“There are BAD roads in Ladakh,
there are extremely BAD roads in Spiti,
and then there is SACH Pass”
That’s what I said when I completed the ride across Sach Pass in Pangi Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Did you notice the missing word in above line “road” ? that’s because it would be an understatement to call it a road, better call it a wide mule track. If you could manage to cover only 80 kms in 10-12 hrs without many breaks, you can imagine what I’m referring to. And how often you have heard that the main T bolt (the bolt which puts handle bar in place) of Royal Enfield became so loose that it was easily opened with bare hands. Adventure travelers swear by the name of Sach pass and it’s quite common to compare bad roads with Sach pass. We encountered this and much more in this ride of a lifetime. In Hindi Sach means Truth, hence I see it was an appropriate title for this ride.
Nature has mysterious plans and you can’t do much about it but be ready and be flexible. How many times it happens that you plan for something and end up doing something else. Same happened with us in sep 2014 , when our well laid plan to do the leh-Ladakh circuit was smashed by flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir just 10 days before our scheduled ride. The situation was so scary that all the Riders backed out of the idea of exploring some other place if we are not riding to Ladakh. All riders backed out except the two hard nuts (Me & Aditya), we were not ready to sit at home thinking what we could have done. Hence, an alternative plan had to be chalked out and that too within next 2 – 3 days. Maps were out, discussions, Google search, more discussions, weather forecasts and contingency plans were chalked out.
After an extensive 3 day research we came up with a probable route. We would be crossing 3 of Himachal’s notorious passes known for bad roads, landslides and what not (Jalori pass, Rohtang pass, Sach pass) and also cover 3 most popular tourist destinations in Himachal (Shimla, Manali, Khajjiar). On paper it was a good plan, but somewhere at the back of our mind we knew, it will not be an easy ride in this season. There has been news of heavy rain in Himachal and there were chances that we may have to ride in rain as well. We bought some rain gear from the local markets and checked all the necessary items which we might need on the ride. So all was set; 2 guys,me (Rana and Adi) , with me on Jr.Black Bull (Royal Enfield Classic 350cc) and Adi on TB Baby (Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500cc). With all things checked out of our list we were ready to ride and face the Truth.