Independence Quattro Drive 2014: On the road to Leh
After our brief night stop at Jispa, the convoy of Audis resumed the journey at 4am. Wrapped in multiple layers of thermals, sweaters, baklavas and what not, we headed to Bharatpur where breakfast was old, faithful maggi, a half fry and some piping hot lemon tea. And after that sumptuous meal, we moved toward Gata loops. Enroute we found one brilliant stretch of barren land where the moon was visible in all its glory - quite an inspiring sight, for readers and Team OD alike.
By lunch, our Audis brought us to the base of Pang, right before the start of the great, famous More plains. Thukpa and Chowmien were the order of the day and everyone sampled the local delicacy. A long, long drive makes one hungry. Or perhaps it's just the mountain air that makes food taste better .
Thangla La which is the world's second highest motorable pass (17,582ft above sea level) was where we stopped briefly for a small photoshoot. High altitude passes like these are for driving through, not stopping for prolonged periods - the lack of oxygen can take its toll on you, unless you're a vampire in a very badly written teen novel.
We kept our systems running with another stop for refreshment at Karu. After that, the Audis were treated to some very good roads leading to Leh town.
The next day has been assigned for rest, recoup and more repast and the readers can explore the terrain and get a dose of the mountain air. We, though, will use this time to give our babies (Yes, the SUVs) a thorough cleaning for the drive ahead. The fun has only just begun.