Blogs from Zanskar, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India, Asia


Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar July 4th 2017

Jispa to Thukje on the Moray plain We awoke to a revelation, the clouds were parting and blue sky was visible. The rain had gone and there was warm sun to dry our soaking gloves, boots and riding trousers. We sat down to a fairly average curry for breakfast as usual and then had a long chat with a group of women in their 60s from Yorkshire. They were travelling by minibus over roughly the same route as us. I met them again at the Thikse monastery a week later and again 3 days after that, shopping in the centre of Leh. After the 14 hours of riding the day before, the start today felt very leisurely and, with no great sense of urgency, we eventually set off about 9.45, into the warm sun and blue ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar March 12th 2017

This was my first winter trek and by far the most thrilling and adventurous. After a gap of two years I was again planning to do the thing I love most “trekking to offbeat locations”. The month was December which is among few months where we have winters in India. Though the southern part of India remains warm and humid throughout the year the northern part can witness very cold climate at the plains and freezing subzero temperatures in the mountains. Having done a lot of research about the place where I should visit this winter, I finally zeroed down to the “Zanskar river” trek also known as the “Chadar river trek “(Chadar in English is bed sheet or blanket). During winters the complete length of the river develops a thick sheet of ice over it ... read more
Frozen waterfall at Nyerak - Top view
Group photo after the summit

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar November 7th 2013

Again 2 days in one. From Lhakang 4700m to Ramjak 4400m but over the HIGHEST pass of the trek: Shingo La 5095m! The day after Ramjak 4400m to Palamo 3700m and then.... So, first we went over the famous Shingo La, although it was our highest pass, it wasn't the hardest, we were now in top shape and very well acclimatized. Like you'll see in the video, after that it was all down hill. During the night we also had our lowest temperature of the trip -3°C. But it all went downhill with our horsemen too, we really wanted to stay in another camping that night as it fitted our plans much better, but as Shashi is more stubborn than his mules he chose differently. Now I told him what I thought of all this and ... read more

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar November 5th 2013

Today we went from the foot of Gumbarajon to the Lhakang, Shingo La Base camp (4740m). We didn't go over the pass today as after the pass there will be a long descend. And also it cuts a big climb into 2! But it's getting colder and colder. Today was also a very short day, so we had to wait at the base-camp for several hours. I didn't feel like climbing anything around us as it was to cold. So I decided to give this camping ground a major clean up! (In special honor of my sister Ann-Laure) You have to know that there is no garbage truck driving around here! With the previous horseman, we managed to explain to him that we wanted to keep all of our garbage with us so we could throw ... read more
Gumbarajon and lovers
Over the bridge
Dzymo, not Yak

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar November 4th 2013

First things first... On this first picture of our campsite you can see 2 bicycles. Of course they're not ours :-) They belong to a Polish couple who's traveling around the world with their bicycles! The have been around for more than a year now. But what's the most crazy, amazing, incredible, is that they are doing the same route as us since Padum! And as you could see there are no roads here. For some practical reason they had decided to go over the pass this way, because by road it would have taken them more than a month, while here they could do it in 10 days. But what they didn't realize was that there are really no cyclable roads here. So they ended up pushing there bikes for a couple of meters, going ... read more
Mani Wall
On the road again
First blue river in awhile

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar November 3rd 2013

Purney 3900m to Tantse 4000m in 5hours. Not much to say but the fact that it was a rocky day!!! It was a bit of a steep climb just after we left Purney and then it was more downhill afterwards. Voilà nothing else for today.... read more
Rocky 2
Rocky 3
Rocky 4

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar November 2nd 2013

Here we are, just 2 hours walk from our campsite: Phugtal Monastery! I have been dreaming so much of this place; when we arrived I took plenty of pictures and only later I realized I had left a setting on my camera to take low res pictures! 10 points for the would be professional photographer. Small disappointment again, but don't let this get in the way. At first we were not so impressed by the atmosphere of this Gompa. OK it is beautiful, in a beautiful location. But it is also a main attraction in Zanskar. So a lot of tourist come here and some even take a shortcut with the road so they only have to walk 2 days to get here. And I am sure it won't be long before this place will be ... read more
On the way to Phugtal
Phugtal Gompa 1
Phugtal Gompa 2

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar November 1st 2013

Hello everybody, First of all I want to remind all of you who only go see the blog when I send the mail that I post everyday on this blog, I am just not sending a mail. You can also leave comments if you want just like with FB. Any way, Day 16 of our trek. Since Padum we haven't gained much height, only about 500m. We're now at 3900m. It's a slow ascend of 10 days to our last pass of 5100m, but that's for later. Today we walked 5,5 hours to Purney. In Purney we'll stop for 2 days because from there we'll have a day trip to Phugtal Gompa. Phugtal Gompa... I have been dreaming of that place for almost 30years now. I saw a documentary about Ladakh and Zanskar when I was ... read more
Ibex 2
Look for Nadja!
It's narrow!

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar October 31st 2013

Today a little techie stuff. We're using this great solar panel for charging our camera batteries, light torches, mobile phone of the horseman, etc... My solar panel charges a box with special batteries, and I can use it to charge anything with USB, 12V and even 220V! This piece of equipment worked perfectly for the whole trip, unlike my hard disks... In Ladakh there is a lot of sun. So, a lot of households, even in small remote villages, have a solar panel too. They use them to have a bit of light in the evening. We also came across several Solar Power Plants, where there is a battery of solar panels to power the village at night. For the rest today was a very small day. After about an hour of walking our horsemen wanted ... read more
In the valley 1
In the valley 2

Asia » India » Jammu & Kashmir » Ladakh » Zanskar October 29th 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 ... read more
Road workers
Road work

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