Day 6 Drass To Leh
Day 6 (Jul 13, 2012): Our next destination was Leh. We had to cover approximately 300kms from Drass to reach Leh. We got up early and packed up things. It was very very cold in the morning. It had rained all night and still overcast with a glimpse of sunlight here and there. I was worried if the bike will start after such a cold night weather. Took out the cover and switched on the battery, the bike was showing a malfunction mentioned "FUEL ERROR". I got scared if something bad has happened. I didn't crank it right away, thought it may just be because of the low temperature. After some time I tried starting the engine though the error was still coming on the console. The bike started in one crank with that error still there. I left the engine running for sometime while we were attaching the bags to the bike. I was relieved to see that the error had gone away as the engine was warmed up. Started our day's journey. Roads was in a bad state for quite a long time, it was slushy, broken due to water streams. Soon we reached the Tololing War Memorial which is situated a little after the Drass village. Paid our homage to the soldiers, spoke to the army people, clicked some pictures and continued ahead. We didn't visit the Operation Vijay war museum as we had to cover a lot of kms for the day and with the kind of roads we had encountered till now and the weather not that great, we were worried if we would be able to cover the distance and reach leh.
Soon we were greeted with nicely laid roads and we were enjoying it. One funny incident happened while crossing a village, details of which are there in the pictures; do read it
Fueled up at Kargil, had breakfast and continued ahead. This time I had decided to take the Mulbek, Namik La, Fotula, Lamayuru route instead of Batalik route and Hamboting La (the is only high pass on the Batalik route towards Leh). Hence took the diversion towards Mulbek.
The road was a mix of good and bad. It became worse when we were closer to Mulbek. The Batalik route had much better roads compared to this one but I wanted to see Lamayuru and also wanted to cross Namik La and Fotula.
The roads got better once we were nearing Namik La, the first pass for the day. The cloud cover was still there and because of it was very cold. We reached Namik La easily with Monster effortlessly pulled through the uphill tarmac.
We clicked some pictures and quickly rushed from there as it was cold, very cold..
We reached Fotu la and it was raining quite heavily now. Clicked some pictures and continued. We had lunch in Lamayuru, picked up a nice map of Leh region.
Roads were all the way beautiful with some bad patches usually when we used to enter a vilage.
We were nearing the most famous road in Srinagar - Leh road. Just before Nimmu (or is it after Nimmu, forgot this) one gets an arrow straight superbly laid road with visibility of kms ahead. I was very much eager to ride on that tarmac.
Soon we reached the road segment and was so happy to ride on it. But we were also worried by seeing the dangerous looking cloud cover. Have never seen such cloud cover.
After stopping at the Sangam of the two rivers (Zanskar and Indus) and the Magnetic hill, we reached Leh. We checked in a hotel situated on Old Castle road and that ends our long tiring day. But truly we enjoyed the route. Was very happy with Monster's performance till now.
The next day will be the ultimate test of the Monster because tomorrow is the day when we both try to reach the top of the highest motor-able road in the world.
All the details I will upload soon...DON'T MISS THE NEXT DAY'S PICS AND DETAILS