Day 6: Drive from Pangong Tso – Leh – 160kms – 6 hrs
Route – Pangong Tso – Spangmik – Chang La – Karu – Leh
Morning 6:30am waking up in front of the serene Pangong Tso was beautiful. Who can be in bed and not breath in the fresh air, enjoying the incredibly scenic view of India!
We were up and ready to leave for Leh. With the wind blowing across the lake, last night had been super cold. Evidence of which could be seen by the frozen water puddle and buckets filled with water. I am sure most of us skipped taking bath. After breakfast, we left from the camp at 9:15am. First halt was at the 3 idiots spot.
Pangong Tso, in Tibetan for “long, narrow, enchanted lake”, is truly enchanting. Soon everyone was in his or her own zone. Some clicking photos, some lost in the natural beauty of the lake, some feeling the smooth sand and pebbles in the ice cold water.
I had never seen such shades of colors in the water – clear, light green, dark green, light blue, dark blue and to contrast it the orange-brown mountains. Trust me its very mesmerising!
This lake in the Himalayas is situated at a height of about 4,350 m. It is 134 km long and extends from India to Tibet. Imagining we were so close to Tibet-China border. After spending some time at Pangong Tso we headed further, Leh was 154kms to reach. Innova leading the trail, we played a prank to tease Gyan. He didn’t want anyone to stop and lag behind time to reach Leh. So we stopped by side of a water stream, lay on green grass under the sun and pretended to be asleep. Ahhh what relaxing it was! Soon hyperactive Gyan reached us and made us move.
So that’s what Innova did. Drove straight to Leh even without stopping at Morey Plains. Have heard they are worth a look. So if you are on a drive, don’t miss them!
We reach Leh – Hotel Kidar
by 3:30pm. Evening followed by some shopping and wondering around in the Leh market. Haha! And not to miss, candle light dinner at an authentic Tibetian restaurant.
Day 7: Leh – Sarchu – 250kms – 8 hrs
– Leh – Karu – Upshi – Tanglang La – Debring – Pang – SarchuMorning in Kidar was very pleasant. It was bright and sunny outside. Only sad part was that we were heading back. Did not feel like leaving Leh. According to last few days routine, got out of bed, did some stretches, got ready, had breakfast and left the hotel.
Passing through Tanglang La & Lachulung la we drove straight to Sarchu. In between off-roading was thrilling fun. Though very worried of the downhill, we were equally excited and just wanted to take the risk and do the adventure. Ashish was very focused and careful not to break down the Innova on this last trail of our trip.
We took our first halt alongside a lake with picturesque surrounding. For a while, sat on the rock listening to the water flow, sinking in the beauty of afternoon cool breeze and sun we relaxed.
Just before reaching Sarchu around Debring we came across a flowing water stream with pebbles & rocks. Seemed like it was difficult for the cars to pass through. We all got out of our respective cars and watched. Swift looked like a challenge. To our surprise, it passed easily but Ertiga needed a push by few hands.
Later with Proper Patola (Punjabi hip-hop song by Diljit Dosanjh) playing on repeat, we reached our camp – Coldrop camps around 5:30pm. Sarchu was the coldest of all the places throughout our trip. In the evening loads of wood fire, and some good spirits were needed to keep us warm. The camp staff provided each of us with heating water pads. Awww so kind of them! After dinner the sky was lovely. The stargazing awed me and we watched the moon rise behind the mountains. It was a beautiful setup.
Recalling the breath taking views of Ladakh, jokes we laughed on, the adventurous & wonderful drive, I soon fell into deep sleep.