trails & tribulations

by Jakob

We start our Royal Enfield 350 engines, a slow drumming sound comes from the exhaust pipes … great sound.
With a group of four people we want to go in one day to a valley, the Nubra Valley, on the other side of the mountain, spend the night there and return the next day. The route will take us over the highest road in the world lead, it can be quite a dangerous road, so w’ll take care.
The beginning of the route is comfortable, the asphalted mountain road winds slowly and the deep chasms we have to get used to.
Halfway through the climb the asphalt changed into unpaved and bumpy road strewn with boulders, we can only drive in the first or second gear, slowly we reach the summit at almost 6 kilometers.
At the highest point of the road is busy: it is full of cars and motorcycles, the teahouses are doing good business and from the speakers of a Buddhist temple, the voice of the Dahla Lama sounds.

It’s me on the bike

After our pit stop we continue our journey over the still unpaved road. Along the way we have to stop a couple of times because of landslides, … large bulldozers are clearing the roads by pushing the rocks and debris over the cliff.

Bulldozers cleaning the road after a landslide

Halfway through the day we park our bikes between fellow motorcyclists and lunch in a kind of cafeteria.
After a meal of noodles we returne to our bikes, we discovered to our dismay that our spare petrol in jerry cans was stolen.
There is no way in the mountains to refuel, but nevertheless we decided to continue driving.
Iin the several small towns where we crossed, we asked for petrol, but alas. Mid-afternoon we decided to return, we have no choice and it will be exciting if we will make it all the way to Leh.

Ohad on his bike

We’re back on top of the highest point of the route and we only need to descend, we are almost certain that we will reach Leh. We are disappointed about the theft of our gasoline, but also relieved that we will make it all the way back to Leh … we embrace each other as if we have won a cup.
Standing on our pedals we drive further with a reasonable speed on the bumpy road downhill the mountain, the deep chasms no longer inspire fear.
We arrive in Leh, driving allready several kilometers on our spare-fuel.

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