Part 7. The Road to the Long March

The morning ride took us through mountain side beautiful not despite its barrenness, but because of it. The various hues of greys ,browns, blacks and even purples made up the dramatic scenery all around us. A couple of hours out, we came upon the confluence of the Indus and the Zanskar close to Nimoo. The difference in colours was really apparent as the Zanskar brought down a lot silt and mud as it cut its way through deep gorges on its way down stream.

Far down by riverside a film crew had set up camp and we made our guesses as to who the actors were down there throwing tantrums. After a few photo opps we decided to move on and face the rest of the trip. We descended to Numi(?) where we picked up a few bottles of overpriced mineral water of dubious origins. Water was a concern as everyone of us were pampered city brats who drank bottled water. We had made extensive plans to conserve water through the trip, drinking when necessary and being willing to pay Rs. 25-50 for a 10 rupee bottle. But, as we were to discover in due course, bottled water was not at all necessary right through the trek.

After a quick lunch (yucky dal chaawal )at a roadside stop under some shade, we proceeded to Alchi gompa (monastery) set besides the Indus and a beautiful apricot orchard which was just beginning to ripen. Although there were plenty of other tourists, the setting was really peaceful and I could have spent the rest of the day lying down on a rock under the shade and listening to the river run below us

We set off for Lamayuru and arrived at our campsite to see that the tent had been set up and we enjoyed a hearty snack, followed by rounds of frisbee and a quick hike to the Gompa at Lamayuru

(Pic Courtesy Lacchi)

We snuggled in to the tents after dinner, where the cook managed to whip up some cake and roti and fruits. We walked around along the road near the campsite as we pondered what lies ahead. We stopped by at a shop to listen to the shopkeepers radio for the latest news.

At that moment, then and there, time did not matter.. news did not matter. No one cared for performance reviews or managers or deadlines. No body bothered about work. We were among simple people who lived their simple ways and for a brief period of time, we attempted to be simple folk.

The next morning, we woke up early to get to the outhouse to attend to call of nature. Now, you might wonder where did this come from.... the porters who came along with us dug a hole in the ground and erected a small tent around it to provide for privacy. As can be imagined, if 15 people use the hole, it fills up pretty fast and becomes really really yucky... I learned my lesson and vowed to find my own corner of the world and do my business.

Trampled byY Trip at Saturday, March 28, 2009


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