A Beginner's Guide to Riding in Paradise
BBC TopGear India|July 2019

A beginner’s guide to riding in paradise.

Sushant Ishwarkar

At some point or another, anyone who owns a motorcycle, be it an experienced rider or a novice, dreams about riding in Ladakh. Everyone has that one vision – a solo ride, changing landscapes, many selfies, with the motorcycle, of course! On fulfilling that dream, everyone’s profile picture instantly becomes that of an exhausted, yet over-enthusiastic individual, flashing their now-brown teeth in front of the Khardung La Pass stone, which many believe is a rite of passage when becoming an expert rider. Like many, I, too, dreamt about this and accomplished the impossible, very easily.

The only stumbling block was convincing myself to take the plunge.

What’s the best way to travel there? Before I went, I asked many. Some said, take a flight to Delhi and ride from there, some said ride from Shimla. My laziness said fly to Ladakh directly and hire a bike and then finally fulfil that dream. And that’s what I did.

01) There are approximately 33 to 35 flights into Ladakh from Mumbai every day, but only one airline has a direct flight and the timings work well. I highly recommend taking this 4 am flight since you get there in two and a half hours. Apart from reaching early and having the entire day to rest, which is a must, there are fewer travellers.

02) Try and stay awake during the last hour of the flight as the aerial views are breathtaking. Aerial views of the mountains slowly change from brown to snow-covered white. Also, staying awake will keep you that much more alert when you get off the flight as you will immediately feel an altitude and climate change.

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