The accomodation that we stayed in at Tang Tse was easily the most luxurious we’d stayed in ever since the trip started. That showed since none of us wanted to leave our cosy beds in the morning. The guest rooms were next to a small stream and overlooking a garden with ducks and rabbits for company !
Woke up everyone, loaded up our bikes, had a nice breakfast and in between all this called the officer in-charge of the mess to thank him for the accomodation and to ask for a favour :-) None of us were able to figure out the problem with Akhilesh’s bike and so we asked the officer if he could get someone to look at it. We were in luck since he found someone at the EME workshop and sent him to our rescue. He diagnosed that the vehicle’s ignition switch has a problem and the proposal that he had was, well, a little extreme but it worked for us. He changed the wiring to bypass the ignition switch and managed to start the bike. That worked for us and we asked Akhilesh to stay ahead of all of us and to not stop anywhere.
While all this was happening, Kunal got a call from the traffic control post that his bike, which we had left at Pangong Tso had reached Tang Tse and so he and Pandey went to collect that and possibly get the puncture repaired. They found a puncture repair shop in the main tang tse village and got the puncture repaired there while we all waited for them at the tang tse junction. They did take a long time and it was almost noon by the time we could leave tang tse.
Joshi, by this time, had realised that his bike was running out of fuel … real fast. And so he was in a panic mode of his own. It was actually quite hilarious looking at him asking anyone and everyone on the road for fuel :-) Sounded like doomsday was here and mankind was on a hunt for fuel which was hard to get.
Just before the climb for Chang la started, we met a couple of bikers who were trying to repair a punctured tyre. They were stuck at a small TCP manned by the military police who had no tools available to repair a punctured tyre. I’m sure they were used to dealing with huge army trucks only and not motorcycles in that terrain. We stopped to ask if they needed some help and the first thing that Joshi blurted out was, “Can you guys spare some petrol ?”. They, ofcourse, ignored his plea for help, till the rest of us came and helped them change the tube and fill air in the tyre, since we had a pump with us. Only after we helped them get back on track, one of them heard Joshi’s cries and agreed to lend some petrol to him.
My bike was also low on Petrol but I figured I had another 2-3 litres of Petrol and decided to take a chance. I stayed ahead of the rest of the gang just so that if, in case, I ran out of fuel, I’ll atleast have someone to help me. My eye was on Sandhu’s bike, since his bike had the most fuel left :-) Thankfully I didn’t need it and I managed to cross Karu and hit reserve just about 2 kms from the Petrol Pump.
This is Akhilesh approaching Karu where I stopped to wait for the rest of the gang.
We stopped at Karu for lunch at a small punjabi dhaba which served amazingly delicious rajma chawal. After that it was smooth sailing till Leh with a stop to top up our bikes.