Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 9, 28 June, Back to Kargil

As we had planned, we departed pretty early at 5.30 am. First objective was to cross the stream Abran as early as possible to avoid any problem.
Now, we were quite used to the roads so the speed was pretty fine. We reached at Abran around 8 am and we crossed the stream easily.
After some time, we stopped at the Darung Drung glacier for some photo clicks. We could feel the freeze in the atmosphere.
It was around 10 am till we arrived at Rangdum gonpa. Gonpa is located at some height from the road. I climbed up to the gonpa while Suraj waited for me at the middle of the way as he was not feeling good to climb up.
Gonpa was pretty beautiful. Also, being on some good height, it offers some of the best views of landscape.
There is a military camp at the base of the gonpa hill. One of them was from Maharashtra, so he asked us for a cup of tea. There were around 5-6 of them. We had small chat about our journey and some other stuffs.
After experiencing nice hospitality from the army people, we headed to Rangdum village where we had to have some food before continuing to Kargil. Within some half an hour, we reached at Rangdum.
We ordered the food which contained some rice, Dal and Gobi. The food was not that good so we did not finish all. Anyways, we had some good talk with the people living there about their lifestyle, wildlife in the area etc. They told us how much difficult life is in winter about water and other things. Also, one of them told that he spotted the famous snow leopard (cheetah in his words) on the outskirts of village. That was really amazing to listen as it inspired me visit the place again :)
Later, we continued our journey to Kargil. We had sufficient time in hand so we were not that much worried. Only thing was that the water passages which creates problems as the day passes by.
With some small halts, we passed Panikhar and reached Sankoo at around 4 pm. Probably, we took wrong route as it was not looking familiar. Also, the distance we covered was more than actual distance. At Sankoo, we had some tea with snacks at the same restaurant. Again, we were ready to move ahead.
Around 6.30 pm, we were close to Kargil and unfortunately, the rear tyre of bike got punctured.
First thing was to search for a puncture repair shop. I asked Suraj to wait with the luggage and I went with the bike to find any shop around. However, there was no such shop around. They were at Kargil town which was around 3-4 Kms far. I walked down in search but unfortunately, they all were closed as it was Sunday and there was no way to get it repaired until the next
day :( .
So, I left my bike in one shop and returned back where Suraj was standing with the luggage.
One local person told us that we can go by a bus in the market and he will help us finding a hotel.
Then, we reached at the market and stopped at the hotel for a rent of 350 Rs.
The next day, we had to depart for Leh and the major issue was repairing of the puncture which was not possible before 10-11 am.
So, our plan was to try to leave Kargil as early as possible.

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