The Dream Motorcycle Expedition - Day 9 & 10
Aug 21, 2012
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Manali Sightseeing, rest and onwards to Keylong via Rothang Pass – 250 kms

With initial plans of staying for a night in Manali and moving on yo Keylong the next morning, our plans got disrupted with the news of Rohtang pass being closed due to heavy snowfall. With the change in plan, we were forced to stay for an extra night in Manali which proved to be a blessing in disguise.

A couple hours past, Sachin broke his rear shock absorber much to the dismay of us all, but luckily Enfield has a service station in Manali right behind the Hadimba mata temple. Taking advantage of the situation, we all took our bikes for servicing and got all the oil leaks, broken suspensions and also shining new helmets. Withdrawing cash from ATM’s, shopping, buying souvenirs for relatives; we spent the day playing tourists in the town.

Facing the mother of all traffic jams up at an altitude of 4000+ meters, we took more than 3 hours to cover a distance of just 52 kms! In hindsight, we concluded that we should have anticipated the traffic conditions better with this notion quickly being dispelled while talking to strangers en route who claimed to have left at 4 am! Deriving sadistic pleasure from the conversation, we were glad we utilized those extra hours for sleep.



Finally the moment we all had been waiting for – the first touch of snow! Contrary to a couple of days back when we were riding through 47 scorching degrees of heat, we today stood amidst snow clad mountains!



With excitement and exhilaration making for an exciting feeling, we all preferred to keep silent and carry on the journey for over an hour. Lost in ourselves, the absorbing atmosphere and the anticipation of how the journey would unfold in Ladakh slowly took over. With snow on both sides and a wonderful background, we all had waited 10 long days and about 2800 kms to get this pacifying feeling.



Since we were going anti clockwise on the circuit from Delhi to Leh, rohtang pass was the first pass that we had to cross. At an altitude of about 4000+ meters, this picturesque spot was thronged by tourists due to its accessibility. Since Rohtang pass was closed yesterday, the amount of tourist traffic was just plain maddening. With traffic snarls all the way up to the mountain, we spent another 3 hours en-route Rohtang.



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Bikers

Abinash Taye

Bike - Classic 350cc

Profession - Businessman

Home Town - Guwahati

Best Ride - Guwahati-Sibsagar-Jorhat-Golaghat-Bokajaan-Guwahati, 2480 kms in 8 days solo ride. Experiencing the freedom of life visiting Kazirznga, Nambor sanctuary

Bibekanand Kakoti

Bike - Thunderbird Twin Spark

Profession - Businessman

Home Town - Guwahati

Best Ride - Guwahati to Menchuka – Arunachal Pradesh, 1967 Kms in 4 days. It was a tough and challenging ride at night manoeuvring plains/mountains, fog & snow.

Roopam Gautam

Bike - Bullet Electra Modified

Profession - Service

Home Town - Guwahati

Best Ride - Tawang to Guwahati, 561 kms non-stop in 21 hours. It was one of the most difficult routes in North East, negotiating snow, fog, rain, 13800 ft altitude, night ride, plain roads.

Rituraj Shyam

Bike - Bullet Electra

Profession - Service

Home Town - Sibsagar

Best Ride - Guwahati to Bhutan border (Gelehpu) 380 kms. Navigating the plains of lower Assam – a comfortable relaxing 10 hour ride to Bhutan border.

Sachin Doshi

Bike - Thunderbird Twin Spark

Profession - Service

Home Town - Mumbai

Best Ride -Guwahati to Namdapha National Park – Arunachal, 650 kms in 11 hours flat. A non-stop 11 hour fast forward ride to see 'Hornbill' bird at Namdapha.

Amar Hazarika

Bike - Thunderbird Twin Spark

Profession - Service

Home Town - Jorhat

Best Ride -Guwahati to tawang – Arunanchal Pradesh, 561 Kms. The most sought after tourist destination in NE – ride to twang has been the most picturesque.

Shisir Basumatari

Bike - Thunderbird Twin Spark

Profession - Freelancer

Home Town - Dudnoi-Goalpara

Best Ride -Guwahati to Cherapunji (187 kms). Riding to the wettest place on earth along with 250 riders for the North East Riders Meet was a photogenic event

Utpal Talkudar

Bike - Bullet Electra

Profession - Service

Home Town - Guwahati

Best Ride -Guwahati Independence Ride. A ride organised on Independence Day 15th August to promote road safety which attracted participation from over 80 riders

Paramanand Deka

Bike - Thunderbird Twin Spark

Profession - Service

Home Town - Jorhat

Best Ride -Guwahati to tawang – Arunanchal Pradesh, 561 Kms. The most sought after tourist destination in NE – ride to twang has been the most picturesque.

Bhaskar Saikia

Bike - Bullet Electra

Profession - Business

Home Town - Guwahati

Best Ride -Guwahati-Cherapunji (187 kms). Riding to the wettest place on earth along with 250 riders for the North East Riders Meet.