"You'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't accomplish twenty years from now than by the ones you did."
Mark Twain's wise comments illuminate the mindset of individuals who take the risk of experiencing something new and leave no room for regret in their lives. Vimal Kumar, who lives in Chennai, had always wanted to go mountain biking. He made a living managing a gold jewellery showroom, but he couldn't contain his passion for nature and had always wished to be in the midst of mountains.
When he realised he needed to ride a bike to tour Ladakh's Land of High Passes, he immediately set out to put his riding talents to the test by doing a road trip from Chennai to Rameshwaram in just two days. It not only gave him the courage to ride indefinitely, but it also ensured that he would be facing the Himalayas in June. He contacted several firms after a few days of study and ultimately chose Thrillophilia because of the large number of packages available in relation to Leh Ladakh. He received a quick response from the team. Vimal describes his bike trip from Manali to Leh and back as a "on-the-go honeymoon in the mountains."
In The Mountains, A Tell-All Story
After an early morning meal in Manali, Vimal and his wife set out on their journey. While the ride was made cold and exhilarating by light showers, the muddy and slippery roads added to the adventure. The famed Rohtang Pass assured that the energetic couple did not continue without experiencing the bitter cold before arriving in Jispa. The pair stayed warm at night thanks to the bonfire, which added to the fun of camping.
Highest, Most Eminently
The pair began walking towards Sarchu after waking up to a refreshing morning. Vimal's first daring bicycling journey on the trip provided him an adrenaline rush as they rode off roads in a cold area. The popular Baralacha La, which stands at a stunning 16,040 feet and is completely covered in snow, was on the way to Sarchu.
The next day would be both exciting and exhausting, as Vimal would have to ride 250 kilometres across the Himalayas to reach Ladakh. As they approached Tanglang La, Ladakh's second highest pass at 5328 metres above sea level, the intermittent showers continued to soak them. The weather had turned bitterly cold at this point, and the snowy surroundings had enchanted the young pair. Vimal assured that the event would be remembered.
The trek today was difficult, but it was all worth it when they arrived at Ladakh, the mysterious land. It had been two days since Vimal had taken a bath, and the night had been bitterly cold! While the hot shower prepared him for a restful night, they were looking forward to an eventful day ahead as they intended to tour Ladakh.
The pair began the day by cycling through the famed Magnetic Hill with fellow bikers and felt spiritual at the Gurudwara. They also went river rafting in the frigid waters, so the day was a combination of leisure and adventure. They had a variety of experiences during the day as they biked around Ladakh. The next day, however, had the most surprises in store for them!
The riders couldn't contain their enthusiasm as they prepared to pass through the gigantic Khardung La, which rises to an astonishing 18,380 feet.
They travelled till they arrived in Nubra Valley, where the environment abruptly changed from snow-capped slopes to a frigid, white desert. Riding through a violent windstorm to Hunder, where the sand dunes presented a lovely sight amidst the high mountains, was an adventure.
The freezing night spent in desert camps was an incredible experience. The bikers were treated to serenity in the form of Pangong Tso the next day. This gorgeous lake proved that the adage "the best is saved for last" was correct, since it was the highlight of the adventure for the tourists.
The breathtaking views of the valley on the way to Pangong Tso were breathtaking! The voyage led them to another realm, where nature was at its purest, as they drove over huge mountains and gushing streams.
The riders were taken aback by the beauty of the lake when they first saw it. The gorgeous lake changed its colours to dazzle the passengers as the cool breeze blew across his face, making Vimal sink in the beauty of nature. They also took pictures with the yellow scooter at the famed Pangong Tso location where the movie "3 Idiots" was shot. Vimal's wife joined in the fun by donning the Kareena Kapoor attire from the scene and taking photos. The bikers happily took a pose on the "scratching bum" idols created there, many moments of delight and laughter were celebrated.
As they camped directly across from the peaceful lake, the journey was far from over. While the bitterly cold nights made Vimal uneasy, the exhilaration of having reached Ladakh on a motorcycle gave him a constant sense of success.
The next day was filled with mixed emotions as Vimal had to return home. However, the anticipation of riding along the same magnificent stretch kept him enthralled and he thoroughly enjoyed the day. They had gathered memories and sights of a lifetime as they drove 350 kilometres to Jispa, and they realised it was an unrivalled voyage via adventure and serenity.
Vimal and his fellow riders were presented with badges, T-shirts, and stickers in recognition of their achievement in biking through the enormous mountains. The "Certificate of Extreme Riders" awarded to the bikers was the icing on the cake, and it was a long-awaited goal for a motorcycle aficionado like Vimal.
Vimal and his wife returned home with a bag full of gifts and a "heart full" of memories to treasure for the rest of their lives. Even today he treasures his memories of the trip and shares his experiences with his friends.