Along the Indus to Chumathang

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
One of the few bridges that weren't washed away in the floods. I found it interesting that this was one of the traditionally made bridges too! (Chumathang)
Heading down a wine coloured valley to Mahe, the junction where we joined the Indus River
The Indus was bulging at the seems, as it were. The usual pea-green colour was now a muddy brown mass of water. It was easy to see how the cloudburst and abnormally high rainfall had taken its toll, flood plain fields were no longer, while the road clung to the 'edge'.
The road sign humour continued but took on a more tender tone further on ' Let your heart spillout affection and care' and more ominously as we cycled through a military zone, one read 'Paradise lies in the shadow of the swords'.
First views of Ladakhi villages along the Indus, splashes of green a stunning contrast against the sky and stark toppled mountains.
Stunning geology: granite masses criss-crossed with veins of white quartz
Riding downstream doesnt mean riding downhill. This section was every bit as challening as getting over one of the 5000m passes. We had a head wind and cooking temperatures.
Prayer flags to greet us at the village of Chumathang. We found a perfect campsite in the back of local garden.
A lush little campsite under the poplars - a cool respite from the harsh sun
Little 'Buddha'
Sweet little 'skipper' my special Chumathang friend
Only a pleasure! Thank you Chumathang!

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.

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