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Monthly Archives: September 2005

and now for something completely different

note: like several other posts on this site, this one is also being uploaded post facto. briefly, in august 2005, i quit businessworld and business journalism and made a long-desired switch to writing on environment, development and suchlike. to celebrate this move, i took my bike, bucephalus, to ladakh. as it turned out, we set out on 15th august. independence day.

ladakh (51)

and my lovely, lovely bike.

and my lovely, lovely bike.

almost fell off the bike here. had crossed fotu la. was moving towards kargil when i saw this mountain, marvelled at its shape, kept moving and then realised with a sudden shock that good god, there was a monastery atop it.

almost fell off the bike here. had crossed fotu la. was moving towards kargil when i saw this mountain, marvelled at its shape, kept moving and then realised with a sudden shock that good god, there was a monastery atop it.

beautiful, innit? the mountains en route to kargil really were very craggy

as i moved from lamayuru towards kargil, the mountains got craggier

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one of the first monasteries i saw as leh came closer and closer

one of the first monasteries i saw as leh came closer and closer

the final kilometres to leh are along the indus, along this straight, straight road. for the first time in days, the bike moved into fifth gear, and flew and flew. aaaah. :-)

the final 50-odd kilometres to leh are along the indus, along this straight, straight road. for the first time in days, the bike moved into fifth gear, and flew and flew.

riding along the gya

you crest taglangla, the last of four passes between manali and leh, the road drops, and then you meet the beautiful gya, and ride next to her towards the indus

this is roughly the place where i realised the horn was not working any longer. am coming close to the moray plains.

this is roughly the place where i realised the horn had stopped working. am coming close to the moray plains.

me. the grim look is due to a migraine brought on by altitude sickness

me. the grim look is due to a migraine brought on by altitude sickness

look at the lines in this photo!

look at the lines in this photo!

the photo at the end of the ride. taken by a neighbour with unnaturally shaky hands. :-)

the sole photo at the end of the ride. taken by a neighbour with preternaturally shaky hands.

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kashmir, on the way out of ladakh

entering sonamarg. this was taken at noon. had left kargil at 4 or so. and then biked towards and then over the famed zoji la pass. challenging ride. as challenging as the ride up and down rohtang. years have gone by since and i still remember the descents from both passes. the rohtang road covered with pebbles which meant that, even if you braked, the bike would keep sliding ahead. in zoji la, the pass was just mud. and the only way to move was to keep the bike in the ruts left by trucks’ tyres.   ladakh (278) ladakh (202) ladakh (179) ladakh (175) ladakh (57)

also taken at the entrance to the moray plains

bucephalus at the entrance to the moray plains

ladakh (18)

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