By David Donne
I’ve written a ride diary for this trip for the ADV rider forum, being aware that many others may have done rides in Ladahk, but maybe something here will help guys with a little bit of info that will make preparations easier because I had a lot of questions before setting out and a few were still unanswered when I got on the plane. I spent weeks trawling the net looking at the various tour packages being offered, ranging from the ultra up market expeditions with their own dedicated doctor, and pressure bag ( to counter serious mountain sickness ) to those like the one I chose, being minimalist and just running support vehicles and a mechanic. In one of my madder moments I thought of doing the ride on my own because of being able to opt for the more gradual climb from Srinagar to Leh, rather than the very quick ascent from Manali to Sarchu over the Rotang pass on day 3. However thankfully, I didn’t and realize that I wouldn’t have had the resilience to keep going alone and would have missed the fun of the group ride.
I had to pick up the bike from Todapur, not a long way from where the hotel was at Parharganj but was freaking out when after arriving in Delhi, I first got in a tuk tuk and saw what happens when there aren’t any road rules. It was seriously scary and I thought we would end up under a bus but these guys know exactly where the four corners of their vehicles are and operate with millimeter clearances. Delhi is a huge confusing city and a GPS on the bars would be great.