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To Ladakh on Bike [Part 8]
by Tejas Mayure
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After the highlight of Baralacha La, the next step in our adventure was the night stay at Sarchu. We reached this temporary colony that marks its presence only during the Himalayan Summer and then vanishes before the smothering layers of snow begin to gather. Sarchu is nothing but a bunch of tents in the middle of snow. The only respite here is that of a wall of mountains from the either sides that holds the chilly winds. Never had I imagined that I would spend a night in a tent surrounded by nothing but snow.


As I stepped inside the tent allotted to me and Rishi, it hardly felt any warmer. After relaxing on the bed for a while, we went out for the dinner in the dining tent. The dinner was again not very exciting, given an understandable excuse of being in the middle of nowhere, where simply getting a dinner was quite an accomplishment. As we retired to our tents, the camp-keeper provided us with hot water bags which he asked us to keep in touch with our body. As a matter of precaution, we had packed sleeping bags with us, but the warm bed and blankets in the tent seemed enough to keep us warm.


The night spent in the tent was not very comfortable, despite of the several layers of warm padding and the hot water bag, which went cold within five hours. But we did not freeze to death. The morning came early, bringing more uncomfortable moments of going through the morning rituals in the scanty facilities of a tent. But when we were prepared to leave after the breakfast, it felt like quite an achievement to have spent a night at a camping site.


We kicked our bikes at the super chilly hour of 7.15 in the morning and were on the way. The next challenge was to reach the final destination before sundown, the magical city of Leh.


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