DAY 4: ON THE ROAD WEST OF LEH, Indus Valley, Ladakh, India
Another day of fine weather, another day of lamasery visit in the Indus Valley. This time, we headed northwest along Indus River towards Kargil and Kashmir. With limited time, we could only reach as far as Lamayuru Gompa, and stopped by Alchi and Likir on our way back to Leh. We would have to wait till next time to see the lush green Alpine scenery of Kashmir near the border with Pakistan. Unlike the day before when we spent the day to hop from one monastery to another, this time around we would spend considerably more time on the road traveling greater distances between the three monasteries. Therefore, the hotel manager suggested us to hire a decent SUV for the day. We took his advice and hired an experienced driver and a comfortable SUV from our hotel. Tashi, a designated driver employed by Ladakh Greens Hotel, turned out to be a good guide and excellent driver who mastered great driving skills necessary for the treacherous mountainous roads. Apart from the time spent at the three monasteries, we were pretty much on the road for most of the day, speeding through the arid landscapes west of Leh.
Our SUV left Leh at about 7:30 in the morning and headed west along Indus River.
Soon after leaving Leh behind, we were completely surrounded by desert like landscape.
The confluence of Indus and Zanskar River at Nimo is a famous spot for white water rafting.
Students waiting for transportation at a small mountain village.
The mountain roads in Ladakh are popular for motorcyclists.
Road maintenance staff taking a break by the curb.
Before reaching Lamayuru Gompa, we reached a famous area with unique earth formation called the Lamayuru Moonland.
Peaceful landscape of wild flowers and scattered vegetation near Lamayuru.
Series of white stupas along mountain foot.
Crossing a bridge of prayer flags.
A group of students leaving a school building in a small mountain town.
A group of road maintenance staff resting beside the road.
Locals getting off a public bus at a small village.
Dramatic moon-like landscape and prominent gateway on our way back to Leh from Likir.
Basgo Gompa is another famous monastery west of Leh.
Magnetic Hill of Ladakh: an optical illusion of what looks like a downhill road is actually an uphill road.
Lots of colourful trucks were on the road with us during the day.
After seeing Lamayuru, Alchi and Likir, we headed back to Leh under the yellow sunlight in the late afternoon.
* * *
Other posts on 2016 Ladkadh & Delhi:
Introduction – LADAKH – The Land of High Passes, India
Day 1.1 – ENROUTE TO LEH, Ladakh
Day 1.2 – WALK TO MAIN BAZAAR, Leh, Ladakh
Day 1.3 – LEH PALACE, Leh, Ladakh
Day 1.4 – HOTEL LADAKH GREENS, Leh, Ladakh
Day 2.1 – NAMGYAL TSEMO GOMPA, Leh, Ladakh
Day 2.2 – LALA’S CAFE AND TIBETAN CUISINE, Leh, Ladakh
Day 2.3 – SPITUK GOMPA, Leh, Ladakh
Day 3.1 – MONASTERIES OF THE INDUS VALLEY DAY ONE, Ladakh (with map)
Day 3.2 – THIKSEY GOMPA, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 3.3 – CHEMREY & TAKTHOK GOMPA, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 3.4 – HEMIS & STAKNA GOMPA, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 3.5 – MATHO GOMPA & SHEY PALACE, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 4.1 – ON THE ROAD WEST OF LEH, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 4.2 – LAMAYURU GOMPA, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 4.3 – ALCHI & LIKIR GOMPA, Indus Valley, Ladakh
Day 4.4 – FORT ROAD IN THE EVENING, Leh, Ladakh
Day 5.1 – SHORT HIKE NEAR PHYANG, Ladakh
Day 5.2 – PHYANG VILLAGE, Ladakh
Day 5.3 – NOMADIC WOOLLEN MILLS & BON APPETIT, Leh, Ladakh
Day 6.1 – ZINGCHEN GORGE, Ladakh
Day 6.2 – SHANTI STUPA, Leh, Ladakh
Day 7.1 – LEH AIRPORT TO RED FORT, Delhi
Day 7.2 – RED FORT, Delhi
Day 7.3 – JAMA MASJID, Delhi
Day 7.4 – FAREWELL OLD DELHI, Delhi
Day 7.5 – UNITED COFFEE HOUSE, New Delhi