Just opened my eyes and looked around it was already morning. All of us were in a hurry to reach Leh. Bikes didn’t give us much trouble, everyone started their bikes and drove off. Bharath, me, Basha, Ginix and Kumar were a little late, we were just hanging around for a while on the nearby valleys and walked along the frozen streams on the road side. But then Basha’s bike had some problems, it dint start at all. We poured hot kettle water on engine (we usually did that every mornings), and tried to meddle with the bike as much as we could but even then it dint start. At such altitudes, if you try to kickstart your bike like 10 times you would get totally tired. We couldnt do much, so Bharath drove till Karu, found a mechanic and got Basha’s bike fixed, in the mean time me and Kumar left on my Pulsar to Leh.
On the way to Leh, we drove across the place where Lakshya movie was filmed. We met all other folks in Leh, who were eagerly waiting for us. Our mobile phones started working again. We then kept circling in the beautiful town of Leh looking for hotels. And finally we checked into a youth hostel ‘Hotel Hortze’. By the time we checked in, Bharath and Basha joined us.
We took almost three to four hours settling down and freshening up. Much before I begun the journey to Ladakh, I already had read a lot about Leh on blogs and had an image of Leh in my mind. Leh was almost like the way I had imagined it to be, just like town descripted in the first few pages of Tintin in Tibet. A town in the valleys surrounded by big mountains, roads with several ups and downs, just a few people on the road, most of them Buddhists in their traditional attire, wrinkled Tibetian faces with prayer wheel constantly turning in their hands.
Houses seemed to be made of clay and looked as if thery were carved out on the steep mountain slopes. The polo grounds in front of the Leh palace looked something like the castle in Minastiris (LOTR). We could hear humming sounds of monks chanting in a nearby place.
But the town seems to be changing fast, in most parts it is packed with travel services, hotels and restaurants. Eventhough we coudnt shop much as we dint have room to carry much, the market place looked really tempting.
We had a nice dinner at a posh restaurant, and later we booked a mini van to go to Pangong lake the next morning. The confidence level, excitement factor was all time high at this point. This day we not only enjoyed a lot, we also got the much needed break from our constant driving.