The Journey so far…
- My Never Ending Journey to Ladakh
- Sham Valley – Nature, Monasteries and More
- Stakna, Hemis and Chumathang Hot Springs
- Magical Colours of Tso Moriri
- Hanle – The Cold Desert in Changthang
- Remoteness of Changthang
- Blue Hues of Pangong Tso
- Adventures of Shyok Village Route
- Sacred Yarab Tso Lake at Panamik – Nubra Valley
- Exploring Hunder and Deskit – Nubra Valley
- Khardung La Pass – Where Snow Galore
- My Maiden Bike Ride – Sham Valley
Day 9 | Leh Local Sightseeing
In Ladakh there is a local saying that “You can come to Ladakh on your own wish but you cannot get out of Ladakh without mother nature’s wish…” 🙂 … It was 7 AM flight and as I woke up in the morning and looked outside, the eyes were completely lit up seeing a white blanket all over the place outside window and it was still heavily snowing … Forgetting everything, I was immediately outside the room for some white pictures. Himanshu came out soon too to witness the pure whiteness around. It appeared no less than a wonderland and this was it, it couldn’t have ended better than this. Soon , a call came from Rigzin that he will be there in 15 minutes and we quickly packed up remaining things and got read to take off the flight back home. As we drove towards airport from the guest house, we were overjoyed to see whiteness all around the place. I always wanted to witness something like this but could never got a chance but this was it… With so many lovely experiences it could have never gone better and I felt very lucky to had been over such a trip and so were my travel mates, Himanshu and Tejas.
We reached airport, hugged Rigzin, thanked him for all the lovely time we spent together his courage to make us see some of the most treacherous routes of Ladakh. As we went in there were sure announcements of delay in flights because it was still snowing heaving. Half and hour past and an announcement for Jet Airways Cancellation 😯 but thank god ours GoAir was still delayed for 9 AM. Then, another announcement after half an hour that GoAir flight is also cancelled 😥 … And yes, I was trapped again in Ladakh but this time I didn’t fear at all 🙂 … The scenes outside were overwhelming but with sheepish smile I called up my family to give them the news and they inquired everything as they never wanted to be in a situation of 2010 but I consoled them that everything is fine it is just bad weather due to which flights got cancelled. After giving our names to the airlines, so as to ensure we get some call if possible for arrangements in other flights either today or tomorrow, we went outside and rang up Rigzin explaining him the drama and requested him to take us back to hotel. Excitement was such, instead of resting a bit out we went to grab this opportunity of clicking the amazing Leh whiteout pictures.
We first initially decided to go to Shanti Stupa to cover the white blanket over Leh but in between one other friend who was also staying there at the same road saw us from the window and joined us soon but then we decided to move towards Tsemo Castle of Leh Palace. Everything was under white color and even that looked beautiful, such is the place. There was no one out on the roads except 4 of us as if we were the only mad person in the town or as if we never saw such snow 😀 … Never mind, we kept clicking and kept enjoying snowfall as we stepped through those narrow pathways towards Tsemo Castle which looked as if we were in the age of Aladdin. The view of whole Leh city from the top looked magical where everything was covered under snow and far away the sunlight was breaking through the dark clouds. Next second the call came from Rigzin that some of the people had been called back from airport as they were accommodating them in the next flight of 11.30 which will be coming. Initially I was not interested because I had been there before pleading at that very airport in front of jerks who prefer favouritism or jugaadd from somewhere (yes, this sh***ty thing is common there in Leh as well but thankfully only limited to airport) but then thought let’s give it a try at least. Back to senses of real world from wonderland and suddenly we were shivering with cold as we were little wet due to snow, the excitement of wonderland never made us realize how cold it was outside 😀
We called up Rigzin and by the time we reached airport that group of 9 people were gone but on of the girl in that group left out alone as she was to fly in Jet Airways which was cancelled. She was crying as we reached there and Rigzin consoled him. The guys at authority kept saying that wait outside and there were two families also who were pleading the GoAir guys to let them go as they were with kids. We also started requesting, one time, two times, three times etc. but no luck. I felt at least those two families had created enough drama to be sent in that flight and yes, not to forget an idiot who came with his wife worked in some oil company, called up some staff over there and was allowed to board that flight. When I went in to request as they had refused to answer over the window, what I see that an idiot was playing some games over phone and was accommodating people accordingly and for us the answer was always, no chance of space in this flight. Meanwhile we at least re-booked (adjusted) our tickets for next to next day because there was no ticket available for the next day 😥 … Nevertheless I called up office as well and informed that I am coming two days late because of all that happened today but as soon as I land on Tuesday I will join back again…
Now, we called up Rigzin again, troubled him again and he helped us get some other room this time at Hotel Shaynam which is taken care by one of his relative only who is equally as helpful as Rigzin. By that time it was 2 PM as the 3 Hr long drama had finally ended. There was nothing to do, so we went to bed and slept for couple of hours. About 6 PM we came downstairs to explore the market, walk around there and it was pretty cold as it started snowing again!! Some more shopping for my kiddo, wifey and mom to compensate the unforeseen delay ;)… Finally, back to hotel to sleep out the extremely cold night. We were loving every bit of it.
Day 10 | Leh Local including Shanti Stupa
Aahh… After such a long period almost 9 days that we woke up late in the morning, about 9.00 AM 😀 … After all there was nothing to do there, we slowly got ready to go out and have something to eat. Our focus was to stroll to Shanti Stupa today and get the year 2012 – 13 Leh – Ladakh Taxi Union Rate List, which finally I published here. There was no other option that to proceed to Lamayuru restaurant and have something to eat, mainly sandwiches and some scrambled egg. Satisfying our tummies we went for the long walk all the way upto Shanti Stupa. It took a while to reach there as we were just following the roads leading in that direction rather asking for the directions. Changspa road was deserted at that time, thanks to the off season and only one of two restaurant were open there. We scaled the stairs all the way upto Shanti Stupa, of course with numerous breathing breaks 😀 … It was an awesome sight to watch and in off season sometimes the place becomes all yours. We shot some pictures of Aeroplanes flying out of Leh – Ladakh and then went back to the hotel to have another round of sleep.
As we woke up at night the hotel was almost full as Srinagar – Leh Highway had also opened and lot of tourist came by that route, lucky they were. It was snowing out in Leh and we decided to have a cold walk out in the market to buy few more things for our family. It was so relaxing that I can’t even think and suddenly the adventurous holiday appeared to have a romantic ending. By dark, we went to Hotel and shared few discussions with lively Rinchen who meanwhile ordered some food to be cooked for us as well in the hotel kitchen because we did not want to go out this time. It was a light dinner with yellow dal and rice and we went to sleep in the cold night praying that flight would fly next morning.
Finally, next morning, Day 11, we got the boarding pass after all the formalities not before a jerk checked in my baggage in his name and there was all sough of drama. Finally, I managed to identify my luggage in the final area with support staff and they did rest of the process and finally handed me my boarding pass. That idiot told me that he had 20 passengers with him and though ,y bag belonged to them only when security checks were being done. Wow, at last, we were in the flight which took about 90 minutes to land us in Delhi where I met my parents, kiddo and wifey before rushing to the office to join it.
Thanks for hanging with me so so so so long for this Travel Tale, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I promise I will be soon back with my Zanskar Valley trip log from where I just returned last day 😀 …