Friday, 19 June 2009

Nubra Valley

Was spectacular. The ride from Leh - via Khardungla Pass brown, wind blown well tarred road giving way to snowbound tracks after about an hour of driving. Shale and limestone. Huge mountain faces marred by snowmelt tear tracks.Drove from hamlet to village and back again, akon's "I wanna fug you" and the vengaboyz? playing infinite loop in the background.Names - Khalsar/Sumun/Hundur/Diskit/Pullu - North and South.The presence of the army everywhere - "This worlds highest motorable road built by the Madras Engineers".The inevitable speed warnings. "If you are married, divorce speed", "Slow Drive Long Life", the hip "Go gently on my curves", the non sequitorous " Know AIDS, No AIDS" and the zen like "Traffic Jam, Yellow Tape, Grieving Family"A section in the menu of the amazing Jamshed Guest house in Hundur - "Snakes". Hot springs and hidden lakes.

And the mountains.

Camel rides - Bactrian camels, not the pilani kind. You sit between humps. Theyr better behaved though. Monasteries - hanging on to mountain walls for dear life. Young monks at a school with a spectacular view singing "Jana Gana Mana". Yaks grazing on riverbeds. Donkeys and beavers (I think).

Coming back to Leh this afternoon was a comedown.

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