Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lahaul to Pang

After staying for three days at my friend Ravi's house in Pattan Valley, everybody in the group seemed to be decently acclimatized and ready to deal with even higher altititudes, So we continued with our safari to Ladakh. It took us two more days in the SUV to reach Leh. On this stretch of roughly 250 km, there were no permanant settlements from Stingri in Lahaul to Rumtsey in Ladakh (A stretch of roughly 200 km). We only came across temporary tea stalls and tents for overnight stay put up by enterpreneuring locals. We crossed a total of 5 passes on our way from Manali to Leh, 2 of them were higher than 5000 meters.

Baralacha La: This was the first big pass on our way to Ladakh from Lahaul. It is at an altitude of 4300 meters. Trek to the lake Chandra Tal originates from this place.

Lunch Time: Stopping over for a lunch in what looked like a Mongolian Yurt.

Suraj Tal: A small lake on the way
(Suraj = Sun, Tal = Lake)

The blue Sky: The bluish tone of the sky was incredible.

The Road

Liqour Store: We were very happy to see a liqour store in the middle of nowhere. Warning: Human body is less resistant to alcohol at high altitude

Felix enjoying the beer at 4500 meters.

River Tsarap on our way to Leh.

Ibex: We were very lucky on the safari to have seen the Ibex (wild mountain goat). Eventhough I was born in the himalayas and than travellend and organized treks in the Himalayas for 7 years, I had never seen so many Ibex before.

Nakeela: Prayer flags flutterig at Nakeela (4740 meters). Buddhists believe that the wind can take the prayers to the Gods, so they put the prayer flags where there is a lot of wind.

Lachulung La: Altitude 5065 meters. The group's first encounter with the altitude of more than 5000 meters.

Aeolian Erosion : Beautiful landscape formed by wind erosion, few Kms before Pang (our halt for the night)

Pang: Party at 4600 meters
After dinner everybody started dancing and the Canadian gang was more than happy to join the local folks eventhouth dancing at 4600 meters was quite tiring because of the thin air.


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