My heart jumps with joy whenever I remember my good old college days when I used to ride my modified Yamaha bike and cover hundreds of kilometres across any perimeter. It was so dependable and I used to feel so liberated and free. Today, I drive a sedan alright but that ruggedness and wild excitement which I used to feel every moment on my Yamaha is completely missing. I decided to purchase a motorcycle once again to relive my passion but my family’s big No put an end to this burning desire. Well, I buried this dream until I got an assignment for Leh and I took a flight to Leh Airport and landed at the mesmerizing land. I had a few days at hand before the commencement of the project and I wanted to utilize every moment in the best imaginable manner. I had heard a great deal about biking expeditions to and in Leh-Ladakh but had no credible source to confirm it. I took out my smartphone and searched a few websites and guess what, I was riding a 500 CC Royal Enfield the next day. It was simply unimaginable and I slapped and pinched myself hard to wake up to reality but it was every bit real. The exhilarating feeling of freedom on a motorbike at one of the world’s most beautiful destination seemed like snatching away The Moon. Luckily, I became a part of the guided biking tour as the team behind this drive was highly accommodating and respected my feelings even at the shortest notice.
I found it a bit difficult to ride the bike as I was completely out of touch but a few kilometers run made me so comfortable as if I was riding it for ages. We drove to visit some beautiful locations like Hall of Fame, Gurudwara, Magnetic Hill and Sangam on that day. It was exciting and I was unable to contain myself so I called up many of my old pals making them jealous beyond imagination. The next day was the real day as we left for Nubra Valley via Khardungla, the highest motorable road in the world. Well, when I was sipping hot cup of tea on the way as we took a short halt, it appeared that we are actually at the top of the world and every iota of land all around looked majestic. By afternoon around 1.30 p.m. we reached Hunder. It was an overnight stay there but all of us had lots of fun as after lunch we went to explore Deskit Hunder Village and did frightening yet thrilling Camel Safari in sand dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village. It was a long day and I slept like a log with all other comrades.
After sumptuous breakfast the next day, we went to visit Deskit monastery that offers bird’s eye view of Nubra Valley. I wanted to stay there forever but we had to be back to Leh the same day as we had so much to explore and I started that I will be back here soon. We reached Leh following the same route we took to reach Nubra Valley and had satisfying rest during the next. The local delicacies in breakfast energized us more and we started to cover 140 kilometers distance from Leh to Pangong Lake and cannot express the experience in words but yes it was like riding in the real paradise with no traces of tiredness. We reached the Lake crossing through Changla Pass. We reached the camp at the Lake by lunch time and ate best local delicacies to the full and got into leisure mood. We got the best sunrise view on Lake the next morning and started from there back to Leh and visited Hemis, Thikse Monastery and Shey Palace on the way back. All ten of us who were a part of the expedition had become great friends and our guide was a reservoir of interesting information and used to share exciting bits about each place and we never used to hit beds without talking to him a great deal after dinner. The next day we started for Serchu through Tanglang La Pass and arrived at the destination by evening and had a wonderful stay there. The next day our bikes roared to life after breakfast and we left Serchu for Keylong crossing Baralachala Pass, Darcha, Jispa, Gemur. We stayed at Keylong during the night.
The next day we left Keylong for Manali via Rohtang Pass and arrived there by evening time. Our expedition had come to an end and I went back to Leh to complete my assignment which took another six days but was confined only to a few places of the region. Can you give a long shot that what am I doing while punching the keys to complete my enthralling experience. Yes, you got it right. I am packing my backpack and my new Thunderbird is standing outside eager to roar to life for Leh biking trip.
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