Near death experience while travelling?

#1 May 3rd, 2017, 22:42
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  • 8thFrog is offline
#1
So I thought of starting a thread where people can share their near death experience while travelling. Could be due to a landslide, slip during trekking or accident/aversion during a road trip.

I had one during my trip to Leh-Ladakh back in 2012. While crossing Khardung La en route to Nubra valley, we halted at Khardung La for almost 40 mins even though our driver had warned not not spend more than 20 mins. By the time we were back in our car, we were all dizzy and fully exhausted, AMS setting in.

To add to it, after barely climbing down 200 mtrs towards Nubra, we heard a loud boom, followed by a stone shower from the left mountain. Stones ranged between 2 mm - 15 mm in diameter with tinkering sound on the bonnet and roof of our car. This was accompanied with a spine chilling reverberation of land slide sound for about 10 seconds which echoed off the large mountain mass towards the right of the roadway. At first it felt like there was a landslide on the mountain towards the right. A huge mass of land slided about 200 mtrs ahead of us and blocked the road. We knew we were stuck on road, at 18,000+ ft altitude.

The driver stopped the car after the storm shower and after sometime we realized that it will take anything between 30 mins to 2 hrs for the landslide to be cleared. Barely able to hold our senses (yes AMS is real), we started debating on whether to stay there till the landslide clears or return back to Leh via Khardung La, only to find that we could not turn back due to the pile of cars behind us. We chose to rest inside the car and i slowly felt that i was losing my senses, trying to breath in hard to keep oxygen flowing to my brain. But thanks to my smoking habit, I was the first one to pass out, completely.

I remember trying hard to stay in my senses trying to say can we inform the oxygen camp at Khardung La to bring some help in case we need it. I dont think any of my friends heard me, or even if they did they were not in shape to communicate it to the driver who was merrily chatting with his fellow driver friends outside the car! With hazy vision I could see that two JCB's have huddled up at the site of landslide. I could not keep my eyes open anymore and it seemed like i was not able to breathe. The feeling that came to my mind was - Am i dying? The two JCB's was the last thing i saw before completely blacking out.

A huge bang on my head with the inside of the B pillar of the car made me open my eyes, only to find our our car was moving!!! I am not dead!! My friends laughing at me as i was the first one to black out and last one to come back to senses. We were about 10 kms away from Khardungla, towards Nubra and my head felt like someone had placed a brick inside it. The pain was unbearable, almost making me feel, why did I come back to senses. My friends had similar pain, only a notch lower or higher.

Stopped at Diskit and asked the local tea maker to brew some tea, the strongest they can make. People who have been to these areas know that they drink brown colored milk in the name of tea, no offense. The driver said there was scheduled explosion in the adjacent mountain which according to him was not calculated and caused the landslide.

Two cups of tea relieved some of the headache but it continued on a lower magnitude till we went to bed that night.
Last edited by 8thFrog; May 5th, 2017 at 20:24.. Reason: Minor correction
#2 May 3rd, 2017, 23:13
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#2
I saw a cockroach when travelling in India and nearly died of fear and loathing.
#3 May 4th, 2017, 04:37
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#3
Was this your first exposure to altitude? Driving from Leh, almost everyone feels light headed at Khardungla. To me it sounds like a fast trip to Ladakh and trying to cover too many places without spending time for proper acclimatisation.
#4 May 4th, 2017, 14:15
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#4


Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post I saw a cockroach when travelling in India and nearly died of fear and loathing.
What's with all you cockroach advocates?!
From another thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Hey... Cockroachs are underrepresented!
Last edited by blackfog; May 5th, 2017 at 13:00..
#5 May 4th, 2017, 15:12
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#5
I've had multiple (all in Malaysia) and people ask me why I love India...

A rainforest storm sent trees crashing in Taman Negara, Malaysia. The hut next to mine was completely destroyed (luckily with no one in it!).

I bumped in to a Komodo Dragon on the Perhentian Islands. It was longer than I am and the sound of those feet slapping the ground as it chased me....wow.

My girlfriend at the time got taken and robbed on the back of a motorbike taxi (in fairness her near death not mine).

That moonshine hangover in Langkawi. Oh my. That's as near death as it comes.

NB
"See the World, then see India - because the World is an anti-climax"
#6 May 5th, 2017, 20:21
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govindpuri View Post Was this your first exposure to altitude? Driving from Leh, almost everyone feels light headed at Khardungla. To me it sounds like a fast trip to Ladakh and trying to cover too many places without spending time for proper acclimatisation.
Hi Govind - Yes it was my exposure to altitudes more than 14K ft. It was not a hustled trip to Ladakh. We drove from Srinagar to Leh via Kargil, stopping at Kargil for the night. We spent 2 nights at Leh to get acclimatized, but in retrospect i can count the things which went wrong -

1. We spent way too much time at the top. 40+ mins is not advisable if you are not a regular high altitude trotter. To add to that we spent almost an additional 1 hr after the landslide.
2. Being our first visit to such high altitude we were very excited and were literally running around and having fun like children!!

In all my subsequent visits to high altitude like Gurudongmar lake, Kunzum La, etc. I have chosen to stay composed and walk baby steps.
#7 May 5th, 2017, 20:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadicBoo View Post I've had multiple (all in Malaysia) and people ask me why I love India...

A rainforest storm sent trees crashing in Taman Negara, Malaysia. The hut next to mine was completely destroyed (luckily with no one in it!).

I bumped in to a Komodo Dragon on the Perhentian Islands. It was longer than I am and the sound of those feet slapping the ground as it chased me....wow.

My girlfriend at the time got taken and robbed on the back of a motorbike taxi (in fairness her near death not mine).

That moonshine hangover in Langkawi. Oh my. That's as near death as it comes.

NB
Haha, At least next time you visit Malaysia, you know what all things to get covered in your travel insurance.
#8 May 5th, 2017, 20:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post I saw a cockroach when travelling in India and nearly died of fear and loathing.
Hmmm, did you see a much well behaved, *hiding at the sight of human* Indian city cockroach or a bigger, badder, filthier, *oh thats a "foreigner" lets harass him to death* version of the Indian rural cockroach?
#9 May 5th, 2017, 21:35
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#9
I have had many during my reckless days, all in previous century, like being stuck on a cliff without any sort of gear and nowhere to go, willingly that is, otherwise there was the obvious fall. Then once I trekked through deep forest from Makku bend to Chopta, habitated with all sorts of wildlife, during absolute darkness as it was night, without any flashlight, with a 20 KG rucksack and while i was completely drenched in rain and it was chilly to the bones...basically every sort of danger was present during five hours it took me of sheer guess work to reach a Shepard habitat below Chopta, and boy oh boy, I was welcomed like a king as if I have done the impossible, provided warm milk and hot food by the community before being escorted to the lone empty guest house at Chopta.

I can think of at least a dozen such experiences which brought me close to death, as if it was imminent, and all of them in Himalayas except one. I think every traveler must be having some such story to share, specially from their young age when ones sanity is sometimes overshadowed d by recklessness.
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#10 May 5th, 2017, 21:46
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jituyadav View Post I think every traveler must be having some such story to share, specially from their young age when ones sanity is sometimes overshadowed by recklessness.
Or when ones sense of adventure overtakes their misguided, restrictive fears?

We're all still hear to talk about it, so as it stands, all our decisions were good ones .

NB

P.s apart from the Moonshine. That was then, and still remains, a terrible idea.
#11 May 5th, 2017, 21:52
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#11
I don't consider these stories near death experiences. Near death is when you die and leave your body and them come back.

That being said I've had a few harrowing experiences like the time I was hit by a car in Tel Aviv, Israel and spent 5 days in the hospital. Or the time I was robbed at gunpoint in South Plainfield, New Jersey to name a few off the top of my head.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#12 May 5th, 2017, 21:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadicBoo View Post Or when ones sense of adventure overtakes their misguided, restrictive fears?
Same thing in different times...By the time one reaches my age, that kind 'sense of adventure' is rechristened 'recklessness', and misguided, restrictive fears become normal

Quote:
Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post I don't consider these stories near death experiences. Near death is when you die and leave your body and them come back.
If you 'die', how is that 'near death'?
#13 May 5th, 2017, 21:56
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post I don't consider these stories near death experiences. Near death is when you die and leave your body and them come back.
If we were posting genuine near death experiences, this would be a very, very quiet thread I would imagine.

NB
#14 May 5th, 2017, 22:17
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#14
True, NB; I think the OP is talking about the occasional near miss. Scarey , but who needs that on their trip of a lifetime?
#15 May 5th, 2017, 22:23
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#15
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Originally Posted by Keith H View Post T Scarey , but who needs that on their trip of a lifetime?
I choose to disagree here Keith. Such near-miss experiences are what you can brag about later, if you know what i mean. I mean we all imbibe breathtaking scenery and have fun experiences all the time but how much of that do we actually remember later? I now think that all my trips should have at least one such episode, provided my soul does not leave my body even for a split second.
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