Ladakh 14

Mon 22nd July

Today the weather is ‘normal’, ie. bloody hot. We hear tell that the monsoon rains killed 200 in the Punjab and 30 in a building collapse in Jammu. The rains here were the heaviest in living memory, but nothing unusual in London or Manchester, but now part of Ladakh’s history.
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Now for a bit of introspection. There is a lingering sense of homesickness. I haven’t received even one letter from home, so I have no way of knowing if and/or how my missives have been received. (Note: Letter to Sam – 4 cannot be traced.). Without that encouragement, I feel bereft of self-motivation. Leh is an easy, lazy place to stay so on my own it’s hard to get motorvating.

I am now though beginning to contemplate future directions and travels. Assuming my visa extension is given here, then I can witness the cultural festival week starting on August 7th. I think that would be too late for the Zanskar trek to Manali, not that I’m overkeen on over-exerting myself.  Perhaps a shorter trek, Hemis to Basgo or Phyang is on the cards with Val next week.

I’d like to avoid Srinagar if at all possible, but that would mean a flight to Chandigar, thence to Varanasi. Other options include Rajastan – and a town called Sam! – and/or head south.

Much depends on my postbag: where is it?

8.45pm

A solitary meal in the Potala – at least, at last, my stomach seems to have been stabilised-imodiumised – and having overheard some interesting, intelligent, travellers at the adjacent table, I now feel sufficiently energised to start planning the next stage of my travels; I’m getting ready for new encounters, hopefully off well-worn paths.

A thought: I wonder if my lethargy and weariness is connected to altitude and climatic conditions?

Whatever, I still determine to return to Ladakh some day.
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Wed. 24th

Val and I ate at the Eco-Centre with the Indo-English ~ or should that be Anglo-Indian? ~ Nubra Expedition. They apparently got within 1,000′ of an unconquered peak (in the Rimo massif?) only to drop a backpack containing food rations etc. down 4,000′ so had to abandon the whole enterprise. At least they got into Nubra though.

One of the ‘failed’ climbers is Tony Saunders, an architect with Lambeth Council who were part-funders of the children’s charity I quit in order to travel. Small world!

Another incident they related was a piece of news which may not have reached the outside world, but which was related to the climbers by the (crowing) Indian soldiers who were accompanying the expedition. A troop of Pakistanis recently infiltrated a side valley in the Nubra with the intention of cutting off the Indian army force stationed there. The infiltrators were detected and isolated in turn, suffering many casualties.

9pm

The monsoon continues anew.

A bright evening for me having received the first missive, from a friend ‘back home’. At least my letters have been getting through, so I now eagerly await more news and views.

Had a wonderful meal at the Eco Centre (again), promptly shat out (again). However, I still have itchy feet – and very wet one’s tonight – and am planning how to get to Sam in Rajasthan.

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About Jakartass

A Brit Abroad
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