Day 18. 80km. Thukje (4542m) – Lato (3999m)

Posted: August 7, 2018 in Cycling, India
Tags: , , ,

‘I’ll take a selfie with you. One minute.’ Then someone else, and another. Phones thrust into my face from all sides. Meanwhile, the wind was blowing the cold hail through my thin jacket. I retired to the warm food hut. My own selfie by myself would have to wait. The trials and tribulations at the top of the second highest road in the world.

Taglang La

Taglang La

Today was the day of the cyclists. I spent a lovely breakfast and 17km ride with the German couple Jane and Daniel. I spent about 5km with two Spanish guys before we split up – my pace being too slow. And I met an American cyclist on the way down.

Taglung La felt like a real pass. The climb went on and on, and the weather was wild – changing it’s mind every couple of minutes. Tailwind. Headwind. Sun. Hail. Thunder.

Approaching Taglang La

Approaching Taglang La

Just before the top, the wind tried it’s best to blow me off the mountain, and it started hailing on cue as I arrived at the top.

Taglang La

Taglang La

The way down was spectacular (even if the photos weren’t). After skirting the side of the mountain a bit, the road dived down to a small stream way below through a bunch of sharp switchbacks on a bright red mountain slope. The hurricane wind was mostly a tailwind, except on some switchbacks, where I pedalled to move downwards.

The road down from Taglang La

The road down from Taglang La

Once I reached the stream at the bottom, I flew, blown by the very strong wind. Travelling between 40 and 50 kmh, I had my first glimpse of Ladakh. Villages with sudden bursts of green and yellow, and gompas everywhere. The weather sucked, so I stopped at Lato to experience this beautiful valley in the sun tomorrow.

The river at the base of Taglang La

The river at the base of Taglang La

The greenery of Ladakh

The greenery of Ladakh

Comments
  1. The lush green grass!

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Amazing endurance at that altitude – how could you breathe? I can’t imagine cycling in that thin air. Ah, but what a view!

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