Our crew arrived in India excited to take on a two-part ride. We are friends from our work as professional sailors and thanks to this career we’d become constantly hungry to find the next exciting places to visit in our travels. On this trip we wanted to tackle both the highest motorable roads in the world, which happen to be in the Ladakh region of India, and the harsh deserts of Rajasthan.
We’d originally planned to attempt rides to Ladakh and Rajasthan in 2018, but the weather in these unforgiving environments can be fickle. Unsuitable conditions and critical road closures had forced a detour to Nepal as Plan B. On this trip, however, we had no Plan B, leaving us at the mercy of the gods. We knew that the approaching winter brought the risk of heavy snowfall and military-enforced road closures along the higher peak roads, but it was unquestionably worth the risk. After all, they call it “adventure touring” for a reason.
Along the route we needed a rest day upon arrival in Leh (Ladakh’s capital). At 11,500 feet above sea level it’s absolutely essential to acclimatize, or risk altitude sickness. Our bikes were organized prior to arrival and were ready and waiting when we arrived. The two main options were the Royal Enfield Himalaya and Royal Enfield Classic, so our crew opted for the Himalaya due to its greater durability and performance capabilities. Acclimatized, with bikes under us and the road ahead, we were ready to hit the road. As each of us comes from a different part of the globe (Italy, Australia, England and Sweden) we’ve seen a vast array of natural wonders, yet all agreed we’d seen nothing like what we were witnessing here. The geography was immediately something truly special. Landscape, land formations, colors, smells, sounds… an absolute feast for the senses!
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