Ladakh, India Trekking Adventures
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Ladakh, India Trekking Adventures with Crooked Trails, July 2008 After a short tour of Delhi, we flew north to Leh, which became our jumping off spot to visits to the Gompas or monasteries of Thiksey, Hemis, Alchi and Lamayuru. We began trekking at Panjilla by heading up the Yapola River Valley along a road construction site that was being blasted out of the rock sides of this narrow river valley. We trekked for six days and stayed near the following small villages along the way: Panjilla, Honopatta, Photoskar, Sengge, and Skiupata. After trekking over four mountain passes that were over 15,000 feet, we came to Lingshed where we would do home stays with villagers for a week before returning to Leh. Ladakh or "Little Tibet" is a beautiful desert region high in the Western Himalayas. People live in the narrow strips of irrigated lands clinging to the rivers that come down from the mountain glaciers. This rugged region is one of the last undisturbed Tantric Buddhists populations on earth. From November to May, Ladakh is almost completely cut off from the outside world because of the harsh winter weather approaching minus 40 degrees. Necessities like sugar, wood, kerosene and soap must be brought from the outside during the some months, All of it is carried on foot, or by pack animal on a four-day walk from the nearest road. They have no electricity, nor running water. Medical care is provided by an Amchee, a practitioner of folk medicine. During our trek, we encountered high mountain passes, deep gorges, wild rivers, open plains, ancient monasteries, and remote villages. We experienced a few days of 90 degree weather followed by rain and wind in 40 degree weather. After the rains passed, we experienced the bluest skies during the days and star filled nights. While in Lingshed, we helped some of the villagers build their homes and participated with the local cultural troop in feasting, singing and dancing.moreless
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