The plan to visit the mighty Himalayas was lingering on my mind since long time.
However, I had not really decided a particular place to visit. It's all started when one of friend, Sujal visited Ladakh last year and suddenly the trip plan came on my priorities.
At that moment, Ladakh expedition started taking shape in my mind. Still, I was checking out all alternatives through different organizations.
Somehow, I was not really comfortable with the money they were charging. Again, it came to Sujal who introduced me to www.indiamike.com where one can form a group to visit any particular place. Moreover, you get almost all kind of information, needed to plan the journey. While surfing through these sites, I came across the amazing beauty of Ladakh and I confirmed what would be my dream destination.
Then, it was time to collect as much as information I needed to do this journey. For almost 6 months starting from January till June, I did a lot of study about the different places to visit in Ladakh.
First thing was to form a group. Till then, it was not clear if the trip would be on motorbikes or a rented car.
Although, I had done quite a few journeys on bike covering around 200-300 Kms in a day, Ladakh is a completely different region to ride with a bike. One more issue was to convince my parents. Somehow, I managed them to convince and not to worry much when I was even skeptical about the consequences :)
Again as I said, I was in the process of forming a group with some good number of bikers. One guy from Kolhapur, Avinash Zalake along with his relative, was ready to do this journey together. He had plans to do it completely on bike, right from Kolhapur to Leh and back to Kolhapur again.
In the initial stage, I was also thinking on the same ways but after discussing with some of the other members on the forum, I came to know that I could get my bike transferred till Jammu and back to Pune with the train.
Certainly, this was going to save some significant time which I could have spent in exploring Ladakh.
Eventually, things were more or less clear on the front of travel means. So, I booked the tickets from Pune to Jammu and Kalka to Mumbai for to and fro journey.
In the mean time, I was collecting as much as information about the region like which all places I can/should visit and what would be the tentative itinerary.