Ditch Your Weekend Scenes & Instead Plan A Road Trip To Ladakh With Your Friends

    What Makes It Awesome?

    I and two other friends started off from Delhi to explore a place called Jibhi in the remote Banjar Valley of Himachal Pradesh {we never got there}. Instead, we came across beautiful and untouched scenarios of Sai Ropa and Gussaini in Banjar Valley. Sai Ropa houses The Great Himalayan National Park, which is enormous and beauty is spread like a sand in the desert. You need atleast three-four days to explore the National Park, camping and moving continuously. We instead chose to explore the Choi Waterfall and Sarchi, which is just 17km adventurous gypsy ride away. The waterfall was a 1.5km trek from Sai Ropa but was worth every bit of it. We reached around 5pm in the evening and we had the spot all to ourselves. Three of us took a dip in the 60ft high waterfall and were frozen for a few moments and were mesmerised by the sheer beauty that we were surrounded in. Sarchi was the home of meadows and clouds, and we were moving amongst it, the clouds were moving in a way as if they were trying to say hi to us. It was absolutely awesome. We then headed towards Kaza in Spiti Valley taking an overnight stop in Manali. But, fate had different things planned. On our way to Kaza, we missed a turn and ended up in Khoksar {famous for its mutton}. On enquiry, we were told that we had come 5km in the wrong direction and had to go back on the same route we came from. On further enquiry, we came to know about the pathetic road conditions en route Kaza and it was a 120km mountainous road {no joke!}. So, standing in the middle of nowhere, one poor road leading to Kaza and one excellent {lol} one to Leh, we chose the one which had fewer bumps and ended up in Leh {after an overnight stay in Jispa, of course}. The journey was, in its true sense, remarkable. The breathtaking views were difficult to digest in the beginning. We stayed in Amapadma Homestay hosted by a lovely husband-wife duo - Dorje and Padma. They had organic food is grown in-house and the best of hospitality. And the best part, they charged us only Rs. 3600 for the stay, 4 meals and tea {awesome or what?}. We conquered the world's highest motorable road, Khardungla Pass on Royal Enfields {dreamy stuff}. We chose to drive back to Srinagar {best decision ever}. We became a little touristy and hopped on a Chikkara at the Dal Lake. On our way back, we were hosted by two amazing friends in Baramula and Udhampur. Finally, reached Delhi after 12 days, 3000 plus km and a million memories to remember and smile.

    What Could Be Better?

    Nothing as such,

    What's My Pro Tip?

    We had a Ford Ecosport to drive us around. Worked like a breeze everywhere except en route Pangong Lake. We had to take a u-turn and go back to Leh. Consider a bigger car, preferably a 4*4 SUV for a glitchless journey. And the main thing, try staying off Alcohol. It saves you a lot of headaches and no terrain sickness, guaranteed.

    Anything Else?

    Going for motorcycle cruising is a must while in Ladakh. If you are a pro and have no difficulty in travelling 300 km {10-14 hours} back and forth, then sure take the three-day trip to Leh-Pangong-Nubra-Leh. You will see mountains which you have never imagined before. But, if you are a beginner, no need to lose hope, the Leh-Khardungla Top- Leh is a brilliant 90km {3-4 hours} stretch {back and forth} with a mere 15 km rough patch. Have the time of your lives on this impromptu road trip.