Month: Sep 2010

Following the Indus

[caption id="attachment_743" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="While cycling was down the Indus, headwind and constant little ascents ensured we never got to lazy in this stunning wine coloured valley"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_744" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Ladakhi villages along the way offer a 'relieving' contrast to the beautiful stark and barren rock"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_746" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Ama-le (grandma) and her two grandchildren - I love the community element of Ladakh, everything is shared: work, food…

Along the Indus to Chumathang

[caption id="attachment_734" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The village of Chumathang - note the gompa (monastry in the background) always perched on a crag above a village, as if keeping a watchful eye . Chortens decorated with prayer flags and mani stones, a symbol of buddhism"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_735" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="One of the few bridges that weren't washed away in the floods. I found it interesting that this was one of the traditionally…

Detour to the Indus (via Tso Kar)

Due to the floods and mudslides in Ladakh, we were forced to change our route and add another 100 odd kilometres onto the trip. The route we had expected to follow would have taken us over 5300m Taglang-la pass, however once over this pass,  some 20km or so of road had been completely washed away. We diverted around Tso Kar and crossed the 5000m Polo Konga Pass instead, passing high summer grazing…

The more-ish Moray plains

  The sign says it all Up from Pang, one of the few flat sections on the trip, the Moray plains, are a treat [caption id="attachment_688" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Shelley taking it in her stride"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_689" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="We were lucky enough to spot some Kyang (Wild Ass) along this stretch. Also home of the thar, ibex, marmot and snow leopard"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_690" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Enjoying our lunch boxes on…

The ‘Giants castle’ near Pang

[caption id="attachment_675" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="From the Lachalung-la pass we whizzed down a stunning ascent along one of my favourite valleys where walls of granite surrounded us like a giants castle. "][/caption] [caption id="attachment_676" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Exquisite and delicate flowers grow in the most unlikely places"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_677" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Surrounded by massive mountains of granite, that lined the road like some impressive royal gateway."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_678" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Dale and…

The Double Dash (Nakee-la & Lachalung-la passes)

[caption id="attachment_654" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Himank, the Indian road agency are so polite, we were about to start the 37km double pass taking us up to 5060m: 'inconvenience deeply regretted'."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_655" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The first part entails snaking your way up into oxygen thin air along the '21 gata loops' taking you to the first of 2 false summits"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_656" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Taking the last of the 21 loops,…

Idyllic campsite near Sarcchu

[caption id="attachment_636" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Almost at the top of the 28km Baralacha-la (4890m). Still wearing my long shirts and floppy hat, the only solution to escaping sun burn."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_637" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="We hung some prayer flags for our dear friend Justin "][/caption] [caption id="attachment_638" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Justins family and friends made their own flags for him - holding them to the winds so the prayers could be sent into…

Keylong – Patseo

[caption id="attachment_615" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Attention to detail. I especially love the flowers, such amazing varieties in an often seemingly barren landscape. Setting off from Keylong we headed toward the base of the Baralacha-la pass just under 5000m."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_616" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="We followed the glacier speckled valley along fabulous roads gradually increasing in altitude eventually leaving the trees below us."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_617" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Gemon village - villagers take full…

…continuing up Rhotang and over

It rained cats and dogs for over 12 solid hours. Things were looking bleak and cabin fever had definetly set in as we bunkered down in a quagmire of damp sleeping bags and clothes, staring blankly at each other after every game in the book had been exhausted.The pass was once again closed, the tempremental landslide a few kilometres up was playing up again. We would simply have to wait and…