Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live to Love Ladakh!

Spectacular mountain ranges, inspirationally pristine blue skies, colourful prayer flags fluttering in the mountain breeze, the awe inducing dance of light and colour performed by the sun and the rivers…Every waking second spent in Ladakh was breathtaking, but there are some experiences which instantly transport me back to Ladakh, my new happy place.

  • The sight of the beautiful snow capped peaks that greeted me every morning as I woke up.
  • The first time I enjoyed a cup of chai.
  • Plucking crisp, luscious apples from the tree in our garden. Every bite filling my mouth with the delicious juice and my heart with joy
  • The carefully orchestrated routine of wearing the thermals, the sweater, the jacket the sunscreen, the gloves, the helmet and then realising that the bike keys are in your pocket.
  • The furry, shaggy dogs in Leh, like Leh itself, silent, serene, sedate. Observing other not so enlightened creatures go about their daily business.
  • Breaking into a suryanamaskar in the middle of nowhere out of sheer gratitude to Apollo.
  • The quaint little medicine man we met at Thiksey monastery. He was the most vibrant; most full of life person I have ever met.
  • The nightly post dinner huddle on a bed to see the pictures of the day and sigh collectively at the sheer beauty we were in the presence of.
  • The delightfully cute, pink cheeked kids trotting off merrily to school.
  • Juley -The most marvellously multipurpose word. It’s hi, its bye and its thanks.
  • The treacherous yet starkly beautiful landscapes of mountains and snow that kept us company on the bumpy ride to Khardung la. The sense of satisfaction and achievement after actually getting there.
  • The sizzling hot chai at 18380 feet that almost literally brought us back to life.
  • Wonderfully warm army men who thought we were insane to come so far and so high up.
  •     The ridiculously simple yet superbly delicious thukpa.
  • Looking at a striking blue river flowing through virgin white sands against the robust brown of the mountains. Good jab Mother Nature!
  • Chang la- the most unbelievable contrast I have experienced. The freezing winds, the icy roads and the warmest friendliest people giving out free chai.
  • Pangong Tso- I’m not going to describe her and reduce her beauty to mere words. You have not lived fully if you have not been there.
  • Lamayuru- the thought of this day always makes me laugh. The arduous ride through horrifying, dusty, stony roads. The mountain being blown up fifty feet ahead of us. All for a view of the elusive moon land which remained outside our reach.
  •  The love I feel for the lovely people I shared this trip with. They will always be part of my most beautiful memories and we will always be Team LEH!