Day 7: Trekking from Likir to Yangtang
Yangtang Travel Blog› entry 8 of 26 › view all entries
"(...) on the bare flank of the hill opposite there was a mani stone, the first I had ever seen, a large black stone with OM MANI PADME HUM ('Praise to the Jewel at the heart of the Lotus') vivid in dark bold stripes on its surface. (...) As I watched them in that light, the syllables of the sacred mantra of
A Journey in Ladakh - Andrew Harvey
Although wake-up time wasn't until six we actually woke up at .
The service provided by the crew was excellent. Not only had they set-up our tents and provided constant drinks and food, they also brought cups of tea and tubs of warm water for washing to every tent in the morning. At seven o' clock they served us banana porridge, toast and eggs. A good breakfast for today's hefty trek, which started shortly after .
We left Likir (3500 m), crossed the Likir Tokpo stream after a steep descent and slowly started to ascent to today's first pass, the Pobe-La. Before long Likir's green barley fields changed into a barren moonscape. We passed small white chörtens and after an hour we arrived at a mani wall, a wall made of stacked stones, among which several beautifully made mani stones.
At we arrived at the Pobe-La (3550 meter), where Dadul and Jimmy tied up the prayer flags he had asked the monk of Likir monastery to bless yesterday. He also had us shout out 'Larga-Lo !' (the truth shall prevail) three times, after preceding this with his own ‘Kiki Soso!’. Near the Pobe-La I build a little tower of stones I had promised Saskia to make for her family.
We started our steep descent, 150 meters downhill into the gorge beyond Pobe-La. The enormous contrasts in the landscape are indescribable. One minute you're in a green field, the next one you're in a desolate wasteland and then you're walking through gorges of multicoloured rock, trying to conquer another mountain pass. At we arrived in another green valley between the mountains.
Next up was the toughest part of the day. We entered another gorge for a 300 meter ascent to the Charatse-La pass. Taking tiny little steps and having two small breaks to catch our breaths we reached the Charatse-La (3710 meter) an hour later at 12:30 PM. Jimmy and Dadul had both brought a long stick and while we had lunch they constructed two poles between which the prayer flags that Kirsten had brought could be tightened. A lovely sight and the pass was immediately renamed Sawadee-La (after the travel agency we had booked our trip with).
We could already spot the next green valley from the road: Yangtang, our dest
After the four o' clock tea and snacks (fried potato chips) Dadul took us to the
On the way back to the camping site we had to cross a stream that was too wide to step across. An attempt by one of the team members resulted in a partial collapse of the adjacent wall of stacked stones, meant to keep the cattle moving into the right direction. Fortunately this could be fixed easily.
After another hour of relaxing and reading, dinner was served. The crew had again done their best with soup, pasta and chowmein. After dinner some of us stayed a bit longer for a chat, but shortly after nine everybody wandered to their tents. I stopped in the middle of the camping site where the tents were placed in a circle, turned off my flashlight and looked up. Amazed I spent several minutes looking at the night sky that was filled with bright stars and even showed the Milky Way. I handn’t even seen the stars this clearly in the Egyptian desert! A wonderful end to another day with experiences to be cherished.
Everything is dark by ten.
A Journey in Ladakh - Andrew Harvey