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  • Writer's pictureVoita

From dawn to dusk

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

It's a rich place. You can tell by the parade of 5* hotels lining the road and Israelis crowding the cafes.

Israelis are a telltale sign of

high standards and dope

it is known

And all the cafes scream tourists.

The air is glass clear, shivering with onset of frost. I will take that trade for rain any day.

All them doggos are big and fluffy, born to thrive in hostile environment.

Locals are hard and scruffy.

My bag is far too big and my beard far too small.

The whole place has discernibly Pakistani (or possibly further west) - mountain - vibes; only the Indian military camo breaks up the mood.

the five stars

and the king of hearts

Manic 3 hours.

can you tell

Off the plane at 7, downtown by 8.

Don't ask why, but Booking and other accommodation racketeers offer best prices for on the day bookings between 10 AM and 3 PM. Too early, you're too eager and thus willing to pay. Too late and you're out of options, boyo.

Got coffee and hit Google hard, and my friend in the area's WhatsApp...

In two hours I figured what to climb, and what not, where to go for more traditional sightseeing...

Booked a hostel in five minutes, this place is awash with choice,

and dashed out before the coffee could wear off 😅

if this ain't inbred with pig, I'm half Chinese!

an actual dog being

Moved to the hostel and spent another manic hour mostly by talking to real foreigners, oh my!

Then the toxic combination of lack of sleep overlaid by coffee at last drained out of my veins.

manic selection of pictures

the towns buzz some other time

And I could go explore.

In my book that means climbing as high as possible. I'll keep the loveable 13K peak for tomorrow, today I've settled with a monastery overlooking the valley.

Leh is actually pretty green, and lined by snowcapped peaks from two sides.

Leh's 14th century dominant

Namgyal Tsemo monastery

Content, I devoted myself to my favourite favourite activity on top of any proper vista...

that's not selfie taking

With my eyes closed I listened to the whispers of the local gods, sharing their wisdom with anyone willing to listen.

such as Wake up, a storm is coming!

from above and below

prayers in the thin air

No rain in Ladakh - hardly three inches annually. But it's cold, three layers cold.

And the hostel is busy and I feel like Tarzan coming into New York. Haven't seen this many foreigners since below Mt. Everest.

Leh central

wet and dry feeder valleys

Riddle:

What is the only constant in the changing Himalayan world?

answer in the comments!



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