Day 4: Drive from Leh – Nubra – 125kms – 7 hrs
Route – Leh – Southpullu – Khardung-la – Khalsar – Diskit – Hunder
I might have missed telling, that the German Bakery in Leh market is a must visit. Their Lemon cake was mouth-watering. You can guess by the look on their (Ashish, Anukriti & Sid) faces. So was their Apple pie, Raisin swirl and chocolate donut. Yummy! For good quality economical shopping of jackets and winter clothes, do visit the Tibetian refugee market.
On day 4, we left the resort at 10:00am and were at Khardung-la around 12:30pm with a 15mins halt due to landslide. The 2.5hrs drive was very scenic. The sky was so blue and clear, like I have never seen it before. Till Leh I could relate the scenic beauty to Lake District in England but beyond Leh it was something different. There was lot of positivity in the air. We were driving along with the clouds and their shadow fell beautifully in the valley below. It was like a perfect painting of bright blue sky, snow clad mountains in pure white, and floating white clouds with their shadows contrasting the orange stones in the valley.
It was a feeling of achievement when we got out of our cars on the Worlds Highest Motorable road at 18380 ft @Khardung la. Leaving behind the fear of altitude sickness, motion sickness, we were there standing below the board, smiling and super happy.
Clicking photos, drinking kawa(Pahadi Chai or Tea consumed in the northern regions), eating maagi, we lost track of time and spend around 50mins on the highest altitude. Soon we started sensing the low oxygen as beyond 30mins is not advisable to be at that altitude. My head started spinning. The moment I wanted to avoid. Gyan instructed everyone to get going asap. I got into Yeti and immediately was very drowsy and fainted into a deep sleep. Later realizing that Deepak and Ashish were too on the back seat; dizzy and sleepy.
At 1:30pm from Khardungla we started our drive towards Nubra valley. I do not remember what happened in that 2.5hrs drive till we reached Diskit around 4:00pm. Nubra valley has somewhat different setup. It added a different attraction to our trip. There are sand dunes of soft cold sand and you may find some two-hump camels over the dunes. Though we didn’t spot any. 😉
The valley looked wonderful with sand dunes carved in perfect symmetry. Couldn’t guess how that happens. May be the air blow through the valley creates the shape of the dunes.
We were put up in the Cold Desert Camp, Hunder
having 15 well-maintained tents. By 5:00pm the breeze got cold and we decided to go see the sand dunes before it got dark.
Gyan got into action trying on Yeti’s 4-wheel drive on the Sand dunes. Alas! it got stuck in the sand and took approx. 1 hr to get it out of the dunes. 1 hour of hard work and efforts had to be paid off by celebrating. On Rajiv’s special demand we danced on all possible songs under the beautiful moonlight by the lake. Our heads got into place and we were feeling happy & healthy again. Post dinner we decided to get into bed early for a bright and excited start of next day. We were going to drive to Pangong Lake. Hurray!!