Saturday, 15 November 2014

Awesome Road Trip Manali - Himachal Pradesh to Leh - Jammu and Kashmir Part 3/5

{Gata Loops;Nakeela Pass;Lachulung La;Pang;Pang;More Plains;Tanglang La;Lato;Upshi;Karu;Choglamsar;Leh City}

06 August -Left the camp at 9:30 am total expenses were INR 1,175. Passed through the Gata Loops it’s made up of 22 spectacular hairpin bends and reached Nakeela Pass situated at 4,738 m (15,547 ft) at about 11:20 am, next was Lachulung La situated at 4,880 m (16,000 ft) reached at 11:54 am. The way leads through beautiful canyons, natural sculptured rocks and a great view of the switchback loops. Lachulung La is about 54 kms from Sarchu.

Stopped at Pang for lunch at 12:58 pm, situated at 4,754 m (15,600 ft) it’s the world’s highest Transit camp, according to the Indian Army. Lunch was reasonable; Rice and Dal with Maggie and egg along with 2 Chai and a BarOne was about INR 200. The stalls doubled as sleeping tents, with about 5 to 6 sleeping spots, we were thinking about trying the sleepover, but Bittu mentioned that he needed to get back for Raksha Bandhan, we hit the road at about 1:28 pm.

Just about a minute drive and we reached the J&K border, they quoted a toll of INR 200 for 2 passengers, but Bittu bargained for INR 100, Passed through the More Plains (4400 m) at about 1:50 pm, the Plains were just a long stretch of linear road, one of the best and most deserted places in the entire trip.

Reached Taglang La at 3:12 pm situated at 5,328 m (17,480 ft) this is the 2nd highest pass in the world. Next was Lato situated at 3,880 m (12,729 ft), we reached here by 4:35 pm, Lato was a small village, seemed very quiet and peaceful, it had a few shops and a couple of Homestays, the cost for accommodation was between INR 400 to INR 1000. It was an ok place not a lot to explore so we decided to head directly to Leh.

Passed through Upshi check post at 5:04 pm and then Karu at 5:28 pm, came across the 1st speed breaker in more than 400 kms since Manali, this place was mostly occupied by the military with their sponsored School, the land was mostly barren littered with civil trucks.

Passed through Choglamsar at about 6:07 pm, it’s situated just outside the Leh City; this was one of the villages that was badly hit during the 2010 Ladakh floods, reached Leh City at 6:14 pm.

After searching for about an hour for a suitable accommodation we checked in at Hotel Shanti Palace at about 7:30 pm. Price was INR 1,500 bargained for INR 1,000, the room had 2 double beds, no TV, no Fan, no Shower, there was direct warm water, after a night's stroll and an expensive meal we called it a night.

Watch the Review of Hotel Shanti Palace 


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