The snow, the peaks, the excessiveness, the solitary coldness of the world's highest summits, the vertigo, the unfathomable blue of the sky, the gigantic relief, steep, sometimes hostile, the aridity of a beauty that imprisons the soul for ever, sumptuous landscapes lost in silence, forgotten lakes level with the sky... welcome to Ladhak.
Ladakh is a lost universe, a somewhere run aground apart from the world, stuck between the Karakoram in the North, Tibet in the East and Himalaya in the South. It's a deserted and isolated area in the North of India, a twisted road carved out of the flanks of the Himalaya and in the geological history of our planet. It's a path on eternity, on the possible, endurance of nature. It's an awakening against time, in contemplation, just on the edge of the present.
The polar weather's harshness removes the Manali - Leh road most of the year from the mortals' eyes, that's why it's only opened and passable in June, July and August.
The route is difficult, sometimes perilous, in the forgotten valleys of that tiny corner of humanity relegated to the world's roofs. The crossing through water swollen mountain pastures, scattered with stones, give to the road a slight look as a suitable track, in the heart of the frozen torrents to cross, the cols to get over at 5000 meters up, choked up with columns of trucks and buses overloaded with goods and passengers. It's a chaotic space stuck to the moon, a tiring motion which toughens up the body, a sublime flight in the depths of Nature...So far away from giddiness, noise and eagerness.
At each turn you sink a little deeper into the silence' echo and the void's depths, the sky is more profound and sometimes the rain and the rivers strike the muscles to the arteries. The 'chai-break' are a consecration... a moment of blessing for the clothes to dry!
I discovered on that road that most of the things that seem impossible to do are in reality possible. I discovered that my limits were far higher (further away) than what I imagined them to be. I found the open space on the edge of nothingness and the taste of the possible was nearer, stronger, spicier.
No hours anymore, no roadsigns, no seasons, only the space is penetrating the body and annihilating the pain.
Time is moving on with the breathing nature's rhythm, the dazzling light explodes the reliefs, the mountains are a frozen perfumed rocks' desert, the lakes are hot under a snow tangled with the sun, the torrents and the wind resound in a profound silence, weightless, pure and humble, like the people we meet.
These smooth or wrinkled faces, their simple gestures, antiquated, beating the grain, their welcome so generous and hearty, the sounds of the drums, the songs and prayers in the Monasteries, the Buddhist monks, the lost looks and the smiles always (for ever)...
They made me understand with their sense of existence that you just have to let go, to let yourself be diverted from one's initial paths... and climb over your fears as the motorbike climbs up the snowy col; with pain and pleasure..
The motorbike route is organised and it's impossible to get lost, except in the specters offered by the light and the beauty of the landscapes...
It's a group of about 20 people, for three weeks, during those precious three months when the adventure is possible. The experience begins at Manali and the first stage ends in Leh, where we can appreciate a good pizza or a real espresso..! Then we cross the Rothang Pass, on the world's highest road, an absolute beauty, that leads us to Nubra Valley. And then we head on towards the Lakes, in which the mountain's peaks are mirrored. We then go on to Manali. Between Leh and Manali is Sarchù, a base camp where I remember of a dream...Sensation of being in the heart of the Mongolian steppe or on the moon's first mornings... the stars stuck to the dark eruption, the beauty made the coldness bearable, the skies redness escaping from the rock...
In Ladakk the scenery improves your vision and the heart for an entire life.
June-August 2011 What's in the tour
KEY FEATURES ON OUR TOUR:
- Support vehicle follows the group
- Effective means of communication when riding
- Emergency rations and sleeping arrangements
- Real maps, not hastily printed off Google maps
- Every 3 bikes have GPS navigators
- Latest model Royal Enfield 500cc bikes
- Run and guided by people who know what they are doing
- Acclaimed highest motorable pass in the world
- 20 riders in a group
- Three weeks / 21 days
A little more detail
We will be riding around 1800-kms over 3 weeks from Manali to Leh and the surrounding villages, the menu at the top right breaks down each travel day. The area's visited are remote and the roads conditions vary, considerably. There is a window of three months during the summer when the melting snow reveals the amazing roads, which are only then opened up to traffic. Parts of the road are flooded by melting snow torrents that we have to cross, some segments have deep sand or mud and ruts. Other parts we have negotiate trucks backed up on razor sharp cliffs.
You will become an expert at riding a Royal Enfield 500cc in challenging road conditions, very few place in the world could host. The expedition is an adventure from one place to another, we always treat it as such. It is important that you are comfortable riding a motorbike in technically challenging road conditions and that you are able to assess, anticipate and respond quickly to changing traffic situations. But probably most important of all is having the right attitude.
We look forward to taking you through some of the most memorable places you will ever visit.
Join our trip, from:
- Rider - $8000.00
- Rider and Pillion - $12000.00