This blog post is dedicated to this beautiful phenomenon called friendship.
3 years ago, I took a road trip with my friends to Ladakh. We went to Chandigarh by air, hired a car from Chandigarh for 12 days to roam in the beautiful mountains of Himalaya. The road trip of 12 days made a lot of difference in everyone’s life including mine.
If you want to know your friends better, take a road trip with them to Ladakh. I recommend this to everyone. Here are 5 main reasons why this road trip will be memorable.
#1 The Challenge
Be it a two or a four wheeler, road trip to Ladakh isn’t a cakewalk. It is difficult, some parts are challenging even. When we are with friends, we love to take up challenges. Facing nature, facing the Himalayas with your friends is a different adrenaline in itself. Go for the sheer magnitude of the challenge & feel that top of the world feeling (quite literally) after conquering it.
#2 The Adventure
Ladakh is a region full of different landscapes. You will find mountains, desert, lakes, snow, jungle & villages on your way. Your car might break down in the middle of nowhere. Your tyres might puncture (It won’t if the car has CEAT Tyres though! 😉 ).
You can also sit down by a river, cook something like a packet of noodles & spend a night by the river, your car & your buddies. Those memories will stay for a lifetime for sure.
#3 The Road Trip Journey
Leh Ladakh Tourism is booming! All because of the beauty of Ladakh BUT the journey to reach Ladakh is even better. I drove for about 150 km out of 450 km of Manali – Leh highway & I was feeling euphoric! Yes, the roads are not in the great condition but we have to give it to Border Roads Organization (BRO) to construct such good roads on that height.
Driving on these roads is a completely different feeling. This is where friends come in. They make the journey funny, romantic, interesting or intellectual (depends on the choice of songs & conversations 😛 ).
#4 The Food
Of course the food! How can I forget the basic need of humans? The small dhabas or tapris offer the best food. We had all our breakfasts, lunches, & evening snacks at these roadside dhabas. Try their local food, strike conversations with the locals or simply enjoy the meal.
If you have friends who are hardcore foodies, keep an extra day to reach Ladakh because you will have to stop the car for more than 3 meals a day.
I think this is the best part of the journey. As a bunch of friends, you learn a lot from army. Their way of protecting one another, caring for each other & living in that brotherhood makes you feel proud. This brings your personal group from close to closer.
We had a memorable experience with army men when we were coming back from Pangong Lake. We got to play a Cricket match with them. It was us vs. them & they obviously won. It’s not easy to play Cricket at 15,000 ft. & then run between wickets to score runs.
Here are some things that you must keep in mind while planning this road trip because road safety should be your highest priority.
- Always carry an extra can of fuel in your car. Petrol pumps are far away in the mountains & it is better to be prepared.
- Before starting the journey, try to get all new tyres (including the spare tyre). If you are taking an SUV & if it has extra space, take 2 spare tyres. The distance between villages is long (sometimes 150 km) & finding a mechanic is equally painful.
- Check your car’s heating system. This might not sound very important but if you’re stuck somewhere, your car’s heating is going to keep you safe.
- All lights of your car should be in a good condition. Head lights in case of night driving (Avoid it), giving signals etc. Tail lights so that the vehicle behind you sees you at night. Indicators are your lifeline in the mountains. And finally – the light inside the car. Again, this is important if you’re stuck somewhere & sleep in the car.
- Please pay attention to all warning signs, don’t over-speed, and drive in a discipline to avoid mishaps.
- This I learned from an Army personnel – If you see even a kid sitting by the road with a red flag in his hand, waving at you, immediately stop. You might pass him off his activity as childish but he might be sitting there for a reason. Do not underestimate anyone who’s trying to warn you on mountainous roads.
- Finally, approach Army personnel if you are facing any sort of problem. They will have a solution to almost all of your problems.
I’m chronicling my road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.’
Picture Credits: Parichay Mehta