Once in a while, it’s important to undergo thrilling experiences in the midst of nature. This makes life inspiring and adventurous.
With this thought in mind, Manali Sakpal and I (Aditi Singh) began our 12-day expedition to the mountains on the Royal Enfield bike. Both of us come from different backgrounds. We belong to different cities and do different kinds of work. While Manali is an architect, I work in the social development sector.
The entire trip was an enchanting journey, as we were blessed with awe-inspiring views in places like Leh, Khardung La Pass, Tsomoriri, Sarchu, Jaspa, and Manali. The gravelly paths, the rustic huts, the vibrant and lively people, the charming water crossings and rivers flowing along lines of trees made for a picture postcard landscape. In short, the Himalayas offered a visual treat, which made us forget the challenges of biking in a tough terrain.
I have been biking for the past three years. I usually ride 300-400 km on weekends to avoid muscle swelling or tissue breaks. Of course, biking on the mountains, with Manali riding pillion, was a different experience altogether. The challenging parts of the biking trip were coping with the climatic conditions of the place, riding at high altitudes, crossing dense forests, and riding non-stop across rugged roads that often seemed risky.
But challenges apart, biking through the hilly and winding roads, across the rugged topography of the Himalayas, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Throughout the biking expedition, we were treated to some lovely food, including soups, Maggi, bread, omelet, thukpa, tea, and coffee. We also tried out authentic Himachal food in some places.
All in all, it was a memorable trip for both of us!
Coping with the conditions
The climate in Ladakh is extremely cold and dry, resulting in fluctuating blood pressure. So, we made sure that we took frequent breaks at suitable intervals. We also took ORS to overcome breathing difficulties and stay hydrated (in the high altitudes, the body does not rehydrate easily).
To manage the air pressure in the body and breathe easily, I put a pod of garlic in my mouth. We took Diamox tablet every morning for few days. Smelling camphor also helped us a lot. We carried along candies with dry fruits and popped them into our mouth whenever we needed instant energy.
• The expedition to the Himalayas calls for great physical endurance. So, start training days in advance, so that you are fit and fine on the day you embark on the trip.
• During the ride, if you face a severe breathing issue, do not panic. The operation team is well equipped with medical aid and oxygen cylinders.
• The biker should be well aware of his or her bike. In case a problem arises and no one is around to help, he or she must be able to attend to the issue.
Experience with Cruise
Before starting the Himalayan expedition, we checked various online travel companies and then zeroed in on Cruise to plan our biking trip.
What differentiates Cruise from the others is its professionalism. The people in the operations team at Cruise were friendly and well aware of the landscape, routes and safety measures. Appropriate planning and the guidance of the road captain served us well throughout the trip.
We felt reassured every single minute of our journey. We didn’t have to worry about our safety, as everything was taken care of. We were just making wonderful memories and having fun.