Day 141 – 25th August 2014 Leave 8am Altitude 4,990 metres Leh – Manali Highway (2nd half)

The altitude and demanding riding really got to me yesterday and after 1 beer I went to bed at 7.30pm and got up 11 hours later at 6.30am.

The hotel (ok, cow shed) was at 4,340 metres and had it not been for the 3 duvets in addition to my thermals, wooly hat and sleeping bag I would have been very cold last night. I kept the thermals on and layered up for another long days riding high in The Himalayas.

The ‘Leh – Manali Highway’ shouldn’t be called a highway as it bares about as much resemblance to a highway as Carlton Cole does to a striker!

The day started with a bridge crossing after 200 metres where to say the bridge needed a few repairs is an understatement, immediately after the road turned into a river for 50 metres, it didn’t help that my sun glasses had completely steamed up and I had about 10% vision!

We arrived at one bridge which the army where repairing, riding over it after it felt like it should have been demolished, I wonder what it was like before they had worked on it?

It was about 4pm when we arrived in Manali having completed the 480 km from Leh in two days not the three some had said it would take. The road today was worse than any I’ve ridden before with so many long sections of dirt, very fine dust, rocks & river crossings. At times high up in the mountains at 3,500 – 4,000 metres the road was treacherous and narrow with the odd vehicle wanting to pass, the drop off the road maybe 500 – 1,000 metres down to the valley floor below. Although I was aware of the dangers of ridding at high altitude I felt both the bike and I were working well and I rode it aggressively as this suited the awful conditions.

Yet again my bike has had a really hard time and performed brilliantly.

I don’t know how to top the amazing experience I’ve had in Ladakh, I loved it so much.









5 Responses

  1. Hi dan. Glad you’re enjoying it. Pics look absolutely fab. Not jealous at all!! Just a reminder, do check those rickety old bridges as that’s what nearly claimed the life of Simon Thomas who’s still travelling the world on bikes with his wife after 11years. Safe riding. Cheers phil

  2. Thanks Phil, I’m down from the mountains for a while so some sensible roads for a while maybe? You’re right the bridges can be very dangerous, ill proceed with caution.