soni motors
Home
Saturday 27th June 2009 @ 05.00Hrs GMT 10.30 local time mission complete,returning to base !!

2 new videos added.... edited versions each 10 minutes long


  khardungla top sign

Well it's a bike ride and a half this one. Fly to New Delhi, India then catch a train some 200 miles or so north to Chandighar, then pick up Royal Enfield hire bikes then and ride over some off the highest motor passes in the world all over 14,000 ft finally after 4 days we will reach Leh and make an attempt to travel the Khardung La at 18380 ft which lays claim to be the highest motorable road in the world.

Surviving that we would head west for for Srinagar and discover that all the bad roads were not behind us.

I had always been on the lookout for a adventure that would compete with Morocco , a tour I completed in 2004 and finally I have found it.

Last updated 17-oct-09

 

 
 
2 videos , Edited from full days videos. Scroll down for full version
 
 


  Part 1 - The road to the Top  


  Part 2 - The Road to Home  

 
 
 
  Day 01 : Friday, 19th June 2009 : New Delhi  
Miles : approx 4000 Time : 15 hours
Height 33000ft  
 
9.30am and its Guinness time for Den
 
Tuc tuc India style
 
 
 
 
 
No caption could explain Paul and the flowers
 
4 out of date beers
 
 

Oh what a start, after a planned early night that went well out of the window we would manage 3 hours shut eye before it was time for the clock to strike 3 bells and the start of a long day. Den and Billy had recovered well enough by 9.30 to grab a a nice Irish breakfast and a pint or two of Guinness.

Arrival in New Delhi would be 10pm, some 10 hours flying time from Amsterdam. However it midnight by the time we had cleared the swine flu doctor, passport control and arrived at the hotel, a nice small place in a strange part of town and all the bars were closed, and we were still awake as UK body clock time was only at 7.30 (4.30 ahead) eventually we found a hotel bar with 4 bottles of out of date beer. Then at 440ruppes we thought we had be taken...time will tell.

 
 
 
  Day 02 : Saturday, 20th June 2009 : Chandighar : By train  
Miles : 165 Time : 6h30m Moving ave : 25mph Height : 2000ft
 
Stop what nothing was stopping anywhere
 
Shave gentlemen
 
 
 
 
 
Building site Delhi style
 
Soni motors paperwork time
 
 

A day to sort out the bikes, have a quick look around New Delhi and catch the train to Chandighar where we will pick up the motorcycles. The idea of the train is many fold 1: the traffic in delhi is horrendous 2: the heat is hot at 41c and 3:We are all kids traveling together and could not resist a trip on an Indian Railroad. we would see...............

 
 
Honest the bikes will all be as good as this!!
 
Delhi bike district
 
 
Tuc Tuc race
 
Train Indian style,bars to keep them out me in?
 
 
At 20 Rupees(25p) this was good value
 
 
 
 
 
New Delhi station what a hassle
 
New Delhi station buffet less than 80p for all on the table
 
 

What a day hot and bothered did not enter into it. It took about 2 hours to wonder about to find the bike district and our dealer (Pay him so he would transport the bikes), who looked in surprise as he had the incorrect date in his book. Problem solved it was time for a hair raising tuc tuc race back to the hotel . Massive confusing from the hotel manager canceling our lunch in wonderful AC conditions we ended up at the station 2 hours early and into a human sauna and a delightfully hot smelly station buffet. However at 80p to feed 5 what do you expect.

The train was hot but not as crowded as we had imagined, best of all it left on time, and cost 1.60 each for a 160 mile journey. The sights on the way were very much in keeping with scenes from Slumdog Millionaire. Every station would bring hands through the windows trying to sell food and water to the passengers. We are 2 hours in and i have drank 2 liters, this is a sauna on wheels and getting busier.

I have to say that in all of the station never mind the train we were the only European/Americans to venture on a self guided package, this is what makes the adventure, stepping into the unknown.

 
 
Plenty of people with not much
 
 
Everyone and everything
 
Neil is happy to see he is on the list
 
  As I close the lid on this computer we have been on the train 5 hours plus and a stand still some 13 miles from the station, it's now dark (7.30 the sun goes) I am hungry and ready for a beer we are now moving backwards and been advised by another traveler that the engine has broken down and we can only go backwards until we get to a siding and a new engine is dispatched. Total time 6h 30m.  
 
Day 03 : Sunday, 21st June 09 :Shimla  
 
Miles : 73 Time : 5h 45m Moving ave : 18m Height : 7000ft
 
1pm and just about ready for the off
 
My horse for the next two weeks
 
 
 
 
 
The train to Shimla took interesting course
  road side cafe  
  Billy in action  
Shimla shopping
 
         
 

The bikes arrived at 1am and the 2 lads delivering the bikes slept on a chair next too the bikes to hand them over the next day.

By the time the bikes had been checked over (something that can not be stressed enough ) it was 1pm before we were ready to roll,how time passes. It would not take long to discover how bad the driving was.

Reckless driving Stepping out on the roads and highways of India is not for the faint hearted. At any given time, pedestrians compete for space with a dizzying variety of vehicles: buses, cars, trucks, three-wheel auto-rickshaws, hand-pulled carts and, of course, the occasional cow.

I now understand why it advisable to choose a bike with two horns. This is driving at it's worse I will never again complain about English driving. Now the main problem after the traffic was the heat at a max 46c while riding.Then the cows and monkeys on the road plus the odd dog make for an interesting time.

So off we went on 1950s style British bike 500cc single pot producing about 20 bhp at the best of time, also the foot controls are the way round to the now normal.

The bikes gave us the first problem and it was my bike with a clutch cable requiring attention, The bike would not come out of gear so would not stop without stalling then with no electric start (that was broken also) required a kick start in manic traffic and heat.

The infrastructure here does not exist the place looks like a war zone, only last week a neighbour of mine commented the inconvenience of the water being switched off without warning, here people are by the side of the road using hand pumps and buckets to get it home.

The hotel we thought was an example of what was to come so we made do and happy that we had running water and made use of our own sheets on the bed for the first time.

Shimla center was wonderful built by the Raj who ran the whole of India from here in the summer the buildings gave you the impression that you were in a town like Chester. Away from the center (one street) it was a shambles. The cleaner in the hotel just opened the window and threw the rubbish out.

 
 
 
Day 04: Monday, 22nd June 2009 : Mondi , Himalayas region  
 
Miles : 98 Time 6h 40m/10h 36m Moving ave : 20mph
overall : 14mph
Height : 2500ft
Basic but basic in Shimla hotel
Shimla early morning
Shimla barber - Not today thanks
We found the dealer.. but guess what
 
Billy thanks the mechanics
 
Phil and Paul try to pick some tips
 
 
 
 
 
scene of the accident..The front brake fell off the bike
 
Neil in action
 
 

The 6.30am photo shoot was hard word and waste of time, no coffee till 7.30 and then the Enfield garage did not open till 10am , so all the huff and puff and 5 miles by high noon. Billy's bike required a new clutch cable and battery. The job was completed in true professional fashion and the cost of the clutch cable 81 rupees(£1.10) and the lab our 50 rupees (65p).

So at last we were off Neil managed to clip a bike in the car park and knocked it over, thankfully it was an old wreck. Then within half a mile Paul ran into the back of a car I was following and could not understand why he had not stopped. That was until I noticed that the bake caliper had falling off.

Then after a lengthy 6 miles Neil broke down with a blown fuse, this was going to be another long one 95 miles in 6h 30m. in terrible heat 49c on the bike and 39c in the shade. By all accounts the temperature was supposed to be dropping by now.

A car overtaking me had to cut in at the last minute and managed to hit my engine bars luckily I only ended up in the dirt. This close contact driving is the normal here.

 
   

I was wearing the helmet camera, and about 20 seconds into the clip you can hear the collision then I end up in the rough. Luckily there was some rough to be had. the driver got a bit of a shock swerved across the road then just carried on.

It's all about driving with the 3g's good brakes, good horn and good luck. 90,000 people are killed on the roads every year in India. it accounts for 1% of the worlds vehicles and 10% of the worlds accidents.

 

The camera used for all video was the Tachyon XC, a wonderful easy to use piece of equipment.
 
This family had been thumbing a lift and only the small child and mother climbed into the non AC vehicle
 
 
 
 
We complain if the water slightly cold for a shower here it is collected from the pump and carried home
 
 
Video - The first of the video recordings showing the run to Mandi
 
 

Mandi (meaning market) was a busy place but not early built around the tourist so hotels are not a plenty, when we get sorted it was a good clean place at £13 each. The curry keeps getting better, even though it is all veggie. I guess the locals can't afford to keep animals in any grand scale but manage to grow of vegetables.

This was to be the time when we questioned if the journey to the top was possible.

 
 
 
  Day 05: Tuesday, 23 June 2009 : Keylong  
   
Miles : 141 Time : 11h 18m Moving ave : 17.1mph Height : 10330
max 13028 ft
 
The mountains started to look good at Manali
 
Spot the village at the bottom,10k foot high
 
     
 
The roads were awful
 
The top of the Rotang 13000foot
 
 
Photos by the 1000 at the top
 
Man and yak on top of pass
 
     
 
More of the top
 
At the bottom
 
 
Rotang La
 
ditto
 
 
 
Video of the Rotang Pass, the first of many and perhaps a shock of reality to the nervous system
 
 
Chai (Tea , very sweet ) and a smile
 
 
Oil tanker on it's side blocking the road, earth had been dug away to allow motorbikes through
 
 

Well what a day it may have only been 140 miles but it took over 11 hours, we had a good start and decided to fit 2 days into one to catch up for the previous 2 days shortfall. The road to Leh, is an spectacular 296 mile ride, and described as very strenuous(an underestimation as we were to see). It started well but slowly went downhill.

Our stay was short lived and the promise of a night in a holiday inn hotel passed us by as the first big one lay ahead the Rotang La pass stood at over 13 050ft(3978m) this would take us over the Pir Panjal range and onto the Himalayas .

Keylong our bed for the night lay ahead only 77 torturous miles away, this stretch took us 7 hours. The roads were more like off road trail roads complete with river crossings and jammed packed with traffic of all types. The biggest problem was the constant danger of being run off the road. 6km before Keylong was the last fuel stop for 230 miles, where we filled every available container. Today's run would be a lesson to us all and a wake up call of what lay ahead.

 
 
A typical mountain coffee shop
 
Neil with border patrol, check in to the mountains
 
     
 
village with a view
 
Last petrol for 365km, so we filled water bottles
 
 
  Day 06: Wednesday, 24th June 2009 : Pang,not sure where  
   
Miles : 113 Time : 9h 55m Moving ave : 17mph Height : 14 830foot
 
Keylong view from the hotel, if only the hotel had looked this good
 
 
Road gangs, hundreds upon hundreds ..........doing what!!
 
 
Phil, Billy and Den at the top of the Baralacha la
 
   
  The snow was this high  
 
 
  Video showing the run up the Baralachla, 16002ft  
 
Tea in a tibetan tent
 
Don't go off the edge
 
 
 
 
 
Off licence
 
Army passport control
 
 
Water crossing
 
Gata loops
 
   
  Den with the loops behind him  
 
 
 
 
 
Snow walls
 
 
 
 
  Getting cold  
Move over the armies coming
 
   
  Billy enjoys the water  
   
  The landscape is forever changing  
 
 
 
A natural arch in the rock
 
 
 
 
 
Rough but beautiful
 
Sarchu tent settlement
 
 
 
 
Quality bridge
 
 
 
 
  Ladies loo no door with a view! Click to look  
The landlady makes a move for Den
 
   
  Video showing the road to the tents at Pang  
   
  Morning !! Has Neil froze to death?  
 

The plan had always been to reach Leh in 4 days or maybe 5 at the most, unfortunately the bad start and progress we had been making put our estimation after 2 days was more like 7 which would prevent us from reaching our goal giving the time we had allocated of 12 days. So after the success yesterday the decision was made to double up again.

7am would see us away and another 3 passes to complete to reach Pang. The roads were more or less the same as the previous day a mix of half poor tarmac and half just rock sand water and mud, and 90% of everything single track were he who is the biggest wins, no matter how loud your horn. No wonder it takes so long to cover the miles.

The first obstacle of the day was Baralacha La 16,002ft (4883m) before reaching Sarchu a popular tented settlement which is a popular stopping place for travelers on this route,probably the only civilisation you pass after Baralacha La which in comparison to Pang looked like a royal summer residence. Not ours we were doing a double,the 21 Gata loops would take us to Nuchl La ((4900m) and finally Lachalung La 16,613ft (5065m) by now a few heads were buzzing with AMS (altitude mountain sickness) Some found the use of a drug Diamox came to the rescue,others screamed in pain.

The scenery improved around every bend, the only danger is taken your eyes of the road. Once you get used to the roads you have the metal bridges with holes in to contend with. Finally the small tented settlement and our overnight was reached at Pang. We had now crossed the Himalayas and the next mountain range would be the Zanskar mountains on the way to Leh.

We chose a good one 10 mattresses on the floor, no water except from the well, light by battery and no toilet, the ladies have a metal 3 sided shed with no door and a hole in the floor. I have to add it may be poor but it must offer the best view from any khazi in the world.

At 100 rupees (£1.30) a night I guess you can't expect the Ritz. Dinner was served in the tent and no complaints cooking 7 meals on one stove. This was also a alcohol free night except for the dehydrated wine we had carried from home. (well recommended). So tired are the crew tonight it was lights out at 9pm.

Sleeping at 14800 in a tent would see all the warm thermals appearing for the first time.

 
 
  Day 07: Thursday, 25th June 2009 :Leh,ladakh  
 
Miles : 115 Time :9h 35m Moving ave : 20mph Height :11500ft
 
Our settlement at Pang, the worlds highest
 
Pang, birds eye view
 
 
 
 
 
Wide open the Morey Plains
 
Puncture at over 17000ft ,Den with AMS looks on
 
   
  A gang of 6 Indian lads on Enfield's stopped to offer help  
   
  All present at the top of TaglungLa 17 583 ft , you can't hang around too long  
   
  Just a good sign of what we had done  
   
  Video showing the road from Pang to Leh over the Taglangla pass at 17582 ft  
 

Boy or boy this is why we carried the warm weather kit, we awoke around 5.30am watching our breath freeze as it hit the air. We decided to sit tight until the sun had rose enough to defrost the seats on our bikes.

Completing the last lap to Leh was finally on our mind, we were pleased to see a sign informing us that this was the highest transit camp in the world. Den had a problem his head bursting with AMS and was desperate to loose some height, this however could only be achieved by going even higher as this was the only way out. Unfortunately this was the second highest motorable pass in the world, the 47 miles to Tanlang La at 17582ft (5328m) would be easy task, a puncture at 17,130 ft was the last thing he would have wanted and added an stop of 30mins which is something you do not want at this altitude.

The top offered delight views and photo opportunities, short lived as a drop in altitude was required fast, lulled into a false sense of security tarmac had been laid for the first 2 miles, then a right mixture including a touch of snow would add time to our decent to Rumtse at 14,000 ft and the start of better roads to Leh.

The scenery and height changed over the next 60 miles the rock formations were absolutely fantastic .Approaching Leh we witnessed the largest army settlement camps any of us had seen before, and big improvement in the roads obviously for the movement of the troops.

Leh is a busy bustling tourist town with more bazaars than you can shake a stick at, the chance tonight to have some decent food and this was well catered for in the abundance of restaurants. The only shock was the cows still scavenging the rubbish in the main street. Oh and the fact the electricity is always going off for hours at a time.

 
 
 
  Day 08: Friday,26th June 2009 : Leh, Ladakh  
Miles : 0 miles
 
More service parts in Leh
 
A craftsman at work
 
 
 
 
 
Leh main street
 
ditto
 
   
  View above the street  
   
  Closer look at the palace (destroyed some 600 years back)  
   
  Neil had been out shopping and found a friend  
   
  Leh from the palace  
   
Looking the other way
  As we awoke to the news that Michael Jackson had died the decision was taken as a mark of respect to have a lazy day and recharge are batteries. The mechanics moved in on the bikes to tighten everything that had rattled loose, and that appeared to be most things.  
 
 
  Day 09: Saturday, 27th June 2009 : Leh , Ladakh  
Miles : 52 Time : 4h 30m Moving ave : 17.4mph Height :max 18350ft
  The day of the Khardung La : The highest road in the world  
 
 
  Ready for the off. Leaving the hotel Osmala ready for the big one.  
 
 
 
  Lorry off the road   Leh from the pass  
 
The sign says it all
 
China this way,next stop
 
 
 
 
Neil, Phil,Billy,Paul and Den at the top, time for home,job complete ... ORIGINAL
 
 
 
 
The Indian guys catch us at the top,plus someone else in a hurry
 
   
  The road was good up to Khardung La, well most of it  
 
Video of the last leg of our mission to reach the top of the "Karhdung La"
 
   
  Julley, what a wonderful sight  
 
 
 
The gateway to Leh
 
 
   
  Neil bumps into old friend Tony   What a badge  
     
  Leh new build   More junk upstairs  
 
 

05.00GMT (10.30 local time) five independent lone travels without any backup or support, either mechanical or medical reach the top of the highest motorable road in the world. The journey has taken 7 days and has covered almost 1000km on some of the most torturous roads in the world. Climbing 5 passes over 13,000ft to reach their goal.

The journey to top was to be 25 miles and a height increase of almost 7000ft the journey went well, and the roads quite good in comparison to what had gone before us. The temperature was warm enough to survive with summer riding gear, we shall not complain.

We were on a high having achieved our goal and set a bearing back to Leh, concentrations must have gone by the by when Phil and Den with the tools went charging down the mountain leaving all behind thinking it was mission complete. Unfortunately Neil had a dead bike and it was an hour before it was realised that the others were not following.

 
 
 
 
  Day 10: Sunday,28th June 2009 : Kargil, Ladakh  
   
Miles : 137 (729t) Time : 9h 34m Moving ave : 19.5mph Height : 8935ft
 
Morning view from hotel garden
 
 
 
 
Room on top, just as well thee way these bikes are going..!!!!
 
 
 
 
  The road soon got rough   Tata wagons are tough  
   
  Birthday boy on top of the world  
     
  Typical tea shop on route   Well staffed  
   
  The Indus river  
     
  More road more views   Rough road was the normal  
   
  A nice looking village for a change, or is is a monastery?  
 
Video showing the road from Leh to Kargill-some new tarmac today
 
 

Time to leave Leh and head for home, the decision had been taken to to head west to Kargil and Srinagar despite home office advise it appeared on map to be easier to risk the land mines and kidnap than head back the way we had came.

The road was well served with army garrisons as the road comes within 3 miles of the cease fire line and mortar attack did not stop until 2003. To our surprise the tarmac ran out after 4o odd miles and the next 70 would take us five and a half hours and make 7pm finish in kargil a tiring long day in which temperatures touched 37c. To make matters worse Den picked up his second puncture of the the trip and 40 minutes were spent in the scorching heat.

The night was to celebrate Phil's birthday, to our continued bad luck the town of Kargil is strict Islamic Muslim and completely dry. The only reason for stopping at Kargil is that it lies approx half way on the Leh to Srinagar road has a population of 12,000 also the biggest town on route. Woman are never seen outside because of the Islamic restrictions. (Nice place for a stag week end). Fine accommodation was found at the D'Zojila hotel which was in the guide as offering plush rooms. I guess a dictionary would be as good addition to a guide book. At a cost of £12 each including dinner and breakfast you could not complain too much.

The scenery made the day, the landscape forever changing but always fantastic you almost felt as if the whole place was one big film set.

 
 
 
  Day 11: Monday, 29th June 2009 : Srinagar, Kashmir  
   
Miles : 128m Time : 9h 48m Moving ave : 21.5mph Height : 5268
 
Kargil town center
 
Tarmac for a change
 
 
 
 
 
Rope bridge
 
Washing time
 
 
   
  Drass second coldest place on earth -60c recorded in Jan 1995   The man outside has a gun. I wouldn't have give him a brush  
   
  Drass had facilities!! click on photo to see inside the rooms  
   
  Water Goats sheep.......send it on  
   
  What a road, sand at best, not a crash barrier in sight!!  
   
  A long way down,this is the main road national highway NH1D to Srinagar  
 
Video of the run between Kargil to Srinagar on the main national highway ??
 
   
  Houseboats double up as hotels  
   
  Houseboats by night  
   
  Srinagar center, that was a hotel before the army done a missile attack on it  
 

Leaving kargil did not bring a tear to my eye, it was a bit of a dump the town center had nothing to offer. Asking for a spare tube got us a guy offering us one already patched twice.

Summing up the day was 130 miles magnificent scenery down the Kashmir valley. The roads were the normal lumps and bumps except for 20 miles over the pass which to experience is a joy to remember and probably never able to forget. But what an experience as I clung to the edge of a 1000 ft plus drop the approaching Tata wagon had an inscription "Trust in God" so I did and I am still here to talk about it. This has to be the most scary road on the trip and the I Indians call it "NH1D" national highway 1, that's a laugh. However it bring us back to the other side of the Himalayas and the road to home.

The foreign office advice is not to travel to Srinagar by road, but how else could we have getting there without the road. We witnessed thousands of military personal either in dugouts, watchtowers,checkpoints,hid behind trees or in armored vehicles. Then the convoys of up to 60 vehicles,great obstacles on single track roads.

The people also appeared to change to more afghan appearance, riding donkeys herding goats and sheep. Home settlements were tent settlements in the hills.

The only town passed of any size en route was Drass (10,660ft), and I have to say a pray that reincarnation did not settle me here. It's claim to fame is in being the second coldest inhabited place on earth at average winter temperatures of -40c, yet in January 1995 they managed -60c. It was also here that a vicious war was fought as late as 1999, many memorials stand along side the roadside in memory of the falling ones.

The city of Srinagar was visited briefly by taxi in the last light of day and it has to be the most tensioned place I have ever visited, as night fell the tension increased and the city was emptying very fast including ourselves.

The accommodation found opposite the houseboats was a feeling of returning to normality and at a cost of £16 was expensive by Indian standards but not by ours.

 

 
 
  Day 12 : Tuesday, 30th June 2009 : Jammu, Kashmir  
   
Miles : 186m Time : 9h 15m Moving ave : 24mph Height : 1030ft
 
Laid back passport control
  Den and Neil looking tired  
 
 
 
The man on the push bike has no shoes
 
   
  Monkey business  
   
  Neil appeared to attract the men with guns  
 

 
A video showing the run down from Srinagar to Jammu ..What a nightmare run!!

 

Somehow we had a day in hand and the original plan to spend it in Srinagar was long gone after what we had witnessed the night before. The whole country is on a state of alert.

The run south to Jummu was not an easy one it may have only been 185 miles but the roads are so busy and the drivers mad.

In all the distance covered it was noted that not one clean inviting stop was noted, only the normal dark dingy doubtful indian shed, the crisps and bottles of coke are normally safe.

The Kashmir valley did not live up to it's reputation of looking like paradise, especially from the road.

On arriving at Hotel Asia in Jammu, a good hotel with beer all for £15 a night. We hear on the world service that shoots have been fired in Kashmir, no surprise on that one.

 
 
 
  Day 13 : Wednesday, 1st July 2009 : Jalandhar, Punjab  
   
Miles : 145m Time : 7h 30m Moving ave : 26.5mph Height : 770ft
 
Another town another mess
 
what's this? their was hundreds of them
 
 
 
 
 
Fine dressed complete with sword
 
Just go for it
 
   
  Sewerage up to the ankles  
 
Video of the road from jammu to Jalandhar, busy traffic and sewerage
 
 

somehow the day in hand vanished, the progress on these roads is so slow that we decided to cut the last day into two. Just as well as we did not get into a hotel in Jalandher till almost 6.

Today was just plain driving, no views as the mountains are well behind us now. you still can't relax for an second as the traffic is so intense.

The highlight of the day was probably seeing a McDonalds which sort of stood out from the usual squalor that ardors everywhere else. The bad light was the burst sewer pipe that caused over a foot of sewerage to drive through at Pathankot.

 
 
 
  Day 14 : Thursday, 2nd July 2009 Chandigarh, Punjab  
Miles : 94 (t=1282) Time : 4h 20m Moving ave : 30mph Height :1183ft
 
Washing clothes in the river
 
Last repair
 
 
 
 
 
Fruit seller
  Honey , hotel reception  
   
  Well packed  
   
  Looks like the chain gang  
   
   
  The End...Billy, Den, Neil, Paul and Phil  
 

The last day on the bike a simple run of under 100 miles, well it would be simple if all the Indians did not drive like morons. It still managed to take us over 4 hours, but at least we were all back safe.

In a way it was a pleasure to pull back into the hotel car park and only scare being a breakdown on Phil's back 12 miles from the end. A quick clean of the plug and fuel jet had us back on the road.

All that remains now is to find a beer, have a good sleep and a nice taxi ride 160 mile back to Delhi in the morning, then it will be the big bird home.

 
 
It's always best to carry a spare
  Rickshaws in Delhi, what a load  
 
 
 
 
Burger King Delhi style
  Security guard, and this was a clothes shop  
   
  Honest this was on a roundabout in Delhi  
   
  Rich or Poor ???  
Faults with bikes
BILLY
DEN
PHIL
NEIL
PAUL
CLUTCH CABLE PUNCTURE X 2 SPEEDO CABLE BROKEN MIRROR HORN FELL OFF x 2
BATTERY SPEEDO CABLE FUEL JET BENT FOOT REST CLUTCH CABLE
NUMBER PLATE OFF ELECTRIC START SPARK PLUG BRAKELIGHT CABLE BURNED OUT
AIR FILTER REAR RACK SNAPPED NO NEUTRAL LIGHT FORK OIL SEAL  
DECROMPRESS LEVER FORK SEALS LOSS OF FUEL HEADLIGHT SHROUD  
  NO NEUTRAL LIGHT   MAIN FUSE BLEW X 2  
  BATTERY   BENT ENGINE BARS  
  BACK LIGHT COVER      
  BENT ENGINE BARS      
         

Preconceived ideas of the trip:-

  • The bikes would be well serviced,wrong,items started failing instantly
  • Everywhere would sell bits to fix them,wrong,after asking found 2
  • They would be thousands of others doing the same thing,wrong,never seen another Brit
  • Cash point machine would always be available,wrong, since starting the ride seen one
  • Everywhere takes Visa,wrong,not for 8 days they didn't
  • You would be eating alive with beatles,wrong,one fly on helmet in 2 weeks
  • You can live on a fiver a day,wrong,I would say £25 , if you like the best in beds and food
  • The driving would be bad, wrong,it was the worse than bad YOU CAN'T EXPLAIN IT!!!
  • The bigger the horn the better, wrong, the bigger the vehicle the better
  • You can always get beer, wrong,no not unless you find a porter to use his contacts
  • Mobile work all over Indian, wrong,only if you have a sim to suit the security restrictions
  • It is hot in India,true, 55c the highest on the bike
  • Enfield's have no power,true, 20bhp worse at height
  • It is one of the best adventures you can do on a motorbike,also true VERY TRUE!!!

Other things I never thought before about but did when I was there:-

  • The cows eat the garbage that the Indians throw on the road
  • Dogs eat rats
  • They all tell lies just to keep you happy
  • The monkeys eat anything
  • We all ate anything
  • Beer is not available the world over
  • Den and Phil would get the beds and I would sleep on the floor

Useless information:-

  • 77 Rupees to 1
  • petrol 40 rupees/diesel 30 rupees
  • beer 80 rupees, always bottled, always nice
  • liter water or bottle coke 20 rupees
  • good hotel £15
  • you have to pay 1300rupees to leave the country

Conclusion

This has to be the best 2 week adventure on a motorcycle that the world has to offer, you see so much cultural change alone to last a lifetime. Then the motorcycles bring their own blend of adventure on their own. Doing the journey on an enfield is something that has to experienced.

The adventure also brings you a target in achieving to ride on the highest motorable road in the world. which by itself would have made for a great journey. But then its placed in such beautiful surroundings that it becomes too much to take in.

The pass is in a region of India called Ladakh which is also known as "Little Tibet" and provides its own cultural change, which helps make it special.

Lastly though the one thing that will live with you forever is the driving. No not for the skill developed to negotiate the high passes while trying to look hundreds of feet to the valley bottom or the many river crossings you negotiate. It will be the driving standards of the Indians charging towards you, you realise that they give no special consideration to bikers you are just an easy target and you will move out of the way or die.

All in all a lot of work required to cover the 1282 miles, however they will live forever.

Oh and if you do follow in our footsteps, please ensure that every nut and bolt is checked on the bikes before you set off on your great adventure.....or it may be your last.

 

 
Map of tour ..click on road to go to days events

 
   
  Without doubt the best guide book to the ride covers all the places and all the roads  



And last but not least !!!!
Beware of the hotel pets !!!!

 

 

What did the comments on BCM Touring say ??

For background information on the trip look here >

Home Bike Motorhome Walking Contact