'You are just as old as you feel,' they say. When it comes to many individuals who are labelled as "senior citizens," for them living is really all about sitting quietly on a sunny beach, reading the newspaper, and taking it easy. Everything remains the same for the other group, and for them, life is also about following your passions and doing what makes you happy. Thrillophilia was there every step of the way for Mr. Prabhakar's vacation.
As Prabhakar recounts, he spent 11 nights and 12 days traversing the dangerous terrains of Ladakh and returned home more happy and healthy than before.
The 60 Year Old Adventurer
"The world would be a better place if everyone was happy and at peace with themselves. And I definitely want to be one of them."
At the age of 60 this adventurer and rider ticked off one of his bucket list wishes and realised what exactly he wanted. Prabhakar is a daredevil with a bucket list that includes skydiving, bungee jumping, a snow-mountain trek, and a long-distance road trip.
Meet The Fellow Bikers
Without his fellow bikers, Prabhakar's journey from Manali to Ladakh would indeed be unsatisfactory. Goes on to describe the group as "pleasant and joyful," and lauds their guide for his efforts to empower everyone.
When travelling through the Ladakh locale, the goal isn't to be the first to arrive; rather, it's to arrive safely with as many people as possible and leave a lasting impression. It's essential to make the most out of the trip, as well as to ensure your wellbeing. Every night, Prabhakar's group would gather around a campfire and start singing old and new melodies as the winter winds blew in. They were in love with Ladakh before they even started the ride.
The Adventure Begins
Manali, the land of high peaks, attracted an explorer who packed his bags, boarded a plane, and began his bike trip. After a while, the scenery began to change, as they had expected. Sand dunes, downpours, and snow all rolled in one at a time. Finally, it dawned on them: it was all an elaborate illusion that Ladakh was creating with its serene atmosphere and charm.
It was the night of June 21st, 2018, when Prabhakar hopped the Delhi-Manali semi-sleeper bus for his epic adventure. He was in Manali by the time the sun came up.
Crossing The Rohtang Pass
To make it to Jispa by sundown, the group set out from Manali on Day 3. They spent the night together at the campground, sitting down to dinner and a bonfire to get to know one another better. In truth, the journey had just begun. The following couple days saw Prabhakar and his talented riders actually experience Ladakh's scenery transforming at its own leisure, with no restrictions! Aside from the modest AMS symptoms at Jispa, which the tour organisers quickly addressed, everything went as planned. They loved the scenic views of the hills and enjoyed the captivating charms of the valley.
Time passed, and the adventure became more exciting and breathtaking. "Each day has been looking better and better through every mile ahead," Prabhakar explains. And on that day, the group arrived in Leh and checked in for the night, bidding farewell to the Ladakhi sky. After a group meeting about the upcoming days, they sat back and enjoyed their accomplishment in the centrally heated cabins. That's what they deserved, of course!
Exploring The Mountains
If you haven't seen the white sand dunes of Nubra Valley as well as the turquoise tints of Pangong Tso Lake, you haven't seen Ladakh.
The group decided to spend a whole day exploring Leh and Ladakh on its own and getting to know the people who live there. Sham Valley, Hall of Fame, Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, and Sangam were all on the itinerary. Almost from the moment they scheduled their trip, these bike riders had been looking forward to this moment. The Khardung La Pass, the world's highest motorable road, lured. Our observation is that each and every biker dreams of riding a two-wheeler on the world's highest motorable route. Pangong Tso Lake was the best part of the group's expedition after one night of stargazing in Nubra. Prabhakar frequently (in good spirit) made a fuss that Pangong Tso definitely deserved one more night!
In order to get back to Manali, they had to traverse the world's second-highest pass, the Chang La Pass. The time had come to leave the bikes, gather up their belongings, and say goodbye to the towering peaks and the highways.
It's never easy for people to say final farewell, but Prabhakar had already been thinking ahead about his next adventure.
Advisory For Fellow Travellers
Prabhakar's story explains that there really is no ideal time to begin any adventure. Both the roads and the wheels are in charge. If you've been thinking about visiting Ladakh for a while, take a look at these tips.
- Regardless of the weather, you should always wear multiple layers of clothing.
- In the daytime and at certain hours of the night, it can get very cold.
- Make no concessions when it comes to the essentials like basic tools and hand tools.
- A high-quality camera is a necessity.
- It is not necessary to overtake. Feel the valleys as you travel at your own pace.
- While riding in the rain, waterproof gloves and boots are a godsend.