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Published: October 16th 2013
Yesterday we saw a group with mules who arrived from Darcha, Yiiiiihaaa, we'll try to hire them for our trek. But our enthusiasm was quickly extinguished. The guide told us that they were already booked for their return trip :-((((
So, this morning we got up very early to go to the children's morning puja (prayers). All the videos are still in the lost files cloud :-(
Anyway, there was actually a special puja today in the main hall. It was paid by a tour operator who was giving a special treatment to it's clients. I must say that was very good and interesting. The guide was a woman from Quebec who is married to a Ladakhi. She organized this special puja, as it gives some financial support to the gompa, and her group gets to participate in a more personal way to a Budhist ceremony. So thumbs up for that agency, I have their details if anybody would be interested.
So after all those early prayers, we went for a breakfast in one of the small restaurants near the road. We used the time and location to again ask/look around for our donkey man. But still no
luck. After talking to another local Hotel owner, we decided to leave to the next village, about 2 hours walk to try our luck there.
Just as we were about to leave, we saw a young guy chasing and yelling at a donkey. What's going on? Let's take a closer look. Just next to the little restaurant where we were, there was a whole group of donkeys, mules and horses!!!! Their owners were drinking (alcohol??) in the cafe next to where we were!
We tell them about our trek and after a few translations with the cafe owner, we have our guy!!! Stantzin!
We agree on a prize per day for 4 Donkeys. He agrees to bring us to Padum, about 11 days walk, and after that another guy promises that he will come and take us for the rest of our trek. Stantzin couldn't/wouldn't take us for the whole trek as he has to come back to this area and he just CAN'T be away so long. He also has to do his harvest. But the good money he's going to earn is a real plus for his yearly family budget.
What's amazing is that there were all these animals available but nobody told us about it. We assume that they were part from a different clan, so nobody told us about them...
After that everything went VERY fast; within minutes we made up a grocery list for all the food that we would need for the coming 4 weeks, and before the ink dried the bus for the next town passed by. We jumped on it, went to the closest town (about 1 hour) where there was a possibility to buy all the stuff.
We happily did all the shopping in Khalsi and when done looked for a bus to go back.
Oh no..... no buses are going back, there is a taxi who's asking us way to much, he knows we're stranded....
But luck is changing, some guy in a pick-up truck proposes to drop us in Lamayuru with all our groceries!!!
Back in Lamayuru, no more signs of our "Stantzin", the cafe is closed,...
OK we'll see later, meanwhile we go back to our family for dinner. And you won't believe it, but who's there??? Stantzin, is there to buy some kerosene for the cooking stove. The father from our house is his drinking buddy!
Ok we go for a good sleep, tomorrow at 9 am is the big day!!!!! We will start our 4 week trek!
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