Friday, September 25, 2009

Ladakh - Zanskar trek: Day 5

Day 5: Gajo to Hanamu La base camp, via Lingshed (aka another Really Long Day)

We started the fifth day somewhat lazily. We had made a resolution that we were not going to hike more than 5-6 hours that day. Our plan was to stop at Lingshed. The guide book indicated that there was a guest house there -- and that sounded like a welcome change.

The hike to Lingshed was much easier than the hike of the previous two days. We crossed a small pass on the way but it didn’t involve much of a climb.

Lingshed is a beautiful village, situated in a green valley, surrounded by tall rocky mountains on all sides. No roads come here -- though there is a helipad that mostly recently had brought the Dalai Lama here for a visit a week back. Lingshed Gompa makes a pretty sight as you come over a tiny pass and start to descend into the valley.

From Zanskar Trek

However, Lingshed does NOT have a guest house. Upon enquiring, someone told us that there was a “homestay” just a short walk down the mountain. As it turned out, the “homestay” was an empty house that you could take your sleeping bags to and live in -- a far cry from what we had in mind.

Our guides made some excuses why it wasnt a good idea to camp there (too much sand blowing around, no water, blah) and we, grudgingly, decided to hike forward to the base camp for Hanamu La. Having wasted several hours in Lingshed, it was near dark by the time we reached the base camp. We could see the trail leading to the next day’s climb in front of us -- in fact we could see it in the distance from Lingshed itself. We knew the next day was going to be a long climb.

From Zanskar Trek

1 comment:

Pooja said...

What I remember the most about 5th day - When we arrived in Lingshed, Utsal (aka helper aka guide aka hero as we called him) was sent to look for the guest house. While he was gone we met 2 european women and asked them if they knew about any *guest house* and they had already heard that we were looking for one as "lingshed is a small place"
It took Utsal almost 3 hours to return from his guest house hunt and when he finally came back he said it took him so long as he was chased by a stray dog. :-). I had not heard that excuse in a long time. Then we decided to continue the hike and Utsal sheepishly bade farewell to the European ladies.

Later the cook told us he had actually gone to talk to his gf in Bangalore. I guess he had been missing "being connected" more than we did.