The diary of a few rides and clicks!

Monday, August 8, 2011

On 1:53 AM by Yashwanth Rao   2 comments
The Journey :

Day 3 :

After a night spent inside the tent amidst heavy rains, we packed our tents in the morning and ate Maggi. Little did we know about the road lying ahead. All that we knew was that there was a huge traffic jam in the ghat section after Marhi(Rani Nallah), which was visible from the place we stayed. Vehicles were just standing in a long queue from the beginning of the ghat section till the end. Only one way traffic was allowed every hour and then the traffic was allowed from the other direction, because of the heavy rains and landslides. There was no road only. It was all just mud slush everywhere.

We had never seen such a bad road before in our lives, as it was just knee deep mud slush everywhere, where only 4x4 vehicles could pass with ease. Every other 4 wheeler and bikes were suffering to cross this stretch of 6-8 kms. We had to push bikes at so many places, especially since it was heavily loaded. However, we ended up burning the clutch plates of Machismo. We weren't carrying a spare clutch plate also. We were helpless there, struck amongst hundreds of vehicles parked there due to the traffic jam which had started 30 hours ago. We couldn't believe when we learned that the 4 wheelers were struck in the jam from the previous day. They had to sleep inside their vehicles only without any food.

We luckily came across a truck which was carrying some 12 Royal Enfields to Leh, which was also struck there. There was also a mechanic sitting inside the truck. We pleaded him to remove clutch plate from a bike in his truck and put it into ours. We can never forget that guy, Viru, who helped us a lot by doing so. Finally we had working clutch plates in the machismo again, but it wasn't a new one, since it was removed from some other bike. By that time, the 2 pillions had trekked all the way to the top, where the jam ended. There was a glacier right next to us, and it was the first time I touched snow! But we couldn't enjoy there, since we were waiting for the other bikers. 

The two of us were waiting for the bikers to reach the top for over two hours, and then the two pulsars managed to ascend all the mud slush and reached the top safely. We were now waiting for the bullets to arrive. Then, after waiting for another two hours, we came to know that the clutch plates of machismo got damaged again, after almost reaching the top. We asked so many riders whether they had spare clutch plates. But we weren't lucky this time. We went all the way back to Viru again, who was still struck some 4-5 loops below, but he also couldn't be of any help since we didn't have a spare clutch plate. We talked to Viru that we'd be putting the bike inside his truck once the jam clears and take it all the way to Keylong, where the next Mechanic and spares would be available. Keylong was further 70 kms away from there. We hadn't yet reached Rohtang. Since we had decided that we'd be putting the bike in the truck and reach Keylong, the 4 others left in 3 bikes to reach Keylong as early as possible, leaving me and one more of us along with the Machismo. We had thought it'd be a perfect plan and we'd be reaching Keylong by night. But, somewhere deep inside, we were feeling nothing goes according to our plans....

The 4 others had left from there and passed Rohtang La, reached Tandi and stayed at an army camp there. According to what I heard from them, they were very hospitable and served quality food, providing fully furnished rooms, for a very nominal price. 

In the meantime, near Rohtang, where we were stuck, It was 8 in the night and it started to rain heavily. We had no option but to sit below a truck. We came to know that the truck to which we had talked wouldn't be arriving anytime soon, since it started to rain and there were landslides again. A Qualis got damaged right in front of our eyes due to a landslide and luckily none were injured. The truck driver asked us to get into the truck since it was raining. Along with us, some 5-6 more bikes had got damaged and were waiting with us thinking about the further options we had. All of us decided to talk to a truck going in the opposite direction to take a u turn and drop us till Keylong, where we could get the bikes repaired. After talking to some 3-4 trucks, a guy agreed to drop us for 9k. We immediately put the 5 bikes in the truck and left there by 9pm.

It was the first time we were travelling inside a truck with bikes and we had no idea how tough it would be. Once the truck started to move, we had to control the bikes from falling, using all our energy, since the entire road stretch was bad. Our legs, hands and everything started to pain a lot since there was nothing to hold onto in the truck. It was one hell of a ride, where we had to spend all the energy even while sitting, for around 3 hours.After 3 hours, we thought we had covered 70 kms and about to reach Keylong. But were shocked when we realized we had covered only 28 kms and reached a little village called Koksar. All of us decided that we can't take it anymore and decided to get down at Koksar only. It was almost 12 by that time and we got some space in a dhaba to stay. Luckily we had our sleeping bags with us. So, we had a sound sleep till 8, blaming our fate and unable to reach others. We had no idea where the others would be, since we didn't have network over there. We thought they'd be waiting at Keylong for us, which was a further 45-50 kms away. It was a long long day.

Day 4 :

We woke up and luckily found a small pick up jeep standing right in front of our dhaba and asked him to take the bike with us to Keylong and he agreed. We had our breakfast, used the pay and use toilet at Koksar and left for Keylong, hoping this journey would be better atleast, since it was a jeep and only our bike would be there in it. But we were wrong again. It was also one hell of a journey and we had to struggle a lot to hold the bike and stop it from falling. It was a crazy ride for around 2 hours and finally we reached Keylong, and were more than happy when we found the other 4 waiting for us right there in a garage. We went to a lodge to take bath for the first time since 4 days! We ate like some nomads who didn't eat from years and were feeling so fresh after taking the bath. Finally a sigh of relief, after getting the bikes repaired, taking more petrol in jerry cans and finally packing the bags for one more long ride to cover more distance... And again hoping that we wouldn't face any problems from now onwards.... God only knew what we were about to face....


  1. Bro this Abhijit from Pune...We are planning for Leh trip in Sept..can you just Help me out by sharing some information and some pics of your trip..
    My e-mail id is

  2. Very nice and informative post Yashwanth. There is so much to explore in India and I would absolutely love to go on such road journeys. Bad that I haven't been to one till now. Keep up the good work.

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