Wanderer's Muse-The land of high passes, Ladakh!

Himadri sen

Day 7 : Retrun to the Blue lake : Tsomoriri
Our Itinerary for the day : Hanley - Loma - Nyoma - Mahe - Sumdo - Tso Kiagar - Tso Moriri / Tso Moriri - Tso Kiagar - Sumdo - Tso Kar - Debring - Ta Lang La – Leh ( stay leh)

We woke up to a bright sunny day in Hanley . The village monastery was visible a few meters away from our guest house:

There were horses grazing the distance field:



We retraced our path upto Loma where again our permits were checked. Today morning we didn’t see any kiangs in that area , yesterday evening they were roaming in big herds. We did see few eagles sitting in the bush . The place looked ethereal last evening under the golden light but at 9 :00 AM the colors were faded. But still it retained the raw charm , I felt to experience this beauty one needs to move around this place at a slow pace. I told Sonam my feelings , he replied “ Sir, Loma se Nyoma or bhi sundar hai “ – Nyoma route is more beautiful .
I sat there impatiently hoping for better photo opportunities . There was another round of documents checking at Loma gate.


As we moved towards Nyoma , the color of the Hills changed to bright red . The indus river was visible in its semi- frozen stage. Indeed, the Nyoma drive was very very scenic . One should never miss Loma- Nyoma drive during Ladakh trip.


Frozen Indus river and wide open vista:

Frozen Indus in all its glory:


The amazing colors of Nyoma :

We stopped by a roadside tea stall . I walked around for some photo oppurtunity :


The drive is so beautiful that you feel the urge to stop at every bend . We drove straight to the Mahe Bridge , our documents were checked here. Here we took a diverson for Sumdo> Korzok . The other road moves ahead to Chumathang.
The Hills here are rugged and vertical , Sonam informed that this is area of Mountain Goats . So , we kept looking for any sighting . But unlucky us , the sighting is also very rare

We moved ahead towards Korzok . Few kilometers before reaching Tsomoriri , we saw another lake - Kiagar Tso . It was quite far from the road . I walked to its shore , it was frozen and sun reflecting on its surface created a wonderful aura.

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We moved ahead towards Korzok. Many nomadic tribes have set their tents in the filed. Yaks were grazing and woman doing their chore in the sunny morning. A child walked towards us , it was 14th Nov- Children's day in India. We handed him over chocolates.
The path to Tsomoriri:



Reaching Tsomoriri and viewing its blue water is a humbling experience. The sun was on our side and it created the deep blue color of the lake


The lake is also part of the wet land conservation , there were many birds at the lake side.


We drove along the banks of lake and entered the Korzok village . There was another army check point where we had to do manual entry . I really felt for the army personal across the border area standing guard to some lonely bridges and checkpost under inclement climate , there job is so tough.

We drove to a viewpoint , where due to sun's reflection , the water of the lake reflected in a deep blue hue . I have never seen such beauty before.
Sharing some photos here :


I just got trigger happy


Who wants to leave from such a place , certainly not me



Aww!! but actually it was time to go , the real world is so unromantic . We retraced our path to Mahe Bridge . Meanwhile Sonam shared an information which annoyed me very much . He informed me that the Tsokar which was also in our itinerary , the water mass has shrunk due to salt deposits ,not worth a visit during this season , also our return by Ta Lang la is not possible as the path is closed due to snowfall . Due to time shortage we would rather take Chumathang route for Leh. Initially , I was annoyed very much , he should have shared this piece of information when we set off in the morning. But his conduct through out the trip has been 10/10 , so I gave him the benefit of doubt . Also in such harsh climate , our driver is our best guide , he knows the route better than us . So after Mahe , we took the Chumathang road .
Chumathang is famous for the Hot sulphur springs , they were everywhere along the river bed.
The sun was setting at the background and hot spring oozing along the river.

We had our late lunch at Chumathang . Leh was still 140 km away . It was already late afternoon , so we set off quickly . Sonam knows the road very well.
He drove in almost complete darkness , made me realize his expertise. We drove by the Shey palace and 3- idiots school .
We reached Sia- La guest house at 8:00PM. After such a long and tiring ride , another shock was awaiting us.
There are no room at Sia- La , Mr. Gulam Nabi informed us . The room which he so cordially told me will be kept available before we left for Nubra was no longer there. I had even informed him through emails and SMS , had face to face discussion 3-4 times for the room on 14th Nov which he now completely dishonoured. I was totally annoyed and confused with such treatment , standing there at his door at such an odd hour under such a climate. I saw a big group of foreign tourists , things became clear to me. After much argument, Sonam helped me in this, he gave me a room which we have to vacant before 7:30 AM . Anyways , we had plan to vacate the room by 8 :00 AM but for unknown reason he insisted on 7:30AM checkout. Infact when we checked in we were kept waiting for 20-30 mins when rooms were being prepared. After such wonderful trip and hospitality we received from Ladakhis such incident came as a shock to me. With such hurt feelings, we went to our room.
Though I was very tired , but because of this incident and pressure of waking early, didn't sleep well that night.
Day 8 : From Heaven to earth
It was the day for our return , our Go Air flight was scheduled on time. We bade goodbye to sonam , it was a wonderful trip , all because of him . With a heavy heart we entered departure. After multiple levels of security check , there is a round of baggage identification which is unique to Leh airport. Before boarding the bus , one foreign woman asked the security officer , in what order to board . He replied " Random", she broke into giggles. Welcome to India lady

The flight was on time and soon ladakh became a memory , a treasured trip of a life time.

Thank you all for reading the TL. Chao. :)

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