Guest post : Originally written in gujarati by Jay, translated by me..
Photographs : By Nigam and Jay.
So far in this sereis :
Chadar Diaries – I
Chadar Diaries – II
Chadar Diaries – III
Chadar Diaries – IV
Part V :
We spent one full day resting in Lingshed after so many days of trekking. The place as you all saw in the last post was a treat to stay in. Absolutely pristine white snow, blue skies, red cheeked ladakhi local boys who kept smiling and staring unending, warm room to sleep in and hot food to eat! We also visited the famous Lingshed Monastery in the noon and participated in the prayers for a while and then took photographs and also had their famous salt tea! If ever in life I do get an opportunity again I would really like to come back and stay in this place one more time! Lets hope my wish does come true.. Inshallah! or should I say Julley! 😛
The temperature in the night at Lingshed went to -20degree celcius!!!! 😀 It was so cold that water would freeze and yes… even if you pee’d it would freeze in a matter of seconds 😛
Anyways, the cold apart, next day our homestay host family and all waved us a warm goodbye and we set back to Nerak Pullu and began our reverse journey to Leh! The target was to reach Leh by 1st without any interruptions!
Near Nerak Pulla is a place on the river that is called Vama where the ice chadar does not always form properly, if this chadar would not be formed properly, since the water is so deep here you would have to trek almost 1.5 days to cross this patch, however, as luck had it for us the Chadar was intact at both times for us and we crossed it in 15 mins! Now that is what I think might have inspired that saying that truth is stranger than fiction!!! Nature and its vagaries! 🙂 But I guess nature was kind to us and we crossed this patch uneventfully!
We reached Nerak Pullu and spent a night there and the next day we had a long trek planned so we started early. Throughout the journey we understood what our Guide Taashi had told us, never to ask anyone about the chadar nor tell anyone anything about the chadar. Nature changes the course of the Chadar by the minute and hence it is pertinent that everyone stays alert and makes careful observations and takes enough precautions and does not take his safety granted at any moment.
This trip in many ways taught us a lot of new things about nature that I never thought I could know. The fascinating part is nature actually has more surprises and I am sure there are still plenty more in store in future.
On our way back we were a lot more relaxed though and hence we looked around a lot more then whilst we were going, we even tried our hands at pulling the sleigh of our porters and getting an experience of how they dealt with it and I must tell you that is a tough tough job! We spend one night in a cave on our way back and that in itself was a unique experience. Sleeping about next to a fire in completely natural surroundings was a once in a life time experience that we will never forget in life!
Cheers to life! 😀 😀 😀
Thats the place where we spent our night!
Sleeping next to the fire bole to next to the fire! Samjhe!
Enjoying the warmth!
On the last day we also passed the cave where Kushok Bakula Rimpo used to meditate for almost 15-30 days! Whilst we were having our last lunch on the Chadar there was a peculiar feeling inside me, the feeling of wanting to get into a warm room and a warm bath at the same time the feeling whether I will ever get such an experience again. We ate to our heart and mind’s content on this last occasion. We also encouraged our guide to sing this song :
Please excuse the quality of the video but I couldn’t help but get dancing in between… but the way the song echoed in the valley will always reverberate in my ears!!!! Memories of a lifetime seriously! Also what I will not forget is how Nigam does garba on this Ladakhi tune!!! 😀
The trip to Chadar was an extreme and humbling experience both at the same time. But as they say,
“Woh Jawani Jawani Nahi,
Jiski Koi Kahani na ho!”
Hopefully my Jawani, Kahani and Shwash(breath) will all end together!
Jai Hind! 🙂