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My first two days of the Leh / Ladkh bike tour. | The Freedom Fighter

On Tuesday afternoon around 5:30 I caught a three hour train from Delhi to Chardigrah. I met a guy named “Meet” (which is funny because I “met” him) and he took me to his farm to picked up my rental – 500cc Royal Enfield Classic. He’s a great operator and they have slick business with 22 * 500cc bikes they rent out for tours to the mountains.

As I began to pack my clothes cables and camera into the saddlebags (they supplied) I realised I had left my iPad on the train. Dickhead. (I had been thinking about the iPad mini which is more compact, has bigger storage, a faster processor, weighs less and a retina display – but thought it’d be a waste. I think the universe wanted me to get it).

Bike collection in Chandigarh.

Around 11pm I checked into a nasty hotel I’d booked online for a few hours of sleep.

Wednesday: First day on the bike – A long day on the bike. Chandigarh to Manali.

I woke up later than I had planned and after checking out of “Dodgy & Unclean Inn” I fuelled the hog and headed north toward Manali.

The first 200km of the road was busy, duty and hucking fot. I’d also forgot to pack my sunscreen and it took me 5 hours to find a shop selling sunscreen. (Makes sense, I don’t think there’s a huge market for sunscreen among the Indian population).

Bike parked at lunch. (Saddle bags fully packed. I’m happy not to be carrying the extra weight of the heavy old iPad 2).

With dusty and sunburnt arms and face, I continued north. About 50km from Manali the scenery became more mountainous and the weather cooled down. Welcome respite for my baked arms and stinging face. The remainder of ride into Manali the fast flowing Beas River on your right, run straight along steep sided green hills which grow to snowcapped mountains in the distance. It’s beautiful.

At about 5:30pm I arrived in Manali, a quaint slightly touristy town stuck on the side of some amazing mountains. I met up with my mate Sergio and we had a decent and cheap dinner in one of the many relaxed restaurants, and over a few beers, discussed our plans to tackle the mountains en route to Khardung La Pass the highest road in the world. (Alt. 5602m).
Tomorrow we will spend the day in Manali sorting out a hog for Sergio some small tuning on mine and head to the mountains on Friday.

Distance ridden: +- 300km
Bug strikes 9. (Strikes are only counted if they hit my face or sunglasses directly

Thursday – a day in Manali.

Woke up. Minor tuning to my bike. Sergio got a bike. We bought a map.

Putting on makeup.

Evening drinks I a square in Visisht Manali.

We head out of Manali tomorrow morning for about 10 days. 

Aside: apologies if there are layout, grammar or spelling errors I had to type this all and resize and add photos on my phone. I should get an iPad – much easier.