The 17-hour jeep ride from Manali to Leh was the worst ride of my life. Most of the road was still under construction; 17 hours of rocky windy dusty road. To top it off, it was 1000km ascend to Leh. I’ve never been in that kind of altitude before, and my body was really feeling it. I popped a sleeping pill and tried to sleep off a headache, sleep only lasted an hour. At one of the tea stops, I had to run to the hole in the ground bathroom to throw up the little tea I had for brekkie. The view from the toilet was amazing though.
I don’t think I really acclimatised while I was there. I ended up staying in Ladakh region for a week, three of which were spent climbing up a huge mountain range. The shortness of breath was insane. I would walk from one end of the street to another, and my heart rate will be 120. Felt so weak, how do these old ladies do it?
People in Leh speak a diferent language, and it sounds completely different too. I’d say they looked more Pakistani, and there were a lot of Tibetan people. Something about Tibetan people that makes me feel like I’m home.
Another wandering soul and I went off on a 3-day long trek through Gandala pass in Hemis National park. Each day, we’d arrive into a new guesthouse, tucked away in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas like a fairytale castle. we were welcomed with an unlimited supply of piping hot lemongrass tea, and a limited supply of biscuits. Nothing says home like cuppa tea and a biscuit.
For the toilet, I go through a tiny wooden door sized for a hobbit, I had to bend down as I walked in. It’s a room with two holes, about the size of a 13inch laptop. The door doesn’t have a lock on the inside, so when the wind blows the right way, the door opens. I don’t know why there were two holes, to be honest? Couple’s toilet?
The trek wasn’t too difficult, other than the fact that we were up 5000 metres above sea level with only about half the oxygen at sea level.
Leh was definitely a needed break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of India. With only 7 days left on my Indian visa, I’m heading off to my last stop, Varanasi!