24 July - Day 6:
This day was a relax day for us and also reserved for getting the permits done for the other places around Leh.
Before going to bed on the previous day, Sunil sir asked me if he is interested in Bird Photography (No not that kind of bird photography, you dirty mind :D)
I had Sunil Sir's camera and I thought why not. Hence I Sunil sir and Chetan woke up and went to a nearby garden and have a fun time capturing some nice shots of the birds in Leh.Sunil sir was after a Woodpecker for a long time but couldn't capture it in his camera. Fortunately I did and that was my personal best picture of all times here is the photo.
Some other snaps that I clicked.
After the photography session we reached back home and started preparing to go for the permits and when the unthinkable happened. Prabhu noticed that his bike key is slightly broken and he can't use the key any more. To matter worse he only had one key with him in this trip. Then I checked my key and I also found some cracks in the key. And unfortunately I also had only one key with me.
I got worried about the keys and also good that we spotted in Leh itself and we had a chance of getting it rectified. Sunil suggested to the get the key welded and then I Sunil and Chetan went for it. We found a welding shop and showed him the keys, he said he would do the welding but we'll lose the outer rubber cover and we'll have to file the key to make it fit again in the bike. We agreed and he welded the keys.
We tried to fit the keys in the bike but the key won't go in. And we thought the key problem would be over after welding. Then we went to a lathe shop and tried our best to file the keys. We tried for around 2 hours there but sadly we couldn't do it. Since Prabhu's bike wasn't with us, we couldn't check his key. My bike's key was working only the seat lock and not for the ignition lock. Fortunately I had a different key for the fuel tank lock. We decided to make my ignition a direct connection from the battery. We went a nearby garage (Juma Automobiles) and the mechanic made a switch and I could switch on/off the bike with that. Biggest problem for me was that I couldn't lock my bike which was horrifying for me. Anyways I didn't have much of a choice as it was impossible to get a lock for my comet in Leh.
We returned back to our hotel with Prabhu's key and asked him to try it on and voila his key was working properly which was a big relief for all of us. Meanwhile when we were in that garage, I had left my key with the mechanic and I thought I had dropped it somewhere.
Now we'll headed towards the Deputy Commisioner's office for the permits. We reached there and parked our bikes with my bike not locked. We enquired about how to get the permits and we were asked to fill forms for the permits. We had to visit a lot of places around Leh. Initially Sunil sir mentioned every place and the time duration was of more than 10 days. The commisioner rejected our application saying we can get one permit only for 7 days and not more than that. So we had to make two permits for the places which is where the listing of the places went wrong and it proved expensive for us (will tell about this in detail afterwards).
Special thanks here to Sunil Sir for doing all the hard work and running around to get the permits done. Hats off to you sir!
It was noon and time for lunch. I was still very much worried about my bike's lock and wanted to do something so that I can lock my bike somehow. Meanwhile Prabhu's mobile numbers stopped working in Leh. In Leh only airtel (outer state numbers) post-paid mobile works. Not even prepaid BSNL mobiles will work. Only those pre-paid mobiles which are taken from Jammu Kashmir will work.
He wasn't able to talk to his close-ones since the time he was in Leh so his problem was to get a local pre-paid mobile number.
Thats when everybody decided to their own ways and sort out their issues. I went to a spare parts shop to get the lock fixed, Prabhu went for the local mobile number and Sunil sir and Chetan went for lunch.
Initially I thought of using a cable lock to lock the bike and I purchased cable locks and tried putting it on the bike but alas it didn't work. Then in desparation I just bought a yamaha local company lock and thought of asking that mechanic to fix it some how.
I went to the garage and asked him if he can fix it somehow. Least I knew that it was my lucky day. That guy agreed and tried doing it. I left the bike with him and went for lunch. After lunch I saw he was still figuring out how to fix the lock. The lock wasn't an exact fit on the bike. Then the mechanic dismantled the new lock and the original lock of the comet and he assembled a working lock with some parts from the original lock and other parts from the new one.
He truly worked hard on the lock to fix and finally he gave a nice working lock which was a perfect fit to the bike and was working as good as original one if not better.
I was very happy to see that. A big thanks to the mechanic (I forgot his name). So guys if you have any problems in your bike in LEh you should go to that mechanic only. Even if with limited supply of the parts he will be able to figure a work around for your problem. And you won't believe how much he charged me for all his effort. It was just 50 bucks, pretty cheap eh?
Then I decided to get my bike washed in a maruti showroom and went there. By this time Sunil sir also joined me for the wash. The maruti charged us 150 bucks per bike for the wash but they did a good job. Meanwhile Prabhu and Sunil sir also got their bikes checked with our mechanic. While transporting the bikes to Chandigarh Sunil sir's bike side stand had broken which our mechanic fixed with a local company side stand. And mind you that works still perfectly.
We got our bikes washed and came back to our hotel. By this time our Scorpio driver, Rigzin, who was supposed to be there with us for the whole trip joined as he was out of Leh. We shifted to the hotel where our original stay was planned for. We had dinner and did some general check up of the bikes decided to get up early for next day ride which was the Pangong Lake, the most beautiful place on earth in my point of view.
So this is how our day 6 ended. Again happening but at the end things sorted and all set for the next day.