Day 110 – 12th June, 2014 – Pang to Debring, Jammu & Kashmir (Kanyakumari to Leh Cycling)
We got up, packed up, had food but could not leave early. It’s been a first time in my whole trip from Kanyakumari that bad weather has kept me inside and inhibited my early departure. I could see heavy snowfall on mountain peaks far away and it was slowly becoming worse. Mild snowfall occurred in Pang as well and we had to park our cycles under the roof as our luggage was already on it – packed up and ready to leave. We were uncertain if we would be able to leave that day. We kept our fingers crossed. We could not do anything but wait.
We met a hitchhiker from Colombia, who was hitchhiking from Manali to Leh in a truck and listened to his stories and he appreciated a lot at what we were doing.
Weather got a little clear and we decided to leave as we all did not want to stay there for that whole day. We left in uncertainty at 11:20 am, after checking a little good weather window. We could see snow deposited on mountain peaks around. We knew that we would cycle on Morey Plains that day. For that, we had to cycle up to the top of a mountain which was six kilometers away.
We crossed the highest transit camp of Army at the end of Pang and cycled slowly & steadily to Morey Plains.
Snowflakes falling right before reaching Morey Plains hinted to us of the bad weather approaching fast. We reached at the starting point of Morey Plains and were awestruck with the beauty of the place. We could see a long plain road going somewhere in between the naked mountains ahead, a river flowing in a beautiful brown valley on our right hand side and behind us far down was Pang, now looking like a miniature village. Soon strong winds started blowing and we speeded up our photography of the place and left. I was cycling too fast as it was all plain and I have developed good speed on it.
I loved cycling a lot on Morey Plains and I bet everybody will do only if they are dropped there on a clear day. But I was really enchanted by the place. I was thinking all time while cycling how come such a plain place existed on the top of mountains and we knew that we cycled steep upslope to reach this place which made it all strange. My friend once told me that Morey Plains is where India collided with Asia after parting from Africa, but I cannot really judge the authenticity of this theory.
We enquired from people standing on the road who were coming from other side in a car of any tented accommodation ahead. They said it to be 20 kilometers away from there. Heavy snowfall started soon and we all were in snow from our left side. We were divided into 02 groups of 02 people each as we could not stop anywhere and needed a shelter. Temperature dropped to 0.7 degree celsius. I was cycling very fast and got all white from the left side as snow was only falling from the left.
I saw tents of local people on my way, the way they stay and people who were out with their herd of sheep. This reminded me of a documentary on Ladakh I saw on Discovery Channel and this whole scenario was exactly like that. Soon we got some idea that we are about to reach a place where we could rest and eat. We reached there at 2:30 pm after cycling for 44 kilometers. We saw soft drinks’ bottles kept outside a tent and understood that was the place.
One old foreigner came out of it and bowed at us. He was traveling from Leh to Manali on a motorbike. We knew why he was doing and soon he poured many questions on us about our adventure. Soon, the other two friends of ours reached there in the tent, when they saw our cycles parked outside and one of them was feeling too cold in hands because of improper gloves he was wearing. His fingers were completely numb and it took 15-20 minutes for him to become normal. I was lucky to have bought new gloves at Pang before leaving, otherwise my situation would have been worse than him as I had no gloves before.
We had not thought of staying there but the intermittent snowfall did not allow us to get out of it and temperature was too low outside, while it was comfortable inside the tent. It was evening and we decided to take the accommodation inside only for Rs. 100 per head. Howsoever the weather was that day, I can never forget cycling that route as bad weather was what that made it interesting.