Battling the highest pass of Fotu La – Cycling Expedition – Day 5

The first half of the day is all uphill cycling all the way to Fotu La (pass) also called TV tower. The view from this place is breathtaking. It was drizzling and was super cold. From here it is all the way downhill to Lamayuru with a viewpoint in between. It was so cold that my fingers were numb, literally frozen, and couldn’t even change gear while riding.

Did not have to press hard on pedals as it was all downhill. By the way, Foto La s the highest point in this high altitude mountain biking expedition organized by the YHAI – Youth Hostel India. By the way, currently the program is known by the name Lamayuru Cycling Expedition.

Lamayuru campsite

Exploring Haniskot and Kanji

We had arrived in Haniskot the day before from Sakar and slept overnight in the Haniskot government guest house, which was still under construction at the time of my visit. We visited a secluded village called Kanji because we arrived early and had plenty of time to explore. It is a unique community filled with monasteries and kind people. If you’re in Haniskot, you should definitely pay this establishment a visit.

Haniskot to Fotu La, Lamayuru cycling expedition

Cycling uphill to Fotu La

The climb uphill to Fotu La had consumed all of our time on this particular day. The terrain is arid and seems desert-like, and the intense light may quickly tan your skin. Fortunately, the brilliant blue sky turned gloomy within an hour of leaving Haniskot. This made our uphill riding less strenuous. On the ride up to the Fotu La TV tower, there were a few little stores selling cool beverages and snacks.

Near Fotu La, Lamayuru in the national highway one.
Pass Crossing near Fotu La

By the time I got to the top, what had started as a drizzle had developed into severe rain. I was absolutely soaked, and the very cold weather made uphill riding and gear switching much more difficult. As you can see in the video, there is no protection of any type at the pass, so I had to seek cover behind a truck and begin my descent swiftly despite the rain.

Fotu La, also known as Fatu La, is a mountain pass on the Srinagar-Leh route in India’s Zanskar Range in the Himalayas. It is the highest point on the roadway, at 4,108 metres, exceeding the famous Zoji La. Fotu La is one of two high mountain crossings that connect Leh and Kargil. The other is Namika La.

Lamayuru Moonland of Ladakh

Lamayuru cycling with Youth hostel
Cycling at Lamayuru

When you gaze at the distinctive terrain of Lamayuru, it is both enchanting and amazing. This is commonly referred to as the ‘Moonland of Ladakh’ or simply Lamayuru Moonland. It is located in Lamayuru, a community located around 100 kilometres from Leh on the Kargil-Leh route. The moon-like terrain is unusual and is thought to have been formed by the drying of a large lake. We were ecstatic because it looked stunning, and for a little minute, we thought we were in an other nation.

Lamayuru Moonland
Moonland, Lamayuru, Ladakh, India

The landscapes on the journey from Leh to Lamayuru are breathtaking, and we wanted to stop at every moment. Lamayuru is also well-known for its ancient monastery. Some pieces are in fair shape, while others have been well kept. There are just a few homestays here, and one of them is directly outside the monastery gate. Needless to say, the view from the monastery and on the route up to the monastery is spectacular. Further down the road, is a ground where we camped. After completing the Lamayuru cycling expedition, we attempted the Zanskar river rafting, wich was even more adventurous where one of our rafts capsized.

Leh cycling expedition Lamayuru campsite
Lamayuru Camp

That’s was my experience of traveling to this place. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter.

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