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To Ladakh on Bike [Part 11]
by Tejas Mayure
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As the day climbed up, the intensity of the sun began to trouble me. Though my glasses were protective enough, it was hard to keep on the jacket and the layers of clothing underneath it. So, we stopped and I and Mathur removed the sweaters underneath. I also took the opportunity to put on more sunscreen before we kicked off again.


Though the sun in this region was harsh and the landscapes were featureless, the best part was that we could afford to take our feet off the brakes completely. The roads here are in a great condition and you can see them stretching for a long distance ahead. We easily managed a speed of 70 kilometers per hour, something that was quite necessary if we were to reach Leh in time.


But the speed had to be broken down soon as we again reached the region of snaking roads near Tanglang La. This is the highest pass on the route, and extremely beautiful. Passing from the paths cut through the snow that has accumulated for hundreds and thousands of years is an extremely amazing experience. Though we had had it several times at and after Rohtang, it felt just as brilliant at Tanglang La. The ride, however, was arduous and tested our physiques severely. After Pang, we had been driving for hours without finding any place where we could eat. We had taken a few halts in between to drink water and eat the chocolate bars we had been carrying with us. Apart from the other halts for photographs, we had been driving all the time.


Finally, after a mammoth ride of nearly ten hours we arrived at a place called Upshi. The view of several restaurants here was thoroughly welcoming. As we parked our bikes and got rid of the heavy jackets, which for the first time did not hit us with a bite of cold, we felt our bones cracking, stiff from the heavy labor. The temperature here was quite pleasant and allowed us to be just in t-shirts, which was a relief after carrying the heavy burden of warm clothes for the last three days.


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