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I am back from the track:)

INDIA | Monday, 8 September 2008 | Views [826]

Hey everyone, I am back. The Lamayuru to Chilling route is definitely beautiful. For me though, it had its obstacles...I am hoping some of you mountain people will apprechjiate my treck.:) We started on Thursday, as planned. or rather almost as planned, since I was late. I had spent the night over at Lammo's aunt, in Gompa Village, a 45min fast walk from my guest house. She had wated me to come and I thought it was a great onor...we had fun! Her cousin is 4 years old and she's a blast. She knows ALL nursery rhymes, and prooved it, too:)

Anyway, so I hadn't slept much and I was feeling a slight cold comming its way (I TOLD the pharmacist: I need more drugs....but all he gave me was paracetamol, for RS20!). Zia, the guy from the travel agency had decided that because of the cold we would be starting from Wanls, so we would have 5 hours walk on the first day only.I was fine with that. I said hi to a guy of 24, my guide for the treck. And we took off.

It was hot in Wanla, and I felt eager to walk. We reached Fanjila after 2h. My guide, "Sunny" :) told me I was a good walker, and that was fine. OF COURSE I am a good walker!:)The second day we made it to Hinju, and again we took only half the time foreseen...so I startyed to think that these people don't deal with people like me very often...And said to Sunny that we could maybe shorten the treck by doing two days in one. He said we could discuss it in the morning. Oh, and over night we stayed at "homestays" which means a family cooks for you whatever you want and you play with their children and they give you a matress with a carpet on top, and some blankets. We had our own sleeping bags though and it was perfect like that. You really get to know the family (or as much as possible without speaking Ladakhi, but with a guide..)

One small remark about Ladakhi village families: It seems to be a law that they all have a child between 3 and 5 (and maybe some older ones). They also all have at least one grandparent and they have what I think is pretty heavy soup, Tuppa. The wheat is not processed, and it stays in my poor western stomach for far too long. Also, they never seem to be cold. And the fouryearolds ALL go to school, and some can already write English, Hindi, Bhuddik!!  (Or at leat they are learning fast.

With all the promises of visiting family I had had no time to wash my hair, and the sun was out, and there was water fron the stream that the village people lead straight through a pipe into the main "washing area". So I took off my pullover and washed my hair in the ice cold stream water. Very refreshing! I felt bad, because I used some soap, which is

lead directly into the stream, too....but I saw so many ols shampoo bottles around the area. I KNOW its no excuse...sorry, mountains. I never did it again. Of course, the sun left like 10 min later. Well, it IS the mountains we are talking about. And these seem especially forcefull mineded to me. In the evening, I started to  feel really ill, my lungs were hurting and when I swallowed...ugh! The next day, I told Sunny that I would prefer not to go, and do two days in one the day after. I would have one day of rest, I thought, because I was really not feeling well, well, I was weak, that was it. Sunny said yes, but then he said no, at around ten. The reason being that we would pass a base, where we would find no food the day later. (It was a tent-base, and people were not there on sundays...)So I packed my stuff and went. It was hard. The first ten steps I was already out of breath, and we were only on 3700m (for me no problem, since Le is on 3500). It was cold but I was sweating, and after one hour we reached Hanji-Dho (which basically means its Hanji's place where people come in summer for harvesting only). My great guide arranged for some tea, and we warmed up. It stared to snow. We walked ahead for about two hours. little by little ascending the 4900m pass. I was humming in my head. I tried to focus on the next step only. I tried thanking my body for every step it made, I tried thinking that its going well, I tried everything. Fact is, I was exhausted, and my lungs hurt like needles, I couldn't breath so well..

We met a horse man (which is a very common site, about once a day..) and he told us there was about one foot of snow on the pass. I didn't know what that meant, but I felt like it was cold, and I was also starting to  snow in..:)Sunny and I discussed what to do, I said I want to turn back, I think, because I am not feeling so well. But I saw no other way than proceed. Sunny later told me that when he saw my face he was scared because it was so passive and my eyes half closed....so we went back.
The snow storm vanished as fast as it had come, as though to tell us we did the right thing. In Hanji'la we set up our tent. No, actually, after three people came to help Sunny set up the tent I fell straight onto the grass, where I slept until Sunny woke me to tell me the tent was set up. Then I fell into the tant, Wearing three jackets, two pairs of socks, two hats and oh, yes, a sleeping bag...

I woke for dinner, had a little, and fell back to sleep. That was the first attemt on the pass.

Okay, guys, I have to go, because THE ATM is not wortking here in Leh (actyually, there are two, one opfficial one, and one secret one, but they are both not working)...and I am out of money!

Will talk to you out of Delhi of Varkalka,Kerala to finish my story....:) you can see I am well, and it ends well.

Tags: chilling, cold, lamayuru, snow, treck



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