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    Day 0: Delhi

    All the participants gathered at VYK, Delhi early in the morning. The excitement and energy levels is at a all time high.

    A lot of perpetration have gone in from both the participants and organizers to make this an unforgettable trip.

    Their day started off with the physical fitness test: 67 riders running and doing push ups, and everybody made it through. After that warm up, they swarmed the cafeteria for breakfast, followed by motorcycle check and last minute adjustments, gear check & met our doctor. They collected their T-shirts, stickers and other goodies.

    Then everybody checked into their rooms, freshened up, had lunch followed by a round of Introductions and briefings. After an exciting full day they broke up at 6pm.

    But the day is far from over as everybody is now getting ready to ride tomorrow and have their first party together.

    Day 1: Delhi to Chandigarh

    What a sight as 65 Royal Enfields made their entry into India Gate, riding in double formation together with roaring engines. A few Royal Enfield riders from Delhi were present to bid them Godspeed, the crowd cheering them on and the media clicking away. They had a group photograph at India gate, media interviews, tilak ceremony and rose presentation by children amidst morning ragas sung by Ms. Sukriti. Mr. R L Ravichandran, CEO, Royal Enfield met each and every rider and wished them a memorable and safe ride ahead. After some prayers and quick snacks they flagged off. 65 Royal Enfield motorcycles riding together is something that can bring even the Delhi traffic to a halt.

    Delhi to Chandigarh is a hot & fast ride on smooth highway. But riding together and punjabi dhabas with parathas and lassi enroute made it all the more exciting. Chandigarh traffic also gave way as everybody rode in together. All the participants checked into their accommodation at Chandigarh by 3pm.

    Heading for Manali tomorrow. Looks like the passes have opened up!

    Day 2: Chandigarh to Manali

    Chandigarh woke up this morning to the sound of 60+ Royal Enfields as the Himalayan Odyssey took off towards Manali! Today the riders got a taste of mountain roads and started their climb to the highest motorable road in the world. The route was green, with decent roads and yesterday’s heat began to give way to cooler climes. They gorged on parathas at Billaspur for lunch. As the riders climbed, the heat was gone and the view got more and more scenic. They had a great time on the twisties.

    Everybody checked into Manali by 7pm with a view of the tall snow capped mountains ahead.

    Day 3: Manali to Keylong

    Today everybody started early to refuel and try and skip the traffic jam up Rohtang. The traffic jam was already there as the cars had lined up since 5am. Being on Royal Enfield bikes we didn’t have to wait in line. Riders got their first taste of bumpy, broken roads, followed by lots of slush and finally lots of snow. For many this is the first time they have seen snow. The slush and traffic quickly forgotten, we had a short break for pics and to play around. The traffic dies out as you cross Rohtang, the road are better and with lots of water flowing from the melting ice. After regroup the trees and scenic beauty has changed already as we make our way up to Keylong with little traffic and decent road. By the time we reach Tandi, our last petrol pump for next 350kms its 5pm. 65 bike line up to fill fuel at a small fuel satiation and pump out every last drop of fuel they have and keep them open way past their regular closing time. From here some of us go to camp at Thupchilling, others go to a hotel at Keylong.

    The weather has been great with the sun shining and skies clear. Baralach la opened today and we saw traffic comming from Leh. Those of us who camped at this scenic location have an great view of a very clear sky, dotted with stars and snow covered peaks shining in moonlight.

    Day 4: Keylong to Sarchu

    For us who camped, what a great good morning it was! An unforgettable view from the camp site. We met up with the guys at the hotel and started off to Baralacha La, our first high altitude pass with notoriously unpredictable weather. The pass was opened up just yesterday after a heavy avalanche.

    The skies were clear with and sun shining. Enroute we encountered our first big water crossing and the riders stopped to encourage others on and drain their boots. As we reached Baralacha La, what a sight it was with a snow wall over 8 feet high on one side and a beautiful view of the frozen lake below on the other side of the thin road. From here the land turned arid and marshy as we approached Sarchu, our first high altitude and cold camp. Sarchu is like a vast dry land surrounded on all sides by mountain peaks. We all packed into the kitchen tent for a party and dinner by 6pm. Some of us felt our first effects of high altitude; luckily 2 doctors were accompanying us.

    Day 5: Sarchu to Leh

    Today participants reached Leh and were back in network range.

    We were to ride straight to Leh, 250kms of high altitude adventure, with riders and bikes low on oxygen, and cross a high pass followed by the second highest pass in the world. Everybody had recovered and were ready to ride again. I guess the physical fitness requirement paid off. We had to start early. By sunrise we lined up our bikes for refuelling from our backup truck, had a quick breakfast and were on the road by 8am. The morning was really cold, and then it got even colder as we faced strong chilly winds through most of the day and higher altitudes. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping the sun stayed.

    From here on, land is a desert. A beautiful desert. We crossed Lachungla after some more water crossings, followed by interesting and challenging off-road “shortcuts", Whisky Nala and reached Ghata loops. It looks like a snake coiled up and from the top you can see all the bikes climbing up. We had more interesting and challenging off-road “shortcuts” here, while some decided to stick to the road. Then we crossed the vast Moore plains. This part of the terrain is filled with dirt as fine as talcum powder and if you are not careful it’s very easy to get stuck here. Memories of the Tour of Rann of Kutch earlier in the year flooded the minds of those of us who had made it to that event.

    The tough part is when the dirt surrounds you and you just can’t see the ground, yet can never let go of the throttle. We then started our climb up Tanglangla, the second highest motorable pass in the world. Roads disappeared into slush, large potholes and stones. Our bikes were now really struggling for oxygen, but thanks to the torque from the Royal Enfield engines, they kept thumping on. Tanglangla was a quick stop for photographs because of the cold and the really high altitude. By 6pm we finally reached a Dhaba at Upshi. From hereon, we rode together in formation into Leh as the sun set. An exciting, tiring, beautiful, unforgettable long day of riding ended at 8pm as we checked into a rewarding hotel, large comfortable warm rooms with hot showers. The sky is clear and the view is beautiful. We are all ready to try out the local delicacies.

    Day 6: Leh

    Today morning our bikes got fixed, some of us went shopping for warmer clothes and many had long chats with anxious families. We saw the Leh palace and monastery, tried out the magnetic hill and ate good delicious ladakhi food. For the last couple of days our diet on road has been eggs, maggi noodles and momos. Everybody has made it successful till here and are in great spirits already with memories to cherish. We can also see the excitement on locals faces to see us all here. Now it's time to party at a local "Coffee house, bakery & pub".

    Day 7: Leh to Khardung La to Hunder

    Today we rode up Khardung la. The ride up was uneventful with good roads, but riding up to the highest motorable pass in the world has a sense of accomplishment that is so satisfying. Especially after the effort we have put in and the terrain we have ridden over to get here. We had plenty of time today. We all spent time here buying memorabla, taking picture and just basking in that satisfaction. We ate at the small restaurant on top and rode into Nubra valley. A cold dry desert, more beautiful and much more vast then what we have seen till now. We had our second high altitude camp here. Everyone reached well before sunset. By now the group was used to the cold and oxygen levels. The evening party will be filled with riders experiences and lots of energy.
    Day 8: Hunder to Rumptse (not Sakti!)

    Today was a excellent day! It started snowing heavily yesterday night and kept snowing. We finally started riding around 9:30am. Warila pass, the highest in Nubra valley and our route to Sakti was blocked, so instead we would cross Khardungla once again and camp at Rumptse. Last time Khardungla was sunny and we had thought we would be missing out on an experience of riding through snow that many riders who have ridden on this route talk so much about. This time as we rode up Khardungla the snow started falling heavily with strong winds, almost like a storm at the worlds highest motorable road and we still braved the weather and stopped for a pics. The snow eventually died out as we reached Leh. What an unforgettable ride it was, despite absolutely numb faces, hands and feet. We reached Upshi at 7pm, and the skies started clearing up. Everybody was so excited about the unforgettable ride today as we grabbed a few quick bites here.

    The support crew have quickly setup up a mobile camp at Rumptse. A beautiful green spot with a clear stream flowing right next to us. Another camp site that riders talk so much about. None of us have any regrets for not being able to ride to Sakti, as we had a great ride today and are in store for another memorable experience tonight.

    Day 9: Rumptse to Sarchu

    From Rumptse we crossed Tanglangla again. We are all used to the high altitude and the climb up didn't seem so difficult, as we had gotten used to the off-roading as well. This time it was really cold with strong winds. We rode the Moore plains through heavy winds, down Ghata loops, some adventurous ones still tried some shortcuts, we rode over bone freezing Lachungla and had hot maggi noodles, eggs, momos and tea every chance we got! This year we had taken a  group picture in Hunder and it was too cold to stop at Moore plains for a group pic. We camped at Sarchu.

    Day 10: Sarchu to Keylong

    The last few days have been unbearably cold, yet somehow with the group we are braving the weather and still enjoying every moment. We started early, filled fuel from the backup trucks, though everybody had become much better riders and the bikes and riders didn't suffer for oxygen so much, the cold was the big challenge. We experienced the notorious Baralachla in her freezing mood this time, took plenty more shaky photographs and everybody reached Keylong.

    Keylong was much less cold, yet I chose the hotel with hot showers and electricity this time, while some others hadn't had enough of camping and opted for the excellent camp site. 

    Day 11: Keylong to Kaza

    Today we again started early, reached Tandi petrol pump and refueled. I guess his business for the next few days was done in that 1 hour. We rode 30kms on a road that had falling rocks. Stopping was prohibited there. Then just before Rohtang we took a left, down to a river bed and rode on what seemed like our ultimate test in off-roading! We rode 40kms of rocky, stony track with big & deep water crossings. There were many water crossings and some of them a real challenge especially because of the rock ground bellow. We just stayed together, kept edging each other on and pulling them out when they got stuck. The progress was very slow and we had a lot of fun. We stopped for some noodles & momos at a small, blessed shack at the end of the river bed and drained water from our boots. Then we did more off-roading up Kumzumla pass and were finally greeted with a road on the other side. It was a good road with plenty of turns and surprises and made for another exciting ride. We all reached Kaza by 8pm.

    Day 12: Kaza to Kalpa

    We started as soon as the local petrol pump opened and everybody refueled. I guess this pump also took a holiday for next few days. The roads were good, with plenty of turns and surprises. We regrouped at a helipad perched on an overhang hundreds of feet above the valley. Then the landscape turned lush green with beautiful valleys and waterfalls.

    After plenty of pics, we climbed up Kalpa to stay at a resort right on top with a beautiful view of Kinner Kailash as the sun set behind it. The weather was good and it was an awesome ride.

    Day 13: Kalpa to Narkanda

    The landscape had changed from the cold desert to lush green mountains. Near a power station project, the roads gave way to deep slush mixed in cement. Some part of the roads were under construction. We found some good spots to take pictures. By early afternoon it started raining and we were blessed with smooth, wide and winding roads. Now everybody was too busy riding to stop for pics. We all checked into Narkanda by 5pm. By evening it downed on us that this trip was coming to an end. We wanted to go back and stay in those mountains.

    Day 14: Narkanda to Parwanoo

    We bypassed Shimla and went via Chahal and Kanda ghat. We rode through beautiful ghats, covered with pines, with thin twisty roads, passing through some very scenic places. These ghats are like a scene from movies. As we caught the Kalka - Shimla highway, the roads were filled with traffic. Everybody reached a hot Parwanoo by 4pm. We want to ride back and not end this Trip so soon. The evening will surely be filled with unforgettable experiences that we 

    Day 15: Parwanoo to New Delhi

    The Himalayan Odyssey completes sucessfully. Despite the snow, cold and rough terrain Everybody and every bike makes it back. It has been an unforgettable Trip. For many of us this was an awesome start to many more Trip to come. And now we all have plenty of riding stories to tell!

    Everybody checked in by 4pm. A grand party has been organised with drinks, food, et all on the house. It would be our last party together and though I’m already starting to miss the mountains and my fellow riders, there will be many more Trips to come and we promise we will be back to ride the Himalayas again.

    Now its party time.
    Keep Riding and Ride Safe.

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