mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Posts Tagged ‘Himalayas’

Ladakh Himalayas, Part IV: Leh to Hundar, over Khardungla

In Road Trip, Travel on November 15, 2014 at 12:18 am

Alchi-Leh (2)

Day 6, September 4, 2014
Alchi to Leh (90km, 4 hrs)

Alchi-Leh (1)

Another rainy morning.  The clouds and the incessant rain were getting a bit depressing.  I stepped out thinking maybe I could walk around the village and the monastery before breakfast only to find Anand, the enthusiast photographer, sitting in the veranda looking a bit disappointed.  His mood affected mine and I turned right back in.  I did regret this later when I found out that Alchi is bidding for a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list!  But, honestly, there really was not much we could have done in that rain.

We showered, dressed, and packed up, and walked over to the dining room.  The morning light revealed many laden apricot trees on the plot.  Inside, a nice breakfast awaited us.  The fruits at the table, papaya and watermelon (!), brought joy to many, and we all had many helpings.  There were eggs-to-order, toast, and paranthas. The tea was good and I had many rounds as the rest joined us, one by one, at the table.

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Ladakh Himalayas Part III: to remote Rangdum and Alchi

In Road Trip, Travel on November 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm
On way to Rangdum

On way to Rangdum

Day 4, September 2, 2014
Kargil to Rangdum (130 km, 7 hours)

Kargil-Rangdum

Kargil-Rangdum

I woke up around 6:15 to the gentle sounds of the Suru flowing outside the window.  Another unhurried morning. There was wifi (at a price) at the Zojila Residency, our hotel, and some of us were longing to get connected on a wider bandwidth. The previous night’s instructions to be ready at 8:00am had been interpreted variously as “be ready to move,” “be ready to eat breakfast,” or “generally be around.” At breakfast eggs and toast were the most popular choices. Bhavna took out a stash of artisanal jams she had brought along. [Yes, the ones I make are sooooo much better.] Many rounds of tea later – we were the first ones there and I got to drown a good many cups of tea as people ambled in – we stepped out to line up the cars. Those who hadn’t tanked up the night before, despite Abhey’s requests, drove off to first do that. Read the rest of this entry »

Ladakh Himalayas: through Zozi La to Kargil

In Road Trip, Travel on October 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm

route

Sonamarg-kargil

Day 3, September 1, 2014
Sonamarg-Kargil (195km, 6 hours)

I woke up around 6 am to a quietness through which I could hear the Sindh river flowing not far away. The rain had stopped and so had that racket from the downpour onto a metal sheet below. I stepped out to check the view on the other side and found the tops of the mountains still hidden behind thick clouds. Little by little the clouds started to lift to reveal fresh snow on the mountain tops around.

The plan for today was to drive up to Kargil through our first real mountain pass (Banihal Pass was through the Jawahar Tunnel) and we were in no hurry.  There was time to take in the surroundings.  Anand decided to take Vikas’ bicycle for a spin. Bharat went out to find a replacement for the petrol tank-cap for his Gypsy which he seemed to have lost while refilling the previous night. The rest just ambled around doing nothing in particular.

Sonamarg is at an altitude of 2800 m (9,200 ft) and is primarily a tourist town with no permanent settlements.  The hotels shut with the onset of winter.  At the moment, the meadows looked mossy-green and soft.

Sonamarg 01

Fresh snow!

Sonamarg 02

Stop with the construction already!

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Ladakh Himalayas – A Road Trip: Jammu to Sonamarg

In Road Trip, Travel on October 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Mid-August I was getting ready to accompany students on a study tour to Cuttak, Odisha.  It is one of the few states of the country that I have never visited. Naturally, there was some excitement.  A week or so before we were scheduled to leave TH casually asked if we shouldn’t go to Ladakh instead.  You don’t just wake up one morning and decide you want to get behind the wheel and take a road trip to Ladakh.  Or, maybe you just do!  It had been on TH’s mind a long time.  Even so, this seemed sudden.  But being the good spouse that I obviously am, I didn’t bat an eyelid, and replied equally nonchalantly, “Yeah, sure.”

The following week the car underwent a thorough service at the garage and the mechanics there assured us that the Maruti SX4 was game for whatever the Himalayas might throw at her.  There was a long list of supplies, food and other items, that had to be procured.  Driving in the Himalayas is not be taken lightly, and you are advised to stock survival rations for at least a couple of days.  The weather is unpredictable and takes a heavy toll on the roads.  It is not unusual to find yourself stranded for the night or longer.  Some of the places on our itinerary were remote and isolated, and we were traveling at a time when the tourist traffic would be past its peak.  We stocked up on non-perishable food items that included some junk-food but also nuts and cheese.  Our survival bags included sunscreen, tow-rope, flashlights, and oxygen canisters.  Winter woolies were dug out and we were good to go.

Delhi

We’re off to a rainy start!

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