Leh to Nubra Valley

30 Dec

Leh – Nubra valley

We arranged for this trip with Haider Ali, owner of Mountain Call which is located opposite Master Chef in main bazaar area. He is really friendly and a nice guy. He didn’t expect us to pay a single cent before the trip and only after everything, we paid. No receipt nothing as well haha…

I see the pattern, the Muslim tour operator arranged for a Muslim driver while a Buddhist tour operator arranged for a Buddhist driver when we went to Pangong Tso. But then again it could be a coincidence.

The sights were gorgeous beyond words!

The company was good; Saumi, a Japanese girl who lives and works in Delhi as a Japanese teacher, Ian, a Singaporean guy who lives and works in Slovenia and our Ladakhi driver. I again realized that I didn’t take extra effort to get to know the locals, the driver in this case, because it means not being able to speak comfortably in English. I shall make effort next time.

We went from Leh to Khardung La, the highest motor-able pass in the world. On the way up, it started to snow :)) when we were up there, we were shivering like crazy! It was snowing and freezing cold. Im not a tea person but when you are up there, you just must have something hot so kashmiri tea it was.

Our driver was really good at maneuvering the never ending curves of Ladakhi road. Even then, I couldn’t help but feel sick, had to have a sweet in my mouth most times.

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We arrived at Diskit Monastery at 1pm. We were not really into monasteries but just went up and have a look at the scenery which surrounds it and went back down. Most monasteries in Ladakh are built in the mountains.

After that, we stopped by at a open air restaurant for lunch. It was more like a coffeeshop. The husband and I shared a vegetarian fried rice. For the journey, you don’t really want to have a full stomach.

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We headed to Hunder village soon after and the driver brought us to a Jamshed Guesthouse and hotel which I believe is his friend’s guesthouse. We negotiated for Rs500 for the room. The owner was a nice person but it was Saumi who did all the talking since she speaks Hindi.

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the guesthouse and we even tried to trek up a gompa which we caught sight of from the terrace of the guesthouse. Ian had the cube puzzle thing we messed with all afternoon. We chatted with one another. We plucked apples from the apple tree from the owner’s garden, washed it at the stream and ate them. We sat by the garden and spotted a rainbow after the rain. We went to the kitchen where the owner was cooking our dinner while Saumi was talking to him and leaning how to cook. Ian asked if I wanted to smoke some Indian medicine which he obtained from Jammu. Saumi smoked some. When I asked her how it was she said she didn’t really taste it. I declined the offer as he said you get a high feeling after smoking and I felt it was wrong. We took photos from the terrace. We wandered around to see some ponies. We saw some tourist camping in the ground near our guesthouse. We went to see the double-humped camels of Hunder. We had some Maggie which Saumi stole from the driver of another group of tourist who came to live in the same guesthouse. We all had a taste. We rushed the owner to prepare our dinner. We had sumptous dinner comprising of dal, chappatis, plain rice and aloo gobi with cauliflower. Saumi bargained for mint tea to be served after dinner. We paid Rs120 per person for dinner that night. We turned in at 8.30pm.

Saumi speaks Hindi like an Indian! You should see her mingling with the locals and how friendly they were with her. Another resolve to learn Hindi before my next trip to North India in the future InsyAllah.

During my last trip to Thailand and Vietnam, I resolved to learn riding so that we can go around in a bike instead of a car. Alhamdulilah I managed it with His blessings. Sadly, husband doesn’t allow me to rent a bike here because he said Leh’s too dangerous 😦 but it wouldn’t be called an adventure if I can’t ride in Leh.

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