There are plans and then there are plans. We named our small group – Yayawar.
Little did we know that the name would tower upon the future of our trip. After all, if you have a firm plan and you follow it to the hilt, what’s being Yayawar in that? A Yayawar is the one who has no plans and no destinations… Ours was a solid plan, thanks to the guidance provided by various threads on various forums including Team-BHP, BCMT, DOW and HiVayKing, including that one of Tanveer and multiple reviews by HVK, all the destinations were marked and itinerary fixed. But only if the plans could remain…
Our plan was smashed and washed out by various factors, including bandh, curfew and breakdowns, got extended by 3 days, missed by quite a couple of destinations and we were literally forced to become Yayawars with no plans, no destinations, no dates…
And so it happened… the making of Yayawars
The Yayawars crossed these…
Pass # 1. Zoji La Pass -Altitude 11649 Feet – The gateway to Ladakh, Highest point on Srinagar-Leh highway
Pass # 2. Namik La Pass – Altitude 12198 Feet
Pass # 3. Fotu La Pass – Altitude 13479 Feet
Pass # 4. Khardung La Pass – Altitude 18379 Feet – World’s highest pass on highest motorable road (or claimed so!)
Pass # 5. Wari La Pass – Altitude 17300 Feet – Tough ascent from Agham side, challenge to the driver and the machine!
Pass # 6. Chang La Pass or the Mighty Chang La – Altitude 17586 Feet – World’s Third Highest Pass
Pass # 7. An unnamed but peculiar pass between Merak and Chusul along Pangong Tso. Lots of Horns!!! And it’s not Polakang La.
Pass # 8. Tanglang La – Altitude 17582 Feet – World’s Second Highest Pass – Highest point on Manali Leh Highway
Pass # 9. Lachulung La – Altitude 16616 Feet
Pass # 10. Nakee La – Altitude 15647 Feet
Pass # 11. Baralacha La – Altitude 16040 Feet
Pass # 12. Rohtang Pass – Altitude 13051 Feet – Relatively low on elevation, but dreaded due to muck and slush
The Yayawars saw these…
Dal Lake at night. The pic should have been dark, I guess!!
Zansakar Indus Sangam near Nimmoo
Tso Talk – Much Before you reach Tangtse from Leh
Chagar Tso – en-route to Pangong, but no one stops in a tearing hurry to reach Pangong Tso
The “Three Idiots Lake” – The Pangong Tso – Saltwater lake at an altitude of 14270 Feet
Unnamed lake on return from Chusul to Tangtse route.
Suraj / Vishaal Taal near Baralacha La. Sweet water lake formed of glacial waters. Third highest in India and 21st highest lake in world. Source of Bhaga River.
Deepak Tal enroute to Baralahca La. Man made small lake.
Of course The Chandra Taal, situated at an altitude of 14100 Feet in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. The crescent beautiful lake has no visible glacial source!!!
The Yayawars were greeted by these…
Birdie.. which one is this?
Yet another birdie!!!
entire group of birdies
Butterfly came looking for juice, we told them juicy stories 😉
Chicken – No! We didn’t bar-be-queued ’em! 🙂
Cow grazing in meadows
The poser doggie!
Doves met with a peace message…
The Ducks went crakalacking on meeting us!
The muttons (Oh Sorry! the Goats), just met and ran away. Their life was in danger…
Horses were plenty.. both wild and domesticated
The Ibex family came visiting…
The Khardung La frog remained stationary
The Kiangs were curious…
The marmots were cute…
The molluscs and jelly fish also said “Hi”…
Snow Leopard came meeting.. he was swift!!
The goats brought their kinsfolk – the Sheeps…
The native Yak also met us…
And so did the migrants.. the donkeys!
The Yayawars slept here…
Jammu – Hotel Vivek
Katra – Trikuta Bhawan
Kargil – Hotel D’Zojila
Leh – Hotel Jorchung with good apricots and apples and homegrown veggies
Turtuk – Turtuk Holiday Camp’s tented accomodation
Serthi / Sarkti / Sakti – JKTDC – avoid!!!
Spangmik / Pangong – Padma Shop & Restaurant – good sunrise view!
Upshi Lodge – The room where we stayed is at the far end, first floor.
Keylong – HPTDC Chandrabhaga – nice hotel and nice hospitality!
Chandratal – Jamaica’s is the best!
Batal – Our shelter for four nights. Windproof and comfy…
Batal – The Chacha’s Chandra Dhaba – our shelter during the daytime…
Ummm… we did spent a night on the road, on this tow truck, after the descent from Rohtang, between Marhi and Gulaba. Courtsey – the truck driver #@#$%$#^@
The Yayawars went like this…
Fully loaded we went!
We’ve got guts!
…and returned like this…
Notice any difference between the two car pics??
via of course the pic you saw earlier… yes! via the tow truck!!!
What a journey it had been! A great experience which we shall cherish forever…
More and details to follow…
P.S.: All the pics as of now are just resized and without any processing. The same will be replaced later.
Update: Added the Upshi Lodge pic. Courtsey: Tony.