Ladakhi Trails A journey through Ladakh
We covered Ladakh in September last year and the top 3 things I brought back with me were: a frozen bottom from using outdoor toilets (there are no public toilets and holding it in would have resulted in my insides turning to ice), photos of extra-furry animals, and a bunch of mini prayer flags.
Since Ladakh was ushering in its winter season, the climate was wonderfully unique, with the gleaming sun and the glittering snow playing hide and seek.
This is how our trip looked:
Leh > Khardungla > Nubra Valley > Leh > Pangong Lake > Leh
Khardung la pass (18,380 feet)
Once we were acclimatised to the altitude (they advise complete rest for the first 24 hours), we set out for Nubra Valley, passing Khardungla on the way. Khardungla is widely considered to be the world’s highest motorable roadway, but this is debatable with some laying claim that there are roads at higher elevations in some parts of Tibet. At Khardungla, it was painfully cold and so we bolted out of the van just to click pictures in the fairy-tale snow, before huddling into the only café that the pass has to offer, for Maggi (this was before the ban was lifted, so they probably had a secret stash).
At this point, we had set out with one SUV and one motorbike (there were 7 people + 1 tonne of luggage). As we took turns on the bike, I reckon we were trying to cross biking in unthinkable altitudes off our bucket list, though I can’t be sure why we decided to risk losing our appendages to godforsaken frostbite. A theory I’ve developed over time is that the reduced levels of oxygen affect one’s ability to make a sound judgement with respect to transport options.
On the way back, we dumped the bike into a lorry, to bring back to Leh.
Pangong lake: the last stop
This post has been written by Vaishnavi, a badass wanderer!
She travels like she writes – with an open heart. Do visit her blog!