High, higher than the sun

Well almost, it certainly felt like we were on the roof of the world as we stood in the freezing high altitude himalayen dessert winds at 17582 feet yesterday.

The road from to Leh from Manali is only open 4 months in the year, the rest of the time it’s under snow.  We are riding around just before the roads are being closed, so we have very clear vision, but its also a bit nippy…

Leh to Manali is 500km, it tooks us 3 days to do this – the road is THAT bad, the bike battled everything from flash flooded rivers to dessert roads to very hairy and narrow mountain roads with not much room to move when passing suicide mission trucks and coaches.  Its a long way down with no barriers to protect you.  They call is a road, but its really just big rocks and stones punctuated with the occasional bit of tarmac.  The road is being repaired constantly by an army of very poor, dirty and underfed looking road workers.  They are known as the border road workers.

We are 3 weeks into India and have covered a fair bit of ground, but there its a very very big country and you cannot do more than 250km in one day due to the driving conditions.  All I’m going to say about the Indian driver is that I am glad I fitted the 140db air horn to the bike (which sounds pretty squeeky at 5000+ metres, but very loud at sea level).

The pictures on the gallery for month 3 are curtesy of Fie, she took all of them, so check them out at Flickr they are all slowly coming online – the himalayen internet speed aint great.

Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery

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2 Responses to High, higher than the sun

  1. andy laurence says:

    Hey well done for doing the manali to leh road. A massive achivement and i bet it is cold as well. In shimla at the moment and moving off towards the nepal border tomorrow.

    I take it you guys are staying in india a while –

    enjoy- -oh shimla is worth a visit if u havnt been even if its just to recover from your leh trip

    take it easy

    andy laurence
    shapeupworldtour.blogspot.com

  2. Kartz says:

    Hi Brian, That’s quite an achievement! All the passes must be freezing at this time of the year and its good to know that you and Fie are safe! The best part of the Manali-Leh route is its road…or rather, the lack of it 🙂

    Its quite interesting that you mentioned about those dreary road workers. Those men are the unsung heroes of our nation. They are the casual labourers of the BRO (Border Roads Organization) who work under inhospitable conditions to let people like us make our way through these boulder-strewn, dun mountains! We, usually, give them some chocolates or biscuits as a mark of gratitude – the best we can do at that place!

    By the way, aren’t you doing the Lahaul-Spiti circuit? Hope you received my mail about the Tyre shops in Delhi. Give me a call when you are enroute to Bangalore.

    Have a good ride!

    Cheers,
    Kartz

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