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PUNTO on PROWL in LADAKH

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by vipin.rai, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Finally I have done the tour de to the Roof of World with the help of my beloved-Italian Horse. From two years have been going thorough Ladakh travelogues teasers.
    One of my friend did Ladakh trip in may last year, and showed me the pics. Till that I always considered Ladakh a forbidden zone. I was so mesmerized by those pics that I decided that one day I will definitely do this trip on bike. He introduced me to the Team-Bhp site and later I found myself our Team-Fiat Site.
    After going through several travelogues, especially the inspiring ones from J.Ravi and Rohit, I decided to do it on my PUNTO itself.
    At first, I decided to do it in month of August-13, but due to some unavoidable project schedule, I have to pre-pone it in month of June. But after drilling more information though travelogues, came to know that June is not a good time for hatchbacks and sedan, and September is the best time. So conveyed to my manager that I will be taking off for two weeks, so please plan my activity and I am ready to stretch for project related activity before and after so that it won’t hamper my September plan.
    I was eagerly waiting for September and felt like month is passing like a year. On net, most of the times I used to browse about Ladakh and road-condition. My wife/mom/dad used to say that Teambhp/Bcmtouring/Teamfiat are his default opening sitesJ. But there was another dilemma, shall I go with my wife or also with my parents. With four people, net weight of around 285 kg and additional weight of luggage. My father was also very much concerned, whether I would be able to do it with fully loaded car. Following are the points of concern:
    1. Will severely affect GC of already troubled GC of PUNTO, which when fully loaded, used to hit even minor sized pebble.
    2. Will it have enough BHP to pull fully loaded weight in already oxygen starved terrain?
    3. AMS trouble to my mother, who got previously fainted dangerously twice in crowded areas.

    Then I decided to take risk with point 2 & 3. For the point, I went for GC upgrade kit and also upgraded from the already worn Apollo tyres of 195/60-15 to Michelin PLC tyre of 195/65-15. This considerably increased my GC to 194.5mm on paper. After that I convinced my parents to go with us on this trip.

    Details of my journey are:
    Car: Fiat PUNTO Multijet emotion pack-2011 model.
    Total KM before Journey: 36548
    Total KM of Trip: 3127
    Total rough expense which also includes car check-up + essential items (e.g. air pump etc) =65000/-
    Total days =13 (7-sept-19sept)
    No of people: 4
    Route: Delhi-Srinagar-Leh-Manali-Delhi
    Major visited places: Nubra-Hunder , Pangong Tso

    Below is the list of item for car-purpose:
    1. 2 Ltr coolant
    2. 2 Plastic Can, each of 10 ltrs capacity, and fully filled with diesel
    3. Towing rope
    4. Manual Air pump
    5. Puncture repair kit
    6. Multipurpose tool kit
    7. 1 Air filter
    8. Basic fuses of car
    9. One big rechargeable battery light
    10. Funnel with long pipe
    11. Mseal


    LEH itinerary

    DateDAYFromTo
    07-Sep-13DAY-1DelhiUdhampur
    08-Sep-13DAY-2UdhampurSonamarg
    09-Sep-13DAY-3SonamargKargil
    10-Sep-13DAY-4KargilLeh
    11-Sep-13DAY-5LehLeh(Rest+Basic Car Checkup+Permit)
    12-Sep-13DAY-6LehHunder
    13-Sep-13DAY-7HunderLeh
    14-Sep-13DAY-8LehPangong Tso
    15-Sep-13DAY-9Pangong TsoLeh
    16-Sep-13DAY-10LehLeh(Local sightseeing)
    17-Sep-13DAY-11LehSarchu
    18-Sep-13DAY-12SarchuManali
    19-Sep-13DAY-13ManaliDelhi
    - - - Merged Post - - -

    We left at 5 am from Delhi and reached by 5 pm in Udhampur. Reg leh-trip-1 005.jpg leh-trip-1 009.jpg leh-trip-1 011.jpg leh-trip-1 012.jpg arding the road condition, in this leg, from Jammu to Udhampur, roads were not in good state.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
    8 people like this.
  2. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    On 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] day, from Udhampur, we started off at 6:30 am and reached by 4:30 pm at Sonamarg. Mostly road was in good condition. leh-trip-1 018.jpg leh-trip-1 028.jpg leh-trip-1 036.jpg leh-trip-1 045.jpg leh-trip-1 049.jpg leh-trip-1 052.jpg leh-trip-1 062.jpg leh-trip-1 066.jpg leh-trip-1 070.jpg leh-trip-1 102.jpg leh-trip-1 117.jpg
    11 people like this.
  3. mayurshah

    mayurshah Amatore

    Messages:
    146
    Banagalore
    Wow..leh is also my dream on punto

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 4
  4. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    On 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] day, comes the real challenge, and in actual sense, Journey to Ladakh begins from here. And dreaded Zozila was awaiting me. Real driving test starts from here. We started off around 8:30, after 3-4 Kms of excellent tar road, its condition started to deteriorate. Then after 2km, we saw the big army convoys coming down from Leh side, and 2-3 army jawans has stopped all the vehicle movement from Sonamarg to Zozila side to pass the army convoys. Then we also saw that from this place, two roads were bifurcated, and one of the route was blocked with stones. On enquiring from Jawans, came to know that there are two routes to Zozila, one upper route, which is blocked because of some recent rock-falling, and another lower route which was operating. They told us that it would take at least 1 hr to pass the convoy. As per them, upper route was in better condition than lower operating route. Some unruly local taxi drivers were badly arguing with those jawans to let them use the upper route, but when one of the Jawan angrily shouted and hurled his gun, and then they went away on a distance.
    From that point, I can see there was no tar on road, and it was in much bad state. After one hour, when whole convoy passed, Army Jawans gave the green signal for upward direction traffic. Road condition gone bad to worse, and ruts created by big trucks, made the upward driving more difficult. At some points my car used to stop in trying to save the underbody from potholes and ruts, and it was very difficult to start it from zero. Even with upgraded GC, my car under body got scraped 3-4 times. Then I realized not lose the momentum and maintain the car in good turbo range i.e. above 2000 rpm band. Approximately after 4 Km, I was much relieved and happy to see the Zozila board “welcomes you to Ladakh”. After descending from Zozila, we stopped to visit the Zozila war memorial and paid our respect to brave-heart soldier who made their supreme sacrifice in Zozila war in 1947-48. Road from here till Drass were not in good state, it was in broken and loose gravel state. From Drass to LEH, 90 % of the road was tarred and were in excellent condition. Around 1 PM, we reached to the OP-VIJAY Kargil war memorial. We visited the place, paid our salute to the supreme sacrifice made by Kargil heroes in defending the Bharat Mata.
    On 4[SUP]th[/SUP] day, we started for Leh at 7pm, and crossed the two pass NamikLa and Fotula, the easiest passes to cross in entire journey. We reached Lamayuru and took some snaps in front of famous moonland rocks on mountain.
    By 3:30 PM, we reached Leh. We were relaxing in hotel for the rest of the day. leh-trip-1 119.jpg leh-trip-1 123.jpg leh-trip-1 124.jpg leh-trip-1 126.jpg leh-trip-1 127.jpg leh-trip-1 129.jpg leh-trip-1 132.jpg leh-trip-1 150.jpg leh-trip-1 152.jpg leh-trip-1 156.jpg leh-trip-1 157.jpg leh-trip-1 163.jpg leh-trip-1 168.jpg leh-trip-1 173.jpg leh-trip-1 175.jpg leh-trip-1 185.jpg leh-trip-1 188.jpg leh-trip-1 190.jpg leh-trip-1 195.jpg leh-trip-1 203.jpg leh-trip-1 207.jpg leh-trip-1 212.jpg leh-trip-1 225.jpg leh-trip-1 226.jpg leh-trip-1 227.jpg leh-trip-1 229.jpg leh-trip-1 231.jpg leh-trip-1 246.jpg leh-trip-1 252.jpg leh-trip-1 269.jpg
    7 people like this.
  5. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    leh-trip-1 280.jpg leh-trip-1 287.jpg leh-trip-1 298.jpg leh-trip-1 307.jpg leh-trip-1 311.jpg leh-trip-1 332.jpg leh-trip-1 336.jpg leh-trip-1 337.jpg leh-trip-1 346.jpg leh-trip-1 350.jpg leh-trip-1 365.jpg leh-trip-1 372.jpg leh-trip-1 375.jpg leh-trip-1 381.jpg leh-trip-1 397.jpg leh-trip-1 404.jpg leh-trip-1 413.jpg leh-trip-1 422.jpg leh-trip-1 423.jpg leh-trip-1 434.jpg leh-trip-1 441.jpg leh-trip-1 443.jpg leh-trip-1 447.jpg

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    On 5[SUP]th[/SUP] day, we went to DC office for the permit for Nubra and PangongTso. After that we drove to Druk motor service centre for car wash, and basic checkup. Engine oil/oil-filter was changed because KMs since last time it Changed during service was around 12500, and engine noise was also on a bit louder side. I have to search whole market to find the engine oil of 5W-40 specification, but after too much searching, I just found 4L shell helix ultra of 5W-40 full synthetic oil in one shop. He demanded 4200, and it was of july-2010 make. Since I had no option at that time, I was able negotiate it to 4000rs only. Oil Filter was of Swift, and service guy told me that same is used for PUNTO also. Here I also have no other option other than to believe him. It was 3:30 PM, when car basic check-up was completed. Then we decided to give rest of the day to off. leh-trip-1 452.jpg

    leh-trip-1 453.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  6. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Sorry guys, due to much overload of work, I will be giving brief description of the trip and after that only pics will do the talkJ.
    On 6[SUP]th[/SUP] day, we started off for the KhardongLa pass, road till South Pullu were in good condition, after that it was full of soil and loose gravel road. We reached top, within 2hrs, since it was only 40 KM from Leh. Also I found it less difficult compared to Zozila. We reached Hunder, enjoyed in the sand dunes and did some double-humped camel ride.
    On 7[SUP]th[/SUP] day, while returning through KhardongLa pass, due to some landslide and blasting/widening work, road was blocked 300 meter before KTOP, so we had to wait till 4 hours. I was very much concerned about possible hitting of AMS effect, but thanks god, not a single-sign of AMS, we all felt. There was snowfall at the top in previous night, because we saw the snow on the road this time. We returned to Leh safely.
    1 person likes this.
  7. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    On 8[SUP]th[/SUP] day, we started off for Pangong-T so, and before to the ascend of mighty ChangLa starts, there was sherti village, which was much green compared to other nearby places. In my mind, impression of Chang –la pass was that, it’s ascend is more steep and therefore difficult compared to KhardongLa. But may be because of drving experience gained in Zozila and KhardongLa, I found Changla more easier.
    Snow was in abundance on road compared to KhardongLa, and it was also snowing with 1 degree Celsius temperature displayed in MID of PUNTO with message “Possible Snow on Road” around 11 am.
    Around 2pm, we reached to the world famous Pangong Lake. And the Lake was looking beautiful as I have seen in the pics before. We drove it further to the bank of Spangmik, and my dream was realized as I wanted to touch the Lake with my beloved PUNTO. We stayed in the tent-accommodation at Spangmik. After some time, weather turned to cloudy, but thanks god, we have already seen the beauty of Lake.
    On 9[SUP]th[/SUP] Day, when we woke up, we felt overjoyed, as it was snowing lightly with temperature around 2 degrees. We returned to Leh around 2 PM, and as usual, we experienced snow fall in ChangLa again while returning.
    leh-trip-2 027.jpg leh-trip-2 030.jpg leh-trip-2 034.jpg leh-trip-2 038.jpg leh-trip-2 048.jpg leh-trip-2 060.jpg leh-trip-2 066.jpg leh-trip-2 067.jpg leh-trip-2 070.jpg leh-trip-2 072.jpg leh-trip-2 074.jpg leh-trip-2 076.jpg leh-trip-2 100.jpg leh-trip-2 103.jpg leh-trip-2 108.jpg leh-trip-2 119.jpg
    6 people like this.
  8. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    leh-trip-2 121.jpg leh-trip-2 123.jpg leh-trip-2 147.jpg leh-trip-2 150.jpg leh-trip-2 164.jpg leh-trip-2 168.jpg leh-trip-2 174.jpg leh-trip-2 177.jpg leh-trip-2 186.jpg leh-trip-2 198.jpg leh-trip-2 200.jpg leh-trip-2 203.jpg leh-trip-2 222.jpg leh-trip-2 225.jpg leh-trip-2 240.jpg leh-trip-2 243.jpg leh-trip-2 247.jpg leh-trip-2 252.jpg leh-trip-2 264.jpg leh-trip-2 275.jpg leh-trip-2 307.jpg

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    leh-trip-2 304.jpg leh-trip-2 315.jpg leh-trip-2 318.jpg leh-trip-2 320.jpg leh-trip-2 349.jpg
  9. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    On day 10[SUP]th[/SUP], we started late in that day and went for Leh sightseeing and small marketing. We first went to Shanti-Stupa, from there, full view of Leh encircled by surrounding mountain was amazing. Then we went to the Hall of Fame, it is a war museum with description of wars fought from 1947 to till date. There is also a short video documentary of Kargil War, shown in regular interval. Museum also contains the information about Ladakh culture and history of it.
    leh-trip-2 362.jpg leh-trip-2 369.jpg leh-trip-2 406.jpg leh-trip-2 407.jpg leh-trip-2 408.jpg leh-trip-2 412.jpg
    5 people like this.
  10. vipin.rai

    vipin.rai Amatore

    Messages:
    66
    Delhi NCR
    Grande Punto 1.3
    11[SUP]th[/SUP] day, we started our journey to Delhi at 7:30 am, road till TanglangLa was fully tarred, and it was loose gravel till the descend to famous Moore plain. TanglangLa was the third easiest pass out of all the 8 pass in entire journey. From Moore plain, again road turned into excellent tarred road. But beware; don’t drive it in 70-80kmph, blindly. At one point I found, sudden depression created for water crossing, my car tumbled slightly. After that, I drive cautiously with regular such depression on road. As told, I also feel that Leh-Manali is much more scenic compared to Srinagar-Leh. So now I feel that it was worth taking such calculated risk for such beautiful and adventurous route. From Pang again the route turned bad, after that virtually road was non-existent. We were thinking that when this un-ending bad patch will end. We crossed the LachungLa and NakeeLa, without much interest. Then we reached the famous 21 hairpin-bend GATA loops. By 4 pm, we reached the Sarchu. And we called off the day and stayed there for the rest of the day.
    leh-trip-2 426.jpg leh-trip-2 439.jpg leh-trip-2 453.jpg leh-trip-2 457.jpg leh-trip-2 459.jpg leh-trip-2 465.jpg leh-trip-2 468.jpg leh-trip-2 479.jpg leh-trip-2 480.jpg leh-trip-2 488.jpg leh-trip-2 495.jpg leh-trip-2 508.jpg leh-trip-2 509.jpg leh-trip-2 528.jpg leh-trip-2 531.jpg leh-trip-2 542.jpg leh-trip-2 556.jpg leh-trip-2 559.jpg leh-trip-2 561.jpg leh-trip-2 565.jpg leh-trip-2 569.jpg leh-trip-2 578.jpg leh-trip-2 580.jpg leh-trip-2 581.jpg leh-trip-2 592.jpg leh-trip-2 599.jpg

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