The High Road: Baralacha La

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The quick decent from Lachulung La via the Gator Loops was exhilarating. The 21 ‘loops’ twisted down and provided an exciting ‘white knuckle’ ride. The road surface was very good although the hairpin curves were a little broken up. Once at the bottom I stopped and marvelled at the ride I had just experienced. Awesome.

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Once again the scenery had changed. The road ran on a wide ridge alongside a fast river within a big valley. A rough track leading down towards the river looked promising. The grassy ground was ideal for camping and there were tents further along the valley. The tents belonged to nomadic horsemen. Early the next day they moved their horses and donkeys out along the valley towards the Gator Loops.

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The valley offered spectacular scenery. We got as close as possible to the next pass and camped. The weather was less kind. it was cold, wet and very windy. I managed to find a fairly sheltered spot in a rocky hollow sandwiched between a lake and a fast moving river causing problems for bikers.

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The weather in the morning began poor but then the clouds lifted over the pass. It took a bit of effort to cycle up but the icy scenery was spectacular and took us past the Nakee La pass.

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At this altitude it was quite cold. The warm summer sunshine made all the difference between a comfortable temperature and brass monkey weather.
We took shelter at the seasonal camp of Bharatapur. Grey clouds hung heavy over the Baralacha La to the South. At night the dhabas doubled up as chilly dormitories. Thick layers of quilts were provided. Outside the surroundings looked bleak and the ground froze.

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