We are not travellers, but we aren’t tourists as well. With the feeling of exploring the unexplored in our hearts yet going and visiting those places that are in everybody’s checklist, while enjoying the beauty of the nature and taking their snapshot in our minds but also wanting a good picture of our own against that scenery, we fail to fall in either one of the category. But this category of our own usually leads to the most memorable and most comfortable trips ever! This is a story of one of the most picturesque location that I have been to.
The flight from Delhi to Leh was our first ever flight to the mountains, thus we were startled at first to see how mountains could pop out from the clouds (a particular person even refused to believe that they were mountains for a large amount of time!). Landing in Leh, we were afraid that we might face breathing problems, but thanks to a friend who had been to Leh a million number of times before, we were well prepared for that and had taken medication so nothing happened.
We stayed at hotel Himalayan Villa, which was at a walking distance from the market.
There was some local sight seeing on the first day, Leh palace and some monastery. But the only thing that I saw was how exotic that place was, with deserted mountains and some white colored buildings all around.
Ending the day while sitting on the edge of some tea shop, our feet rested on the side of the wall, some slow music on, hot beverages and Maggi, a local lady singing some folk song in an amazing voice, and just watching the sun set. In the entire trip, I think that was one moment which was completely unplanned, spontaneous, real, and the most relaxing. We had just stopped there for tea and had to go and visit the Shanti Stupa, but we were unable to get up after settling down. We didn’t plan to watch the sunset, we just did because we were there.
We left for Pangong the next day. On the way, we came across the famous school in the movie 3 Idiots, known by the name Rancho’s school post the movie. We also passed the Changla Pass, one of the highest motorable passes in the world. That was one of those moments in the entire trip when oxygen became rare, and we only stopped for a moment to click a picture.
The way in which the scenery changed at every turn, it was exhilarating. Nobody slept on that long journey from Leh to Pangong, with music and that beautiful view keeping us awake the entire time. So the moment the mighty Pangong Tso came into view, we could not control our excitement. We came across many water bodies on the entire trip, but nothing could beat the rich blue color of Pangong. Situated in the middle of brown mountains, that lake made the entire place colorful.
We camped there at Blue Waters camps. Not the best idea in the world because none of us could sleep properly the entire night, but they were sure as hell the best (read spacious and beautiful) camps ever! If only the place had been a little warmer and a little less remote. Due to the sleepless night, everyone was up for sunrise the next day. All the sleepy heads, all the people who always wake up in the morning to watch the sunrise but then give up and go back to sleep, each one of us was up in the morning. And then it took 1.5 hour for the sun to actually rise! There is no sunrise point on Pangong and yet we sat on the chairs, in front of our tent, and waited for the sun in that cold morning, just because we could!
We left for Nubra Valley post the failed attempt at watching the sunrise (mind you, the view failed us). Pangong to Nubra was the worst car ride ever. There were so many bumps on the road and so I tried to sleep the entire time. We stayed in a guesthouse named Olgok in Nubra Valley. The guesthouse had a beautiful garden in front of it. And they served us home cooked Daal, Paneer and Roti! It’s so good to get home cooked meal in the middle of nowhere! We went to see the double humped camels of the cold deserts that day. Some people were very very very scared to ride the camel, but it’s good that others motivated them and everyone went to take the small 10 minutes safari together. Though I am never ever doing it again.
We found a small cafe nearby, Born Fire Cafe, and they had a small tree house in the middle! It was a fresh breath of air in a rather unhappening locality, with a good ambience. We sat there, played cards, had pizza and hot beverages. That night finally we got a good night’s sleep.
The next day, we left for Leh from Nubra, while stopping in the middle for ATV ride. The moment that stood out was when the bikes were taken atop the sand dunes! It was almost similar to some rollercoaster ride! We also went to Penamic for hot water springs, but apparently they just have some closed man made bath tub and not some nature surrounded natural spring. So we just came back to Leh.
On the way back, there was one moment when we were listening to some songs, I was sitting with a friend in the rear seat of the car, we were singing along, and just enjoying the view. And that’s that. I was just doing that in that moment. And both of us just stopped at one point, and discussed this and felt so happy about living in the moment! That is the first time ever when I have lived in the moment and realized that (I think most of the times I have not realized when I did that) and it made me so happy that such a thing actually exists!
We also passed the Khardung La Pass on the way, another one of the highest motorable passes in the world.
We just explored the Leh market that day. There was one cafe on the corner of the street, it was very beautiful. The man on the counter was a little cute too :P.
The next day, we went to see Sangam point, which wasn’t very beautiful due to the lack of colors in the rivers. But the Gurudwara that came on the way had the tastiest food I could ever ask for. The prasad ka halwa was love!!
We also went to see the parade at the hall of fame in the evening, which filled us with a feeling of patriotism. It was a beautiful trip indeed and a good note to end the trip.
We had with us a crazy ass photographer, with the energy level of either a kid or an old grumpy grandpa, who could say the randomest stupid thing any time of the day.
We had with us a sick person(like literally she was sick on the entire trip) eating a new medicine everyday, scared of small things every night and still active enough to make fun of everyone else during the day and keep everyone lively
We had with us the trip enthusiast, who collected every small memory with her, from tickets to amazing landscapes in the camera lens, and the best dj of the trip
We had with us the mom, who used to wake up every morning without complain (others used to complain), the person who had to take a bath twice a day even in the coldest of weathers, and would adjust to every little thing
We had with us the person who kept on scolding everyone all the time, and yet was the only person on the entire trip who cried because she was scolded for a change
We had with us the cool headed person who did not worry about anything, will cook up facts if someone else is worried, and managed to enjoy the trip without her phone also!
Such diverse personalities, and such amazing people! It was a trip where we did not get high on liquor, weed or even our phones (someone really wanted the latter though!). It’s always amazing to travel with a group, and a group of girls is always the best!