The Journey so far…
- Prologue, Itinerary & Road Updates
- Preview – 17 High Mountain Passes
- Preview – 14 Magical Lakes
- Rush from Srinagar to Kargil
- Heartbreak over Kargil to Leh
- Smiles, Sleep & Steps in Leh
- Mess-up at Khardung La to Nubra Valley
- Nerves of Wari La Pass Route
- Charmness over Chang La Pass to Pangong Tso
- Anxiety over Pangong Tso – Chusul – Hanle
It was such a relaxing night at Hanle and with more people in the room it was quite warm too. This day was something special and we had to explore couple of lakes, Kyon Tso 1 and Kyon Tso 2, mostly unknown to many, today.
Day 7 | 1st Half | Hanle – Kyon Tso 1 – Kyon Tso 2 – Thit Zarbo La
In all excitement, we were up and ready for the breakfast. It was the day when a lot of people would get separated from the group. Both XUVs were requested to return as the route we were going to take today might cause issue to XUVs lower front which can get hit badly on the route towards Kyon Tso Twin Lakes and then ahead of Thit Zarbo La Pass So, Tapan ji and his friends along with Lokesh and Shekhar would take our leave. Even Anees and his friends in Innova will leave us and fly out of Leh after visiting Tso Moriri Lokesh and Shekhar too will fly out of Leh after visiting Tso Moriri BUT Tapan ji will join us while return from Tso Moriri as we would be running one day behind them in exploration of Kyon Tso 1, Kyon Tso 2 and Yaye Tso lakes. So, after settling the bills and taking some final group pictures, thanking each other, we all dispersed in different directions with mixed emotions 🙂 …
In our group now we had one Scorpio, one Xylo and Nabeel on bike, in all 10 people group. We were all set to explore more hidden gems of Ladakh We took the road backside of the hill of Hanle Observatory. The same road leads you to Tso Moriri via Salsal La – Charchagn La and route to Chumur However, we were more interested to explore another hidden jewels of this route that was taking the right just before Salsal La from Kyon Tso 1, also known as Ryul Tso by locals and then Kyon Tso 2, also known as Chiling Tso, then further to Thit Zarbo La – Nidar and finally meeting, just ahead of Nyoma on Nyoma – Mahe route.
As we started, first there came a small village and the road cuts through the village which was marked with fencing and a gate. Gate was closed, but then Rigzin went out in full confidence, opened the chains and then door and off we went. At the end of the village came another gate, again same thing. We opened the gate passed through and then closed the gate. I feel the gate is kept to keep stray animals away from the village, though just a wild guess 😀 :D… In between, met couple of kids from the village, distributed some candies to them, clicked pics and enjoyed few minutes.
Soon the tarred roads left us and we came back on the dirt track again. The multi-coloured vistas came back with lovely mountains kissed with snow at the top in the background and almost empty river bed running besides us. Then we realized a mad mistake, we forgot to refill the water at Hanle, Homestay. So, we were left with no choice but to search for some running water stream in the wild. Of course, there was no reason to be any one around but nature. So, after a while we got near a running stream and almost everyone of us was thirsty enough as no one stopped to see anything but started drinking water from the stream immediately 😀 😀
We thanked god and that little passage of time while having water from the stream was enthralling. We stocked enough in all bottles because we knew that there will be no houses around till Nidar to offer us water or food 😉 😉 … Hence, the lunch will be dry fruits today and water needs to be kept up filled from the streams in both cars. Soon came a stretch where we had to cross the river bed with sharp decline and proceed towards the other shore. I could barely figure out the road on other side, had to get down and see if there is actually a road there or we need to drive on river bed only. And yeah, that was correct it was almost a kind of a river bed only 😯 😯
There came a noise in our car while dodging one of the big boulder while crossing there but when inspected there was nothing that we could figure out. The beauty on every other corner was changing, getting more and more majestic. The nature was all with us along with wild life in the form of Kiangs and marmots 🙂 … We came across the sections where the Nomads of Changthang use to live, the black soil and boundaries we apparent and one can figure out the signs of their presence with it. It was a bit dis-heartening to see trashes of some packed cans left by them there 🙁 🙁 … But believe me, the whole journey in this desolated part of barren landscape is truly amazing and so far for me the best time of the trip !!
We moved on slowly and soon reached the sixth lake of our trip, Kyon Tso 1 or locally called Ryul Tso too. It was a bit far from the track and we had to walk a lot to reach there. With limited water on hand, I resisted BUT then that is what we were there to see 😀 😀 … So, we started the long walk to the shores of the lake. Well, there was nothing but a complete feeling of freedom from the world, freedom from the tensions, freedom from everything but mother nature surrounding us !! This lake though was not that amazingly beautiful like other lakes in Ladakh but guess due to the presence of algae below, it had green colors emitting from it. Nevertheless, we enjoyed there fully before starting our long walk back to the parked cars. Sourabh was not all that well, so Nabeel offered the ride to him, envy of a biker 😉 😉 …
We resumed the journey over dirt track again and after 15-20 minutes reached a spot from where the other Kyon Tso 2 lake could be seen, the seventh lake of our trip :)… This is also named Chiling Tso by locals and there is one direct route to this lake from behind the red coloured mountain in the back drop. This route connects the route from Loma to Hanle. Next time will try to explore this one 😀 😀 … Anyways, there are marshes before the lake and in case you get stuck in there off the track, it becomes difficult to get any help whatsoever there and all you will have to do is to walk back to Hanle 😯 😯 !! Hence, be 100% sure in case you want to explore this route and do not under estimate these marshes. We were cautious enough, so parked the cars away from the lake and went towards the lake on foot.
Man, it was one amazing sight to see !! The red coloured mountains in the back, the aqua colors emitted by the lake… I just could not help myself but to get lost or loose my soul again in the serene beauty of this magical lake or place !! God is so great to create such marvellous beauties of nature… Spent good 30 minutes on the shores of the lake. In between, Rigzin tried to ride Nabeel’s bike through the marshes only to get it stuck 😀 😀 … It took good 20 minutes for 3 guys to pull it back through those marshes 😀 😀 … As they returned to the cars, we offered them good bunch of dry fruits and water to regain their lost energy ;)… And we were all set to venture up towards Thit Zarbo La and further towards Nidar…
Did you get a chance to explore these hidden gems of Ladakh – Changthang? Have you ever experienced such a feeling of freedom in the lap of mother nature? If yes, if will be great if you can share the experience with me too, how did you like the journey and what was the best part of it… If you have any queries making a journey there, feel free to post your queries too 🙂 🙂
The Journey ahead…