Ladakh and the Himalayas never cease to excite and surprise us. Bidding adieu to the Tso Moriri wetlands and its lovely cranes and bar-headed geese, we set out to Sarchu.
Before Sarchu enthralls us, we find thrill and awe en route! A plateau at a height of 4,000 m, flanked by mountains. The road is what we make our way through. A driver’s delight and dare! We were at More (Mor-ay) Plains, the world’s highest plateau. This section stretches more than 50 km.
Vehicles at times run parallel, spewing dust all over. A lone biker speeds off to nirvana. The sandy plains can be deceptive.
Apart from a few construction workers, tourist vehicles, goats and yaks, the other company one can have here is the Kiang or the Himalayan Wild Ass. Our cameras were not quick enough to click the one we saw.
The endless roads (rather, endless “non-roads”) take us to Pang. This military base has shops and restaurants run by Ladakhis. These shops are temporary. Once the season ends and snowfall starts, they return to Leh and nearby villages. We pig out on hot momos and stretch lazily on the charpoy, giving rest to our backs that took a toll on the “non-roads.”
After Pang, we drive along the Lungpa River. A beauty of different kind takes our breath away. Incredible natural formations of sand and rock! The landscape takes on a different hue here. Reddish mud colour is the shade of the moment.
The road is now uphill. Dangerously narrow, cutting through the peaks! Nimble mountain goats running through the mountain slopes (sloping at 80 degrees or more) with amazing ease and quickness sends a chill down our spines.
Sarchu is a couple of hours away. As darkness engulfs the beauty around and the nippy air sets the mood, we fall into a silence that once again speaks volumes of our overwhelming emotions—those one can experience only in the lap of Himalayas.