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Old 10-02-08, 09:09 AM   #1
Al Downie
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A few photos from the Himalayas

Leh to Manali, via Indus Valley & Tso Moriri - photos in no particular order.

Campsite near Baralacha La - around 4,700m, and we woke to find the whole of the inside of the tent coated with ice! My fault - the ground was really sandy and I was worried about wind ripping the pegs out, so I'd sealed up the bottom of the tent as much as I could, and the inevitable condensation froze. After the sun touched the tent it became very warm though, and the highlight of the trip was probably that morning - breaking the ice in the wee stream to wash my face, and looking around at all the mountains. Amazing.



Approaching the top of Baralacha La:




On the way down from Khardung La (highest road in the world!) - the tiny trucks (military convoy) which you might be able to see on the right-hand side of the photo aren't even half way down! It's about 2,000m of vertical gain over about 40km of distance:



We stayed in a Tibetan School for one night (thanks to a friend we met along the way):





At the top of Lachalung La, one of the >5,000m passes along the way:



Lingti Chu river, after Lachalung La:



Some roads were pretty bad - I was very glad to have suspension! The Tubus Swing did a marvellous job - very smooth ride because the luggage is isolated from vibration, and steady as a rock when rolling (although the front end did flop like a dead horse when stationary!):



Back on the 'main' road again, we had to deal with dust/diesel fumes from huge Tata trucks which would thunder past. At that altitude, if you hold your breath you just fall off the bike!



The Rhotang La road (last pass before dropping down out of the mountains into Manali). Once over this pass, my heart started to sink a bit because I knew the adventure was almost finished.:

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Old 10-02-08, 09:30 AM   #2
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Beautiful pics!
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Old 10-02-08, 09:34 AM   #3
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Amazing, thanks for sharing. What are some of the details of the tour?
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Old 10-02-08, 09:35 AM   #4
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Wow what an incredible adventure!
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Old 10-02-08, 10:18 AM   #5
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My Mom was in the Himalayas a few years ago. She said that marijuana looking plants grew freely and you could dry the stuff on top of your lantern at night and smoke it the next day... should you choose.
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Old 10-02-08, 10:30 AM   #6
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These are the sort of photos that make me want to load up the bike and just go.
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Old 10-02-08, 10:42 AM   #7
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These are the sort of photos that make me want to load up the bike and just go.
You can say that again.
Awesome shots!
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Old 10-02-08, 11:23 AM   #8
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Hold on a tick, is that an internally geared hub or a single speed? I'm going to assume internally geared, but if not, dang. Details on your whole excursion would be cool if you have the time.

Regardless, great pictures!
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Old 10-02-08, 11:37 AM   #9
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Gorgeous!
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Old 10-02-08, 11:53 AM   #10
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Hold on a tick, is that an internally geared hub or a single speed? I'm going to assume internally geared, but if not, dang. Details on your whole excursion would be cool if you have the time.

Regardless, great pictures!
You can see the dual Rohloff shift cables in the 4th photo from the top.

To the OP - great photos - would love to know more about your trip.
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Old 10-02-08, 02:08 PM   #11
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these are all incredible but that last one is breathtaking
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Old 10-02-08, 02:59 PM   #12
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Your bio says that you're from Cambridge. I've just moved to Cambridge. Where do you do hill training round here? It's as flat as a pancake.

Kudos on the photos. They're fantastic.
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Old 10-02-08, 03:04 PM   #13
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...

Awesome photo
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Old 10-02-08, 04:30 PM   #14
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Hahaha, that's what I get for not paying enough attention I guess.

Still, can't stop coming back to your photos.
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Old 10-02-08, 05:05 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the comments! At the weekend I'll try to find time to make up some kind of journal website with more photos and detail about the trip, and I'll post the URL here.

Scruffychimp: you're right - there aren't many hills to choose from in Cambridge. You can either do laps on Castle Hill, or take the bike on a roof-rack to North Wales! In fact I think I did most of my 'training' on an old Roman Road which runs from near Addenbrookes Hospital to Haverhill - rough, off-road track with some slight undulations. If you haven't found it yet, it's a good way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny day.
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Old 10-02-08, 05:08 PM   #16
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wow, great shots!
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Old 10-02-08, 05:15 PM   #17
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Wow...
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Old 10-02-08, 05:16 PM   #18
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Amazing photos! Out of curiosity, how did you deal with a lot of climbing/descending in a day at those elevations? I've heard from some backpacking friends of mine that anywhere above 4000m or so you need to be careful about how quickly you climb or descend. I'm very curious to read any journal about the trip you put together!
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Old 10-02-08, 08:16 PM   #19
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Al, amazing fotos!!
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Old 10-03-08, 12:22 AM   #20
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All I can say is WOW!
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Old 10-03-08, 12:39 AM   #21
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At the weekend I'll try to find time to make up some kind of journal website with more photos and detail about the trip, and I'll post the URL here.
Awesome trip! Awesome photos! I'm looking forward to seeing your journal.
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Old 10-03-08, 08:35 AM   #22
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Scruffychimp- Al is right, go out by the Gog Magog hills and Wandlebury and you will find some rolling hills. I used to ride the Roman road all the time as well on my fixed gear beater bike! It runs behind the golf course there, and connects to the back of Wandlebury. Has the added benefit of being the most beautiful little area near Cambridge on account of the hills.

Al, Great photos, Very inspiring mate.... cant wait to read more!

Take care.
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Old 10-06-08, 06:35 AM   #23
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I'm with accordionfolder - I keep looking at the pics. It is a fantastic achievement
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Old 10-06-08, 06:47 AM   #24
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Thanks again for the favourable comments. it's a great tour - more manageable than you might think!

Some more photos are available here
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Old 10-06-08, 06:58 AM   #25
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spectacular
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