If you thought, that after crossing Spiti and a frozen Lahaul we would rest, you were wrong! Right after our snow and ice adventure we started to cycle the famous Manali – Leh highway. As soon as we entered it we realized, that we were not alone any more – it was crowded and loud, with all the trucks and motorcycles going to Leh.
It all started nicely – asphalt road, restaurants on every step and a lot of villages.
The weather was good, during the first few days we had a chance to recover a bit. Unfortunately right before Baralacha La Pass the temperature dropped dramatically and it started to rain. After an hour it was already snowing – we were lucky to find a flat spot to camp and bunkered up for the night.
15 minutes of snow and our tent was white. We had to wake up during the night couple of times to clean the tent.
In the morning we realized, that cycling the pass in those conditions would make no sense, so we decided to stay in the tent, watch some movies, read books, cook and stay one more night.
The closer we got to the top, the more trucks we had to pass. It seemed like they were all waiting for a better weather. We must admit – Indian drivers have no idea about good manners – they all wanted to go first despite the fact that the road was narrow and covered with a thick layer of ice and snow, with no patience at all.
Some of them paid for their sins on the spot.
Us, on the bikes, could pass most of the stuck trucks.
The pass and mountain range stopped most of the snow, so on the other side it was dry, sunny and warm. We could now enjoy a barren landscape of high mountain deserts.
One day, early in the morning we were lucky to spot two rare mountain animals – blue sheeps. They were grazing just 20 meters from the road, so Mat took a picture of them (with wide lens) and started to change the lens to more narrow. Surprisingly they were not afraid of our presence. After a moment an ignorant Indian motorcycle tourist arrived, and scared them away with the noise of his engine before Mat changed the lens. We never saw one again…
There was much less of the restaurants and villages further up the road, so we had to rely mostly on our own supplies and great gadgets we carried around for so long (like the solar panel below).
It was definitely a great feeling to be so high and remote yet still perfectly comfortable.
Tired as hell already, yet a long way in front of us… More pictures soon!