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Old 17th July 2014, 18:57   #1
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Default Julley to the Land of High Passes - Ladakh!

Hello..!

I've been a member here for a few months now, with a fair few posts, but I have never attempted to start a thread. This is my first attempt at a travelogue, so I request you to kindly exhibit a little bit of both patience and tolerance.
The subject of this thread is about my recent trip to Ladakh. Yes, I conquered the mountains, but in a tame way. It was a family trip and I was a reduced to being a passenger. You will find none of the off-the-beaten-path-explorations or the thrilling-drive stories that have become the norm of most of the ' Got Leh'd ' kinda stories. Sorry.

So... If you are still with me, Hello again!

The story begins with the long desire my mother harboured of visiting The Mountains. She's a nature lover and anything with sea, mountains, or greenery in it has her hooked! Naturally, The Himalayas ranked pretty high in her list of places to see. She constantly.. um.. er.. um.. nagged me (he he.. sorry ma!) to plan a trip to The Mountains, but me being a lazy procrastinator, never got around to it. We visited many other places, my mom even went overseas, but somehow, never to The Mountains!

One fine day, my aunt, who happened to be planning their family's annual trip, rang up my mother and asked her if she was interested to join them. The mention of a certain place, starting from "L" and ending with "H", nestled somewhere high in the mountains, got my mother super exited and she immediately agreed and me, being the obedient *cough* son, fell in line.
Countless phone calls, numerous e-mails and text messages, many visits to various other uncles and aunts and the usual coaxing-s, cajoling-s and convincing-s later, we were now a party of 16 members. This one had all the signs of being a mega family trip.. and I had no place to hide! *sob*

Post all the additions and subtractions, there was now a new hierarchy in the group list. Those at the top declared that my aunt was still in-charge of the organizing part, so she and her friend faithfully went about the process. They made the plans and the bookings were done through a known travel agent.

The final itinerary of our trip was as follows-

-------------------------------------------------

Reporting Day:
Thursday -15th May 2014 , 18.00 hrs
Report to: Bangalore International Airport

Check in flight Go Air G8-118 to Delhi
20.40 Hrs Departure by Flight Go Air G8-118 to Delhi
23.20 Hrs Arrival Delhi

Friday 16th May 2014 at Delhi
05.15 hrs Departure by Go air G8-195 to Leh
06.35 Hrs Arrival Leh

Day 01: Friday 16th May 2014: Arrive Leh; 3505 meters / 11567 feet.
Arrival Kushok Bakula airport Leh - 3500m above sea level. Transfer to hotel. Breakfast at the hotel before 09.30 am. Half Day at rest for acclimatization.
Lunch at the hotel. After Lunch drive to Visit Shanti Stupa & Leh Palace, Later in the evening walk around local market. Overnight stay at the hotel.
(dinner)

Day 02: Saturday 17th May 2014: Drive Sham Valley & Alchi -70km
After breakfast, carry packed lunch for the day. Sightseeing of 1000 year old Alchi monastery the only Gompa in Ladakh region on flat ground. Thereafter proceed to the Likir Monastrey to visit the splendid three storeys Dharma Wheel Gompa. Here you'll be awestruck with the sight of the massive Buddha statues., Indus & Zanskar river Sangam, drive along the Indus river visiting,Pathar Sahib Gurdwara and Magnetic Hill (where the cars defy gravity), Basgo Palace Hiking only and further on to Leh Hall of Fame (which has a museum of the Kargil War memorabilia)
Overnight stay at the hotel
(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 03: Sunday 18th May 2014:Tour of Khardungla Pass 18380 Ft. Nubra Valley and Hundur Sand Dunes – Drive 120 Kms 4/5hrs After Breakfast drive to Nubra Valley via Khardungla (Highest Motorable road in the World, 18,380 ft) Arrive at Hundur by Afternoon. Rest of the day, Post lunch free to explore Deskit, Hunder Villages and camel Safari in Sand Dunes between Deskit and Hunder Village.
Overnight stay at the camp
(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 04: Monday 19th May 2014:Explore Nubra Valley– After Breakfast drive we proceed for a day excursion of Sumur sand dunes, Samstaling monastery, holy lake and Panamik hot-spring’s to take a dip in the sulphur water “also called healing water” (pls carry your personnel towel).
Later retrace to your camp for overnight.
(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 05: Tuesday 20th May 2014: After Breakfast proceed to Diskit monastery which is 515 years old
After Breakfast visit Deskit Monastery and drive back to Leh by same Route, crossing Khardungla Pass. Reach Leh by afternoon. Evening free time at Leisure to explore Leh market.
Overnight stay at the hotel
(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 06: Wednesday 21st May 2014: Leh - Pangong Lake en-route visit Shey & Thiksey
After early Breakfast leave for Pangong Lake (14,500 ft), through Changla Pass 17,350 ft., it is the third highest motorable road in the world. Arrive Pangong Lake it is the highest salt water Lake in the World, shared by two countries India & China. Enjoy the beauty of the lake on the Banks of Pangong Lake while appreciating the changing Colors and fascinating high altitude of the Lake.
Overnight stay at the camp
(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 07: Thursday 22nd May 2014: Pangong Lake – Leh via Hemis monastery
After breakfast drive back to Leh via Hemis monastery, evening free for Shopping
Overnight stay at Hotel.
(Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 08: Friday 23rd May 2014: Depart Leh
In the morning transfer to the airport to board the flight for your onward destination
By flight Go Air G8-194 @ 10.20 Hrs arrival Delhi @ 11.40 Hrs connect to G8-117 @ 17.30 Hrs arrival Bangalore@20.10 Hrs
(Breakfast) "

-------------------------------------------------


With the travel plans now more or less set, what followed was the note-comparisons on who had purchased what and what still needed to be purchased.
( My over-excited teenaged cousins were looking for pickaxes, haversacks, snow goggles, stoves and all the Everest-climb kind of stuff! He.. he..! Poor souls! )

I called up a few of my friends who had done the Ladakh trip to ask them what needed to be taken. Big mistake!

Me: Hello!

Friend: Hey! How are you? What's up?

Me: I'm visiting Ladakh this June and needed some packing tips.

Friend
: That's awesome man! How are you going, bike or car?

Me: Plane.

Friend: Oh! So you'll be hiring a bike there?

Me: (already feeling a bit queasy sensing where the conversation was headed) Er.. no. I'll be travelling in a group.. by hired cars with drivers. It's a family trip, you see..?

Friend: (laughing) You are visiting Ladakh the girlie way then (not my words people!). Super! You don't need to buy anything. Just wear your regular clothes. You'll be cocooned in your driver driven car! You won't get wet or cold!

Me: Fine! Thanks a lot! BYE!

This was, more or less, the same response I got everywhere! Sigh! So much for the easy way out!

What followed was numerous online searches ( tsk1979 Sir's thread! Ultimate indeed!!).
Many threads and blogs later, I bought a pair of thermal wear, a few jeans, a few packets of MTR's Ready to Eat ( which remained unused ) and some regular medications like Crocin, Eno, Vicks etc. Jackets, sunglasses, cap, scarves, shoes and socks; I made do with what I had.

With the final packing and weighing completed on the eve of our departure, we loaded our suitcases into my Punto. With one part of the rear split seat folded, it was able to accommodate 3 check-in size bags, 5 cabin-luggage size bags and other itsy-bitsy pieces. My mom, aunt and me drove to Bangalore from Mysore; while my Uncle and my cousin arrived by train. Rest of my family stay at Bangalore. My grandmother's house at Rajajinagar served as the 'headquarters' where we all met up prior to the departure and made a lot of noise.

After the usual last minute confusions, shouting, frantic searches and hectic repacking, we finally managed to board the Force Traveller that was hired to take us to the Bangalore airport.

At the airport all the usual procedures passed of smoothly and we all, thankfully, managed to board the Delhi bound plane.. successfully not having enacted the scene from Home-Alone!

Since the Delhi bound flight was at night, there was nothing much to see. Thus, it was spent listening to the rhythmic snores coming from all around!
At Delhi we had to spend a few hours at the airport waiting for our connecting flight to Leh. The waiting time was, again, spent listening to even more snores!

The Delhi to Leh flight presented some of the best views I've ever seen! Sunrise, rows and rows of snow capped mountains, melt-water criss-crossing the landscape all made for a breathtaking sight!
The best part about travelling in a group is that you can beg/ blackmail/ bribe/ force your way to a window seat! In this case, the hapless donor was my cousin. While he craned his neck to see outside, I happily clicked away on my camera! Cheers to family!

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After arriving at the Leh airport, we were whisked off to three waiting Innovas; that were to be our travel companion for the entire duration of our stay. The vehicles were in excellent condition and a quick look at one of the glasses showed them to be of 2013 make! Nice!

Our accommodation at Leh was arranged at Hotel Omasila. It's located on the ChanSpa road (the road also houses a beautiful Nissan 4W73).
Omasila is a beautiful place with a breathtaking view of the mountains. The rooms were cosy, clean and well-equipped; the staff very helpful and friendly (I can't stress this point enough!); food was great...well, what more does one need?

We were welcomed by the staff and were served with hot yummy tea ( I managed to down 4 cups, but shhh..! ).

The trip co-ordinator then met us and gave us many helpful pointers. One of the main advice was- Avoid talking too much, at least on the first day and try not to physically exert yourselves unnecessarily. The intention behind this advice was to help us acclimatise to the altitude better, but he might have as well preached to the surrounding trees and mountains!
With a group in which age spanned from 13 to 70, the gravity of his advice was to be discovered sooner, rather than later!

After the briefing, we retired to the warmth of our rooms for a brief rest.

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In the evening, we headed to the nearby Shanthi Stupa. Its a hilltop Stupa which provides for some beautiful views of the city and the mountains. Despite the repeated warnings from our tour co-ordinator, many from our group happily chatted away at full volume and raced around the stupa.

And then trouble struck.

My aunt, who is not in the best of her health, tripped over a small rock that jutted out from the ground and went pelting down the slope and spectacularly crashed into a rectangular cement structure (like the base of a flag pole). We still shudder to think what the consequences might have been if not for the presence of that structure! Fortunately, but for a few bruises and rattled nerves, my aunt was unscathed. We were still busy attending to her, when my cousin, who is 17 years old, collapsed unconscious all of sudden. Luckily for him (and us!), he was standing facing towards me and another cousin of mine and we were just able to catch him before his head hit the sharp edge of a stair! It took us a few minutes to revive him and as soon as he felt a bit better, we hurried away from the place.

In retrospection, first day is better spent activity-less!

The first day schedule also included a visit to the Leh palace and the market, but we decided to skip them and headed straight back to the hotel. The drive back saw a few "Let's cancel the trip and head back home", "This place is not for us", " Did we have to come so far to die?", "We'll go back, you people stay back and enjoy the trip" talks emerge, but they were soon quelled.

Soon after reaching the hotel, the wounded soldiers of our group headed to the nearest doctor who, unfortunately, scared them silly with gory tales of mountain-sickness. And from that moment started the "daily 2 doses of Diamox" routine and the clockwork precision with which the drug was administered to all the scared souls in our group, sick or not. My mom and me though, opted to stay away from it; despite the dire warnings from others that the trip would be disrupted because of us. We were not trying to act-the-hero; we didn't feel uneasy, so we didn't take the drug.
Despite the predictions of doom, when even after many days nothing happened to us, slowly others too came around and in the end it was just 4-5 people who were hell bent on using that drug, despite them never having been affected by the sickness.

( I do realize the severity of altitude sickness and my intention is certainly not to post irresponsible or misleading statements. All I am trying to say is that the human coping mechanism is very capable. Preventive drugs are advised, but they are not mandatory.

On another note,

From the webmd.com on the side effects of Diamox,

" Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, fast/irregular heart beat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, difficulty concentrating), severe muscle cramps/pain, tingling of the hands/feet, blood in the urine, dark urine, painful urination, yellowing of the eyes/skin."


ALL
the people in our group who were using Diamox complained of tingling of the hands/feet, while the other "serious side effects" such as mood changes, irregular heartbeat and muscle cramps did make very frequent appearances.

I'm confused!
)

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Day 2 saw us wake up bright and early and after a healthy dose of yummy breakfast and hot tea, all the bad events of the previous day were put behind.
We headed to our cars and were driven to the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame is a museum constructed and maintained by the Indian army in memory of the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pak wars. It houses a collection of weapons seized from the enemies. It also has a section that gives a sneak-peek into the living conditions of our soldiers at the Siachen glacier battlefield. A few moments spent in the Hall of fame and you feel a new level of respect for our brave soldiers!

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From there, we headed to the Alchi monastery. Unfortunately for us, the main rooms of the monastery were closed. A short walk from the monastery brought us close to the Indus river. An impromptu "Facebook profile picture" photoshoot later, we headed back towards the monastery.
We had a quick lunch stopover at a restaurant in the same premises.

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Last edited by GTO : 21st July 2014 at 14:26. Reason: Trimming the hyphen lines. Actually not needed :)
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Old 17th July 2014, 19:14   #2
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Default re: Julley to the Land of High Passes - Ladakh!

Lunch over, with our bellies full, we headed back to our cars. The next place we visited was the Likir monastery. By the time we reached there, my mother was tired out due to the travel. My mom and me opted to stay back near the cars, while the other members of our group visited the monastery. While we waited, my mom and me had yummy tea at the small canteen near the base of the hillock!

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Next place of visit was the Basgo monastery and palace. Unfortunately, the monastery and the palace were closed. But that did not prevent us from climbing up and enjoying the view!

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From there it was back to Leh. On our way back, we stopped over at the Indus-Zanskar confluence, the "Magnetic" hill and the Pathar Sahib Gurudwara (Tea again! Yippee!).

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We reached Leh quite late in the evening. We had a cup of hot tea and called for an early dinner.
Since we had another long drive scheduled for the following day, we decided to call it an early night and headed back to our rooms.

And thus ended a long and tiring second day, with many members now left in serious doubt as to whether they can cope with the following day's arduous journey.


Day 3 dawned clear and blue and post an early breakfast, we checked out of our rooms and boarded our cars. We were headed to the Nubra Valley via Khardung La. Each car was equipped with a small oxygen cylinder and a big reserve cylinder was placed in the last car of the convoy.

The journey, given our groups' condition, was largely uneventful, though the occasional complaint of breathlessness was still to be heard. We stopped at a couple of places en route to stretch our legs and take a breather. We also made a brief stopover at Khardung La. Only a few dared to get down from the car. We spent a few minutes snapping pictures there.

The drive along this route offered splendid views. The progressive shrinking of Leh city as we climbed higher and higher, the first sign of snow by the roadside, the side by side contrasting view of the barren-brown and the snow-clad-white mountainsides.. WOW! Ladakh is probably one of the few places where the journey is often better than the destination! Each foot traversed offers a whole new view of the same object! It is indeed a photography enthusiasts' dream place! And there I was, stuck in the last, sealed-window seat of an Innova; trying to get a shot right in the pitching van. Sigh! Next time!

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We reached Nubra Valley late in the afternoon. We had opted for tent stay there and our accommodation was arranged at Nubra Sarai. The place is good and the food, though not as good as Omasila, was pretty decent.

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The journey had been taxing and no one was in a mood to visit any more places that day. But after much debate, we decided to stick to the planned schedule and visited the nearby Hunder sand dunes. An hour or more of frolicking on the sand dunes and Bactrian camel rides later, we couldn't wait to hit the beds!

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Last edited by schakravarthy : 17th July 2014 at 19:17.
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Old 17th July 2014, 19:35   #3
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Default re: Julley to the Land of High Passes - Ladakh!


Day 4
was a bit cloudy. Our itinerary was- Panamik hot spring, Holy lake, Samstanling monastery, Sumur sand dunes and back to Nubra Sarai.

Panamik hot spring was a short drive away from our tents. I read on another thread here that they were charged for a visit to the Hot spring, but it wasn't so in our case. The place was free for access (and usage, of course), clean and well maintained. There is a closed, pool like enclosure for those who can't climb up to the hot spring.
We had a relaxing dip in the supposedly healing sulphur waters of the spring.
Next to the pool, there was a small canteen like establishment run by an old lady. We tried some veg momos and butter tea and I can't say I disliked them!

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From there we headed to the Holy Lake. The drive to the lake through a barren, rock strewn, desolate path is indeed amazing. I couldn't help but picture myself zooming away in a Gypsy! (a tiny voice in my head said, "next time boy, next time!"). Sigh! Fingers crossed!
The holy lake is accessed by a small hike along a rock littered path and as is the case with the most of Ladakh- the journey is better than the destination. It is a small pond and a sort of wishing-well equivalent of the region. We were told that touching the water is prohibited.
I was curious to see what was on the other side of the hills surrounding the lake. A small trek; my cousin and I were on the banks on a wide river! Ladakh is indeed curious!

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From the Holy Lake we headed to the Samstanling monastery and from there to the Sumur sand dunes. A little bit of river wading and a few disastrous camel rides later ( aunts falling off the camels! Oh wait.. that's not disastrous, that's hilarious! ), we headed back to our tents.
A campfire and a few off-note songs.. and we were ready to call it a day!

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Day 5 dawned clear and sunny. A quick stopover at the Deskit monastery and we were ready to traverse back to Leh via Khardung La. The condition of our group was much better than what it had been two days ago, maybe it was the acclimatisation or maybe as we had already done the route once; and survived, we knew that we could do it again and were hence mentally better prepared.

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Old 17th July 2014, 19:50   #4
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We reached Leh hale and hearty and even had some 'josh' left to check out the Leh palace. IMO, the palace would've been a much better visit if it still had the original furnishings in it instead of some unrelated paintings and photographs.

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From the palace we visited the Leh market. We were there for an hour or more. A few from our group left the market with their wallets considerably lighter and their arms considerably heavier.. laden with unwanted stuff! The majority though, just had a look around.

We then returned to Omasila. After two days of tent stay, we were now even more appreciative of the comforts of the hotel room and the warmth of the beds!


Day 6 started with thunder and rain! We were rudely awakened from our deep slumbers with loud rumblings in the sky ( or, was it somewhere nearer? It does sound different at that altitude! ). What followed was ice pelting down from the sky! Soon the ground was covered in a layer of white!
This event forewarned us as to how the conditions would be later in the day.

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Post an early breakfast we headed to our cars. The route planned was Druk White Lotus school, Thicksey monastery and Pangong Tso via Chang La.

Druk White Lotus school served as a shooting location for the popular Hindi movie 3 Idiots ( the model school set up the protagonist, to be precise ). The place offered no other attraction other than that and in retrospection, I feel, it could have been skipped. We bought a few calenders and jackets there as we were told it would help fund the school.

As we were already running late, we decided to skip Thicksey monastery and headed directly towards Pangong Tso. As we climber higher, the route was covered with fresh snow that had fallen overnight. Calling it 'Spectacular' would be underwhelming! We reached Chang La to be greeted by snowfall!
Snow falling gently over us, with the odd fleck falling into the steaming cup of tea clutched tightly for warmth; at 17,590 feet. WOW!

We didn't linger for long at Chang La as we expected the snowfall to create traffic congestion. And how right we were! No sooner had we started than we got caught in a small jam! The precision of the drivers in negotiating the vehicles in such treacherous conditions was indeed amazing! Luckily, we escaped within a short while.
Another party, who we met later, told us that their car, rather, one of the wheels, had slipped off the the road while negotiating the traffic and the car was later pulled back onto the road by the army personnel using chains. Scary!

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Old 17th July 2014, 20:08   #5
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We reached Pangong quite late in the evening. The sun had already begun to set and none of the famous brilliant blue of the lake was to be seen. There was a little confusion regarding the location of our tents ( to be precise, the place where the tent was supposed to be was vacant! ) and another half an hour of searching ( and cursing ) later, we came to know that the tents had been moved a further 10 kms away from the previous location!
Though it was quite irksome, it actually proved to be a blessing as we got to see extra 10 kms of the lake which we might otherwise have missed!

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Soon the Sun set and made way for a sky that dazzled even more brilliantly than a Rolls-Royce's Starlight roof! We literally had to search for 'black' amidst the varied hues of the stars ( it's the converse in the city, you know )!

With the night sky shining in all its starlit glory, I made a few attempts to capture it by placing the camera on an inverted chair and using self-timer to trigger the shutter. But soon the cold was unbearable and I abandoned my feeble attempts and headed back into the tent.

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And then started the most unforgettable night of the trip!

The temperature dipped rapidly and was soon into minus and all the layers of blankets proved ineffective. What ensued was a sleepless; night long prayer marathon to all the Gods that we believed in; didn't believe in; had seen portraits of; had read about; had vaguely heard of; had seen on TV and what-not and how-not!
Maybe our prayers were heard (we were closer to them, you see? High altitude and all! He.. he.. ) and we somehow survived the night.
(we later learnt that the temperature had dipped to minus 10C or lower !).


Day 7 Morning brought a clear sky and with it a lake, so Blue.. er.. um.. it was damn blue; let's leave it at that! Seriously, all these years, I was convinced that pics of the lake were edited to make the water appear that blue! But I was proved wrong and how! All the troubles of the previous night were forgotten with just one glimpse of the lake. It was THAT magnificent!

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We spent sometime by the lake watching the sun rise.
We then went back to the tents and breakfast done, bags packed, tents vacated; we again spent some more time by the lakeside and then reluctantly bid adieu to Pangong and started back towards to Leh.

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En route to Leh, we stopped by a place somewhere close to Chang La. There had been fresh snowfall again and this permitted us to have some fun in the snow ( we had stopped there earlier too, on our way to Pangong Tso ).

We reached Leh early in the evening and having rested for a bit, we visited the Leh market again and then went back to our beds at the Omasila for one final sleep at Leh.
Sad.

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Day 8 Clear skies, cloudy hearts! We bid farewell to the hotel staff and thanked them for their unmatched hospitality! The people of Ladakh are indeed a rare breed.

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We headed to the airport, where we bid a fond farewell to our drivers ( one of them is still in touch with us on WhatsApp! ) and boarded our Delhi bound flight.

The return journey was again uneventful, save for the scare Delhi's famous temperature gave us ( -10C to 44C is indeed scary! ). Our connecting flight to Bangalore was a good 6 odd hours away, but so shocked were we, that we decided to hide in the air-conditioned comfort of the airport rather than venture out and explore the city!

We landed in Bangalore airport late at night from where, again, the same Force Traveller was hired to take us back to our house. We spent a sleepless night there, recollecting and narrating our adventures to my ever-enthusiastic nonagenarian grandmother!

Next day morning, bags loaded into the car, we bid our relatives farewell and drove back to Mysore.

... and with that ended our one week of Out-Of-This-World experience. And this travelogue.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Musings/ Learnings:

• Tea everywhere! Yay!
• I've never seen more friendly or helpful people. Everyone has a smile on their face. Even at the hostile conditions of Chang La, when a driver from the opposite side barged onto our narrow path, our driver greeted him with a smile and a friendly 'Julley'. We didn't see him, or for that matter anyone, lose their cool even once. We travelled to different places, yet, where ever we went, the people were more than ready to be of assistance. Most of the people we interacted with knew Hindi and to some extent English, so communication was not an issue.
• There's no such thing as being under-prepared for the cold. It's very real! Carry as much warm clothes as possible. Especially if you are from the South!
• This trip I developed a new found respect for Innova. I've driven and have been driven many a kilometres in that vehicle, but never had I come to appreciate it. A week in the car and I'm a fan. Though fully loaded, it easily climbed the steep slopes; never once feeling out of breath and absorbed the bumps and dumps without scraping the underbody or letting the occupants feel the rough road. Impressive!
• Lastly, there's no point in travelling by a hired car with a driver, especially if you are a photo enthusiast. All the views and scenes will whoosh past you! Ladakh is best enjoyed at leisure; in a self driven vehicle.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for reading. Until the next time,

Julley!

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Last edited by GTO : 21st July 2014 at 14:25. Reason: Trimming the hyphen lines. Actually not needed :)
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Old 18th July 2014, 11:13   #6
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Default re: Julley to the Land of High Passes - Ladakh!

Hey nice travelogue there, SChakravarthy! Lovely photos too!

Do you have more pictures of the starry night sky?
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Old 18th July 2014, 11:18   #7
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schakravarthy - So you finally agreed with your friends that a trip to this region is best experienced in your own car and at leisure. That is very true. Try the full circuit sometime. You will be amazed at what you see.

Having said that, the pictures takes by you are really wonderful. They speak a lot.
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Old 18th July 2014, 12:13   #8
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Originally Posted by PreethamB View Post
Hey nice travelogue there, SChakravarthy! Lovely photos too!

Do you have more pictures of the starry night sky?
Thanks a lot buddy!

Unfortunately, I couldn't snap more pics of the night sky. In all my wisdom, I didn't pack my tripod or remote! I tried taking a few pics using crude alternative means, but soon my camera battery gave way; and so did my attempts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by souravdebiswas View Post
schakravarthy - So you finally agreed with your friends that a trip to this region is best experienced in your own car and at leisure. That is very true. Try the full circuit sometime. You will be amazed at what you see.

Having said that, the pictures takes by you are really wonderful. They speak a lot.
Thanks a lot Sourav!

I'll definitely do the circuit again! Plans are already being made with PreethamB for a road trip next year!

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 26th July 2015 at 09:21. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 18th July 2014, 12:52   #9
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What is the animal which was skulking around for a drink of water?
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Old 18th July 2014, 13:14   #10
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What is the animal which was skulking around for a drink of water?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmot

Great pictures @ schakravarthy

Did the same touristy trip in 1st week of june(missed the nubra valley piece though)

I agree with you ,leh locals are really amazing and am sure their happiness index is way above the rest of us

Any pics of local food you tried?

We guys also did river rafting on the zanskar river which meets indus at the sangam point ,something which you should try when you go there next

Hats of the indian army stationed there

Julley my friend

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Old 18th July 2014, 14:00   #11
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Any pics of local food you tried?

We guys also did river rafting on the zanskar river which meets indus at the sangam point ,something which you should try when you go there next
The only local cuisine I sampled was Momos and I forgot to snap pics of that! Our group was so awesome that we ordered Masala Dosa in a Punjabi restaurant at Leh market! :banghead:

River rafting sounds exciting! i will surely try it out next time! What's the grade of the course btw?
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Old 18th July 2014, 14:29   #12
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The only local cuisine I sampled was Momos and I forgot to snap pics of that! Our group was so awesome that we ordered Masala Dosa in a Punjabi restaurant at Leh market! :banghead:

River rafting sounds exciting! i will surely try it out next time! What's the grade of the course btw?
Total of about 14 rapids (mix of grade 3 and couple of grade 4)

29km downstream of which last 6 was flat calm river

We did it though a local adventure club called splash ladakh

Per person charge was 1600 (included food and transportation back and forth from the hotel)

On the food side same story ,we guys had an overdose of local cuisine and our last meal in leh was tandoori chicken in a place called tibetian kitchen

Last edited by Rajesh Rawal : 18th July 2014 at 14:30.
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Old 18th July 2014, 19:07   #13
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Total of about 14 rapids (mix of grade 3 and couple of grade 4)

29km downstream of which last 6 was flat calm river

We did it though a local adventure club called splash ladakh

Per person charge was 1600 (included food and transportation back and forth from the hotel)
Thanks a lot for sharing the info Rajesh.

A few locals present near the confluence did try to sell us the rafting experience, but given that we reached the spot towards the end of a long tiring day and but for a few, most from our group weren't too keen about such activities, we politely declined the offer.
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Old 18th July 2014, 20:32   #14
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Great travelogue sir. You have a very humorous style of writing which keeps one engaged. I guess being in a trip with your extended family also added its own fun along with the Ladakh scenery.
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Old 18th July 2014, 22:31   #15
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Default Re: Julley to the Land of High Passes - Ladakh!

engrossing read and very nice pictures. which camera did you use and the lens? also, grateful if you could let me know how much did the hotel charge and what was the vehicle related cost?
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