The purity of the breeze runs high at the altitude where not everyone can survive.
The mirage of the colors brighten with the glittering sunlight,
The vibrant landscapes of the mountains behold the wandering eyes.
The heart suddenly wakes up to the new found excitement,
As it becomes insomniac to the never ending grace.
It is not just about being there for the sake of it,
But the experience that the skin inhales with every inch of its senses!
Such words can be described with contentment for none other than the very famous land of Lamas and high passes. Leh – Ladakh!
Attracting globally, the commercialized and overcrowded Leh, still holds its authenticity despite being hyped. It isn’t just another tourist place where only destination is desired. In fact, the challenging journey to Leh from Manali is what anyone would crave for. Ditching the direct flights, there are private cars, taxies, buses and bikers that flock the route to enjoy the dazzling scenery leisurely. But there is a breed of travelers that prefer to soak in the journey in a truly adventurous way.
The 550 km’s of nerve wrecking ascend and descend is pedaled through the altitudes where even vegetation cannot survive! Yes, you heard that right. This journey makes you cycle through the mountains between Leh and Manali where even meager facilities for civilization aren’t available. Then what makes this crazy voyage possible?
Many adventure companies like us curate the experience meticulously so that one doesn’t have to worry about cycles, safety, food, shelter and many other important factors. The only input from the participants required is to be physically fit and determined to pedal across some of the world’s highest mountain passes!
The story begins from Manali where you first meet your well experienced leaders to get oriented for the days to come. Manali happens to be the last place where you can get all your supplies, if you have missed any.
The first leg of the trip ascends through the panoramic view of pine and deodar trees. The infamous traffic of Rohtang pass needs to be tackled with many hairpin bends to reach this marvelous campsite of Marhi. It has a ground-dropping views of the valley on its three sides. But wait! Marhi is just halfway and you are not yet done with Rohtang. Complete the 18 km stretch next day and you are treated with the snowcapped peaks of the Spiti valley. Ending it at Sissu for the day, it offers much to explore at its campsite which cannot be simply ignored!
From now the game gets to the next level as isolation begins and the ride becomes tougher! For the next three days we come across Jispa, Zing Zing bar and Brandy nallah where the confluence of rivers, dusky roads and mind boggling snowcapped peaks can be seen.
The twist in the story comes when we face the ’21 loops of Gata’ rising to Lachulung pass at 5,150m following the exciting plains of Moray!
On the day 8, it ends at this mars-like land of Tso Kar where there are no traces of humanity for miles. But isn’t this a blessing in disguise? Next you see the second highest motorable pass in the world, Tanglang-La at 5,360m is like that grumpy teacher who tests beyond your limits of capability and then surprises you with the mesmerizing views of Upshi when successfully concurred.
The mushy feeling of happiness when you see someone again after a long time arises as you get reintroduced to the vegetation in the fertile land of Leh that is dotted with pretty villages and the Stupa’s.