Guest post : Originally written in gujarati by Jay, translated by me..
Photographs : By Nigam and Jay.
Part 4 :
The moment Nigam’s pants and socks were wet, I could see the expressions of tension on his face, however, the local staff and Tashi both asked us to relax and not worry, they advised Nigam to not stop but keep walking as that would keep him warm. We all then decided to leave the Chadar and climb a few rocks on a side and walk over them for a while till we find more firmer Chadar. Whilst trying to climb up to the rocks even I slipped and water entered my gum boots as well. Until now it was Nigam who had experienced it, now I got first hand experience of the freeze! My left feet went absolutely numb. Again the instruction was to keep walking without stopping, walk we did till we reached our lunch stop. At times I could not feel my legs and fingers, but we kept walking. At our lunch stop we finally stopped in a sunny spot and took out our shoes and socks and emptied the water out of the gum boots and dried them in the sun. Amazingly the water in the pants had turned into icicles and we could just dust them off like we would dust off pants in a desert!!! Lesson learnt was not to ever panic or rush up things in times of stress for it could prove fatal!
After black tea and pulao for lunch we started our second leg of the trek for the day when we came across a crowded stream of water, crowded coz it was a hot water spring! Amazing nature, in this cold, barren, freezing place a hot water spring!!! This hot water spring is named ‘Rama Sadsa.’ No one missed out on indulging in this pleasure that nature yielded for us! 😀
Moving ahead after the hot water spring the gorge got quite narrow and was surrounded by really high mountains on both sides. We saw a few more frozen waterfalls, amongst them one was so huge that we looked like flies in front of it! Eventually as we reached Nerak Pullu we were relieved to know that our man had managed to find one room for us and that news itself was enough to warm our frozen hearts! After reaching the room, immediately we lighted up the bukhari in the room and sat around it for a while warming ourselves up. The feeling of being able to spend a night now inside a warm room was really growing up on us. After sipping our black tea, Glenn asked if he could go up the hill and see the village ‘Nerak’ and the warm bukhari ensured we were enthusiastic enough to join him. Whilst leaving in our chit chat we forgot to wear our hand gloves after walking a bit suddenly it felt as if my fingers were numb and the wind was so so chilly it felt like it was chopping off our fingers. After walking for a while I and Nigam asked Glenn and Tashi to go ahead and see the village, we stopped climbing and decided to take photos around and retreat to our warm Bukhari!
The next day we had to reach the village Lingshed which is located admist the hills. After walking an hour on the Chadar we had to climb a hilly terrain for almost 3 hours, after three days for the first time we left the Chadar and the feeling of walking on firmer terrain on soft powder like snow and not the Chadar was welcome. This was my first experience of trekking in Ladakhi hills. The dry mountains of Ladakh have a narrow trail and apart from it being adventurous you had to be cautious because of the snow. On the way we took breaks, huffing and puffing, eating Bharuchi Sing’s Chikki (peanut chikki) and energy bars from New Zealand. As we started climbing higher the valley started to appear more open and the views became even more grander! If that was possible that is! 🙂
As we finally reached Lingshed, we realised what a wonderful view it was, white carpet and blue skies! We kept mentioning heaven way too many times! As Tashi got busy talking to one house owner we realised that this was the place where we were going to stay and it looked like we were in for a room with a wonderful view. As we climbed up to our room on the first floor we were amazed to see that instead of walls on two sides there were only glass walls! The room looked like this :
The feeling of waking up in the morning in this room with sunlight all over us was unbelievably warm. The view in the morning from our windows was like this, click the image to view a larger size :
and well here are a few more pics of around Lingshed and Lingshed Monastery which is quite famous!
We did manage to spot this bird and once we reached home and googled we came to know it was an Alpine Chough! 😀 😀
This was a fairy land and the blue skies and white snow with rocky structures was a feast for photography!
Finally we actually managed to get a phone and Nigam immediately got calling wifey and wishing her Happy Anniversary!
Lunch about to be served at Lingshed Monastery!
and I guess divine blessings have already reached this fellow! I guess this is as close to God as you can get! Lingshed is at 12500 ft!
So until next episode Julley!