Day 10 Leh - Tanglang La - Sarchu
Day 10 (July 17, 2012)
When started our journey back to Manali from Leh. Leh to Karu was already covered in terms of pic hence we didn't take it any pics until we reach Rumtse and stopped for breakfast.I was a little worried about the puncture which hampered our Pangong lake segment. Whether it'll be able to hold against the rough terrain or not, what if the same puncture opens up in between, etc. But anyways I put my faith on it and continued ahead.
The road till Tanglang La ascent is nice and smooth. The road was even better while climbing until we reached near the top.
We reached Tanglang la top pretty smoothly and there we met a biker group. They wanted to click photographs with our bike but we didn't allow them as previously those SUV guys dropped the helmet and broke it. Didn't want that to happen again and also the stand of the bike was bent quite a lot (we had to put a flat rock whenever we use to park the bike, as visible in the Tanglang La top pictures)
We continued ahead and the road was treacherous on the other side. The double laning was in progress and it was totally broken. Soon we reached the bottom and there starts the famous "Morey plains"
It was dusty and lose sand. There were such huge piles of sand that one couldn't judge the depth of the road. A lot of places we got stuck as the rear wheel used to spin at the same place and Moreen had to get down so that I could get the bike out using my legs along with engine power. The rear wheel used to throw up so much of sand and with so much of force in the back that the sand would eventually be tossed back on the bike from above
We saw another group of Enfield guys also struggling to come out of the lose sand.
After some time we were greeted with super smooth roads. The road reconstruction had started from the other side of the morey plains and for next 15 kms till Pang we got the same kind of tarmac. We were very tired and didn't take many pics in this segment. It was not easy handling the bike for me in that terrain along with Moreen as pillion and with all the luggage. And it was not easy for Moreen to sit on the bike with such bumpy terrain. It was dry, very sunny, and hot and it was sapping our energies too much. We reached pang, had lunch, bought 2 litres of lose petrol from the tents.
We met up a couple of biker groups and they were very surprised to see a Ducati Monster touring in this part of the world and tackling such harsh terrain. They appreciated our efforts a lot.
We continued ahead towards Sarchu which was our destination for the day. We still had cross the two high passes Nakeel and Lachlung La and also the famous 21 Gata loops.
We were tired and worried about the puncture but we couldn't have done anything else other than continuing further.
We crossed the two passes and then the gata loops and when were reaching near Sarchu I started feeling that the bike is moving around too much. The same as in case of a puncture, we checked the rear tyre but couldn't locate anything on tyre. We continued ahead and as soon as we had reached the Sarchu tents, rear tyre gave away yet again and this time another old puncture had opened up. Our luck couldn't have been worse and good at the same time. Because finally when we stopped and got down from the bike, worrying about the puncture, we saw a puncture shop right in front. I spoke to the puncture guy and he said he didn't have anything to fix a tubeless tyre. I told him that I had everything needed and I would just be needing the tyre inflator to inflate the tyre. The guy asked for the kit and fixed the puncture. But still the air was leaking and tyre was losing pressure.
It was getting dark and filled up the air again hoping it will stay this time. And if it didn't we would think of a solution the next day as it was too late for the day.
We hired a tent, had dinner, parked the bike in a little bit shade as Sarchu gets too cold at night. Last time I was here in 2010 and the temperature dropped to a whopping -2 degrees. The bike's battery would drain out very quickly in such cold weather.
We met couple of riders from another biker group which was coming from Manali towards leh and they had a flat tyre but didn't the tyre tube to fix it. They also stayed in Sarchu for the night.
Next day had a lot different experience yet again. Details of which later..