India

Top of the World 

Leh (3522 meter) is a touristic town in Ladakh. Ladakh lies between the Himalayan
mountains in the south and the Karakoram mountains in the north. Until the 18th century
Ladakh was a kingdom but nowadays it belongs to India. The area is in 1974 opened
for tourists. The indigenous people are lamaitic Buddhists and are farmers.
Nowadays the most people live from the touristic industry: woodcarving, embroidery,
hotels, restaurants and guides for trekking or rafting. At the streets there is a mixture
of old and new. Ladakh women wear their typical dresses with their funny hats and
sitting on the sidewalk selling their vegetables. And the teenagers are riding on scooters
on their way to an internet cafe. We hope that they keep some of their culture.
We mingle among the Ladakhi and observe their street live. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Ladakhi people in Leh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some interesting stupa's around Leh that we visit. They have beautiful
buddhist carvings and are very colorful. The view over the Himalayan mountains
from there is supurb.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we are still waiting for the dynamo we decide to go together on Haralds suzuki to the Kardung La. The Kardung La is with 5602 meters the highest motorable
road in the world. It will be the ultimate test for the bike. Can she ride up to the top with 2 persons? Harald kicks on his bike and Udo jumps on the back. We leave
Leh at 3522 m and start to climb. There is a lot of traffic and carefully passes Harald the trucks. For Udo it is scary to sit on the back without control, but he trust his
little brother completely. Slowly we go higher, taking curve by curve. The mountains have different colors of brown which gives a nice contrast in the blue sky.

Our GPS gives 4563 m. We already climbed one kilometer. From here we have a nice view on the snowcapped mountains. On the steep slopes we see some yaks
grazing. After a few hairpins we see a glacier. White ice surrounded by black rocks in blue sky. 5041 m. The air gets colder and the bike is still pulling up.
At this
point the road decays. A lot of holes and gravel. Harald rides constantly in the first gear. Every hairpin takes us higher. 5218 m. And 4 kilometers to the top. We
feel that breathing is harder. At every hairpin Harald horns (is usual in India). He don't want to stop because it can be difficult to start riding again. At this altitude
the bike looses a lot of power because of the thin air. A few more curves and then we see the summit of the Kardung La. 5602 m. We made it. Our Suzuki made it.
She took us to the highest motorable road in the world. We are damn proud of this bike...


We made it: The highest motorable road in the world

After one week waiting we hear that the dynamo is already for 3 days at the DHL office in Delhi. They will not sent the dynamo to Leh because it is "out of district". And this they call "world wide delivery". We have to go to Delhi. We build back the self repaired dynamo in the bike and leave for Delhi. But how long will the
dynamo work? We have to go over 3 more pass roads above 5000 meter. The views are stunning and we camp at the most beautiful places high in the Himalayans.

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