Leh To Kashmir - An Exciting Journey Of An IT Employee With Thrillophilia!
Everything comes with an expiration date, even the good exciting and amazing days in our day to day life. There comes a time when the usual schedule, daily outings just don't excite us as much. Life gets a bit dull and monotonous and we start looking for an escape from this routine.
You can fix it like everything else, and while methods such as meditation, retreat, and reading a book from beginning to end are helpful, the ideal method is to pack your bags, fly out of town, and take a trip across the world. Just Travel!
"Actually, life is fairly straightforward. As soon as it annoys and frustrates you, it's time for a remedy. Travel is always a good thing. In the past, I've gone on a number of exciting excursions but in the end the experience was just OK! The last thing I wanted was my most anticipated trip to turn out amazing. Thrillophilia's Leh-Ladakh packages caught my eye while I was surfing the web. I researched the vacations and got a great response from my pals."
One of Shashank R's most memorable adventures of 2017 was the bike ride from Manali to Leh and Srinagar that he scheduled in a matter of days after looking for a break from his daily routine.
The Adventure Begins
"In Delhi, the sweltering weather welcomed us with a greeting that was warmer than I had expected. We were met at the airport by a Thrillophilia representative, and our journey began. We slept soundly on the Volvo bus as it took us almost 12 hours to get from Shimla to Manali. When we got there in the morning, we rested our weary bodies and eager spirits at the hotel and awaited our bikes to be handed to us."
"Even the things we are most looking forward to take their own time to happen. It seemed as though every second passed like it was an hour till I finally spotted the shiny beasts I had been waiting so long to get my hands on.
My fellow travellers and I took a little spin on the bikes to see how they handled before returning to the hotel. I imagine no one slept that night because we were all so excited to begin this journey."
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Beginning Of The Bike Ride
Passing across the Rohtang Pass, they drove from Manali to Jispa. The Lahaul Valley, one of the most beautiful and sparsely populated locations on the planet, was located in the middle of the two.
There are ethereal villages, beautiful rivers and historic monasteries in this valley, often known as the Barren Splendour of Himachal Pradesh. Everyone arrived in Jispa after a 140-kilometre ride, where they spent the night before continuing their journey to Baralacha La the next day.
Shashank R and his fellow riders reached India's third-highest lake, Suraj Tal, on the fourth day of their journey after ascending the 4,800-metre Baralacha La Pass. After a few clicks at the Lake of the Sun God, the riders completed the day's journey and arrived at Sarchu for the night.
The Dreamy Landscapes Of Leh
"Somewhere around 250 kilometres remained before we reached Leh. After a brief breakfast, we set out early in the morning from Sarchu. The lush greenery of Himachal Pradesh had given way to massive, bare mountains, brilliant blue skies, and a stark contrast between the lushness and the simplicity of the landscape."
"We were typing on a computer in front of a bright monitor screen just a few days ago, and now we were sipping hot tea in the Himalayan foothills, inhaling in the fresh air, and taking in the simmering beauty all around us.
Once we arrived in Leh, we rode the 21 Gata Loops and Tanglang La mountain pass, then entered the city of Leh. I can't even begin to express the awe-inspiring magnificence of this place, and I won't dare since you must see it for yourself."
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Exploring The Foothills Of Himalaya On A Bike
"This was our sixth day in Leh and we drove to Nubra Valley, which is accessible by the world's highest civilian motorable pass, Khardung La. In regard to breathtaking scenery, you can't go wrong with Nubra. It seems like you've stepped into a sci-fi movie, with pristine deserts and towering mountains.
On the drive from Nubra to Shyok Valley, we were surrounded by the Shyok River on one side and the twisty roads with towering mountains on the other. Before I reached the Pangong Tso Lake, I believed this was the best part of the trip.
Even if you've heard about the lake, seen it in movies, or read about it in books, you won't be able to really appreciate it until you've actually seen it for yourself.
Oh! And don't even get me started on the night sky with millions of stars and a view of the galaxy as the moon shines on the placid water of the lake and you are sitting with the best individuals who share the same interest as you around a bonfire weaving stories of travel and adventure," he recalls mesmerised.
The Best Part Awaits The Bikers
"After returning to Leh, we had a day to spare as the next part of the journey was going to be more difficult as we were travelling towards Srinagar. We were a little hesitant to take the risk of travelling there because of all the tales of turmoil and agitation. We had another checkpoint Kargil in between, so we went there first before deciding whether or not to continue.
The oldest monastery in Ladakh and Basgo Palace were on our way to Kargil, where we eventually visited. Everyone was in a state of ecstasy at this moment, and the patriotic fervour for our gallant soldiers was at its peak. When we got to the Kargil War Memorial, it was even more poignant. We couldn't proceed any further since the rumours of disturbance were genuine, and security regulations prevented us from doing so.
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Initially, we assumed this would be the end of our expedition, but our guide came up with an alternative plan that required us to ride through the night and arrive at the Sonmarg checkpoint by 8 a.m., and we followed through."
After waking up at 2AM to pack their luggage and ride to Sonmarg, the bikers set out on their journey. As scheduled, they arrived in Kashmir just in time to be greeted by its dazzling splendour.
The Heaven On Earth: Kashmir
"We passed Drass, the second coldest inhabited town in the world, somewhere in the middle of the night, and enjoyed the view of the famed peaks, including Tiger Hill. A visit to Kashmir is a wonderful experience at any time of the day or month. In the morning, we enjoyed a cup of Kahwa and a peaceful stay in Srinagar.
We took a boat trip on Dal Lake and shopped for traditional handloom products and saffron tea in Srinagar's bustling bazaars because we had extra time. It was the end of our trip, and with a sorrowful heart but a mind full of lovely memories, we made our way to the airport to begin our journey back into the familiar.
Because of the extraordinary experience and the good spirits it brought me, I could not help but be grateful for everything I had gained. After that, I made a deal with myself that if life dealt me another blow, I'd return to the high road with Thrillophilia to mend it."
The Interesting Moments
"It was the night of the drive from Kargil to Srinagar that provided the most amusing and enduring memories for us. Because there would be no other vehicles on the road but us and our 13 motorcycles, everyone was eager to embark on the journey at night. It was all-out chaos as we looked over our shoulder and saw an intense beam of light shining down on us from a distant mountain.
The images of people being kidnapped or captured by the antagonists, as seen in movies, flashed before my eyes, and I immediately began to count my blessings. After noticing our white faces with 'scared' written all over them, our tour guide explained to us that those were merely army searchlights.
All I can say is that I am grateful to be alive."