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To Ladakh on Bike [Part 9]
by Tejas Mayure
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The landscapes continued to be a mix of snow and mountains, the roads turning ever so sharply and the skies pouring down bright light to illuminate all of this and dazzle our eyes at the same time. By this time we had all put on the rough, weather-worn textures on our skins, especially our faces. As we had now officially entered Ladakh we had started noticing the difference. The roads in Ladakh are much well maintained, and the mountains are slightly different. This point onwards you do not get to see the gigantic mountains looming upon you, the reason being you have climbed up on their shoulder already and their height can no more be seen, though it can be felt through the thinning levels of oxygen.


As the smooth and pleasurable road cut through the snow clad hills, we went past little streams of water melting out of the snow, pouring every now and then at the roadside in form of small waterfalls. Occasionally we passed by the pools of such melted water gathered at the feet of rocky hills. Never before had I seen water bodies so pure and untouched by the pollution of any sort. The stretch through this beautiful region continued for over three hours or so, till we crossed two more passes, Naki La and Lachalang La. Riding through this region can be extremely thrilling as the road is like a tangled thread, where it is impossible to keep track of turns you have to take.


The climb down Lachalang La brought us to Pang. We were already beginning to feel the exhaustion of the ride up to Pang and the chain of tent-restaurants here was just the site we needed to see. The first thing we did after the halt is drank as much water as we could. I had read a lot about AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) and wasn’t prepared to take any risk of inviting it. Although I was informed that it is not much of a problem for those who travel by road, as they get used to the lack of oxygen step by step. Instead of Maggy noodles, we ate rice, eggs and vegetables to stock up the stamina needed for the further journey.


We left Pang at nearly 11.


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