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To Ladakh on Bike [Part 6]
by Tejas Mayure
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The day’s travel from Manali to Keylong had occupied so much of our mind, and had been so eventful for us due to never-before experienced travel conditions, that we felt as if we had left Manali several days ago. As we sat in the balcony of our hotel overlooking the town that is surrounded by huge mountains, we marveled at how we had managed to achieve today’s target well within time. And now that we had made it to Keylong as per the schedule, the confidence was returning to us, giving us inspiration to start early the next day and reach Sarchu just as we had reached Keylong. However, the distance between Keylong and Sarchu was much longer and the road was not going to be any better. We went to bed early in order to get a sleep of at least eight hours.


We left the hotel at 8 in the morning after a refreshing hot water bath and a great breakfast that drove our spirits high.


The experience from the earlier day had taught us a lot of things. We took frequent but short breaks, even when they were not needed. We had taken some biscuits and energy drinks with us, which we consumed every now and then. The trick seemed to work. But so did the road. Surprisingly, the road after Keylong was not so bad.


While passing through some of the further areas, I came to think that there may not be any place on earth elsewhere that will match the scenery in this region. The enormity of the mountains here is simply humbling and shows us tiny human beings our place in the world. While Ladakh is atop the Himalayas and Manali at its feet, the road ahead of Keylong falls somewhere midway. Here you can look down into the valleys and see towns and villages that look like tiny insects. These colonies are separated by long distance and yet you can catch them in one glance, such is the height at which you stand upon. Further, when you spread a gaze around, there are mountains soaring up still. Living in a metro like Mumbai, we were quiet most of the time, literally silenced by the intimidating heights and the spectacular scenery.


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