Thinking of defining an itinerary for a bike trip is not an easy task. I had tried to be creative and hand-drawn the experience. I also tried my hand at using Google’s my maps to customise the trip plan. Then used an excel sheet to define every small stretch of the trip that included a break. But nothing assured, in each of my three consecutive bike trips, that the itinerary defined would be followed even for 20% of the trip.
Each trip turned out to be a different experience. Each of the three consecutive trips had some similarities and differences. Similarities as in halting at same location in each of three years. Differences as in halting at locations given a miss last time. Differences as in choosing different detours enroute to Leh. Similarity as in preferring same home stays as last time.
Ladakh is becoming accessible from rest of India. Every year new stretches of roads are being built to make the journey akin to highways of United States. So while it is a loss of adventure for few, due to paved roads, it is a welcome development for some to plan road trips with their families.
Ladakh is not like any other holiday destination. It is more about experiencing the journey rather than the destination. Limited mobile connectivity lets me stay alienated from rest of the world. It is about appreciating the simplicity of locals enroute and re-learn to smile without bias for known and/or strangers.
I look forward to my next trip eagerly.