The Journey so far-
Day 3 – 7th October, 2011 | Pin Valley | Sagnam – Mud Village
It was an extremely cold night at Sagnam in Pin Valley but good that we 4 slept on one double bed and it kept the warmth, though a bit tight and uncomfortable. Somehow there was lot of disturbance at night around the window of our room. No one dared to go out and check the reason for it. It was 6.30 AM, I was awake but still the disturbance was coming as if someone is searching something. After getting read and waking up everyone I decided to go out and capture the early sunlight on the magical mountains in Pin Valley. As I came out, saw a donkey couple searching things beside our window and yes this was the disturbance throughout the night 😀 … There was a chilling breeze blowing making my nose and fingers numb but I still walked around the streets near Sagnam, PWD Rest House. The landscape was just outstanding, the helipad looked great with majestic views at the backdrop. The red colour school add the magical colour, to the landscape which kept changing with the emerging rays of sunlight. The feeling to capture such landscape was something that cannot be expressed but the cold forced me to go back inside and start winding up from Sagnam to move in the interiors of Pin Valley, the Mud village.
As I went inside, I forced everyone to wake up again especially Dhruv and Saurabh (the lazy ones) and get ready as soon as possible. Again the penalty was missing the breakfast and hitting the state highway. Our target was clear for the day, first we need to explore the Pin Valley and drive may be upto Mud Village, then start journey back to explore places around Kaza like Ki – Kibber and finally end the day at Losar. We started for Mud village, about 16 KMs from Sagnam, with less air pressure in the front tyre :)… The roads were not that great, infact no tarmac was present at all. At places the road was in bad bad shape but nothing worse as compared to what we have experienced so far. We cruised along the Pin River and infact we were the only soul traveling at that time of the day. The breath-taking views changed with each rounding curve topped with pure aqua green colored Pin River.
The views in the entire Pin Valley including Mud village were just majestic, and they valley is mostly virgin, serene, barren and beautiful. Pin valley is the base for Pin Valley National Park which is the natural habitat of the Snow Leopard and Himalayan Ibex. After about 35 minutes or so, we reached Mud village and temperature was still 5 degree Celsius even though the sun was shining bright by that time. We parked the car aside and I must tell you that it was one of the most beautiful car parking I have ever seen :D… It was time to explore village and check if there is some place to take breakfast. Mud Village in Pin Valley, over the years have become the base for tourist, travelers and backpackers. The very reason that you find many guest houses present at Mud Village and some under development for the coming year. The major reason being Mud village also acts as the base for trekking route towards or from Pin-Parvati Pass or Bhabha Valley.
The walk through the Mud village upto the school was very rejuvenating. The locals there at Mud village were so humble, down to earth and had smiles all over their faces. Living in such harsh conditions with least amount of facilities is always a challenge and salute to the spirit of such people. We interacted with quite a few people, had talks about their lives in harsh winters and then it was time to give gifts to the children present around. As soon as we started distributing the crayons and sketch pens, there were many who started coming out of their house. The smiles on those faces were just priceless, I shall say and I was feeling glad from inside that we added a little joy to their day. Within no time all packets were distributed and we kept 4-5 of them to distribute in Kaza. Being known for their hospitality, on the child asked us to wait as he went home to get a cup of tea for us. It is the basic human nature that was so afresh among the locals at Pin Valley and I was just feeling myself in the remote villages of Leh – Ladakh.
There were couple of food joints open at Mud Village but we hold us back because Kaza was not very and we wanted to have a brunch to save some time for the day. After spending some quality time at Mud Village, it was time to leave towards Kaza where we planned to first get something to eat and then get that puncture tyre fixed.
The Journey ahead-
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