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Published: October 30th 2013
F*ck, F*ck, F*ck,
Everything was so smooth until now. So, we were supposed to start at 9 this morning but at 10:30 we were still waiting to start. Shashi the younger horseman, our "cook", acts a bit strange. We don't understand why, until they start to load the mules. In fact he has made a deal with 2 other tourists. He is taking them to come along with us.
Well, we're not so happy about that, because we are completely "timing" free, we don't have a plane to catch and we're completely self sufficient, we have tent, food and cooking gear. For those two guys, it's another story, the only want to stay where there are lodges and where they can eat as they have no food with them, and they have exactly 10 days to finish the trek.
We're trying to renegotiate the price as this changes our trip completely, but Shashi is on his "money" trip and doesn't want to lower the price, as he has two spare mules anyway.
There is a moment of Asian-Western communication-understanding problem. I start to boil, without being openly angry. I say we might not go with them after
all, as they changed the deal without even asking us in advance. Anyway, loads of non-understanding.
Finally Shashi realizes that he's going to loose more rather than to gain a bit of extra rupees, so he leaves the bag of the other guys and we're going without them. We of course didn't want to dump these two guys either, but it was one of these situation without a happy solution for everybody.
So off we go, starting the trek with a bad feeling in everybody's stomach. Shashi manages to say a little sorry... Let's hope things will smooth out slowly.
In the beginning of the trek we came across road works. The workers for the roads are usually from Bihar, one of the poorest state of India, they come to work here in almost slavery condition to build the roads for Ladakh, and in fact for other parts of India too.
On the way we cross a few nice gompas and our camping ground is next to a small lake. In the evening I look around the nearby village for some biddies (Indian cigarettes) to offer them to our horsemen, as a peace-smoke.
go to sleep, tomorrow is another day!
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