Part 3 of Day 4. Continued... Our Rides. Rajesh with a huge smile Drenched and Cold Aamir, the style icon!! Another view from the Glacier
As we move from the glacier, we come across a board, "Welcome to Ladakh Region" and we are overcharged on seeing it. With energy boosted to infinity, we proceed towards the Zoji War memorial. Yay...!!!!
Near the foothills of Zoji la is the Zoji la war memorial reminding us of those great souls, who laid their lives in order to make our tomorrows safe and secure. A quick photo-shoot at the venue, a salute to the selfless jawans and we move ahead. Zoji La War Memorial Another Angle
Just as we forgot the torture of the Zoji la we encountered our first water crossing. It was the same river which was overflowing due to continuous downpour, so much so that the water had almost sunk about 30 meters of the road we were on. The crossing was ankle to knee deep and we were unsure if it had any hidden pot holes on it. To make the matters worse, we could see an Indian Oil truck stuck on the other end of the crossing just about the exit point. We stood there for a while trying to do recce on the hidden road while some of the heavy vehicles passed through. The Dreaded water crossing!!
I am first to attempt the crossing. By now there was an Alto stuck in the middle of the crossing followed by a tempo traveler. I overtook the tempo traveler and cut the Alto from the right and went closer to the edge on the opposite side of the water flow. With a full throttle I was finally able to come out of the water trap with my gum boots filled with ice cold water.
As soon as I was on the other-side of the road, I removed my boots and let the water out and began to dry my feet, just then Rajesh attempted the crossing, lost traction in the middle of the crossing and he had to get down from the bike and try to push it across while the merciless water force did not let the bike budge and the bike plunged into the water. We could only see the handle of the bike to which Rajesh was holding on to in an attempt to raise the bike again.
People around quickly ran to lend Rajesh a helping hand and finally his bike was pulled out from the dreaded water crossing. Next was Aamir, we were all nervous only until Aamir rode the bike through with out losing traction and yes, he was out of it before we could even know. (@aamirdotkom
: Some experience you got there from Me and Rajesh huh??
We were happy to have crossed a water crossing of that magnitude and rejoicing while the rain still poured down. After we all managed to slip into dry socks we planned on moving forward.
Rajesh bike would not start
. We did all mechanics we could think of yet, his bike would not start. We also had an Army Inspector trying his hands on pushing the bike and engaging the gear in an attempt to start it but all in vain. We decided to hire a pickup van and transport the bike to Kargil, where we were told that we will find a mechanic. After a little while we had this kind pickup truck driver who was so kind enough to help us in loading the bike as well as
securing it with ropes he had in his truck while the rain continued to fall. After the bike was loaded and truck started, Aamir and me followed the truck until we reached Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the World. At the Second Coldest Inhabited Place In the World!!
We broke for lunch and it was indeed cold here. As it would get dark in a couple of hours and we still had a few kms to reach Kargil, we pushed off again. The cold had now increased to a certain degree where in was pain, more than pleasure. 10 kms before Kargil, the road deteriorates into a muddy track with lots of pot holes and as it was already dark we had to cut down on speeds to cross them, due to which we had to miss the Kargil War Memorial.
Finally reached Kargil town, found a decent place to stay and hired it. Changed into something dry and comfortable, ordered food into the room and planned the next course of action. As Rajesh's bike had to be tested, it was decided that we would halt in Kargil for the next day, which also meant that Zanskar Valley was for the next time. Thanking Almighty that we found some help when we much needed it, we quickly slipped into a sound slumber.. PS:
Some photos are pulled up from Rajesh's album in this post. To be Continued