“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”
Before arriving in India I had spent a fair amount of time starring at the Himalayas through google maps. After locating Leh, I realized that there was one small road leading to the north, even farther into the mountains. Obviously after noticing it was there I had to cycle it. After a bit of research I figured out that the first part of the road leads over the highest motorable pass in the world, which at 5,600m, would be extremely difficult to bike over. After that, there are very small villages spread out along the road until it end. Literally, it just ends. To the left is Pakistan, to the right is China, and all around are impassable mountains. Sounds appealing right?
It is very hard to research a place that is sparsely inhabited by Tibetan Indians who are cut off from the world for most of the year by snow, and cut off, even in the summer, by the shear distance away from any sort of town. Because of this, I am literally going into the unknown. I do know that I will be entering into an area referred to as the “boarder area,” where I need a special permit because I am within a certain distance from China, and given the current “disputed territories” issue of this region, they want to make sure I am not a spy.
Most of you reading this probably think I am crazy. Why would someone find the most uninhibited region, over the highest passes, in the middle of the tallest mountains, and decide it looks like a good place to spend a few weeks cycling. Because that is why I am here. I want to visit the places no one else does, in order to experience things others can only dream about. There is nothing that makes you feel more alive than entering into the unknown. It’s by breaking the routine of everyday life and leaving the comforts of what we know behind that we progress. Why did the human race decide to conquer Everest, or put a man on the moon? Because it’s there, and if it’s there, then, by our curious nature, we had better explore it.
You’re heading to Sasoma? Enjoy the apricots. Shouldn’t be a problem finding some kids who speak English. The road used to be very rough. Pay attention to what the Indian army says. It can get a little hairy, even there.