Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mission Ladakh Zanskar Siachen 2007 - Day 08

Leh – Shey – Thiksey – Hemis – Leh

We woke up quite lazily at 8.30 when the sun was shining ablaze. I performed Kunjal to cleanse my system and reached the kitchen at 9.30 for breakfast. Aunty wished all of us and gave the Khambir – this time I enjoyed it much more. I discussed my plans with everybody that I would take a self-massage and Sunbath and then get ready for a trip to market. Hari told us from his morning trip to the market that there are very good T-shirts available there. I proceeded, as discussed, and sent Bikiran with Hari first. Farhan accompanied me later, and I shared all the discontent I had, at that time – due to the taunts and jokes of others about my bad health and other things. (After all, I was suffering from Sinusitis, damn it - and I was still doing all possible things) I had decided that if anything comes more, I would simply go on my own. I will tell everybody “Take your money – Arrange your own things. Now you all are on your own and I will find my own way”.

Hemis Gompa
Fortunately, that did not happen and our trip to market was quite successful and eventful. We bought good T-shirts and other items, especially, me and Bikiran. As promised, Prakash was there to pick us up at sharp 2. But due to a misunderstanding, Aunty had not prepared the lunch for us. We went to the Amdo CafĂ© for lunch and savored every bit of it. Incidentally, it was a Saturday and somehow, Guys couldn’t get the much awaited Mutton Momos and Thukpa.

We proceeded to see Thiksey Gompa first, which is situated on a hillock. Then we proceeded to see Hemis, where I could not enjoy much due to untimely Nature’s Call :-) I answered it, while others were busy with the Gompa. Then we went to the Shey Palace. The interiors at all the places were not very different. In fact, each one of them was perfectly similar, although quite peaceful and enticing.

Siddhartha stares at us and asks the mankind to calm down and to slow down!

This Lama was particularly and unanimously cute and he had wished us a very confident "Julley"

Sun setting across the Indus River

while I perform the Pooja of the Sindhu ;-)
The day ended with the Fish pond beside Shey Palace and then the Sindhu Darshan. The place was empty but could be felt how busy it would be during the Festival. We reached the market and decided to make the purchase for the next day – Water. Meanwhile, I got busy with the call and luckily, this time, got through. Uncle explained everything on the phone very carefully. I was thrilled on knowing that we would be visiting the places of all – the majestic Siachen Glacier.
We reached the Rest House in time and over the dinner, I enjoyed the conversation on the Ladakh & Kashmir’s history, I started with Lasu Uncle. Especially, I was thrilled with the fact that Meme (my friend's grandpa) had encircled the Pangong Tso on foot, while going on one of his trips to Tibet for trade. Their business had come to a halt in 1959 when China captured Tibet. After numerous years of bad times, they had finally grown back with the help of education. I slept with the dreams of Pangong Tso and the sight of Indo-China Border. The best of the trip was yet to come!