Day 14: Bus to Sarchu
Sarchu Travel Blog› entry 15 of 26 › view all entries
The road safety campaign extends beyond Leh. As we drive across the desert, following the slim green band of cultivation along the River Indus, we're treated to an assortment of useful warnings: 'Peep Peep, Don't Sleep', 'Drive Like Hell – You'll Be There' and 'Be Mr Late Rather Than the Late Mr', which is marg
Michael Palin -
The alarm went off at , I got out of bed and hit the light-switch.
Breakfast was a bit simpler than we had gotten used to, especially compared to Dorje's trekking food. Seemingly Rabi wasn't feeling much like baking eggs at this time of day.
At we were in the bus that would take us across the
We made our way southwards over the Leh - Manali highway with its safety signs, once again passing Thiksey and Shey.
At 5000 meters we had already snaked our way into the clouds and the body started acting strangely. Muscles in my arms and fingers started cramping up, breathing speeding up and a slight nausea haunted my stomach. We had a short delay because of roadwork and then continued up the mountain for the last 328 meters.
It was freezing cold on the Taglang-La and melting snow was falling from the sky.
After less than an hour the landscape had completely changed. We had dipped beneath the clouds again and at 4700 meters wide plain stretched out between the mountains; the summer grazing grounds for yak, sheep and goats seemingly referred to as the More Plains.
After almost 50 kilometres of these windswept plains we suddenly descended into a deep gorge ending at the small road workers and army depot Pang (a name quite fitting for an army depot). Although not recommended we had lunch here since it was already and the next town was many kilometres and one mountain pass away.
In one of the 'restaurant tents' we ordered a safe meal of tea, vegetable soup and fried rice which went down quite well on our hungry stomachs. At we continued our way towards today's second pass. A stunning landscape with high jagged walls of rock on both side of the bus and huge protruding stones that seemed to be coming crashing down upon us rolled past us.
After passing numerous cargo and full trucks coming from the south and the occasional tourist bus we f
After passing a tiny tent camp at the bottom of the valley (seemingly referred to as 'Whisky Nullah') the bus climbed the last pass of today, the
We continued along the river and by the time we pulled into Sarchu (4100 m) at eight o' clock, darkness had already fallen over the
It took a bit longer before we reached the 'Goldrop' campsite, a collection of tents with double beds and a separate toilet 'room'.
The dinner buffet consisted of chapatti, dhal, rice, paneer ... In other words the usual standard vegetarian Indian dish. I wasn't very hungry, either because Judith and I had just devoured a bag of spicy Masala chips in the bus or because of the lack of physical activity today and the tiredness of the trip. After dinner everybody quickly went to their tents. It was so cold that Judith and I decided to unpack our sleeping bags again and put the blankets that were provided by Goldrop on top of them. In this cosy and warm little nest it didn't take long before I was snoozing away after slipping in my sleeping bag at .