In Leh, you either ride a donkey or a motorbike
Srinigar - Kashmir -
. To this Guy exclaimed "We hate Shanti, we just want mountains"!
Our favorite guest aboard HMS Shanti
Drass - The second coldest inhabited place in the world
The lovely Ladakhi family at Shergol
Leh town and palace
Bhikkhu Sanghasena, was an inspiring man and his teachings were invaluable to every day life. Most of the experience is too personal to describe in a blog, but Emma returned to Leh smiling and happy!
Emma's donkey friend greets her on her return
Meanwhile Guy was on "the road to enlightenment". Yep - you guessed, on another Royal Enfield, this time on a mission to Tso Moriri lake, which also crosses the boarder to China. A little organisation and a permit this time were required for a three day adventure. Having set out with Kevin, an English chap I met the night before, we encountered all kinds of issues, rivers to cross, exhausts/gear shifters that fell off etc and finally Kevins Enfield was barely making it up the hills and he had to turn back after an entertaining lunch in an army camp. The Indian army were so excited about having guests - they cooked a great lunch for us, and provided chocolate and gatorade for the journey ahead. The mechanics also did what they could to fix Kevins bike to limp home to Leh.
Worlds highest salt lake
So I went onwards, into the unknown lands inhabited by nomadic tribes and strange landscape. There was no roads in places, just sweeping high altitude grasslands where one felt so isolated and free. Upon reaching the tiny town of Korzok on the lake, he just bed down in a little cold tent and begun the journey next day in snow and rain. It was so cold that he decided to take the low road home, rather than the high cold pass, so thus begun a 10 hour ride back to Leh and warm sun.
Ominous storm front brewing behind Guys touring Enfield
We counted up the days we had spent in Leh on our fingers, and realised after we ran out of digits that we had been 26 days - almost one month! So we packed our bags, said our goodbyes to the family and embarked on the longest and hardest journey yet - The infamous Leh - Manali highway - the second highest road in the world after Kardung La.
We will be speeding back through the North of India, briefly stopping at the Taj Mahal, Varanassi, and Darjeeling with plans to arrive in Kathmandu within 2 weeks (watch this space).
Bonus pics: As always - please see our Flickr page for more: Search for user: namasteindia2011
Old Box - India is a great land for reuse of "used" items - as proven by the Old Box shop man who had no more room in his shop even for himself!
Border Roads Organisation - one can always fill their alpine journey time laughing at these amusing signs - The best one that we missed with the camera was "Drinking Whiskey Driving Risky".
Emma's trekking blister toes