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To Ladakh on Bike [Part 12]
by Tejas Mayure
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Upon quick refreshments, which preceded splashing our faces with cool water, we were charged to embark on the last leg of our journey. At Upshi, the sense of achievement was already upon us, for we knew that the rest of the journey would be covered within an hour at the max and the road was smooth as a blackboard. Yet, we still had to get there. So, we started, at almost quarter to six. While leaving at this hour from Upshi, I thought it would be dark before we reached Leh, but I later learned that night draws very late in this region and you can have bright light even past 7.30.


The best feature of the road further is that it runs along the famous River Indus or Sindhu as it is called by the Hindus. It was a great feeling to drive in company of the river from which the western name of my country has been derived.


As we had thought, it took us just little above an hour, when the prominent signs of a big city started to appear. Small standalone buildings began appearing as we rode on. Soon, this frequency reduced and before we knew, we were welcomed to Leh by a big banner above the road. We were all smiles reading that sign, whistling and shouting frantically.


Soon we came to pass from the front of a small colony settled on a hill, the houses blanketing the mound in the typical Ladakhi manner, like you see in the pictures of various monasteries. Nilesh pulled over and we all joined him. We hugged and shared high fives. The joy of having crossed such unfriendly terrains, the ecstasy of having achieved the journey that many people only dream of was simply inexplicable.


It is not every day that a crazy idea hits you one idle day at your home when your close friend have gathered and you actually set out to achieve it. We were still wondering what was it that had given us this absurd thought of coming to Leh, and still finding it hard to believe that we had indeed acted upon it… and now we were standing in Leh, a town we had barely heard the name of until a month ago. But whatever it was, we were happy that we had made this journey, and happy that after spending some good time in Leh, we would get to do it again while going home.


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