We start our day by going to Lamayuru. Home to the oldest monastery in Ladakh and the moonland – here on earth. Lamayuru is famous for its stunning landscape, that is similar to the face of moon than earth. The stones shaped by wind and sun for thousands of years now gets the attention of many who make a stop to see it for themselves. The monastery was founded in 10th Century but later great translator Rinchen Zangpo built many temples and stupas. The monastery is famous for its rich wall paintings, collection Of thankas, murals, scriptures and Statues of different forms of Buddha and other Buddhist Deities. After the day spent here, we came back to Leh.
Next day, we start for Nubra Valley. Today, we will be reaching an altitude of 18000 Ft, crossing Khardung-La en-route. We silently enjoy the road, as our vehicle climbs up the mountain road, it gets colder. We have a beautiful glimpse of the city of Leh from high up the mountains. We stop at Khardung Village, just after Khardung-La. We have piping hot lunch at a small restaurant and proceed further.
As we near Nubra, a change in the landscape catches our eyes, it looks like wavy sand dunes. These are sand dunes of Hunder! We are here, in the land of the the double humped Bactrian camels! This route was part of the ancient silk route. Some of the camels from the old caravans were abandoned. Some of them were domesticated by locals.
My experience with the camels is …eh…less than impressive. As everyone, I too was interested in riding one. So I go to this gentleman and plead.
He has a good look at me, I think trying to think which one of the several camels would be able to carry me without falling down four legs in four directions… 😛 Then he directs me to one. I speak to the helper, who asks me to get to one side of the camel and climb up. Bad decision. As soon as I start climbing the back of the camel, the camel decides to stand up, out of eagerness to carry me or pure dread..I do not know, 😛 but the next thing I know is, I am down on ground. 😀 Thank god for the soft sand, it saved me a broken bone or maybe two, but too late for saving grace… 😛
But you see, I give two hoots to that camel, go to another one, get to its back and ride for 15 minutes in the beautiful cold desert. Both the camel AND me unharmed! 😀
And then we proceed to our destination for the day…the desert Himalaya camp, Nubra. But then, that is a different story… 🙂