So after two weeks of inactivity we set ourselves the challenge of trying to ride the 485km Manali-Leh highway in the Indian himalayas in five days.
It was quite tough – hopefully suitably tough to warrant a little donation to DekDee? Hit the donate button! Thanks.
Here’s the rundown…
Day One : Leh – Rumtse 80km
Passed grand Buddhist temple.
Watched the Indian Army Paras jumping out of planes.
Dahl & Rice for lunch at Upshi.
Serious climbing began thereafter.
Held up by Pashmina Goats.
Incredibly funny roadsigns.
Had salted tea at a funeral. Stopped enjoying it after Nye told me it was salted.
Tom decides he’s had enough.
Nye has a headache.
Reach Rumtse and stay in a roadside dhaba.
Day Two : Rumtse – Pang 100km
Long climb up to Tanglang La at 5300m – takes ages
See Himalayan Blue Sheep en route
Banging headache and breathlessness at the top
Descend on awfully bumpy roads – pannier breaks
Dahl & Rice in a tent in the middle of nowhere
Push on in fading light to Pang
Very cold and exhausted
More Dahl & Rice
Day Three : Pang to Sarchu 80km
Nye falls off bike on bad roads
Get over the first 5000m climb in the morning
Have to push bike up one incredibly steep section
Dahl & Rice
Met Italian cyclist at top of second climb
Descend down the ‘Gata Loops’ – 21 switchbacks down a mountain side
Ridiculously strong headwind
Reach Sarchu and sleep in a shed for £1 each
(Dahl & Rice for din dins)
Day Four : Sarchu to Sissu 155km
Wake at 5am for an early start
Still dark so go back to sleep until 6am
Can’t feel our fingers or toes when we start
Climb the Baralacha La after a Dahl & Rice stop
Glorious 50km descent on good roads
Road worker accidentally throws a huge metal bowl at my bike
Ride through ZingZingBar- doesn’t live up to it’s name
Have instant noodles in Darchu
Watch Tom drive past in a bus with his bike on the roofrack
Ride hard to reach Sissu by nightfall
Stay with an eccentric Indian family
Day Five : Sissu to Manali 80km
Nye tastes our host’s homemade liquor at 8am
Ride to bottom of Rohtang Pass
Drink a lot of Mango Juice
Suffer Mango-induced heartburn on the climb
Dreadful roads on both sides of the pass
50km descent to Manali
Take in the dramatic change in scenery
Meet Tom and eat eat eat