16th September 2014, Tuesday…..Day(6) Sarchu-Leh 251 km
It was bone chilling cold morning at Sarchu. Touching ice cold water was scary still had to as it is required for almost all the morning chores. The Zanskar couple served nice cup of tea early up. Sun was up early. On coming out of the tent I saw most of the travelers getting ready for the days drive. Saw many trucks, buses, cars and bikes parked along the road. Some of them were going up to Leh and the rest going down to Manali.
Most of the tents here were put by the people of Zanskar. They were very friendly helpful and honest. Besides basic budget accommodation almost all basic food items, both veg and non veg, were available at reasonable prices. No phone network, no electricity, no village…..still there was a bargain whiskey shop at such a remote place. It was an important day as I needed to cross at least three high altitude passes to reach Leh, which was around 260 kilometers from Sarchu. Keeping this in mind, I began the day’s ride at around 7am.
Pang (15100 feet) is a popular place, 180 kilometers from Leh and 80 kilometers from Sarchu on Leh Manali Highway. Alongwith Sarchu it is a popular place for night halt for the travelers going up to Leh or going down to Manali. It has many road side eateries and tented accommodation. Everyone going towards Leh has to register themselves at a check post here. Army has world’s highest transit camp at Pang – at 15,640 feet above sea level.
When going up from Manali side some people get sick due to acute mountain sickness (AMS). It is advisable to spend at least one night in between Manali and Pang preferably at Keylong or Jispa.
When I reached here around 11pm noon I saw quite a crowd of travelers both inland and foreign. some of them were going up to Leh and some going down to Manali. I stopped here for a while, had omelette and milk from one of the eateries. It was quite good and fairly priced. After few clicks and registration I rode off to one of the most beautiful roads in Ladakh through the famous Morey plains.
More plains is a stretch of 40 km between Pang and Tanglangla. Average elevation of this road is 15800 feet and passes through some of the most stunning natural sand and rock formation. This area is a major attraction and dream for the bikers. The area is not inhabited and has no construction at all.
At Debring just few kilometers before Tanglangla there is a turn to the right which is a shortcut to Tso Kar and Tso Moriri lakes.
From Karu I turned left towards Leh which was still 35 kilometers away. River Indus is on the left side and runs all of 35 kilometers along the road. Many army camps can be seen on both sides of the butter smooth road. By the time I reached Leh it was already dark. Tried many guest houses on Changspa road and luckily got a very good room in a guest house within my budget.
After a little rest I went out and roamed about in Leh bazaar. Came back to the guest house, had nice dinner and went to sleep. A very satisfying day both for me and my red knight….we crossed all of those high mountain passes with ease and enjoyed each and every moment of it.
Thats the end of day 6 of my Solo Bike Ride to Ladakh 2014!!!