Ladakh with a dash of Baltistan


New Member
Realised mid-air that I’d left my sweater at home. I have a flight from Delhi to Leh early morning the next day. Would spend time roaming around Connaught place and try and buy a sweater from the numerous stores over there. Have a hard time finding hoodies in CP. Too early in the season they said. Finally found one at H&M. I like their stores. Went back to the airport to spend a sleepless night.

Reached Leh and found the hoodie handy. Shared a cab with some guy into town and checked into the hostel. The union game is strong in Leh. Went out for breakfast. Omelette, naan and rajma. He served different tea for me and different for the locals. A local lad added a spoonful of butter to his pink tea and ate a naan dipping into it. Went to the palace. Boring. Called the cycle guy. He made me wait. Like a lot. Was getting anxious. Sleep deprived, I hung out at a cafe till the bike guy emerged. The cycle store is on the 1st floor. Showed me an MTB. Giant. Seemed good. Hired. Got back to the hostel. Slept for 2 hours. Went out to lunch. There’s a baker’s gully en route to the market. Had mutton samosa. Reminded me of somsas in Uzbekistan. Reckon they have lamb fat as well. Decided to buy naans and carry them as breakfast for the next day. Khardungla Day. Hung around the market and bought apricots, Jam bottle, sunscreen et al. Took the bike for a spin towards the mountains. Was breathing heavy. Back at the hostel decided I’d eat some naan with jam and skip dinner and hit the bed early. Bad idea. Couldnt sleep well on a half stomach as well as on account of people pouring in into the dorm. Next morning was to be K-day. Got up half asleep and then decided to skip. Dont think was well rested and as acclimatized as one should be. Turned out to be the best.

Had breakfast at the same place. Had the local tea this time. Its pink; salt and butter infused tea. Dipped a naan into it. Decided to visit stok palace. Huge descent on the way. Once there I realized its a boring place so cycled further to Thiksey Monastery. Slightly less boring. I’d been to Leh before and visited these places so wasn’t much interested in revisiting. Had decided I’ll skip smoking till K-top is done. But gave in. The ascent back into Leh was nasty. Good trailer for K-top. Found a nice Tibetan restaurant. Chicken Thukpa. Got back to the hostel. Shower. Dont know how many days I’d have to go without. Dinner was momos. Heavy, yet prescribed. Carb loading. Score a loose. Bed by 9.