Highest road in the world

Filed in India, Riding, Travel by on November 4, 2013 4 Comments

The final ride from Leh was to Khardung La. Regarded as the highest motorable road in the world (although this is disputed by some), this was the road for which I had given up a further stay in Brasil an opted to come to India instead.

Once again, inner line permits were needed to ride on this route, however unlike most riders who would continue past the pass and onto the north most regions of India I had decided to only ride to the summit and back due to time constraints. I met one such pair of riders, Kaushik and Siddarth from Mumbai, who were riding through on their well loaded Royal Enfields.

The ride up was fairly uneventful and whilst holding the acclaim of highest road in the world, the distance to the summit is only around 40km. Whilst still on rough terrain, it seemed to be a cakewalk compared to the Chang La pass.

Given its ease and fame, it also seemed to attract a lot of regular day-tourists ranging from organised bicycle tours, loaded SUV’s and bikes which perhaps weren’t in the right hands. This was clear once I got to the top and watched a clueless group proceed to drop 2 bikes whilst trying to get the right photo angle.

Best to let them get their mess done before posing with the iconic sign myself.

As I rode back to Leh, stopping off at the Thikse monastery on the way, the trip to ‘K-Top’ was a much shorter rider than what I had gone through to get here and almost seemed like an afterthought. Although the claim of highest road in the world is disputed, it didn’t take away from any of the beauty of riding up a serenely quiet road with the Himalayan ranges at the horizon and a glacier looming. I was also pleased I had accomplished what I had initially come on this trip to do; not only to ride the highest road in the world but to also discover if adventure riding was what I wanted to pursue for the upcoming years. The answer was a no-brainer.

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I take GSXRs to inappropriate places