Namaste friends! (or "Juley" as they say here in Ladakh, northern India)
There is no long written blog this time... just photos. Hope this finds you all well.
Lots of Love,
Kristin and Colin
driving from Srinagar to Leh was a stunning drive. Mountains, rivers, lots of green, mud houses, and crazy roads... adventure!!!
This one particular pass, Zoji la pass was the worst (and the most exciting) Thick sandy, dusty dirt, straight uphill, lots of traffic, and thin roads. We had driven about 3 hours already through the mountains from Srinagar at that point and unfortunately our bike was overheating a bit. It shut off a couple of times going uphill and I had to get off to push and then run behind the bike... at 14,000ft. Whew! We were so dirty!! It was exciting though and we made it! The rest of the drive was fine... a bit wet and muddy, but the bike did great.
me running behind the bike (and still taking pictures ofcourse)
camoflauge Colin... covered in dust
dancing as we drive past... fun group
stunning drive through the rocky mountains... we followed the river almost the whole way. There were multiple places where the road was actually part of the river... it had been washed away,... we had to drive through over a foot of rushing water. I got video... no photos
I love these trucks... all hand painted differently
on long stretches,... colin likes to rest his legs on the crash guard... Layed back...
I love their signs... so positive. And they all have BRO (border roads organization) at the top which makes me think of my bro every time. Love you Mark!
not sure if you can see in the photo... but there are mud hut houses on top of and all down the side of the huge rock... amazing!
bike glamour shot
Colin after a long day of driving.
HA! 5 star hotel in Ladakh
Lamayuru... the oldest monastary in Ladakh. We weren't planning on stopping here... but when we came over the ridge and saw this... we decided to stay for a couple of nights. We found a homestay called "Lion's Den", which is what Colin calls his man-cave/music room in our basement... so we took it as a sign to stay. They only have electricity from 7:30pm to 11pm every day and it is winter for 9 months of the year. Whew! Beautiful family living there ...with 2 little babies!! I was in heaven.
These two were adorable!!!
the grandmother... beautiful Ladakhi woman. Life is hard for these people... she is only 70, which is past the normal life expectancy. Ladakh is only accessible by vehicle 3 months of the year because of the intense winters and snowfall. One area, Drass, is the 2nd coldest inhabitable place in the world, (Siberia being #1),... reaching lows of -60 C/ -76 F. Crazy!
at the Lamayuru monastary
lots of rocks carved with mantras
Lamayuru village from the top... a different world. Personally, I really love the dirt hut construction... blends into the mountainside so perfectly and organically
On the road again... heading north from Leh over Khardung-la pass (the highest motorable pass in the world 18,362 ft) to Nubra Valley
on the way over the pass,...it rained, sleeted, snowed and then hailed on us! Ofcourse, right when it started to hail, there was a random open shed that we could pull under to let it pass. Travel magic!!! It was a cold ride up,...we wore every article of clothing we owned, but it was so fun and exciting!
after the summit, we met up with a group of about 15 Enfield riders from Mumbai and rode with them for a couple of hours. Felt like part of the Harley Davidson bikers club.
monastaries and stupas (sacred sites) along the way... beautiful
the sun came out and ended up being a beautiful drive through the arid and dry mountains. In the valleys they have irrigation systems where everyone has a garden and grows their own food (for 3 months) and dries and cans a lot of food for the upcoming winter
Nubra Valley... sand dunes of northern Ladakh
We took a 3 hour camel ride through the Ladakhi sand dunes in Nubra Valley. They are the double humped camels brought over by Mongolia during the silk trade. They were amazing animals. It was our first time seeing a camel in person... and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
our guesthouse in Nubra... fresh vegetable garden!!! MMMmmmm.... we ate well.
There are prayer flags everywhere! I really love them... gives life to any area
road back to Leh
Good times Life is good