MotorBike Ride to Nathu La Pass – Pan Himalayan ride turns fairy Tale
It was fairy tale ride to me of sorts, riding the Nathu La pass was a sheer pleasure just because it brought lots of surprises which was beautifully dangerous. A 52 km ride from the Capital of Sikkim, Nathu la is one of the most prominent borders of India with China, motorbike ride to Nathu La pass definitely require ILP which can be obtained in Gangtok.
Rain had played spoil sport for my plans to ride through the northern Sikkim region, missing Nathu La as well would have been a disaster. Thankfully, weather calmed down, I was ready and rearing to go for Nathu La. Mr Karma Bhutia accompanied me till the first check post, he is one of most famous super bikers of Sikkim.
MotorBike Ride to Nathu La Pass – The most expected part of Himalayan Ride begins
Terrain was slushy and was not covered with snow; however that was not the way things would turn out to be. Mr. Karma warned about the snowfall as I ride further up the pass and bid me good bye. I was all on my own now; weather could turn crazy at any point in time. This is not the worst situation ever, I can do it and there is absolutely nothing that can stop me from doing it, at the same time I knew going against nature is foolish.
MotorBike Ride to Nathu La Pass – Enticing Tsomgo lake strikes!!!!
It started as a careful ride; terrain remained rough all through the ride and was worst in some parts of it. It was a good 20 Kms into the ride, yet no signs of snowfall. I met few jawans at an army camp on the way. Just when I thought I ll stop for a break, as I was supposed to reach Changu Lake by now, I saw an amazing lake, reflecting the beautiful Himalayan Range in its full grandeur. Water was crystal clear and was the nicest view of my life. On asking a passerby I got to know it was indeed Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake as the locals call it.
I took a Yak ride to go around this lake and with every passing second the beauty of the lake only multiplied. Weather in Sikkim can get really nasty, even though I wanted to spend some time at the Lake, I had to hurry up. The image of Tsomgo Lake will have ever lasting beautiful impression on my mind. I rode on further towards Nathu La, the beauty of eastern Himalayas started unfolding in front of me. Nature turned white and the distant highway was seen as a trail.
The scene was straight out of a fairy tale. I was running on stock R15 tires, sports bike tires bound to slip on slippery ice surface. I was hence extra careful. The scenic route kept me occupied and I wished this never ended. It was me, my bike and the nature at its best. I stopped everywhere to immerse myself as much as possible here, and at a distance I could see Nathu La gate.
MotorBike Ride to Nathu La Pass – A shock awaited!!!!
Just like how every good thing has an end, there comes an end ot my happiness. Army personnel deployed at Nathu La gate told me Nathu La was closed due to heavy snowfall. I requested them to let me go as I had to make it to Nathu La at any cost, they denied sighting wild dogs and extreme weather as reasons. I stood my ground and eventually they let me try at my own risk. 300m into the ride bike got stuck in snow and again army had to rescue me and the bike.
I could see wild dogs loafing around and then I realized it was extremely dangerous to go any further. I requested army to take me to the Nathu La , they then sent me in one of the 4wheel drives. It was just 4km to Nathu La top from Nathu La gate, guess what!! Even the 4 wheel drive got stuck in extreme snow 2 kms short of pass. I had a gala time in snow till the army truck cleared the snow for us to continue to Nathu La pass.
MotorBike Ride to Nathu La Pass – Mission accomplished with Tri Color !!!
It was mission accomplished, I reached Nathu La pass, hoisted the tri color there. I could see Chinese post just stone throw away from me. The roads on the other side of the border was fully asphalted and was in pristine condition unlike on our side.
It was 1 o clock in the noon and I was running very late, and was almost certain that will have to face some nasty weather along the way riding the old silk route to Kalimpong. The experience of which will be continued in next post.