Finally down to posting this Travelogue after this incredible experience
I know its been 4 months since my travel and its a bit too late but couldn't resist myself from sharing with you like minded folks though you all are probably fed up with the number of Bangalore-Leh Travelogue !
Most of this is written by me when i ever I could find some time and some with the help of my wife from the stories I shared with her! so please bare with me...
Year 2014 Feb. New work mate joined in from Chennai. We were instant buddies after sharing mutual interest over automobiles and as we all motor maniacs do, we started yapping over all the reviews we read over the cars on-road and the new ones yet to come. He expressed his planned desire to make a road trip to Leh. Sounded interesting and the urge was instantaneous, I raised my hand to join in. He had already planned in to the very date July 1st 2015. In fact he had created a whatsapp group with 7 guys(All are his school buddies). Soon I was part of the “Mission Leh Ladakh” group and the DP was google India map painted with road route to Leh !. Then the story was never ending, every lunch and tea break we slip away from the rest of the work colleagues without socializing !! trying to make a perfect plan starting from
1. Effective route to cover all places to visit.
2. Number of cars to use for the trip.
3. Budget (Including fuel, hotel stay, food expenses)
4. Basic equipment plus rations
5. Safety concerns
6. Capable drivers from the gang
As time went by, excitement kept raising and the points to discuss was hardly any but we still kept the discussions going anyway. End of the day we would bring up the topics we discussed on the whatsapp group. Everyone would join in and finish of the day with new ideas. Though I had never met anyone in that group except my friend cum Admin of this whatsapp group, we all knew exactly what we wanted and what we are up to.
At one point when the discussion turned in to the cars we were going to engage in this trip, I told them about my intention to buy a Fortuner 4x4 MT. And everyone totally agreed and backed me up with the choice.
I ve already shared the ownership experience of my all capable furtuner with you folks earlier in March 2015. (Hope you all enjoyed the ride!)
Nov 2014 I walked in to the showroom in Bommanahalli and booked my dream, and drove away in Mar 2015. After doing few trips out of the city to goa and couple of trips to Chennai, including Hyundai plant trip with some of you TAI
members, I managed to clock 7000kms on the ODO by june2015 end. Completed a 10k service so I don’t need a service before the end of our planned 8000kms Leh round trip.
Fitted a Hella Comet200 fog lamp on the roof rail after fitment of rail rack.
I bought/gathered few gadgets, basic equipments and ration for the trip myself a week before the trip.
1. Tyre puncture kit
2. 12V Tyre inflator
3. 48LED Hurricane style rechargeable 28 hrs backup lamp(Bajaj)
4. Full Tool box kit, Torch light
5. 2 Ton Nylon Tow rope, Jump start cable.
6. 80 Ltrs Spare Diesel can. (25L+25L+30L) with funnel.
7. 4 PAX Easy unfoldable All weather Tent
8. Out door alchoholic gel stove.
9. Portable BBQ stove with charcoal
10. 5 x 5Ltrs Drinking water containers, Biscuits/chips packets
11. Frying Pan, spatula, cooking bowl (both copper bottom),
12. 10 pack noodles, 10 pot noodles, 12 eggs in egg case, salt and spices
13. 200ml kerosene, spoons/forks, match box, disposable plates, Tissues
14. Sachets of washing powder/shampoo/soap
15. Tabs Diamox/Paracetamol/anti-allergy and basic first aid kit
16. Mosquito repellent skin cream, coils
17. Cooking oil, Pasteurized “Nandhini” Tetra pac milk
18. Cold clothing, Extra socks and Underwear.
19. Pleasant music (long list of 16 Gb) in USB
20. Pen, original documents of Car insurance/Reg doc and driving licence
21. Belkin 12v Dc to 220v AC converter 300W.
Out of the 8 pack wolf gang, 4 backed off due to unavoidable circumstances like baby on its way, boss not granting leave for 3 weeks stretch and 2 guys stuck in official trip abroad.
Now the decision making time came if we need to stick with 1 car to safe money on fuel or 2 to continue with the plan of 2 cars. After a long argument we stuck to the plan, 2 cars for 4 guys considering the hilly terrains and unexplored roads we were going to take with no technical back up by Automobile manufacturers.
So the cars on this trip – Fortuner 4x4MT and my friend’s Xylo E6.
Few points to note about his Xylo. Done 86k on the odo. Recently serviced with new tyres all around including the spare, clutch plate and brake pads. Clutch pressure plate springs were changed out with aftermarket one’s which aid in hill climb. I was pretty impressed with the way this car handled the steep inclines without a fuss.
29th June 2015.
Final route map Confirmed.
Day 1- Bangalore to Nagpur via Hyderabad.
Day 2- Nagpur to Agra
Day 3- Agra to Amritsar
Day 4- Amritsar sight seeing
Day 5- Amritsar to Srinagar
Day 6- Srinagar sight seeing
Day 7- Srinagar sightseeing
Day 8- Srinagar to Leh
Day 9- Leh to Nubra valley via Kardung la
Day 10- Nubra valley sight seeing
Day 11- Nubra valley to Pyongyang lake
Day 12- Pyongyang lake to Leh
Day13- Leh sight seeing/rest
Day14- Leh to Manali
Day 15- Manali to chandigarh via kullu, Bilaspur
Day 16- Chandigarh to Udhaipur
Day17- Udhaipur to Lonawala
Day18- Lonawala to Goa (Colva)
Day19- Chillax in Goa
Day 20- Chillax in Goa
Day 21- Goa to Bangalore
Then comes the sudden blow to our planned dep date !
We decided to delay the trip to start on 4th July2015 after we got intimation from one of the guy who opted out cause he was stuck in Singapore, is now ready to join us in Srinagar on 10th July if we can delay the trip by 4 days. All agreed upon delaying the trip to start on 4th July 2015 and decided to spend 3 days with family….
July 4th it is then.