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Old 2nd August 2013, 13:43   #1
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Cool Storme in Ladakh!

"Throw four stones into the Indus, else Ladakh will keep calling you back". Those were the major's words that kept ringing in my head as I sat on the banks of Indus, watching it make its way through the heavenly lands. And I was already two down. On picking the third stone, a voice in my mind asked "Do you really want to do this?". I threw the third one without answering. But the one question led to a thousand and my mind was in terrible confusion for a few seconds. Then the answer came and I dropped the fourth stone that I was setting up for a water skipping throw. "I love to be called back by Ladakh"!

Prologue

Flashback to 2009, it was my first sojourn to Ladakh and I was instantly mesmerized. Heck, I feel nostalgic now so here's the link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...come-true.html (Been Leh'd & back: The dream come true!). Fell in love with the place and driving through the aweseome vistas it presented at every turn. The tall passes, high lakes, meandering rivers; all were sights to behold. It was a trip filled with tremendous joy, adventures and interesting occurances! Another highlight was the interaction with army folks, who were lovely and helpful to the core. We'd travelled to the top of the world but were limited in its exploration owing to the fact that we're in a sedan. The yearning to see & explore more was always lingering but I'd to curb my enthusiasm many a times. That is when I decided that I needed to come back and the next time needed to be different. In 2009, we'd visited & stayed at places that one would typically visit. Leh, Nubra & Tso Moriri had satisfied us then and the lust for Pangong left unfulfilled. But this time, we knew it'd take a lot more to satiate our hunger for Ladakhi landscapes. So in 2013, we decided to travel the less travelled tracks and do those in an SUV. This time, we took the dicey looking tracks, climbed steep mountains, crossed raging streams & an overflowing river, got lost in no man's land, faced a machine gun looking at me from a bunker and again spent one helluva time with our Army folks. And on going back this time, I didn't threw that fourth stone cause I wanted to be back some more.

Travelogue

So on 22nd June, wifey & myself set out for a 15 day whirlwhind of a trip to the mighty & beautiful Ladakh. As we'd done Noida - Manali - Leh, Leh - Srinagar - Noida last time, it was to be reverse this time. The credit for our trip's itinerary goes to Tanveer, as I had blatantly copied one of his Ladakh itineraries. Thanks to the that, the plan this time was even simpler. Explore as much of Ladakh as we can and stay in nature's lap as much as possible. For accomplishing that, we had our 4x4 Storme and the ample space, or we thought so, it provides for packing one's home away from home. We had a tent (Quechua T3+), coupla camping chairs, camping table, sleeping bags, blankets, gas canisters, stove, cooking set and provisions that would easily last us a fortnight. Not to add four jerry cans; three for fuel (60+ litres combined) and one for water (25 litres). To say the least, the Storme was packed! And a packed Storme was quite a sight on the road. It was catching quite some looks as it's still an exotic in them mountains and whoever gave a closer inspection couldn't resist asking us about all the stuff in the back. Answering those questions was even more fun when they from police/army personal. They seemed not able to fanthom what we're doing and I guess it was quite an amusement for them too. Maybe our overloaded boot and stories of camping grandeur allowed us to pass coupla dicey checkpoints, who knows!

Here starts my account of our travels, when we started from Noida for Srinagar on 22nd, hoping for 15 days filled with wonder. We expected to be awed, challanged, enthralled & showered by beauty. We were not disappointed, cause nature offered us these:

Indus making it's way through the valley!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02635.jpg

Entering Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02780.jpg

Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02929.jpg

Lake near Penzi La!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02984.jpg

THE Drang Drung!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02969.jpg

A Storme in Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02899.jpg

Camping @ Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-camping_zanskar.jpg

Chang La, Stormed!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03255.jpg

Reflections in Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03389.jpg

Eye of the Storme @ Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03388.jpg

Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03323.jpg

Early morning @ Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03313.jpg

Morning @ Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03312.jpg

Afternoon @ Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03436_2.jpg

Evening @ Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03300.jpg

Lone Seagull @ Pangong!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc09945.jpg

Pang @ Manali - Leh highway!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03855-2.jpg

Deepak Taal @ Manali - Leh highway!

Storme in Ladakh!-deepak-taal.jpg

Indus @ Nyoma!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc03572.jpg


Day 1: Noida - Srinagar

As they say, man proposed, GOD disposes. The original plan suffered a hiccup even before the journey began. We're supposed to leave late Friday evening but due to wifey getting late in office, the next day's drive became a longer one. Now instead of Jallandhar, our first target was Srinagar. And that is no short drive! One needs to cross the plains of Haryana, Punjab and Jammu before you get to them mountains. This task becomes daunting when you leave late from Delhi, like we did; at bloody 7 AM. By the time we crossed Ambala, Punjab had woken up and we had hell to pay across Ludhiana & Jallandhar. The traffic was at a dumbfounding crawl as we crossed these cities. Finally took the Dyaalchak Jammu bypass. We reached Srinagar in dead of night, searching for the back entrance to the JKTDC hotel on Lal Chowk. Got to the spot where it was supposed to be, only to be questioned by a couple of stern looking, rifle holding cops sitting inside a bunker. It turned out that the bunker itself was guarding the entrance! Anyway, after having a chat, we're ushered into a thoroughly deserted hotel lobby. It was post 1 AM and as feared, no one was around. After running around the hotel and tentatively knocking on doors, we're able to rouse a caretaker who showed us the room and instantly went off to get back to sleep. But not before telling us that there had been a shooting nearby the hotel in the day. I guess the adventures had begun on Day 1 itself! Dozed off with memories of Sonamarg in mind.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 7th September 2013 at 01:20.
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Old 5th September 2013, 08:04   #2
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Beautiful pictures, reminded me of our last years trip where we enjoyed pretty much the same vistas.
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Old 5th September 2013, 08:08   #3
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Amazing colours! Many a times I wonder, if I would ever visit this region. Because thanks so many guys visiting, most places have already etched in my memory.

And yet, every one who posts a TL of this place has a new story to tell. I am just amazed by the colours you got.

And that lone Storme standing far in the wilderness....
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Old 5th September 2013, 12:15   #4
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Default Day 2: Srinagar - Sonamarg

Don't know why but I guess I am meant to forget getting my tripod for travels to Ladakh. Did that last time and same was the case this time around too. Hence, woke up to a sunny morning in the Kashmir valley with the first agenda of the day being to procure a tripod. But it was not an easy task. Being a Sunday, markets around Lal Chowk were closed. Walked in the lanes & by-lanes around, looking for camera shops and finding most closed. Those that were open were all negative on tripod. So after an hour of a wild goose chase, we hailed an auto-rickshaw and requested to be taken to the best stocked camera shop, that would be open, in the vicinity. Soon we're enjoying a nice drive along the Dal Lake, with me secretly thanking myself for being absent minded.

Shikaras & Houseboats @ Dal Lake!

Storme in Ladakh!-dal_lake1.jpg

Needless to say, the tripod was finally bought and we're back in our hotel around 11:50 AM, all set to checkout and head to Sonamarg. It was then I realized, and kicked myself for the travesty, that I had forgotten one very important aspect of the trip; Waazwan. As soon as we'd checked out and loaded back the stuff, drove straight to Ahdoos which was pretty close to Lal Chowk. I was slightly taken aback by the exterior, but was impressed by the interiors. It had the old world charm and made us feel comfortable instantly. On top of that, the service was great. And the food, it was awesome! We had Tabak Maz, Gushtaba, Mutton Mirchi Qorma, Butter Chicken & mushrooms with Naans and each dish left me wanting more.

With the hunger for food satiated, the drive to Sonamarg commenced around 2 PM. Instead of following the main highway, we took some inner lanes of Srinagar and joined the highway with about 67 Km left for Sonamarg. Wherever we looked, we saw lush green slopes descending to the gushing river below.

Indus flowing through the valley,

Storme in Ladakh!-valley_view1.jpg

blooming with greenery!

Storme in Ladakh!-valley_view2.jpg

The valley was filled with farms and paddy was the crop of the month.

Paddy farms bask in the sunlight,

Storme in Ladakh!-paddy_fields1.jpg

reflecting golden hues!

Storme in Ladakh!-paddy_fields2.jpg

If one stopped to listen, she/he would be rewarded by the thundering roar of the mighty Indus, as it flowed through the valley.

It was darn loud in there,

Storme in Ladakh!-river.jpg

but it felt awesome!

Storme in Ladakh!-river2.jpg

The only thing that irked me was the amount of traffic coming from Sonamarg side. With Srinagar - Sonamarg being a 2-3 hour drive, the latter becomes a day trip. I guess we're witnessing the buildup of the return traffic to Srinagar. God only knows if there's a traffic jam on the highway later in the evening! Other than that, it was a wonderful drive through the beautiful Kashmir valley and now I know the difference between Kashmir and HP. Kashmir in monsoon bloom is simply awesome! We reached Sonamarg around 5 and decided to check for any timing restrictions for Zoji La at the check post.

Sonamarg, all set for the start of Yatra!

Storme in Ladakh!-sonamarg1.jpg

On inquiring, we're told that they're allowing Zoji La bound traffic from 7 AM to 7 PM and if required, we can pass through. We speculated on this and decided to halt at Sonamarg so as not to miss the vistas ahead in the falling light. So began the search for a hotel, within our taste & budget. The first quote we got was for 4.5 K/night for room only and that too not from a very luxurious looking place. After negotiations failed, I started hoping & fearing at the same time that we may need to pitch camp so early into our trip. We even selected a nice spot for camping, close to the river, in case hotels were out of our budget. As luck would have it, we found nice accommodations in a hotel named after the famous glacier in there, all for 2.5 K room only. And it had one added attraction, a big balcony with a glorious view of the river.

Valley View @ The Balcony! (with Red GND filter)

Storme in Ladakh!-balcony_view1.jpg

The famed glacier of Sonamarg at a distance!

Storme in Ladakh!-balcony_view2.jpg

It's a wonderful life!

Storme in Ladakh!-balcony_view3.jpg

Horsemen Camping @ Sonamarg meadows!

Storme in Ladakh!-balcony_view4.jpg

Hotel complex!

Storme in Ladakh!-hotel1.jpg

I love such balconies because they're so rare! We instantly ordered beverages & vegetable pakoras, with a condition that they reach us pipping hot and they almost did. The kitchen was a short walk from our room and it was very cold, so could't blame the person serving us, just warm pakoras. Spent time enjoying our choices of beverage with pakoras and felt cozy in no time. But Sun was still out and it was no time to rest. We had nature to enjoy ourselves in. So off we went to a small clearing, a short distance and a little below from the main road, right next to the river. When we'd seen the same place on reaching Sonamarg, it was teaming with people so we'd decided to come there later. And now, at 7 PM, there was just two guys, other than us couple out there. It was time for a small picnic, so out came the chairs & table, snacks & drinks and a chessboard.

Chilling next to the Indus!

Storme in Ladakh!-sonmarg_evening.jpg

Would it be too foolish to try taking the Storme across!

Storme in Ladakh!-sonmarg_evening2.jpg

Sane side of me whispering: Better gorge on Chicken Korma & Kebabs!

Storme in Ladakh!-evening_snacks.jpg

How an hour passed, we never knew but a rude surprise was in store for us. Guess the location also served as favored rowdyism spot. A group of young men started building up and many had alcohol bottles in their hands. Initially they sat far away from us, but slowly they're creeping closer and closer. Soon it became prudent we leave the place and leave it we did. Reached hotel in time for dinner and gorged on scrumptious affair of daal & mutton korma with naans. Went for a post dinner stroll in the hotel's lawn, checked on the Storme and called it a day.

Hotel Lawn @ night!

Storme in Ladakh!-hotel_night.jpg

Last edited by lordofgondor : 6th September 2013 at 16:28.
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Old 5th September 2013, 14:25   #5
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Default Day 3: Sonamarg - Parkachik

This was the day when we'd be crossing Zoji La and entering Ladakh. Moreover, we're heading towards Zanskar, a place we'd only heard stories about. I surprised myself by waking up at 5 AM; thought my body had forgotten how to do that! It looked cold outside and there's nothing better that wakes you up. Off I went looking for a cuppa tea and found this guy horsing around.

Storme in Ladakh!-hotel_horse.jpg

Tried as I might, he didn't allow me to get close. Darn shy creature, just kept running away from me. Anyway, woke up coupla staff, requested for some tea for myself & wife and also asked them to prepare some good paranthas. Looking at the Thajiwas glacier, I observed that the amount of snow seemed lesser than expected. Then I observed, to my horror, that there was less snow in general!

Thajiwas from far away!

Storme in Ladakh!-morning_glacier1.jpg

Getting a little closer!

Storme in Ladakh!-morning_glacier_2.jpg

Snow-less peaks!!!

Storme in Ladakh!-morning_view1.jpg

Morning duties taken care off, there was this beautiful anticipation building inside us. Checked out, rushed to the Storme and were on the road by 9 AM.

Leaving Sonamarg behind!

Storme in Ladakh!-sonmarg_zojila.jpg

To be frank, driving the SUV took out all the adventure from the drive. Driving the Storme, in that terrain, was like taking a candy from a baby! I distinctly remember being anxious when we'd crossed the pass, with falling light, in 2009 in our Esteem. The incline from Sonamarg side had made many a vehicles sweat it out that time and I was in a mood to experience that in this trip. But this time around, traversing Zoji La was a breeze as the Storme barged through slush, craters and inclines. I was bemused by the lack of traffic and during this confusion, we met a huge flocks of sheep/goats that brought us to a standstill for almost 15 minutes. The four handlers were no match for the rampant animals. So we spent that time observing the antics of them beasts as they moved around the beastie we're in. Every passing one of them got me contemplating on what a delicious meal it would make. Finally the annoying Baaaaa's ended and we reached a junction where the steep road to the pass joined the track we're on. This is where I realized that most of the traffic took that road as it was the main road. We'd been traveling on a by-lane so to speak.

On nearing the pass, we observed that the massive potholes had been replaced by a road made of cement blocks and within no time we're at Zoji La war memorial. As we had to skidoozle off this pass back in 2009 due to fading evening light, we'd made a mental note to stop this time around.

Stream @ Zoji La!

Storme in Ladakh!-zojila1.jpg

We payed our respects to the soldiers who died defending us and cursed the back stabbing actions of our pesky neighbor.

Storme in Ladakh!-zoji_memorial.jpg

And I cursed them some more when we reached the Kargil War Memorial at Drass. While walking down the Vijay Path, I felt an intense sense of gratitude towards one and all of our soldiers.

Kargil War Memorial @ Drass!

Storme in Ladakh!-kargil_memorial1.jpg

They selflessly made so many sacrifices, if not the ultimate, so that the other citizens like us can live peacefully and tour places like Ladakh.

Storme in Ladakh!-kargil_memorial2.jpg

Some of the major battles they fought for us.

Storme in Ladakh!-tiger_hill.jpg

Storme in Ladakh!-tololing.jpg

Storme in Ladakh!-batra_top.jpg

Then & there, even the nature seemed in a somber mood.

Storme in Ladakh!-kargil_memorial3.jpg

In a pensive mood, we started on towards a city, an interesting city called Kargil!

To be continued ...

Last edited by lordofgondor : 7th September 2013 at 17:06.
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Old 7th September 2013, 23:36   #6
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Thread moved from Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 8th September 2013, 10:04   #7
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Loving it already and eagerly waiting for more mind blowing clicks! Must have been a feeling of vindication this time around, considering the disappointment and the trials you went through last time.

LOL @ you forgetting your tripod again - I remember our telecon during your last trip! Anyway, enough of the chatter, keep 'em coming

Last edited by suman : 8th September 2013 at 10:05.
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Old 8th September 2013, 11:50   #8
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Superb photo and narration, lordofgondor .

5* rated.
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Old 8th September 2013, 12:37   #9
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Excellent pics ! Loved the paddy fields'. Please share if you have more of them. Fantastic scenery.
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Old 8th September 2013, 13:18   #10
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

excellent snaps there. I never knew there are paddy fields in Kashmir. Eagerly waiting for more snaps.
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Old 8th September 2013, 13:21   #11
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Epic snaps mate, All wallpaper quality stuff.

Rated this thread 5* for its pictures alone, I am yet to go through the TL. Eye of storme @ Pangong was a really really nice snap. I wish to convey my thanks for sharing the pictures. This place feels heaven just looking at the snaps alone.

Drive safe

Cheers.
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Old 8th September 2013, 16:38   #12
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suman View Post
Loving it already and eagerly waiting for more mind blowing clicks! Must have been a feeling of vindication this time around, considering the disappointment and the trials you went through last time.

LOL @ you forgetting your tripod again - I remember our telecon during your last trip! Anyway, enough of the chatter, keep 'em coming
Thanks Duman da. To be frank, the feeling of vindication was somewhat shadowed by the fact that taking the Storme over whatever terrain we faced, except deep sands which it has urges to bury itself in, was a walk in the park. Somehow I kept missing the nail biting stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaka46 View Post
Excellent pics ! Loved the paddy fields'. Please share if you have more of them. Fantastic scenery.
Sorry mate, those were the ones I clicked. Hope I could compensate with pics in upcoming posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i.1979 View Post
excellent snaps there. I never knew there are paddy fields in Kashmir. Eagerly waiting for more snaps.
Even I was ignorant about paddy cultivation in Kashmir, thought it mostly was in Jammu. But post Srinagar, we could see paddy fields for quite a distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
Epic snaps mate, All wallpaper quality stuff.

Rated this thread 5* for its pictures alone, I am yet to go through the TL. Eye of storme @ Pangong was a really really nice snap. I wish to convey my thanks for sharing the pictures. This place feels heaven just looking at the snaps alone.

Drive safe

Cheers.
You're welcome mate. It's heaven indeed. It was interesting taking that snap. I got the idea while trying to take picture of reflections of all the gulls moving around the lake. I was failing miserably in doing that cause; one, they were far away, two, they're small and three, that they weren't keeping still! So I thought, why don't I replace them with my car. Had to walk down quite a bit and take the Storme through deep slush before I can make it stand alone with the mountains.
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Old 8th September 2013, 17:17   #13
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Default Re: Storme in Ladakh!

The storme itself is adding character to the pics. We have seen so many Leh travelogues, but the dusty beast smiling with the nature makes these pics really stand out. Gotta appreciate your effort.
Besides, I have a feeling that you visited Ladakh during the best time of the year. The liveliness of the greenery makes up for the lack of snow.
Subscribed and waiting.
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Old 8th September 2013, 17:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post

You're welcome mate. It's heaven indeed. It was interesting taking that snap. I got the idea while trying to take picture of reflections of all the gulls moving around the lake. I was failing miserably in doing that cause; one, they were far away, two, they're small and three, that they weren't keeping still! So I thought, why don't I replace them with my car. Had to walk down quite a bit and take the Storme through deep slush before I can make it stand alone with the mountains.
Really, the level of hard work put in is clearly visible from the snaps. But rejoice, as they have come out fantastic. Awesome indeed.

Waiting for more pics, and by the way have done any post processing of these snaps before uploading ?

Cheers
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Old 9th September 2013, 01:36   #15
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Default Day 3: Sonamarg - Parkachik (cont.) Drass - Kargil - Parkachik

Thankfully, we're distracted by the din of a chopper warming up. It was the first time that I saw one of those round, glass cabin ones that were all so common in 80's Bollywood. I was in the process of making a video when a soldier standing there asked me not to. I still don't know what was the reason for that show of secrecy, but I guess they can't be too cautious! We proceeded towards the cafe as the beasts in our tummies were starting to wake up. Alas, there was nothing interesting to have so we resumed our journey. Soon we're anticipating the left turn at Kargil, that would take us to Zanskar and we'd a hiccup. Our handy-cam was almost outta memory and that's when we realized we didn't get the data transfer cable for it. Shucks and double shucks. My first thought was; no problemo, we'll get one in Kargil easily and I assured wifey the same. Never knew how wrong & frustrating my assumption would be! I'd to walk down the entire length of the Kargil Bazaar, climb up & down on countless number of steps and make my way through a peaceful agitation going on for something related to state of education in Kashmir before I found one. On getting back, found wifey close to tears and it was only then I realized it'd took me close to 2 hours in all the charade. She was half expecting that I'd been kidnapped or worse! To calm her nerves and my rumbling tummy, we decided to have a scrumptious lunch at some good restaurant. On inquiring with coupla locals, we got recommendations for "Aashiana Restaurant" so we headed there. Looked good as per Kargil standards but I was disappointed that they didn't have much options for Wazwaan. We ordered Mutton Kanti, Chicken Curry, Daal & breads and I sat for 15 minutes controlling the drool. The jumbos were jumping and I tried best distracting myself by observing the locals. They're all deeply engrossed in watching some local channel, wherein, a speech was being telecast-ed. What it was about; I really can't recollect now. Anyway, the food arrived and before the waiter could lay out the Chicken Curry, I was chewing on the second piece of mutton kanti. Being as hungry as we're, it wasn't long before the food was done. It could have been better but I wasn't complaining. With to-the-brim-filled tummies and a blazing sun, it was indeed a hard walk to the car, short as it may have been. And then it was straight from hell and into the frying pan! Remember, there was this peaceful agitation that I'd mentioned. It was not small in number of people, mostly students, participating and due to that, the road was closed. For those not familiar with Kargil, moving through the Bazaar area is kinda circular with a combination of one way roads. And today, all traffic was on a single one and it was jammed! The only good thing about that hour we spent moving @ 1 feet per 5 minutes was that we're next to the river. It was swelling with water, muddy as hell and SCARY!

After what seemed eternity, we got to the bridge, took the left towards Zanskar and I floored it. But not for long as we're in the beautiful Suru valley driving along Suru river. The valley was green and the road was narrow. What a spectacular drive it was. A smooth tarmac, the road meandering through the breathtaking scenery, great weather, cool music, wonderful company; it was perfect!

From a bridge over Suru!

Storme in Ladakh!-zanskar_bridge.jpg

The river, the road and us, companions on the journey to Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-after_bridge.jpg

But, the trance was broken in sometime, some kilometres after the village of Sankoo when the tarmac went kaput. Now we're on a rocky road, listening to Darude playing Sandstorm(e).

Tall peaks & green valley @ Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-zanskar1.jpg

Storme smiling @ Zanskar!

Storme in Ladakh!-dsc02899.jpg

While we're lost in the beauty of the valley and the towering peaks, we somewhere didn't take a turn that we should have taken and kept going on a road that would later take us through all the villages that existed in the vicinity. The road was narrow, at places it wasn't enough for us and a M800 to pass astride. And every time, we'd to come to a crawl to pass through even narrower lanes of them villages, none of which had anything to offer for our growling tummies. If we stopped, we got looks of astonishment. Were locals taking us to be aliens we thought and made exit, stage left in a gusto. With time fleeting by like the gushing Suru, the rising concern was that we had no idea about how far we were from our destination for the day, Parkachik. Add to that, one pickup driver that we had a word with, told us that we took the wrong road and should have taken a left coupla scores kilometers back! Anyway, we trudged on with a sense of purpose. It was past 5:30 PM and dusk was beginning to settle in. I knew we still had at least two hours of good light but we wanted to reach our destination with a few minutes of it remaining. Looking at the situation, we knew camping tonight was out of the equation so we decided to take accommodation at JKTDC hotel in Parkachik. So with the fading light, the dynamic duo treated on. Saw a board and took a left, just before Parkachik began, towards the hotel that was about a Km ahead. The time was past 7 PM and there was just enough sunlight left to take us to the hotel and maybe then some.

Light was starting to fall fast now!

Storme in Ladakh!-parkachik_evening2.jpg

Found the main gate shut but thankfully, not locked. Popped it open and drove through to pretty simple and utilitarian lodging. There was one caretaker, who performed all the required duties and we somehow instantly got into a chat with him. He was a local, living and looking after the place while his family lived in the village below.

Parkachik village lies below as towering peaks watch over!

Storme in Ladakh!-parkachik_evening1.jpg

He told us that he walks down to spend some time with them everyday but is mostly in the hotel. Before we got all emotional, he told us that we'd arrived on a very auspicious day as it was the birthday of their Imam and soon the whole town would be celebrating. And what happened next reminded us of something we see every year in here, on & around Diwali. The local were lighting up candles and kerosene lamps on their terraces and soon we had many rooftops with glimmering flames. I so miss not being able to take pics as the camera was in the Storme, which was a short walk away in the bitter cold that the place was. Never got motivated enough to go get it. Gorged on some nice egg curry, daal & rice before turning in for the night.

Last edited by lordofgondor : 9th September 2013 at 01:38.
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