Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 10, 29 June, Kargil - Leh

Today, our first objective was to get the bike puncture repaired. So, I went to the repair shop at 9 am.
He started the repairing work after some time. He found and repaired one puncture at the sane place which was already patched. I asked him to recheck the tube to ensure the tube is in good condition and my doubt turned out to be correct. There was another puncture in the tube. By the time, all the repairing was done, it was 10.30 am.
I went to the Hotel and asked the owner for some hot water. Unnecessarily, we waited for it as it took long time and by the time we started it was 12 pm :(..
Now, we were on the way to Leh. Road conditions were better than Kargil-Zanskar route but not so good to drive fast at 40 Km/h :). Our earlier plan was to visit Lamayuru, Alchi gonpa and try for Likir gonpa if we had started early in the morning. Now, we had to restrict our plan to Lamayuru visit only before reaching Leh.

Again, we underestimated the road conditions. Till Mulbek, road was really good. We covered this 40 odd kms in one hour and 15 minutes. Here, we visited the famous Buddha statue of Maitreya. It is believed that the 9 meter high statue carved out of solid rock was built in 7th or 8th century. After taking lime ginger honey tea which tastes really nice, we started our journey towards Leh.
We thought, we would do it without much trouble. But, the best lesson there is, always expect the unexpected :)
Road conditions started deterioting as the road widening work was going on everywhere. Although, the scenic beauty of the mountain was truly amazing. It is said to be like moonscape land.
Meanwhile, we reached Lamayuru at around 5 pm. Here, we visited the famous Lamayuru gonpa. As it is located at good height, it offers some of the breathtaking views. Then, we left Lamayuru around 5.30 pm. We were thinking of finding some accomodation at Alchi which is 50-60 Kms from there.

Around 6.30 pm, we arrived in Khaltse village. Khaltse is a very small village located along the Indus river.
We were not sure of the road conditions till Alchi. Hence, we decided to find some accomodation there only although we had 1.30 hour in our hand.
We could find a good guest house for night halt. There was only one guest house left as the other was closed due to repairing work ;). It was pretty cheap only 150 Rs for a night.

We went to sleep very early to start early the next day.

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