Through Lamayuru, Moonland and I Spy, LEH!


Lamayuru Monastery is one of those places that even blasé travelers can visit again and again exclaiming, “How incredible is that!” There are fabulous viewpoints areas built by the Government for tourists to stop, and photograph before beginning the long descent down and through Lamayuru. Our jerky driver blew past the viewpoint. When I screamed, “Stop,” he pulled over to a steep side for us to get out.  Annoyed? How about, “Pissed off to the max.” Driver was also oblivious to my “looks.” Aliens from outer space know what “the look” means.

I invite you read about our previous two stays in the one and only Lamayuru. I would think almost all travelers to Ladakh visit Lamayuru Monastery; either trek in from Padum or visit by car (how we arrived). You don’t have to trek or hike to enjoy Ladakh. We met many families who were going to take jeep safaris, raft, see monasteries, head into the Nubra Valley to see the soon to be extinct Bactrian Camels, or just enjoy Leh.

Lamayuru Monastery views, Ladakh

driving through magnificent Lamayuru, Ladakh

overturned truck on the road down into Lamayuru, Ladakh

 

No stops in Lamayuru this year but we did stop at the last Police Checkpoint to refill my stash of fresh apricots, 10 Rupees a bag. The new stretch of highway towards Kaltse is now open. Last year, it was only drivable on weekends while construction was taking place and now it’s finished. Still scary with steep drop-offs, it cuts at least one hour going up and over the old route to Lamayuru. Just shut your eyes…

driving past Moonland in Ladakh

winding road through the mountains to Khaltse, Ladakh

last Police Checkpoint on the highway back to Leh, Ladakh

 

Just as on the outgoing trip into Zanskar, a stop in Khaltse for lunch (video). We snarfed down our packed lunches and then ordered a very yummy plate of egg curry to split after seeing Japanese tourists on our right eating this. Curry, beans and rice – 30 Rupees, less than $1 U.S.? Hard to get less expensive than this.

The remaining sections of the National Highway were good. Bad. Good. Bad. Each time we thought, this is it on a smooth stretch, the road would deteriorate again. But…the tires were holding up! Give a yell…

ride on top of the public buses in Ladakh

close up of riders on top of Ladakhi public bus

 

Last look at ripe Apricot trees….and…

carrying ripe Apricots in Ladakh

 

…here comes, Leh. The tires actually made it without any more flats. Oh joy. Oh bliss. The Deskit Villa. Beds. Strip off the filthiest clothes ever. Hot Shower. Wash Hair. Take more Aleve. ex-Marine (Steve) and Sheila survived Zanskar. Even Lobsang (SkyWalker Travel) had his doubts and was most impressed. Let’s hear it for the old farts….

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