Destination: LEH - Journey: An Experience for Life!!!


Thread Starter #33
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I’ve always wondered why they call Kashmir as the heaven on earth. I have seen the Pic’s and videos of this place, but then so have I seen the same of other places too, what’s so special about Kashmir that only this is called as, Heaven on Earth? Let’s find out.

We did an early start since our travel is through those beautiful valleys, we dint want to miss even an inch of the beauty this place had to offer.
Breakfast done, luggage packed tight on the Bull, and first kick Bull comes to life. All set to ride, we are ready for the valleys.

It was a Beautiful morning and unadulterated breeze coming straight from Valleys, what a feeling.
Getting out of Jammu was simple go straight take a right and you’re on the highway… now, which straight and which right? Take any roads go straight and take a right. Highway is there. That’s how this city is developed, lovely no hassle just 2kms out of Jammu city and we are in the valleys already.

Don’t believe me?

Look below.
 

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Thread Starter #34
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Paradise is the word, and we are at the beginning of door steps, just couldn’t wait to see what lies ahead of us. No picture or a video would do justice to this place, trust me. It was so mesmerizing that I had to stop the Bull frequently to catch the glimpse of the valley and every turn the scene changes, it was like the magic camera slide where the picture changes at every click, and here only difference was the picture was changing every kilometer. We rode through and were so lost in the beauty of the place that we completely lost count of time, this is a single lane highway there were few broken stretches on the way but rest of road was maintained decently considering these going through the roughest valleys.

We were so engrossed in the ride and beauty of nature I completely forgot about petrol. Bang. A big BP pump welcomes us right there, ride in, since previous ride was partially through ghat’s I was expecting the millage to be low, but guess what? It was 42 km/ltr, again.
I was a very happy man, filled tank to the brim, checked the tyre pressure, did a quick check on the rest of the Bull, all was well, and we were back on the road in 10 mins, with in the next 2kms we stop again. Why? Coffee Day, how could we give it a miss? Sipping hot cappuccino on a comfortable sofa in the middle of valley, we sipped for over half hour and were lost in the beauty of this place, suddenly it hit us that we still have a lot of Journey to cover.

Back on the Bull and back to the Ghats.

Now, this is something about Ghats, if one drives 100 kms in one and half hour on a regular highway then in the Ghats the same 100 km will take an hour more than the usual highway time. This we all know, its basics, right?
Buttt, if we are doing the same distance on a Bike? In Ghats? It’s a long way, really, really, long way.

We continue riding and the hot coffee did wonders, I limited my speed to 45km/hr, due to heavy Truck and Bus traffic and need to make a special mention about the taxis, I mean what is with them? Unbelievably stupid way of driving, causing all the hassle in the valley and pushing fellow road users to take the same risk as them, complete disrespect to others and I care a dam attitude. Morons. (Please pardon my language, but had to get this out of my system).
Any way we dint let some buffoons spoil our party, we just let the monkeys behave like monkeys and we carried on the ride.

It was time for lunch, now we stop at a very picturesque hotel a little after a small town called Gund, it looked just out of those story book pictures which has the valley behind and a nice place in the middle of all. Sorry forgot to take the Pic here. Food was just about OK but we really enjoyed the scenery around, sat in the warm sun with the cool breeze, and since we had started ascending the weather was getting cooler, though sun accompanied us through out it was still cold.
Finished a leisure lunch and back on the ride now the time was around 4pm and we still have a long way to go before we break our journey.

Around 5pm we reach Jawarhar Tunnel, wow, what a wonder build by human. There is heavy checking by the CRPF before letting any vehicle through. A very interesting incident happened here, we were standing in the queue along with other vehicles to get the checking and clearance to pass through the tunnel, a police man notices us and asks us to come out of the line, I slowly ride out of the line, with prayers that they don’t cause any trouble, we had all the valid documents, but still you never know. He escorted us through the long queue till the check post where their higher rank officer was verifying few foreigners’ passports. The rank officer saw us, smiled with an appreciation on his face followed by a thumbs up and directed the guard at the post to lift the gate, we were allowed to pass through the check post and into the Jawahar Tunnel without asking even a single question. Not sure what that was all about, but it sure did feel great and gave us a big boost and we continued the journey.
We enter the 2.5kms long tunnel and rest of the experience I cannot narrate as that’s something which could only be experienced. When we got out of that tunnel we felt as we have reached a different world all together. No Pic's were taken here as photography is prohibited by CRPF due to security reasons and we abide by that rule. [:)]
 

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Wow, a ride to Leh in the off-season. This takes a lot of courage and stamina to face what the Himalayas has to offer. Kudos to you and your wife, Junaid. Loved the way you have narrated the story. I can imagine what Zojila might have been like. Waiting for the remaining part of the Story.
 
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Straight roads and lots of works happening around for making it a 6 lane highway, but in spite of construction the roads are fairly well maintained. Hoshiarpur and other small towns come and disappear and we are almost nearing Pathankot and its time for lunch, and where do we eat, Mc Donalds.
Surprised?
Well, I too was, this particular highway has left me speechless for couple of reasons one definitely is for the beautiful “Paddy fields and Sarso ke kheth” and second for the number of Mc Donald and Coffee Day outlets, it’s a big boon for travelers especially like us.

Hotel Jammu International for Rs. 1700/ night. This was located in the main street with another 100 other hotels.
Nice TL brother...subscribed to it [cheers]. The route you mentioned is my weekly (weekened) route for going to Jammu and yes lots of McDonald's and CCD on the way (usual pitstops for me [:D])

The hotel you mentioned, where exactly is this?

And the pictures you posted above are of the route from Jammu to Srinagar except few Right bro?

Waiting for more data of the TL.
 
Thread Starter #37
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Wow, a ride to Leh in the off-season. This takes a lot of courage and stamina to face what the Himalayas has to offer. Kudos to you and your wife, Junaid. Loved the way you have narrated the story. I can imagine what Zojila might have been like. Waiting for the remaining part of the Story.
Thank You, i am trying my best to keep it simple and interesting, hard work though [:)]
I just hope i do justice in writing the Zojila episode.
 
Thread Starter #38
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Nice TL brother...subscribed to it [cheers]. The route you mentioned is my weekly (weekened) route for going to Jammu and yes lots of McDonald's and CCD on the way (usual pitstops for me [:D])

The hotel you mentioned, where exactly is this?

And the pictures you posted above are of the route from Jammu to Srinagar except few Right bro?

Waiting for more data of the TL.
Thank You, its your weekend route? well all i can say is oey lucky lucky oey, its really convenient for the long travelers to have so many well maintained outlets.

Yes, as you rightly said most of the pics are from Jammu route, the snaps of previous journey are only of paddy fields and rest, so i posted a very few snaps. Will try me best to complete it soon.
 
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Hey Junaid,
This is an interesting read. My husband had sent me this link and I spent this evening reading all the posts. And now I am waiting for the rest of the story. Your story had had us hooked and we had always been dreaming abt a trip to Leh-Ladakh. Well, I guess, this thread had been a great influence in deciding to make a trip this June/ July to Leh in our Punto. So kudos to you and your wifey. [clap]
 
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That is one cool traveloge , man

enjoy every bit till now.

To be true , i usually skip 2 wheeler travelogue in other forums and other blogs.

Yours made me interesting , this in one of my dream trip , err in car !! no in jeep , when ever i am going to buy one!!!


Congrats.

waiting to hear more
 
Thread Starter #41
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Hey Junaid,
This is an interesting read. My husband had sent me this link and I spent this evening reading all the posts. And now I am waiting for the rest of the story. Your story had had us hooked and we had always been dreaming abt a trip to Leh-Ladakh. Well, I guess, this thread had been a great influence in deciding to make a trip this June/ July to Leh in our Punto. So kudos to you and your wifey. [clap]
hi apalana

Welcome to TAI, Thank you for the kind words, and all the best for your trip.
 
Thread Starter #42
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ilango[speed thirst];126574 said:
That is one cool traveloge , man

enjoy every bit till now.

To be true , i usually skip 2 wheeler travelogue in other forums and other blogs.

Yours made me interesting , this in one of my dream trip , err in car !! no in jeep , when ever i am going to buy one!!!


Congrats.

waiting to hear more
hi

Thank you so much, i am glad this caught your attention. Car or Jeep but this one trip is a must do.

regards
 
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Continuing from the Jawahar Tunnel we pass through some of the most breath taking scenic passes through the mountains, it was also getting dark and we are still far away from our destination for the day, as the evening progressed opposite traffic started increasing which meant my over taking had to be well planned, why? Remember the big bags on the sides, and it is single lane Ghats throughout. Now, I do not believe in taking unnecessary chances while riding/driving, I know if I lose some time in overtaking at a particular moment I can make up that lost time when there is an empty stretch, so for me there is no need to take those unwanted risks. But the fellow road users do not agree to this part, especially taxi folks, they were on a merry overtaking from all the sides in Ghats, even at stand still if a monkey passes them they would want to overtake that.
Their dumb and dumber nuisance went on, one taxi fellow i guess dumbest of the lot trying to overtake a bus on a curve causes a jam, a BIG jam.

We are stuck royally. It’s getting dark and cold we were prepared for the cold, but we are very tired it’s been a really long and hard journey, we did enjoy the ride but now we really need some rest. I turn back to check on my pillion, she is exhausted and shivering with cold but still trying her best not to show that on her face, she knows I will get more worried. There is nothing much I can do about the situation, but I am angry, very angry at that Jerk who caused this misery to us. At that moment I felt like walking up to him and teaching him some manners which his parents failed to, but in that case I will have to teach manners to rest of those folks who were adding up to the situation by driving up from all sides and filling in the smallest of gaps, this made the situation absolutely pathetic. It’s a pity how they fail to realize, what inconvenience is being caused to others by their barbarian behavior.

Finally, after about 45mins Jam started clearing. It’s already 7pm and fog has started covering the region pretty fast. We are still in the valleys, a thought occurred that we should stay over at the next available town, but there is just one concern, there are no towns on the way.
We ride towards our destination it’s getting really cold now, my guess it was anywhere between 2 to 4 degrees. The cold is piercing through our riding gear, my hands are numb and I can’t feel rest of my body, but I am more worried about my pillion, she cannot take extreme temperatures, I stop and check on her, she smiles and says “kya hua?” I ask if she is fine, “cold hai par accha lagraha hai” says she, those words set the mood and lifted my spirit back. We started the ride back there was another 75kms more to cover and got a stretch of straight roads after we ascended through the Ghats, here I can make up for the lost time, there are only two issues, one is its very foggy and second its biting cold.
To my luck a tourist bus passes me, he was doing good speeds, exactly what I was looking for, I start tailing him with a safe gap between us and the bus, and due to this the cold which was hitting us directly reduced and we were covering the distance at good speeds, only problem bus was throwing up a lot of dust on me, but do hell with the dust, I am making a fast progress that was more important.

Our destination SRINAGAR
After a long days ride we finally enter the city around 9.30pm, it was lit up beautifully. We waste no time and head straight to Dal lake street, this place is full of hotels of all range, after looking around a bit we checked into J&K tourism hotel bang opposite Dal Lake for Rs.2500/night.

Total distance Traveled 265kms of Ghats (Jammu to Srinagar)

We quickly freshen up and go down for dinner, since these places close early, I read the menu and as usual we want to try the local dish, so I ask the gentlemen taking our order to get what he thinks is the local delicacy.

He got this [clap]
 

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Continuing from the Jawahar Tunnel we pass through some of the most breath taking scenic passes through the mountains, it was also getting dark and we are still far away from our destination for the day, as the evening progressed opposite traffic started increasing which meant my over taking had to be well planned, why? Remember the big bags on the sides, and it is single lane Ghats throughout. Now, I do not believe in taking unnecessary chances while riding/driving, I know if I lose some time in overtaking at a particular moment I can make up that lost time when there is an empty stretch, so for me there is no need to take those unwanted risks. But the fellow road users do not agree to this part, especially taxi folks, they were on a merry overtaking from all the sides in Ghats, even at stand still if a monkey passes them they would want to overtake that.
Their dumb and dumber nuisance went on, one taxi fellow i guess dumbest of the lot trying to overtake a bus on a curve causes a jam, a BIG jam.

We are stuck royally. It’s getting dark and cold we were prepared for the cold, but we are very tired it’s been a really long and hard journey, we did enjoy the ride but now we really need some rest. I turn back to check on my pillion, she is exhausted and shivering with cold but still trying her best not to show that on her face, she knows I will get more worried. There is nothing much I can do about the situation, but I am angry, very angry at that Jerk who caused this misery to us. At that moment I felt like walking up to him and teaching him some manners which his parents failed to, but in that case I will have to teach manners to rest of those folks who were adding up to the situation by driving up from all sides and filling in the smallest of gaps, this made the situation absolutely pathetic. It’s a pity how they fail to realize, what inconvenience is being caused to others by their barbarian behavior.

Finally, after about 45mins Jam started clearing. It’s already 7pm and fog has started covering the region pretty fast. We are still in the valleys, a thought occurred that we should stay over at the next available town, but there is just one concern, there are no towns on the way.
We ride towards our destination it’s getting really cold now, my guess it was anywhere between 2 to 4 degrees. The cold is piercing through our riding gear, my hands are numb and I can’t feel rest of my body, but I am more worried about my pillion, she cannot take extreme temperatures, I stop and check on her, she smiles and says “kya hua?” I ask if she is fine, “cold hai par accha lagraha hai” says she, those words set the mood and lifted my spirit back. We started the ride back there was another 75kms more to cover and got a stretch of straight roads after we ascended through the Ghats, here I can make up for the lost time, there are only two issues, one is its very foggy and second its biting cold.
To my luck a tourist bus passes me, he was doing good speeds, exactly what I was looking for, I start tailing him with a safe gap between us and the bus, and due to this the cold which was hitting us directly reduced and we were covering the distance at good speeds, only problem bus was throwing up a lot of dust on me, but do hell with the dust, I am making a fast progress that was more important.

Our destination SRINAGAR
After a long days ride we finally enter the city around 9.30pm, it was lit up beautifully. We waste no time and head straight to Dal lake street, this place is full of hotels of all range, after looking around a bit we checked into J&K tourism hotel bang opposite Dal Lake for Rs.2500/night.

Total distance Traveled 265kms of Ghats (Jammu to Srinagar)

We quickly freshen up and go down for dinner, since these places close early, I read the menu and as usual we want to try the local dish, so I ask the gentlemen taking our order to get what he thinks is the local delicacy.

He got this [clap]
Hmm "Rista"; typical apicey delicacy of this place. Did you try "Goshtaba" as well?
Man am having a watery mouth now [evil]. this weekend trip dinner decided for me [thumbsup]
 
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Fantastic thread and kudos to the couple for braving through - great camaraderie...eager to hear more junaid....keep it rolling...
 
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