10th July

We started for Nubra valley at 10 am. Our first stop was Khardung La. Altitude difference between Leh and Khardung La is ~2.1 km, which is covered in 40 km on roads. Road to Khardung La was easier than Chang La and Tanglang La. On the way to the top, we met our friends who were returning back to Leh.

We stayed for about half an hour on K-top. The altitude was 18,380 feet, higher than the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal, which is at 17,600 ft. From that height, the valley was looking beautiful. We were almost at the mountain cliff and clouds were right above us. By now we had completely acclimatized, so didn’t have any trouble in breathing.

We started descending from the K-top and proceeded towards our next stop, Khalsar. Descent was slightly tougher than the ascent. En route to Khalsar, a convoy of Army trucks was moving along with us. It was difficult to overtake the trucks on the curvy roads. When only a few of the trucks were left to overtake, one of them punctured and we had to wait for around 20 minutes.

We reached Khalsar and as usual had our favourite Maggi in Lunch. Just before Khalsar, we saw a village which was looking very beautiful from the top. Greenery, beside the river and surrounded by barren mountains was a perfect view.

After Khalsar, both sides of the roads were covered with sand. We had entered the cold desert. One wouldn’t imagine a desert surrounded by snow-capped mountains . It was unbelievable.

By 3 pm, we reached Diskit. We decided to stay in a guest house at Diskit and visit Hunder in the evening. Hunder is only 8 km from Diskit and is famous for sand dunes and double hump camels. It’s a nice place, where one can see river, grass, sand, mountains and snow in a single frame.

As i hadn’t seen a desert before, playing in the sands was exciting for me. We also left our mark on the sands:)

While relaxing on the sands i was thinking which of the two lives is better – high tech and complicated city life or a simple life with untamed nature. The answer is not so easy :)

Before leaving Hunder, we saw double hump camels. There were 8-10 of them and many tourists were enjoying the camel safari in the desert.

We returned to our guest house in Diskit and had our dinner. The food was good, in fact the best meal of the whole trip. From our room, the blue sky above the mountains was looking marvelous.

We wanted to see hot springs in Panamik but didn’t have the time to visit. It would have taken at least half day for that. We skipped it finally.

Before going to sleep, i took a last shot of the valley.

Day summary: Leh – Khardung La – Khalsar – Diskit, 5hrs, 120 km

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