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Leh and Linea : Revisited with my XUV

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by J Ravi, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

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    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Done sir..
  2. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

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    2,293
    Bangalore
    Thanks a lot, rajeev21698, for the compliments.
    Thanks, Ravi, for the prompt action.:)
  3. Tron

    Tron Superiore

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    667
    Mumbai
    @ J Ravi sir, ones again i'll repeat,''Hats off to you & your Blue stalion Linea!''
    narration of your posts is so excellent that im not atal hesitating to read them again & again with massive gusto!
  4. Sumit

    Sumit Superiore

    Messages:
    607
    Munger
    ravi sir if u have any pics of zozila pass plz post them.
  5. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

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    2,293
    Bangalore
    Leh-Khardung La-Leh

    I found Leh very congested with narrow roads. I found it difficult to find a slot to park my Linea at the main bazaar. So, during our stay at Leh, my Linea was confined to the secured car parking at Hotel K'Ser. Leh roads were not safe for walking either with taxis zipping at break-neck speed.

    ******************

    On 19 September 2011 [Monday] morning, we breakfasted and left for Khardung La by 8:30 am. Earlier, there was a discussion between me and my wife regarding driving up to Nubra Valley as planned. We were told by the owners of Padma Hotel that the road for 14 km each on either side of Khardung La, totalling 28 km, was bad and comparable to Zoji La. The moment Zoji La was mentioned, I decided to avoid Nubra Valley. Then, the next option was to take a cab, but I vetoed it. Finally, we were unanimous that my Linea should go up to Khardung La, come what may, but not further. We also dropped Pangong Tso for the same reason. So, our stay at Leh, originally planned for a week, was cut short to three nights.

    The Leh-Khardung La [35 km] road was a 2-lane State Highway, but could beat many good National Highways easily. The first 25 km stretch of the road to Khardung La comprised freshly laid tarmac and the work was still in progress near Leh. Then came the Indian Army check post at South Pullu, where I had to hand over a copy of the inner-line permit to the check post personnel. He noted down my Linea's registration number, my name and my wife's name on the reverse of the permit copy and kept it. He also confirmed that road ahead was not good. But, I must admit that Khardung La road was much better compared to Zoji La. I drove my Linea carefully, avoiding craters, sharp stones and boulders.
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    From Khardung La, we returned to Leh, got my Linea filled with petrol up to the brim, lunched, returned to our hotel room and rested. I settled the hotel bill by evening as we planned to leave the hotel by 4 am the next day to Srinagar. The owner arranged for opening of gates of car parking.:) After dinner, we watched a movie on my laptop and slept.

    More to come.
    4 people like this.
  6. kirenh

    kirenh Regolare

    Messages:
    421
    Mumbai/Pune
    Pune
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    WOW!!! Thank you for taking us thru this wonderful travelogue. Pictures are just awesome. Waiting to see more.


    Kiran
  7. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Thanks, Tron, for the compliments.
    Thank you, Sumit. During the up journey, we were so tensed in keeping my Linea on the move, we didn't think of clicking that dreaded stretch. In the return trip, I was very eager to cross Zoji La, so again no photographs! Sorry.
    Thanks a lot, kirenh, for kind words. I shall upload the next part this afternoon.:)
  8. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Leh to Srinagar

    River Indus flows by the side of NH 1 D for many km from Leh to Srinagar. After flowing through Ladakh, she enters Pakistan, helps its economy grow and finally joins Arabian Sea.

    ****************

    On 20 September 2011 [Tuesday], we were ready by 3:45 am, when we heard a knock on our door. We found the hotel boy designated by the owner at the door-step! He took our luggage and led the procession to the car parking at Hotel K'Ser across the road. I arranged the luggage in my Linea's boot, tipped the hotel boy and left Leh by 4:05 am to Srinagar.
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    Much more to come.
    2 people like this.
  9. VahanPujari

    VahanPujari Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,303
    Mumbai
    Hats off to you, Ravi :clap::T
    Such a long & demanding trip and that too all alone, only you and your wife...Amazing feat
  10. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Messages:
    2,293
    Bangalore
    Drass War Memorial - Our Salute To Indian Defence Forces

    During Kargil War fought between May and July 1999, Indian security forces successfully drove away the Pakistani armed infiltrators and recaptured the Indian territory occupied by them. Now, we could drive on NH 1D safely thanks to the supreme sacrifice made by the Indian security personnel.

    ********************

    We reached Kargil at 12:30 pm after a strenuous 8.5 hour drive. My Linea had a tankful at IOC petrol pump. After a visit to the clean loo there, we continued our journey to Srinagar. Our breakfast and lunch comprised Kakra+dried fruits+nuts+fruit juice.

    En route, we visited Drass War Memorial and spent some time there.
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    Crossing Zoji La in the return trip was not that difficult. I drove fast keeping up the momentum, not bothering a bang here and a thud there. At one point, there was a Y-fork. One road went up, and another, down. Since we were descending, I took the downward road. After driving a very dangerous narrow stretch, I started encountering numerous private trucks approaching us from the opposite direction and there was no place to pass through!::OO One trucker informed me that I should have taken the upward road at the Y-fork. A J&K registered Alto, who followed me, assured me that we could go ahead. So, I allowed him to overtake me and I followed him descending Zoji La. But, the trucks were increasing and all the truckers stopped and advised me to take the upper road. Then, we took U-turn at a wider stretch, came back to the Y-junction and took the upper road. That road was meant for vehicles descending Zoji La, it seemed. But, there was no signages, no board, no warning! Anyway, that stretch was worse than the ascending road. My Linea struggled a lot even while descending!::OO

    At one hair-pin bend, a truck got stuck and there was a big pile-up of vehicles. So, we were stranded there for more than a hour. Later, the truck could manage to come out and the traffic jam cleared. We reached Sonamarg by 8 pm and had our dinner there. Using the landline of the Punjabi Vaishno Dhaba, where we dined, I informed the staff of Hotel Mirage, Srinagar, that I would be reaching there by midnight and requested them to keep the door unlocked as I did not want to shout at the midnight to wake up the staff as it had happened during our previous visit there! But, I reached there by 10:15 pm itself. True to their words, the main gate was kept fully open! I took photographs of my Linea's MID outputs, unloaded, unpacked and crashed on the bed for much-needed and well-earned sleep.

    To be continued.
    Punto@4813, Surya and ramjn like this.

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