Day one of mountain biking expedition in Leh was more of travel from the main base camp at Leh to Lamayuru camp. On reaching Lamayuru camp we practiced for a while and went for an acclimation ride at Lamayuru village, just before sunset. The national mountain biking expedition event organized by the youth hostels association of India, YHAI are exceptionally good.
Day zero – acclimatization walk to Shanti Stupa, Leh
We reached early in the morning at Leh airport and YHAI campsite is about 10 minutes ride from the airport and is near Leh youth hostel. You may reach youth hostel a day earlier to get acclimatized well and would cost approx. Rs 300 per day in a dorm. Soon after having breakfast, after the initial briefing we were asked to go for an acclimatization walk all the way to Shanti Stupa. After a long walk for about 2 kilometers and a steep climb up the stairs, you reach Shanti Stupa Organic Cafe. An awesome place, best known for its view and herbal tea or coffee at a very reasonable price. We continued further and spend some time at meditation hall. Few steps from here is the huge Shanti Stupa which can be seen from a far off distance and a nice place to photograph. Go around the Stupa in a clockwise direction and enjoy the view from the top. You get to see the monastery, Leh palace, Leh city, the mountain range that includes the Stok kangri and the Stok village. By noon we had lunch at our campsite and enjoyed the evening playing cards.
Also, check some of my other treks in Jammu and Kashmir state:
Road to heaven.
Leh-Zanskar highway, Leh, India.
On day one,
soon after having breakfast we boarded the YHA bus which took us to Lamayuru. Lamayuru is about 120 kilometers from Leh and is on the way to Srinagar on National Highway one, NH1. The landscape is just awesome. Straight roads and greenery in between. We stopped at a place named magnetic hill, the phenomenon that defies gravity. We continued further till we reached a placed near the Sangam where the Zanskar and Indus river meet and flow together as Indus. This place is known for river rafting and also a road goes to Zanskar village where the Chadar (frozen river) trek takes place at the beginning of every year. We continued further till we reached Lamayuru. Our campsite is just before the start of the village, a place called Moon Land. The landscape at this place is unique and hence the name. It is said that on a full moon, the mud in the mountain slopes glows or appear different/brighter. The entire route was next to Indus river and on NH1.
— Ravindra Joisa (@ravindrajoisa) September 24, 2016
Cycling starts from Lamayuru.
The cycles/mountain bikes are of Firefox, Trek brand with gear and disk brakes, given at our campsite. We checked our gear and went out for an acclimatization ride all the way up. The route goes to Fotola pass, but we did not go all the way to that place, instead cycled for about five kilometers till the viewpoint, near the TV tower. Spent some time out there at the viewpoint and enjoyed the view till sunset. We returned to our campsite, downhill and hardly took 15 minutes to reach. Check out the video below and leave a comment. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and to follow me on social media. I will be writing the next blog post on day 2 soon, till then check out my other blog posts from different trips that I have completed.