christoph and ben negotiating a difficult nullah before pang - manali to leh road (india)


Christoph and Ben negotiating a difficult Nullah before Pang - Manali to Leh road (India)

Nullahs are water streams crossing over the road, usually near passes.­ They grow larger in the afternoon, with the sun melting the snow, and they can be dangerous.­

This one is located in the beautiful canyon about 10 Km west of Pang (before Pang).­ Three heavy trucks got stuck in the soft gravel (behind, not visible on this photo), blocking the way for other trucks and causing a major traffic jam for trucks heading to Leh.­ The nullah is in front and I have already crossed it.­

There was quite some water in the Nullah, but it was not a problem to cross with the motorbike.­ The soft gravel was harder to negotiate.­ The best way is to keep speed, but driving a heavy bike on unstable ground is quite hard.­

We heard from a direct witness that the next day, a French guy tried to cross this Nullah when the water flow was much larger, and he got swept with his motorbike and fell into a nearbye waterfall.­ He was seriously injured or killed.­ If you know more about this accident, please post a comment.­

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Those are photos of my June 2009 Motorcycle road trip in the Himalayas (Manali, Leh, Kargil, Srinagar).­

I was riding a Royal Enfield "Bullet" 500cc Machismo, that I rented in Delhi.­

Photos taken during a 7-week, 7000 Km motorcycle tour across parts of India (Delhi, Rajasthan, Ladakh, Kashmir, Jammu and more) in May-June 2009.­

Photos of Royal Enfield "Bullet" Motorcycles.­

Royal Enfield are manufactured in India.­ They are rugged and simple to maintain and fix, which is why they are very popular in the Himalaya regions.­ The most popular model is 350cc, but there is also a 500cc version.­

Royal Enfield "Bullet" motorcycles are also heavy, sometimes unreliable and not fuel efficient, because they are based on a design that dates the 1940's, with only minor changes and improvements.­ But they are very simple to fix when they break down.­

I rented my Royal Enfield in Delhi, at a small shop called "Smart Motors" on Naiwala street in the Karol Bagh neighborhood.­ The owner, Mohit Soni, is a very nice guy, and they have good bikes.­ I recommend him.­

Other recommended shops to rent Enfield "Bullets" in Delhi are Lali Singh and Tony Motors.­