8 on 8, a journey in Ladakh

Yogesh Sarkar

Thanks everyone.

Awesome star trails... teach how to do! I tried but I feel too complicated procedure to shoot and post photography processing.
It is actually quite simple, I have penned it down in an easy to understand manner http://www.yogeshsarkar.com/blog/2016/10/17/how-i-photographed-tsemo-gompa-star-trail/. Let me know if you need any help.

awesome yogesh da.. missed you meeting there.. Went to Numbra the next day i reached Leh..
Ah, I was wondering where you went :).

Yogesh Sarkar


24th September 2016, Leh

There are days you get hungry, even before waking up. Or rather, you wake up hungry. I woke up around 5am due to hunger, since there was nothing in the room except biscuits, I decided to fall back to sleep. Got up around 7 again, ate a couple of biscuits after freshening up and went downstairs.

Neha opened the room and she wasn’t feeling that good. While KP was in a bad state, suffering from a headache, stomach upset, sinus issues etc.. Both of them hadn’t eaten any medicines yet and hadn’t drink water at night since there was none in the room when they returned from KC Garden Café.

I went to Otsal and requested him to bring some warm water and tea. Also requested him to prepare breakfast, since KP was in no condition to go out.

In fact, he was barely in a mood to wake up and drink water or take oxygen from disposable oxygen cylinder we had.

A while later, Rahul, Mini, and Prashant came. While Mini and Prashant had to do some shopping and decided to stay back, Rahul and I went to DC Office to get the permit made. While leaving for the DC Office, I asked Neha to have a Diamox and give one to KP as well, after he had his breakfast.

We drove to the DC Office, and while Rahul went in search of parking, I headed inside the DC Office to get permit application forms. Got the forms and came outside, and found Prashant’s ID boldly stating, it isn’t meant to be used for the purpose of address proof. While it should have worked for permit application, we didn’t want to take any chance. Hence we decided to drive back to the guest house.

When I came back to the guest house, I found KP resting outside in a chair, soaking in the sun. He hadn’t eaten much and hadn’t taken Diamox or for that matter, any other medicine yet. I was starting to get annoyed since KP wasn’t ready to accept he was suffering from AMS. As per him, he got hit by sinus trouble due to cold walk back to the guest house at night, after sitting in front of the fire. Thus he just needed to rest. And not take any medicines.

Told him and Neha to take Diamox, got the IDs and went with Rahul again to get the permit made. After stopping en route to get the photocopies, we went to the DC Office and got the permit. It was extremely easy this time around, though 3-day permit for the 3 of us, ended up costing more than Rs. 1,000.

After we got the permit, next step was to get permit’s photocopies made and then we headed towards the airport road to get Safari’s rear door lock fixed. A couple of screws had become loose, and they required allen key, which Rahul didn’t have.

It was around noon and I still hadn’t eaten anything since morning, except a couple of biscuits. Rahul dropped me at airport road to find a dhaba to order food at and went to Bosch service center. Finding a place to eat, which offered anything other than chowmein was difficult! It was after walking for 20minutes that I finally found a dhaba and ordered parathas for us.

15mins later Rahul arrived and we sat down to have our breakfast, 7 and a half hours after the hunger had woken me up from sleep.

After breakfast, we went to petrol pump to get diesel filled in Safari, since Rahul, Mini, and Prashant had to leave for Nubra.

After getting diesel filled, I received a text from Neha, asking me to bring something to eat, since KP hadn’t eaten anything except a bread slice since morning and now wasn’t even getting up.

At this point, I had, had enough.

Getting sick is one thing, not listening to advice nor accepting that there is a thing like AMS at work here, is quite another. In my view, there was only one way forward, getting him to the hospital, and letting the doctors deal with AMS/Sinus/Hunger or whatever else was at play.

Once at the room, I was in no mood to listen, told KP to get up, so that we could go to the hospital. He was still adamant he just needed food and rest, and he would be alright.

Since it was lunch time at the hospital, Otsal advised us to see how his condition was around 3-4pm and then take a call. In the meanwhile, he got milk and bread from the market, and KP finally got his wish of resting in the room and having something light to eat.

After a while, Neha and I went to Yama Café for lunch and came back. Rest of the day was spent at the guest house and for the most part, KP slept.

In evening I decided to head to G-Kitchen for dinner, and Neha and KP decided to eat at Otsal Guest House.

Spoke with Rigzin and told him we would staying another day in Leh, and would now be heading to Nubra on 26th. Also spoke to the driver of Eeco and asked him to come in the morning, so that I could do some photography early in the morning.

After a long day, it was time to turn in for the night.

Scroll down to read the next part.
Last edited:

Yogesh Sarkar

25th September 2016, Leh

Got up early in the morning, though laziness and tiredness kept me in bed till around 5:30am. Eventually, I called the driver and around 6am, we headed towards the Spituk Monastery.

Once there, I wanted to shoot something different. I had photographed planes during my 3 trips from here and I didn’t want to do that. Though I eventually did, in a different manner, keeping the frame wide and focus on the landscape, with planes being tiny objects in the sky.



After this, I decided to setup a time-lapse of morning sun rays and clouds playing in the village of Spituk and beyond.

Around 7:30 I decided to wrap up and headed back to the Otsal Guest House.

After speaking to Rigzin, I decided to check on Neha and KP. Both were doing better, having eaten another dosage of Diamox at night as well.

I came back to my room and ate biscuits and drank juice I had bought yesterday. Around 10:30am, we decided to head for Yama Café for breakfast. KP was feeling much better today and wanted to go to the hospital for a checkup.

After having a delicious breakfast at Yama.


I called the driver and got him to arrange a taxi to take us to the hospital. Around noon we reached Sonam Norbu Memorial Hospital. I had seen this hospital from outside numerous times during my 7 earlier trips to Ladakh, however, this was the first time I was going inside.


We got Neha and KP checked up at the hospital, while Neha’s blood oxygen level was 95! KP’s blood oxygen level was 80, and the doctor prescribed Diamox, medicine for cold and antibiotic. Told us to take oxygen at the hotel if it was available there, if not, then to get admitted to tourist ward for the same. Though as per her, it wasn’t really needed. And we could travel to Nubra and Pangong tomorrow.

We went to the tourist ward and KP got admitted there. And once again slept peacefully, once he was put on oxygen. The nurse eventually woke him up, since oxygen treatment isn’t really effective if the patient is sleeping.


I got my blood oxygen level checked for the first time as well, it was 79.

Initially, we thought they will give him oxygen for half an hour or so, however, they insisted on keeping him there, till his blood oxygen level climbed to 85 or more, after remaining off oxygen for more than half an hour. KP was all too happy to undergo oxygen therapy, that SRK goes through each week, that too for just Rs. 250 :D.

Neha and I went to a restaurant across the street and had a delicious lunch, and brought back food for KP as well.

Eventually, after over 6 hours, the nurse told us to sign LAMA and take KP back to the guest house. Since doctor would only visit in the morning and only then could he be discharged normally.

After signing LAMA, we went back to the guest house. Otsal had prepared dinner for us and I got treated to Chaang as well. All the while listening to numerous stories Otsal shared with us over dinner.

All of us were in a jovial mood now and tomorrow, we were finally leaving Leh, after staying here for 5 days and heading to Nubra, to begin our next leg of the journey.

Click here to read the next part of the travelogue ->
Last edited: