Reaching Ladakh after continuous five days ride from Chandigarh via Shimla, Kinnaur and Spiti valley was big relief mentally as well as physically. Similarly our bikes also needed some rest and basic checks. Day 6 started late in the morning with breakfast at Restaurant called Gesmo.
After reaching Leh, if you wish to cover surrounded valleys such as Pangong Lake, Khardung La, Tso Mori ri and Nubra, then the most important activity is to obtain permit called Inner Line Permit (ILP) from local SDM office. The process is not at all time consuming and lengthy. Also officials issuing permits are extremely helpful and humble.
I manage to get the ILPs for Anand and me by 12:00 PM. Soon after this our landmark ride started towards World's highest motorable pass, Khardung La situated at analtitude of 18,380 feet. It was my third year in a row when I was riding to World's highest motorable pass.
The weather was completely clear sky and sun was shining hard. After five days we were riding without luggage and it was fun riding on uphill curves.
It was not at all a long distance to cover from Leh to Khardung La but the steep uphill ride was proving tough every now and then. Soon after Leh and before South Pullu (The first check point for security checks), my bike started struggling to pull uphill due to scarcity of oxygen. There were times when I was struggling to achieve the speed of 30kpmh.
Once we crossed the South Pullu, the road began with huge pot wholes, water and mud. Since we were riding without luggage, the suspension of the bike was hitting me hard. Even small rocks had started hitting hard. This further reduced my speed to great extent.
As we progressed uphill, the view of hills on all sides emerged more and more spectacular. The snow capped mountains with clear blue sky was a view to count on.
We crossed lot of landslide prone areas with melting snow hanging on head. The water on road had increased drastically and it was making really difficult to ride with a stable pace.
Each and every terrain and view reminded me of my past two year's ride and fellow riders. Every time it was joy to ride to World's highest motorable pass.
As we say, great things does not come easy, similarly Day 6 ride proved very tiring and hard on me despite its shortest distance among other days we rode so far. At one point in time I was looking forward eagerly to reach the Pass not out of excitement but just to finish the ride.
Finally I manage to reach Khardung La and believe me, in fraction of seconds I forgot the tiredness I had. The place offers a soothing effect of its aura on people. The snow all over and smiling faces of people makes one feel proud. The colorful flags dominantly present in every corners where human being can reach were flourishing in Air and making a smooth noise in ears. The sun was also feeling soft on head now.
The feeling of achievement, pride and success made me completely overwhelmed. I was wondering whether I will be able to make to this place ever in my life.
We had a long photo session at Khardung La. Post photo session, we headed to the restaurant run by military for some food as our stomachs had started starving for lunch break. At such places when it comes food, what else can be other than Maggi. The delicious Maggi cooked in the form of soup cum noodles were great to fill the appetite at World's highest motorable pass.
Another attraction for me was the Souvaniour Shop of Khardung La. I bought few of them and those Mugs everyday reminds me of that spectacular ride we had.
While starting the journey way back to Leh, we decided for another photo session as we knew that we would not be able to revisit this landmark place.
Day 6 was the most important as a rider because this was the day which differentiated our trip from other road trips as no other place can offer you a ride to World's Highest motorable Pass.