Day 11, 27.09.2011 Manali – Leh Highway (part 1): Keylang – Pang
I take off around 10 a.m., after breakfast at the guesthouse. The condition of the road is great! There is much roadwork going on, which makes me hope that the highway up to Leh might be in excellent condition. However, it will get worse soon.
Men at work. These guys use simple hammers to break big stones into gravel:
I reach the first Police check post in Darcha, which is located in a beautiful valley:
There are some sketchy bridges to cross, but otherwise a great journey:
There are great twisties from Zingzingbar up to the Baralach La pass with no traffic until you reach a beautiful lake:
The Baralach pass itself isn’t something special, except it’s freezing cold up here at 4980m altitude, about 2,5 °C.
My tire pressure warning goes off. I seem to loose air on my back tire. I check the tire, but can’t find anything. so I test the valve and that seems to be the cause. It’s leaking some air. I refill and continue my ride. This will need to be fixed later.
Some more dangerous bridges to cross, before Sarchu is in reach:
The landscape turns from gray to red ….
… and then you reach a high plateau where tarmac is gone and sand is left.
Playground for BigTom – Riding the sand ;)
Soon the tarmac is back and takes you through a different landscape once again:
The second police check post for today is located in Sarchu. The registration is painless and quick as these guys are more interested in my bike than my data.
Sarchu was suggested to me as the stay for the night, but I want to push on to Pang and get the Lachalung La pass (5065m) behind me. However, a quick lunch is much appreciated:
After Sarchu, you are welcomed to the paradise of India:
Indeed, the landscape is breath-taking …
… and the road signs keep you entertained:
A long and winding road …
takes me first up to Nekeela pass
and just a few minutes later to the highest pass enroute to Leh, the Lachulungla pass (5065m):
Unfortunately, this pass is not the most eventful one. In fact, it’s just cold (2,5°C at 5 p.m.) and pretty boring:
On the decent down to Pang however, things get more exciting. My first crash on this trip on icy roads:
As there is no traffic, there aren’t any people around, so I have to lift BigBertha on my own. No problem if you know how to. ;)
It has been a long day and I’m exhausted. Road signs keep me awake though:
Eventually I reach Pang and pitch my tent next to a restaurant with a strange name:
It will be a freezing night. Hope to survive it.