Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Motorcycle Diaries Part 2 - Chang La

Young Che Guevera once left his MBBS degree in the middle because he had a dream to reach USA on a bike all the way from Argentina. Some 80 years later, Young Satya planned to be the first to cross Chang La pass on bike to reach the famous Pangong Lake in this year.

We started on an ambitious plan of crossing the Chang La when trucks with chained tires could not cross it. After obtaining the inner line permit which is required while travelling close to the LOC, we left Leh at around 11 AM. The initial part of the journey was quite fine with only the Brake and Horn not functioning on my Silver Enfield. After we reached the treacherous mountains, Harsh’s brilliant diversification strategy started paying gains …. As the Pulsar simply refused to climb the steep inclines of the mountains. Cursing him in all the possible languages they know, Sunil and Ankit managed to push the bike whenever it got stuck.

We didn’t even click any pictures as the only thing on our mind was to get to the other side of the Chang La before sunset, if we wanted to reach there alive. We were not stopped by the army check post at Zingral, hence we proceeded with great enthusiasm.

But after 15,000 feet, the road became treacherous… as the snow started melting and was in a partial state.When Sunil tried to brake, the Pulsar turned 360 degrees on snow due to skidding. After 16,000 feet we paused for some time trying to decide if we wanted to proceed any further. Since we were still in enthu, we tried to press on. The only problem was that the nearest army camp was 40 kms. If we failed to reach before the sunset there would be some considerable problem. In case we were stuck, our bodies would be found like that of George Mallory, in a total frozen state, probably after the roads opens!

Some mention must be made about the guys who rode on such terrain - Sunil , Satya and Hanish. After we started climbing rapidly, i gave up as the bike had no brakes, then Hanish managed the bike with a remarkable control, i fail to understand how he rode such a bike on those roads ! Hail Hanish !

The Road to the ascent

The 'We were there' pic

They say its their trademark .... ahem ! Sunil n Ankit

We almost made it buddy ...


We turn back ...

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