Bisitak 1214, kokapena 22
Nondik gertu Dārcha, Himachal Pradesh (India)
This is the second stretch of the Manali - Leh ride, from the bridge at Darcha to the tents at Pang.
Starting a the Darcha bridge, it features the long ascent to Baralacha La. A first tiny tent settlement is Patseo, known because of its little lake where you can also hire a boat. Next comes Zing Zing Bar, which is not very pleasant. It consists substantially of a petrol station and some barracks, no accommodation - to find a second tent settlement you need to push up a couple of kilometers more. The ascent is still long, and after a stretch with switchbacks skirts a little lake. At the top there is no shelter, only a little temple. The pass marks the crossing of the Great Himalaya Range. Descent to the big tent settlement of Bharatpur, one of the most characteristic places of the Manali-Leh highway. Form there, descent to Sarchu, through the scenic wide Tsarap valley.
The valley is the followed for several more kilometers, before being abandoned via the Gata Loops, a long series of switchbacks leading up to the final traverse to Nakeela La. This is separated by the little depression of Whisky Nalah from the first 5000 m pass of the road, which is Lachlung La.
The descent from this pass is the most spectacular stretch of the track, because it follows a gorge very reminiscent, for example, of those in the Moroccan Antiatlas. After the highpoint of the narrow Kanga Jal, the valley opens leading with a very gentle descent to Pang.
After Pang some switchbacks lead up to the wide Morei plains, which are followed up to Debring, last tent settlement before the ascent to Taglang La.
It is said that on the Morei plains the rule is to find tailwind: actually, we did, an we indeed enjoyed this, in conjunction with the asphalt.
Photos: WORK IN PROGRESS!
Start of an irrelevant road climbing a little up the mountain.
The view opens into the valley.
With a little lake where one can also hire a boat. This is said to be the highest pedal boat of the world.
Mainly a military post. Some tents with dhabas are to be found a few kms higher.
A little lake before the last bends
Here the Manali - Leh highway crosses the main Himalayan watershed
Tents with food and accommodation. Very characteristic place.
Only a military post, no accommodation.
There is a little lake also on this side of Baralacha La. Very wild ambience.
Wonderful views on the river Tsarap and the rock pyramids around it.
Passport check guaranteed here.
The village is separated from the checkpoint by a river.
Many little dhabas, and also accommodation if needed.
A remarkably scenic stretch, in which the road make s a long detour to reach a bridge well inside this side valley.
Marked is the base of the loops, that is, the point where the road leaves the valley, short after Whisky Bridge.
Very panoramic stretch, under wild rocks
Little below 5000 m, anticipates Lachlung La, something like Passo Eira and Passo Foscagno in the Alps.
Group of tents in a depression between two consecutive passes, Nakeela La and Lachlung La
First 5000 m pass on the Manali - Leh highway.
Waypoint chosen as a representative of the valley between Lachlung La and Kangla Jal
The most scenic spot of the Manali - Leh highway.
A perfect natural work, with the rock spires around Kangla Jal in the background.
As usual, tents with dhabas and accommodation: last chance before the long and desertic Morei plains.