Just Emkaying: Travelling to Ladakh - Leh Part 2

Aug 15, 2011

Travelling to Ladakh - Leh Part 2

You might want to start with the previous post in this article, at Travelling to Ladakh - Leh

So where was I ?, Ah Manali!!! Well to be honest its a nice town, nestled on the top of the hills, giving you a nice view of the entire town. However, I must say that the fame of the town is quite exaggerated. It is a beautiful place none the less, but I have seen better down South.

It was important for us to make the trip from Delhi to Manali and then Ladakh to get accustomed to the weather. Its not easy to adapt to the thinner air in the mountains, and we in spite of the road trip, had a tough time adjusting.

Anyways, we left for Ladakh, on an Toyota Innova at 2 Am in the night. 20 minutes on the ghats and a couple of horses later trouble stuck. The ice was melting on the roads, making it very sludgy. This was a bigger problem as the roads were under construction and everything was dug up. We must of got out at least 4 times to push and once with the help of the car behind us before the driver's side-winding nerve-racking tyre-burning tricks got us stuck in the sludge.

We then hitch hiked a cattle truck to reach across the major section of the road, before the road got blocked.

4 Am at Rohtang Pass may not sound amusing, with the cold and all, but when you get to see the sunrise amongst snow capped mountains and the morning mist, there are no words to describe it. Take a look at the snaps on the right!!!

Unfortunately, or in hindsight fortunately we got the chance to soak in the beauty of the Rohtang pass, were alternatively if things had gone well we would have missed the beautiful snow covered peaks of Rohtang and instead would have sped by in the darkness of the night.

We were stuck in the pass till about 10AM, by when the roads were dry and excavators were brought in to push away all the soft mud. But our vehicles tyres were so burned out, that it just wasn't going ahead. Finally after some 10 people put their hands on it, did the vehicle actually move ahead. This delay cost us time and later money as well, as we dint have time to drive back and had to fly instead.

I will skip all the sites in between, and head directly to Sarchu Base Camp. Because we got delayed, we had to make camp at a site in Sarchu. Though apparently a village, the only thing we saw was an army installation and two base camps. The camps are well set up, each tent with its one bathroom, a general kitchen and food, with good clean beds and blankets.

Its a few hours before this camp that the thin air got to us, and the head pounding began. Its the worst feeling in the world. You cant sit, stand, talk or do anything. Your head just keeps banging and banging. The solution? Chewing on Garlic, and Mint tea. I have since fallen in love with Mint Tea. Amazing!!!

We left in the morning after feeling better, and continued the journey. We had our lunch at Pang, which hosts the second highest transit army camp in the world. Till we reached Ladakh, we had a tyre puncture and another road block, before we actually reached Ladakh.

More on the Ladakh and Leh Sight Seeing in the next post!!!


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