Leh - Kargil
For anyone who likes desert scenaries, baren mountains, canyons, powerfull rivers and moonlike landscape, Leh-Kargil road is a must; forget the Manali-Leh!
I left Leh yesterday at 7:00. Dowhill to the river, then a bit up and a massive descent to the Indus which I had a pleasure of following most of the day. Then left turn along a smaller river valley until Lamayuru gompa road forks to the left and I turn right up into the climb.
And what a climb! There are small tight switchbacks at the start then longer hairpins all the way up the mountain side. I watched for the road above me and couldn't find a trace of it, yet it was there and from above the dramatic unbelievable view of what you have acomplished. There was something strange: smooth, ippecable asphalt, yet there wasn't a truck or a car for the whole 15 km up. I was late at the top, 19:00, as I was stopping frequently to enjoy this fantastic lanscape. It was evening on the downhill ride and around 19:30 I found an abandoned building and slept on its terrace, with a look on Lamayuru gompa (?).
The next day I found out that I probably missed the main road to Lamayuru and took a side one. I whish for more side roads like that. That explains why there were no traffic.
The next day continued with a Fatu La pass and Namika La. I may be repeating myself - but these are excellent climbs and fast thrilling winding descends on good roads. Only about 20 km before Kargil there were some roadworks whereI had to cross sections with ankle-deep white dust. This goes dirrectly into the chain and makes a mess of it.
I repeat - fantastic portion of the trip!
Day 15: 103 km, 6h 8min. Total 1450 km.
Day 14: 131 km, 8h 1min. Total 1347 km.