Reaching to Ladakh — The land of the lama [part — 1]
Since past few days, my mind and heart were longing to share my story with you all. So here it finally goes. Let me introduce myself first, by profession I’m a Software Engineer. As such I don’t have any big dream, but I have a belief that before leaving this beautiful world, I want to leave my impression here. I want to meet different people, no matter from where they belong, no matter which religion they follow, I simply just want to meet and know them. This is how it started with a craving to roam the world on my own.
A few months back, we didn’t have any clue about travel. We were not even sure what we’ll do in a coming couple of months. But one thing was sure that we wanted to go somewhere for a long trip. One of my friend (Priyank) called me up and he said let’s go for the trip and I felt as if he had read my mind and immediately I said okay we’ll go. In the first call only, we decided that we are going to Andaman. And after talking for a while over few calls, we got busy with our stuff.
However, after one week, Priyank called me up again and said that he met with Harshit and they are going to Ladakh (land of high passes). Okay, I know what’s going on your mind that who is this new person Harshit. So before moving forward, let me introduce him.
Harshit is one of the co-founder of Insane Traveler. He is someone from whom we learn (or I can say we are still learning, still we discuss and still we try to get some knowledge from him) that how we can come out from our home and roam the world and see its beauty in reality. In one line I can say, He is our inspiration.
Continuing with the story, we were completely sure that we are going and informed the same to Harshit that we are joining their group. Now here comes when the most important element made an entry in our life is Excitement. Excitement to be in Ladakh, Excitement to be away from this tech world and be closer to nature, Excitement for being free for few days from all ties of the world. We were excited like anything (especially me) that we are going to Ladakh, yes, the Ladakh. The very next day I applied for the leaves and talked with my manager that I’m going to Ladakh and that also Bike trip. (Haha, see here you can imagine the Excitement).
Before I get lost in my story-telling, let me share with you my health history. By birth, I’m asthma patient and going up on such high altitude, I didn’t know the effect of it on me. So, without thinking further, I started running every morning and started doing some normal exercises like push up, squats, etc. In between, I kept on searching and reading the internet sources regarding asthma and what will be its effect on the patient in such low-pressure oxygen environment. But, that is one part, I had already decided no matter what people will say and no matter what are their opinions may be of such conditions, only ONE thing was running in mind is, I’m going to Ladakh.
So, after the long wait, the day arrived when we started from our respective locations. I’m living in Hyderabad (One of the Tech city of India) so I needed to catch the morning flight. Hence, I told my friend (Sarath) that please drop me at the airport because I don’t want to take any risk by choosing any cab service. You won’t believe that he came just one hour before closure of check-in time and my place is like 45 km away from the airport. In midst of full of traffic, we left, and he drove like a snake in that rush and finally, we reached to airport exact 5 mins prior to closure of check-in time. One of the staff members was shouting my flight name and saying that the checking will be closed soon, I just heard and in hurry, I was like shouting — it’s my flight it’s my flight. She said okay give your baggage at the counter and please follow me. Ahh, thank GOD at the end after completing all the formalities, I safely landed in my flight seat.
In flight, the only thing running in my mind was that when I reach to Chandigarh (Cleanest city in India) and meet the group members. After 2 hrs. of the long flight (Seriously at that moment it was very long time for me — seconds were going like minutes and minutes like hours). Finally, I reached Chandigarh and we met at the decided location. Two more hours, we needed to wait because we had to catch our bus from Chandigarh to Manali (This city was starting point for our trip). After that halt, we took a bus from Chandigarh and left for Manali. In bus also, we were discussing how Ladakh will be, how will we survive in such condition and blah, blah, blah.
Next morning after reaching to Manali bus station, we directly went to Hotel. After breakfast, we headed towards the city for searching for a rental bike. Our actual trip to Ladakh was going to start from the next day but we wanted to have a bike ride in Manali. Because before that I never ever rode the Royal Enfield bike in my life, even I didn’t know how to change the gear in that. So, we went to one of the stores for a bike. We gave documents and took two bikes, in excitement I took the bike and seated in front seat. Immediately after taking a seat, I recalled that I didn’t know how to change the gear, so I asked Priyank to take my bike and then I’ll ride afterward. Because I didn’t want to get exposed in front of bike owner. So Priyank took the bike and I sat behind him and we started exploring a city. In the night, we came back and returned bikes to the owner.
The next morning, we were supposed to leave early morning but as we didn’t get permission for a bike, so we couldn’t leave as per the plan. So after a long wait, we finally got the permission and it was already 4 pm and we had to ride for 150km to reach the first destination. It was raining a lot that evening but somehow, we managed to leave from Manali.