After a night in Leh, we set out once more,
this time crossing mountain passes a mere 3 miles above sea-level.
By now, I was positively blasé:
probably the effect of altitude-induced oxygen deprivation.
My eyes were quite painful: I could see almost nothing other than a fierce reflected glare from the snow.
But simultaneously, I felt something bordering on euphoria.
So perhaps it was fortunate that we rapidly descended three thousand feet into less blinding light and just a little more oxygen.
Our destination was Pangong Tso:
a salt lake fed by mountain streams but lacking any outflow;
a lake whose far shore laps against neighbouring China.
Despite its salinity, the extreme altitude means Pangong Tso sits frozen for many months of the year.
A salt lake without a city, and also lacking a Tabernacle Choir!
The extreme and mountainous terrain of Ladakh means that its road network is limited.
Like most visitors, we were based in Leh, and had to return there after every excursion into the wilder reaches of region.
And so, after our journey to the Nubra valley, we had to return to and re-climb the Khardung Pass.
Then suddenly we were there:
up in the high Himalayas.
Our route took us over the Khardung La Pass: at “18,380” feet above sea-level, claimed to be the highest motorable road in the world.
While I was bemused,
Robin was ecstatic: he had never seen snow before!
This was a place of blindingly bright light, heavy military presence, snow-chains and a recent deadly avalanche.
All experiences new to me, as well..
Pictures taken on the Khardung La Himalayan Pass, Ladakh