Weekends in Bharuch! :)

Warning : A post that includes only showing off. Please wear your glares before you read! ๐Ÿ˜› :mrgreen:

 

The best part of living in a town where you grew up is that you have so many people who know you are connected living around you, not just that, it also means that all your friends are either put up here or are visiting your town on weekends or festivals even if they are working elsewhere. So in many ways I live in a town that is sort of a head quarter for most of the people in my circle! Hence, weekends are always fun, sometimes almost hectic! Saturday nights are gathered around some wonderful food and spent regaling each other with stories or pulling each others legs, late nights and then early mornings we have to leave for the Narmada Valley to find some or the other waterfall for a bath.

 

Yea that way we are pretty rich, we drive about an hour to find a pristine waterfall for a bath on Sundays! Blessed with wonderful countryside we Bharuchi’s may not be proud of our city and its cleanliness but are certainly snooting about to everyone about the countryside we have! So many mountains, valleys, waterfalls that you can spend the entire months of July to November bathing in a different waterfall every Sunday!!!!! Now doesn’t that sound amazing!??!?!

 

One friend of ours Nitinbhai actually is a treasure trove in that regard, he has explored the surrounding area’s so much that he knows of all such small streams and nooks and corners of our town and we use our connections to the hilt! Always pinging him up on saturday nights about directions to our next bath on a sunday! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Pehchaan hai apni Boss!! :mrgreen:

 

Anyways so this weekend was one such hectic and fun affair! Around 12 I decided it was time for me to cook, so I called home and told all the ladies to take it easy and relax, I will cook, I then got all the stuff around 4 pm and got into cooking, some garlic bread, salad, one type of Crostini and a cucumber crush as suggested by my blogger buddies Rakesh and Monika. It all turned out pretty swell!

 

Forgot to take pictures! But thankfully one friend had made a Snap Story of a couple of things and hence I can now show off!

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The Garlic Bread with mayonnaise, corn, capsicum, tomato and chilli flakes! Do take note, this is home made Mayonnaise! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

 

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The Crostini before it was sent int he oven to melt! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Unfortunately the drinks and salad were not photographed however the salad was scraped off the huge bowl and the drink was finished too with me getting three glasses of it :mrgreen:

 

Then after having slept at around 12 in the night, some of the earnest few even went to Garba that night, we had to wake up at 5 am and one friend was kind enough or well insane enough to call me and wake me up at 4.30! :-/ย at 5 am we were on the road! Half of us did catch up some sleep in the car whilst the rest fought on what music to play! The biggest draw back of technology that ways, everyone is carrying their play list and wants to make others listen to music he loves! ๐Ÿ˜

 

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Once you leave the city, Bharuch regales you with greenery and green slopes especially in the monsoon

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Yes… I belong to these parts! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Into the wilderness we go, searching for a waterfall through Jowar Fields!

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Yeh mera gaonย …..

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Seems like we are going to have a bumper Ponk harvest this year… thanks to the wonderful monsoon we have had this year! Its October and its still not exhausted! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

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Spotted these two who absolutely were loving the weather and the surroundings! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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and then there are angry dad’s at their kids for not running away from bad company, it screamed at the little one for not running far from us and letting us get so close!

 

Now last but certainly not the least, Namaskar from Bharuch! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Sundays in Bharuch

On sundays you get up lazily, sometimes you are kicked out of your sleep for its time to head for a bath, a bath that is a short drive away, on the way you have to have some breakfast and then onto the bath, here is a short photo story! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Hit the road on a glorious Indian monsoon day! ๐Ÿ˜›

 

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Stop and climb a random green hill!

 

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Find this view atop a random hill! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Get lost into capturing it all in your camera… this could be a mini valley of flowers from Bharuch ๐Ÿ˜›

 

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Getting friendly with the locals of the place! They are kinda poised to take off I say!

 

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Eventually stop digressing and head for the bath!

 

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The spot!

 

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Finally time to wash!

 

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Then some time for a siesta in the shade watching over rich contrasting shades of nature!

 

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Every few minutes the cloud scene kept changing and it was amazing to just gaze about.

 

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Hamara Bharuch!

 

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As it invariably happens, after you have washed and dried and dressed you suddenly come across another waterfall, this one a natural shower of sorts…. sigh…. what do you do!????

 

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Well I say walk straight in!

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Not to miss out on the wonderful hogging that happened through this arduous day ๐Ÿ˜› A few dhokla’s here a sev ussal there, bajri ka rotla or makke di roti, locha and well ice cream to top it off!

 

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Enough for a day I say!

 

 

Pic credits have to be shared within the four of us, Jay, Supas, Rishabh and me!

The trail to Mesar Kund

Yes driving in the hills is fun and something I love but even more appealing is to shun your car and walk up into the woods. That is one even more appealing thingย about the Himalaya’s. Unlike walking in a city and bumping into someone here you mostly are alone walking all the way and even if you actually come across someone you don’t ever have to make way plus you always get a smile and a Jai Ramji Ki or Namaskar greeting you.

 

Add to that the fact that you are under the shade of tree’s and the temperature is always brilliant to walk in plus the air is fresh, pollution is miniscule, there are interesting birds hopping by and if you have an aware local with you along than you will get to taste a lot of berries and fruits that you otherwise wouldn’t dare to pick up.

 

So one early morning in Munsiyari we decided to shrug off our laziness and after our morning tea and breakfast we started walking up to the home of the lady who had arranged our stay, Mallika Verdi, she is a retired mountaineer who has settled here since 1992 and has a wonderfully lovely place. Apparently she is the one who has helped all the local ladies to set up a homestay and ensured that this income is paid in the hands of these ladies. We were told that there was a Yoga session at her place which is beside a meadow, incidentallyย a guy from Bangalore had also come to stay just like us and was a Yoga instructor and so she had arranged a few sessions for all locals to take part and learn yoga.

 

Honestly so far I have always loathed yoga but we thought why not go and see and even maybe click some pictures whilst these people are at it. So we began our stiff climb from our place in Shankhadhura to Mallikaji’s house. Mornings in Munsiyari are ethereal with sunrise in summers happening at almost 5 am from behind the Panchachuli peaks. We soaked in the view and sipped our tea with Parantha’s, about the view, well…

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Actually giving up a position that is comfortable, where you can order food all the time and sit with views like this and walking is a task, but we had decided and off we went.

 

It was a good one hour stiff climb to reach Mallikaji’s place, others might do it in maybe 45 minutes but with us panting and clicking pictures basically to conceal our panting took our sweet time to reach there.

 

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The panting and sighing never stopped on the road too as through the woods from time to time the majestic mountains playing with the clouds would appear and wow us.

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The meadow near Mallikaji’s house

The place that Mallikaji has is beautiful beyond words, woods, a meadow, a pond with loads of fish, ducks, geese, cows, dogs, spectacular views and a lot of love and warmth to boot!

 

We were welcomed with tea and we sat about talking about our trip so far and her place and got to know each other a little bit. She was wonderfully charming, calm and a very likable person as it was evident from our talks with our host and her husband and all the locals that had come there for Yoga. The way they all mingled and joked and laughed with each other was so heartening to see. She was as much a local as any local could be, they all called her Didi out of their affection and respect for her. There was greatย camaraderie between the people who had all gathered there. Men, women and children all alike joked and pulled each others legs, the environment amongst them was a thing to behold I am not sure I can describe it.

 

Photography didn’t really happen much as we mingled and got busy with Yoga ourselves and actually loved the whole encounter. Everyone helped each other to accomplish the most difficult Asana’s the Bangalore boy taught us.

Men and women had never seemed more equal than I saw them at this place on this day! Honestly this is no exageration.

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During the Yoga session it did drizzle in between, a short shower and we would all carry our mats and rush to shelter and come back to the field again when it stopped. It was fun and we didnt even realise we spent around 3 hours there. Eventually we were told to hang around for lunch. Apparently there was Sambar rice, Lemon Rice and Potato subzi being made by Ram who also belonged to Bangalore and stays here. The invitation was pretty tempting and we were thinking of aborting the trek but then we learnt that it would take another 2 hours for lunch and I thought to myself we could rush up and down in that time and make it by lunch! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

So off we went to Mesar Kund, which wasย another stiff climb that took us 1 hour, this time it was just the three of us on the route, no human crossed us or met us on the way, there are no residences here and no one seemed to be coming that way. The three of us had to stop quite a few times to rest and catch up our breath. It was tiring but well worth the effort.

 

Here are a few pics we took :

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Walking through foliage that dense is something I love dearly!

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Encountering flowers on the way!

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Catching up breath was pretty important!

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Finally our destination!

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Mesar Kund!

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The tranquility of the place was something else the peace you could feel here was unbelievable, ideal place to sit and take deep breaths, the place was pristine and fresh and you should take in as much oxygen here as you can!

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Far away from the maddening crowd, beneath the Oak tree, gathering your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thats the prize you get for climbing and panting your guts out. You own places like this, there was no one but just the three of us here.

 

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From one end the view of the Panchachuli was something like this! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

We munched about apples sitting here and watching the place and soaking the tranquility in, we didn’t bother with our packed lunches that our host had packed for us as the Sambhar Rice was playing on our minds. We hung around for around an hour at this place before the clouds threatened. We rushed but not before the rain fell on us and almost drenched us, thankfully enough we reached just in time for the Sambar Rice.

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Not the best picture, taken by mobile, however, make no mistake, this was one of the yummiest meals we had on our 15 day trip to Uttarakhand. The simplicity and yet amazingly wonderful Sambar Rice made by Ram were a highlight of this trip.

 

Amazing aint it to have authentic South Indian food cooked and served up so high North in the country and that too not in a restaurant but cooked in a camp! We emptied plates I tell you the three of us!

 

Its evident na, why I am smitten by the Himalaya’s and the people there and how I have encountered so much goodness so many times there that I just cant stop singing praises and making return trips. Not a believer in God, but if God did exist than I am sure he lived in these parts for there is still so much goodness left here! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The age long argument!

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Man : Listen you woman, we are lost!

Woman : All thanks to you!

M : Whoa…ย my folly?

W: Who else??

M : You made me lose the way…

W: Well had you actually asked that villager we met at the last bend we would have known the right way…

M : But well that turn we took was right….

W: Yea and you were confused there after at the very next fork…

M: But that turn was right.

W: So you mean coz you were lost at the fork and I suggested this way, its coz of me??

M: I should have gone with my instincts. Your female sense of direction sucks!

W: You and your male instincts, you were unsure, really lost and so you heard my opinion!

M: Whatever, thanks to hearing your wise opinion we are now tired, thirsty and lost

W: I have a bottle of water in my back pack!

M :ย Oh wow!

W: But its for me.

M: Awww… come on, sweetheart

W: Keep walking.

M: But I am thirsty you know.

W: I couldn’t care less.

M: A man could die of thirst you know.

W: Look there is our camp!

M: Wow!

W: Here you can have the water.

M: Sigh… You were right…

W: Well you were right about the bend too!

~

When you walk…

I mean when you walk long distances that test your endurance and you successfully complete those treks you don’t just surprise yourself but actually discover a completely new self of yours that you didn’t know exists.

After the 5 hour walk to Rumbak and not being able to really eat much apart from a few bowls of soup the first night was slightly uncomfortable. All evening was spent shivering as most of the Bukhari was already surrounded and I had to sit slightly away from it. When eventually I got my chance near it I actually managed to snooze for a good hour. That one hour of sleep probably made matters worse as the night was quite uncomfortable. We were 4 people in a 15ft by 15 feet room with a Bukhari in the middle. Sleeping inside sleeping bags with 5 layers was not a good idea. Infact I was advise to remove all layers and socks and sleep in one layer inside the sleeping bag and blanket. However, the fear or feeling cold in the night ensured I didn’t take that advice.

Already whilst walking that day in the end I felt like I had twitched something in my leg and I was already feeling a bit of pain so I slept in full layers and that night was actually odd, I felt warm, so warm and suffocated that I could barely sleep, however, early morning I actually managed to catch about 2 hours of sleep.

At breakfast we learnt that 4 guys were actually going back to Leh, that group of 4 had come a day later and one of them was quite sick and another one actually wanted to go back from the moment he landed in Leh as he felt it was way too cold.

I would be lying if I would say I was not tempted. The sick one got a horse whilst the other 3 decided to walk the distance. Walking is a better idea than the horse trust me. Because when you walk you feel warmer. Even sitting in the sun sometimes chills ran through your body. Whilst you are walking you are fine.

I don’t know what got into me and I somehow decided I would give myself one more day to adjust to the conditions. That day we started a tad late around 11 and walked all the way to Stok La near the base of Stok Kangri the tallest peak in that vicinity. The walk apart from being scenic and adventurous was actually my attempt at walking through the pain and checking out my leg and also tiring myself enough so that I would plonk in sleep at night. Amazingly my leg was not giving me any trouble in walking but only when I decided to fold my leg and sit that it would pain me. I was just glad that I did not return that day and gave myself time.

We walked till about 4.30 that day when we finally came back to the Bukhari at our homestay back in the village. The second night was a lot better, as I removed the layers and slept much more comfortably, the next morning the pain of the leg had disappeared and I walk up with a grumbling stomach that was ready to devour some heavy breakfast!

I forgot to mention about the village Rumbak, with a population of 72 including kids as we were informed, it is set beside the Rumbak nullah from which it derives its name. Picturesque, serene, almost sleepy and pretty much empty at most times thanks to the winter cold it keeps gazing at Stok Kangri all day long. At times you get amazed and infact wonder what are these people doing living here in these cold dry conditions? But then our guide Rigzin told us that this place in summer is quite different that you could even see some people in shorts in summers. It is a base for Trekking and expeditions to Stok Kangri in summers and in the winters it becomes a place to make your base for tracking the snow leopard. The Snow Leopard Conservancy has helped the locals convert their houses into decent homestays. Each homestay charges you Rs. 800 in summers per person and 1000 in winters, the 200 extra is because in winters you burn wood in the Bukhari’s whilst in summers the Bukhari’s are dismantled.

All the homestays have a pretty decent dining room, they have also been now equipped with beddings that are quite comfortable and blankets. The folks with whom we stayed were quite shy and soft spoken, keeping to the kitchen and their work mostly not disturbing us. It took us almost two days to break the ice and get them to actually sit and talk and share their experiences with us.

Not only did the locals serve us what amazed us was their ability to work so hard in such conditions, whilst we would always would be delegating some work to one another and constantly evade the same work, these people never had any qualms on their face no matter how many times you told them to make butter tea or black tea or heaten some milk for coffee or get some extra wood for the Bukhari they just got on with it. Trust me even the best of hotel’s wont be serving you this well.

The next day morning we all left our homestay at 7.45 am sharp for our trek, yes like I told you, when you walk and walk and walk through exhaustion you will surprise yourself with the new guy you suddenly realise you are! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are a few pictures from the day one of the trek and of the homestay and Rumbak village!

That is the Rumbak settlement a pretty picturesque setting eh!?

That is the Rumbak settlement a pretty picturesque setting eh!?

Tarchok! Thats the name of our abode for 4 days! :)

Tarchok! Thats the name of our abode for 4 days! ๐Ÿ™‚

Another homestay besides our abode. The hues in the place are something else. Its  a kind of barren beauty!

Another homestay besides our abode. The hues in the place are something else. Its a kind of barren beauty! Top cliff on the top right hand side has a stupa on top. The places where these guys build stupa’s is absolutely crazy!!!

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We set off on day 2 towards Stok La!

We set off on day 2 towards Stok La!

The view alongside!

The view alongside!

The shades!

The shades!

Some more colours!

Some more colours!

Well...

Well…

This is where we ended our journey for the day and returned!

This is where we ended our journey for the day and returned!

Once back from the trek... this is the most popular place to sit...

Once back from the trek… this is the most popular place to sit…

A walk in The Hemis National Park

*Unfortunately due to some communal disturbances in our city we did not have any internet for 2 days and hence the delay in the posts.*

 

However, I am back with renewed vigour!

 

After spending about 2 days in Leh and allowing ourselves to acclimatize as much as possible we left on day 3 for Rumbak, a smallย village inside the Hemis National Park. The main purpose of the trip in any case was to try and locate the Ghost Cat and so we set ourselves for it. Starting early at 8am we left from Leh to a small town named Zinchen where the road ended.This is where we alighted our vehicles and were supposed to be on foot for about 4-5 hours depending on our speed of walking. The luggage was loaded on mules and we armed ourselves with our small day packs full of food, energy bars, hot water and camera’s along with a few extra woolens in case the weather got rough.

As soon as the trek began the mules fast overtook us and went ahead, we marveled at the Rumbak Valley, the landscape there is breathtakingly vast and huge, the cliffs around you are so high and intimidating that it cannot be described. In many ways it somehow gave me a feeling like I was walking in the Grand Canyon, the colours somehow seemed similar to me. Let me confess I have never been to the US let alone the Grand Canyon!

Here are some pictures as we walked up to Rumbak village into the Hemis National Park!!

The thing about Ladakh is that where ever you click a picture its a post card. This is shot from a moving car from behind a glass and yet it appeals, doesn't it?

The thing about Ladakh is that where ever you click a picture its a post card. This is shot from a moving car from behind a glass and yet it appeals, doesn’t it?

The rumbak valley has a natural gate to welcome us!

The rumbak valley has a natural gate to welcome us, can you see the tiny us in the picture, that gives you an idea of how huge the cliff’s were!!!!

The Rumbak Nullah that was completely frozen!

The Rumbak Nullah that was completely frozen!

The road from Zinchen to Rumbak is slowly but surely going to be made... perhaps in another 4-5 years time you can drive to Rumbak and not walk a crazy 5 hours like us!

The road from Zinchen to Rumbak is slowly but surely going to be made… perhaps in another 4-5 years time you can drive to Rumbak and not walk a crazy 5 hours like us!

So begins the trek into a rocky terrain...

So begins the trek into a rocky terrain…

We weren't the only ones there, some other people were already there camping near Husing Nullah!

We weren’t the only ones there, some other people were already there camping near Husing Nullah!

The sky in Ladakh sigh... and the contrasts!

The sky in Ladakh sigh… and the contrasts!

Phew!

Phew!

Standing on bridges is common, standing on bridges that are made on a river in thick ice is not that common... inn'it? :P

Standing on bridges is common, standing on bridges that are made on a river in thick ice is not that common… inn’it? ๐Ÿ˜›

The valley and its crevices were a delight for a photographer! It engaged, enchanted and captivated us totally! :)

The valley and its crevices were a delight for a photographer! It engaged, enchanted and captivated us totally! ๐Ÿ™‚

and when you climbed some heights you just felt like a King!

and when you climbed some heights you just felt like a King!

At Rumbak Sumdo (Sumdo meaning meeting point of three major routes) a symbol that somehow seems pretty eerie! :P The Yurutse Valley, Stok La and Rumbak paths get together over here. We took our way to Rumbak from here!

At Rumbak Sumdo (Sumdo meaning meeting point of three major routes) a symbol that somehow seems pretty eerie! ๐Ÿ˜› The Yurutse Valley, Stok La and Rumbak paths get together over here. We took our way to Rumbak from here!

The Chadar Diaries – I

Guest post : Originally written in gujarati by Jay, translated by me..ย 
Photographs : By Nigam and Jay.

Julley is a Ladakhi word which is as versatile a word as cheers in British English โ€” in fact, even more so, because it means 'thank you', 'goodbye', 'hello', and just about any other positive vibe emotion you can come up with. I guess nothing better than this to start this narrative. :)

Julley is a Ladakhi word which is as versatile a word as cheers in British English โ€” in fact, even more so, because it means ‘thank you’, ‘goodbye’, ‘hello’, and just about any other positive vibe emotion you can come up with. I guess nothing better than this to start this narrative. ๐Ÿ™‚


In India’s northern most part in the Ladakh region in the Zanskar Valley flows the river Zanskar. In winter this river thanks to the extreme cold winds becomes frozen. This post is about our extreme and unbelievably satisfying experience of “The Frozen River Trek” or “Chadar Trek” as it is popularly known.

Described by man as India’s most extreme/adventurous/glamorous trek, it had captured my imagination since the last 4-5 years. However, due to no one ever getting ready to accompany me this trek remained only a distant desire. Last year though I decided that even if no one gets ready, I will accompany myself but any how get this trek checked out of my list. Its kinda amazing that once you make up your mind how things start falling into place. My childhood buddy Nigam got ready to accompany me for this trek and my happiness doubled! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

“Chadar Trek” as it is popularly known is actually an ancient route that has been used traditionally by the people of Zanskar region to reach Leh. In the extremely cold winters where most roads are cut off by snow this frozen river actually becomes the easiest way to commute from Leh to Zanskar and vice versa. When I say easiest, I only mean to use it relatively! ๐Ÿ˜› The river gets frozen and a layer of ice forms on it. Whilst you walk on the ice blanket you can at many times see and at most times feel that water is flowing below you. This feeling of walking on a Chadar(blanket) of ice is where this trek derives its name from.

 

After having gathered information over the years during summer trips to Leh and the internet, we had decided that we would do a Chadar walk from Leh to Lingsed. We gathered as much info as we could and barged into Decathlon Ahmedabad for a loot! We got almost all the necessary gear that we needed from here. We wanted to be well prepared and equip ourselves adequately so that we would give ourselves the best chances of survival and have a wonderful experience.

 

Finally on 20th January we left Bharuch and on 22nd Morning boarded a flight from Delhi which was Leh bound. We reached Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport at 9.15 am. The moment we hit out of the plane a dry, bone chilling breeze greeted us and welcomed us to icy yet dry and extremely cold Leh. I have been to Leh quite ย a few times in summers, Nigam has been here twice too, but this was our first experience of coming to Leh in January in the peak of winter!

 

We were based at Si-ala Guest Houseย ย where we met our guide Mr Tashi Namgyal. Tashi was a warm and experienced guide and asked us to move about the town of Leh a bit, relax and rest and take it easy for a couple of days to allow our bodies to acclimatise with the surroundings. He asked us to be careful and keep taking enough liquid, since it was too cold the feeling of thirst does not come about as naturally and yet you need fluids in the body to keep you feeling better in this cold & dry region. Let me just say that we did take his advise well ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

We realised how important his advise was just the same evening, a group of enthusiasts from Mumbai had come with us in the same flight were busy playing cricket in the noon, thinking that would warm up their bodies. However, almost all of them complained of a headache by night. What people at times do not understand or appreciate is the fact that at this high altitude the air is thin and oxygen is less and hence our body takes a little time to acclimatise as it is not used to such an environment. Once you allow your body to acclimatise things become much much easier and you can enjoy to the fullest.

 

We had a heater in our room but we decided against using it as we wanted to get our bodies to get ready for the trek. We were to sleep in tents or caves on the trek for 9 days and we thought lets get started and used to it. Luckily inspite of such cold weather the pipelines in our hotel had not frozen and there was flowing tap water in the bathroom. After a good nights sleep we decided to skip our bath and thought we will take a quick bath on the day we leave for the trek.

 

On day two after breakfast we left for the army store to buy the most necessary gum boots which we did not carry as they would have occupied unnecessary space. The army store fellows welcomed us with piping hot tea. ๐Ÿ™‚ We moved about the town and also interacted with a few other trekkers who were seen around. It struck us then that Chadar was very very popular and lots and lots of people had actually come.

Nigam, with one foot in(on) the gutter that is frozen and one foot on the road!!!

Nigam, with one foot in(on) the gutter that is frozen and one foot on the road!!!

Whilst quite a few were very well prepared some it seemed had just come to Leh and hoped to plan and find a way around Chadar! We were worried that whilst its great to dare and come, it could be a rude awakening if the blokes were not well prepared as the weather conditions are extreme. During our lunch time discussion with one couple we were taken aback when one husband signalled us to not describe the cold nights that we anticipated during the trek. He later told us he had not told his wife how cold it can actually get coz he feared she might not have come. F.Y.I it can go as low as -35ยบC in the nights in the Zanskar Valley. We felt it was unfair to not properly inform someone you brought here, for spending a night in a hotel room with -35ยบC is one thing and quite another being in the open in a tent or a cave!

 

Anyways, on the morning of 24th after breakfast we left for Chilling Village (apt name for a village eh! ๐Ÿ˜› ) from where we were to begin our trek. Here the third trekker was to join us. The third fellow was a 65 year young adventure and trekking enthusiast Glenn Morris from New Zealand. Our guide Tashi informed that we would not start our trek from Chilling and actually drove us a little further to Tilad Sumdo. The road beyond Tilad Sumdo was not accessible and this is where we alighted our Jeep(Qualis). The moment we alighted the vehicle extremely cold and gusty winds hit me on my face to make me aware of what was in store! We soon realised that standing in the sun and shade almost fell like a 5ยบC difference!

 

We walked down a 65-70 degree slope and descended on the ‘Chadar’ Our team assembled here and placed the luggage on the sleighs. Our team consisted of the three of us, our guide Tashi, 9 porters, 1 cook and 1 helper. It was 15 of us who were to be together for the next 9 days. A sense of excitement was gripping me and whilst we were looking about and getting ready to walk, Tashi announced that lets begin the trek with a Lunch!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ :mrgreen: ย Black tea was to precede all meals, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. We had black tea and a piping hot soupy macroni to fill us up and prepare for our first walk on a river albeit frozen!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

 

As we took our first steps on the Chadar we remarked how lucky we were to make it thus far and that so many new experiences awaited us, looking ahead I could see snow white paths, golden glistening rocks and an amazingly beautiful blue sky!!!! This was perhaps another attempt at discovering a totally new myself! ๐Ÿ™‚ย IMG_5644

 

To be contd part -II coming soon! In the meanwhile here are a few pics for you to devour! ๐Ÿ˜€ :mrgreen:

 

A few pictures taken from the plane before it descended at Leh :

An aerial view! Either its white or brown!

An aerial view! Either its white or brown!

They don't call it heaven just like that do they?! :P

They don’t call it heaven just like that do they?! ๐Ÿ˜›

Adjectives are just not enough to describe!

Adjectives are just not enough to describe!

Some shots from around Leh :

A view from our guest house... All the trees had lost leaves..

A view from our guest house… All the trees had lost leaves..

A few locals playing ice hockey on a roadside in Leh

A few locals playing ice hockey on a roadside in Leh

The landscape in Leh is completely unique.

The landscape in Leh is completely unique.

And finally begins our journey :

On the way to Chilling village

On the way to Chilling village

The bridge on the river Zanskar near Tilad Sumo

The bridge on the river Zanskar near Tilad Sumo

The sangam behind us, you can see the more liquid Indus merging with the more icy Zanskar! That is us too in the foreground!

The sangam behind us, you can see the more liquid Indus merging with the more icy Zanskar! That is us too in the foreground!

At some places when the water is visible and the chadar has not formed you saw water with an unbelievable turquoise colour!

At some places when the water is visible and the chadar has not formed you saw water with an unbelievable turquoise colour!

Finally on the Chadar :

The Team ready with luggage on the sleighs

The Team ready with luggage on the sleighs

The macroni we ate and began our journey :) :P

The macroni we ate and began our journey ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜›