spectrum of skills and experience, effectively spanning the bridge from the general to the niche.
Our focus is to re-establish the critical link between the custodians of Spiti's natural and cultural resources and consumers, through our product line ranging between travel, organics and health. We aim to create sustainable livelihoods that are linked to conservation.
Our passion for conservation, mountain travel and adventure has brought us all together for this venture. Some of us have college and university educations that strongly support our claims. Other members of the team have (adrenaline) educations that no educational institution can provide.
We have wandered the Himalayas (and will continue to do so) and most travelers we have come across have been awed by its grandeur, very few have been disappointed.
We have a commitment not only to the development of the place, people and resources of this region but also to the outside world with whom we wish to share this rich natural and cultural heritage and the traditional knowledge of healing and health.
So please share, support and enjoy :
This was my first trip to Ladakh on my Royal Enfield. In April this year I had three of my best Atul, Gautam and Shwetank come to my house for the usual Saturday party. We were discussing our last trip after a couple of beers and by the end of it we were planning the trip for this year. So the plan was made to travel to Ladakh this year with our wife’s. Apparently three of us Atul, Gautam and myself we got married in the last one year so this time the trip had to be planned and not just done. That was when I decided to buy a Royal Enfield and early May I was riding my black beauty. Atul is a Royal Enfield veteran and has been riding his bike for the last 14 years. Gautam has been riding his 18 year old bike for like 5 years now. Shewetank bought his bike last year and this was his first ride to the Himalayas. For me I learnt to ride on Atul’s bike but frankly I was not very confident about riding the Enfield as initially I was finding the bike heavy and slow the transition from pulsar 180 was taking its time.
So after running in the bike I gained some confidence and on 27th July we left for Manali. We booked the Volvo for the ladies one day in advance and the ladies were in Manali one day before us. So it was four of us riding the usual boring Delhi Chandigarh highway. We stopped at Chandigarh to meet old friends and the old bikes needed repairs after the straight run. Yes they did need repairs Atul wanted to get the gearbox rechecked and Gautam had a leaking head gasket. This was after both the bikes were rebuilt just a couple of weeks back. The Enfield is a repair thirsty bike that is for shore. So after meeting with friends, eating and getting the bikes done we started towards Manali after daylight and were welcomed by rain near Ropar. The roads were in real bad condition and the traffic was crazy well we crossed into Himachal late that night and to make things better Bilaspur area was under a thick cover of fog and there was a major traffic jam due to the trucks from the cement factory. This was the crazies ride I had ever done at times we were thrown off the road by crazy Volvo drivers overtaking on turns and the truckers really did not find any sense in letting bikers with luggage overtake them. Finally we crossed Burmana and were welcomed by Himachal police. The Cops were amazed to see us riding to Manali at 2:00 am. We took a break with the cops and had tea with them. Shawetank being from U.P. was amazed to find cops that friendly. After crossing Mandi we stopped near the Pandow dam and all of us were really tired so we took some rest at around 3:30 am. The ride had now taken its toil on us and breaks became frequent. As we entered the kulu valley the view was really refreshing as the river was completely fogged and the fog covering the whole river looked really amazing like the river had raisen from its base. This was the best view of the river I had ever seen. So finally after packets of cigerates and unlimited cups of tea we finally reached Manali at seven in the morning once again welcomed by heavy downpour at Manali entrance. The rest of the day went sleeping in the guesthouse, in the evening we went shopping and then to get a dip in the holy water at Vashist.
The next day we started for Keylong as planned. That’s when we learnt the first lesson about riding with our better half’s. They just cannot rush into getting ready and packing.
We left Manali at 11:30 and proceeded towards Rohtang. Once again we got rain on the way and the rain made things real bad on the way. The road is being widened by the army hence there was mud and loads of water on the road. Atul broke the Ladakh stand on his bike and was almost thrown off the bike when the stand broke. Finally we reached Rohtang at 4:00 and then proceeded towards Kokhsar. Rohtang was at its worst this time we had never seen it so bad. After crossing Kokhsar tragedy stuck Gautams bike stalled and refused to start. So we started troubleshooting and found every thin to be in place. Tried changing battery checked for fuel etc finally we found a wire loose and loosing current hence the spark was not complete. We started again at around seven and stopped at Sissu instead at Keylong.
The next day we got the stand on Atul’s bike welded and we started again planning to reach Sarchu. We got fuel at Tandi and had early lunch at Keylong. After riding for some time we saw Atul having a hard time with his bike as it was not just getting enough power going uphill. We checked the air fuel mixture the plug the timing and finally got the bike performing better. After we started again there was a road block and we had to wait around two hours. By the time we crossed Baralachla it was almost dark though the road was in real good condition. We reached Bharatpur at around 6:30 we pitched our tents at Bharatpur as it was getting dark and it was no point going ahead.
Staying at Bharatpur was a mistake as it is at around 16200 Feet and real cold. Most of us were not in a very happy mood the next day as altitude had bought every body down. So by the time we packed again and had breakfast at the local tent it was 11:00 am and we planned to reach Leh that day. Anyways we started and crossed Sarchu real fast. After passing Sarchu Atul’s bike started giving trouble again. The road after Sarchu was in real bad condition as again it is being widened. As I approached Lachunglung La I found that Atul was not with us. We waited for some time and still he did not arrive so we started back to check on him to find him stranded at Whisky Nala his bike refusing to go uphill. So the troubleshooting started again and we planned to stay at Whisky Nala that day. We tried everything but the bike just did not rev enough. We worked on the bike real late with no luck. The next morning we worked on the bike and were helped by another foreigner from Dharamsala and knew about the Enfield’s real good. He said that the governor behind the timing plate is not holding and needs to be fixed but we did not have another governor with us. So we opened up the governor and fixed it temporarily and got the timing correct this time. But again one complete day was lost here. The next day we left for Leh and crossed Mori Planes in the afternoon which was real bad again as there was silt good enough to get the bike stuck at some places. That evening we reached Leh and checked into a guest house.
We reached Leh on the weekend so we could not get permits so went around Leh.
On Monday permits made to go to Nubra and Pangong though we got the permits in the evening and had no time to start. Though we did have a real good time in Leh with all the wonderful food and the monasteries. On Tuesday we went to Khardung la and came back to Leh.
The next day we started back towards Manali. We planned to visit Tso Kar. We reached the lake in the afternoon and camped there for the night it was real good and relaxing. The next day we spent some time on the lake and then started back towards Sarchu. We had less distance to travel so Gautam and me trekked for around an hour to get to the top of one of the big mountains. That day we stopped at Sarchu and then at Keylong the next day. We finally reached Manali back on Saturday and headed back to Delhi next day on Sunday as all of had to join work on Monday.
So with all the motorcycle trouble we did enjoy every day of the trip to the fullest and have no regrets that we lost time as we did get to spend more time with family and friends and enjoyed the place real good we plan to do the trip year after year in the time’s to come. The ladies were really supportive and courageous they made real good friends with everyone as they were new to the group before the trip.
I am a confidant Enfield rider now and I think Enfield is the best bike to travel if you have a pillion and a lot of luggage. Not at any point of time was I afraid of bike slipping on gravel or water it just seemed to be sticking to the ground. I am really impressed by the stability of the machine and the confidence that it handles bad roads. Unlike my pulsar thankfully I did not get any of the wheels up in the air this time I can imagine what will it be like to have both the wheels of the Enfield up in the air. The riding comfort is amazing and the torque really gives a boost to the whole experience. As per the weight I did get adjusted very well to it and I never had trouble maneuvering the bike with 140+ KG weight on the bike, though it's getting difficult to ride my pulsar now as it seems very light and feels like a rocket after the Enfield. I did get to understand why so many people around the world fall in love with this machine even though it is not the fastest or the most reliable one.
By the end all I can say is travelling makes you learn new things every time specially if you are travelling with your better half. It may be learning to repair the governor on the Enfield (never knew it was there) or being in a group all the time taking care of each other.
It teaches the ladies to cross rivers by foot if they are afraid to stick to the bike and to stick to the bike on the next one. It tells the ladies that they married real hard motorcycling guys and tells the guys that the ladies are not as delicate as they look they can be stronger than the guys at times. So all of you who are reluctant doing the trip with your better half’s should pack your bags and do the trip by the time you come back you will know each other much better and will make place for some very smiley pictures on your bedroom wall with lots of stories to tell.
My best photograph..