The diary of a few rides and clicks!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On 6:52 AM by Yashwanth Rao   1 comment
Day-5 : Lachung - Chungthang - Lachen - Tangu

Again, we woke up to a chilled up morning, packed up and left towards Chungthang pretty early, without having breakfast. It was around 7.30 when we left. We knew how bad the roads were, but since we were still fresh, we were able to cover pretty good distances in lesser amounts of time. We reached Chungthang in around an hour, and for the 2nd time, we went to the same restaurant where we had breakfast. We had some good rotis and maggi there. We also filled up air to the Pulsar tyre, as it was punctured since 2 days now. Two of us went to an army camp there to fill up the air, and were served good parathas and tea there! In the meantime, 3 of us who were at the restaurant never stopped to grab attention of the others as we came in bikes! When we reached the restaurant, the other group of bikers from Kolkata were leaving from there. We had a small chat and waved them a goodbye. We also met with some people who just returned from Gurudongmar side. And one thing which they said, pumped in some more energy into all of us - "Oopar baraf ho raha hai!" (It's snowing now near Gurudongmar!). We, who had never witnessed a snowfall in our lives, were more than excited after listening to him! All that we now wanted was to go there fast and experience our first snowfall! 

We left Chungthang around 9.30 and started towards Lachen - Tangu. Our plan was to ride till Tangu and call it a day. It started to drizzle when we started, and so we covered our cramsters with plastic sheets and we put on our rain jackets. The roads were again bad, but we were now totally used to it. 3rd gear used to feel like top gear throughout. We came across some waterfalls on the way.

We rode continuously without stopping for another hour. Maybe we were not meant to ride without stopping. The CBR got a flat tyre now!  We blamed ourselves for not getting a puncture kit again. We started riding it slowly till we reach Lachen, which was another 3-4 kms away. As soon as we started with the flat tyre, we came across the biggest and the toughest stream in our entire trip! Oh god why!?

Somehow 3 of us managed to get it across the stream, even though it had a minor fall. After riding for another 10 mins, we reached Lachen, and thankfully there was a garage for trucks. That guy happily filled air into my bike. But the problem still persisted. The puncture still existed. We were not sure about riding till Gurudongmar and back to Lachen without fixing it, especially since the roads were bad. We were thinking what to do. Somehow we got to know that those Kolkata riders had decided to stay at a lodge in Lachen only. So we went there and asked for their help. They were carrying a tubeless puncture kit! After trying for the next 30-45 minutes to find the place where it got punctured and fixing it, finally our bikes were up and running! We came to know they were a proper bikers group called Kolkata Riders. We couldn't thank them enough. Without them, we would have decided to leave the CBR behind at some point of time. We took a few snaps with them. 

It was still afternoon, around 2 and it was still drizzling. So, we decided to ride till Thangu, which was another 30-40 kms away. 30-40kms meant 2-3 hours at least in those terrains, and it drains you out very fast! 

So we started towards Thangu and were riding continuously. It was drizzling continuously, and since the weather was very cold as well, we were all totally numb. We were just riding our bikes, waiting to reach Thangu. We had some picturesque locations on the way, with some river flowing right next to the road. The roads were bit slushy as well. 

No matter how much we rode, Thangu seemed very far still! We were getting drained out because of hunger and the cold. After some time, the weather turned unbearably cold and we had to wait in front of an army camp, as the other 2 bikes were falling behind. When we stopped and removed our helmets, we figured out it wasn't just drizzling.. Those were not rain drops.. Those were small ice particles! It had started to SNOW! No matter how drained out we were, this one fact recharged us completely again! We experienced our first snowfall finally! We started giving hugs and high fives to each other! We were then invited into the army camp to have some hot tea, and some sweet, chocolates and all. They had lit a fire there as well. We spent more than 30 mins there, talking to a Major, whose son and daughter were working in Bangalore. He was amazed to see us coming in bikes and we were treated very well there. We were again fully energized! They loaded our pockets with many more chocolates and waved happily, as we left towards Tangu.

Thangu was just 5-10 mins away from this place, and we reached there within a matter of minutes. We checked into the first lodge we came across, at around 5pm. Sunset was already over. We just got freshed up, ordered food for dinner. At around 7pm, the intensity of snowfall got increased, and the roads, our bikes started to getting covered with layers of snow! 

We went for a short walk after having a tasty dinner, took some snaps and started planning for the next day. We had to go till Gurudongmar early morning, and ride back till Mangan, according to the plan. Deciding that, we slept off, covering ourselves with 4-5 layers of clothes and 3-4 layers of huge mattress sized blankets.. When we woke up the next morning, we were in for a pleasant surprise.. Winter was coming!

1 comment:

  1. Lachung North Sikkim is a charming mountain village at an altitude of around 9000 feet.