Monday, September 28, 2009

Ladakh - Zanskar Trek: Day 8

Day 8: Hanumil to Pishu, via Pidmo

By the eighth day, mountainous trek had given way to relatively flat walk along the river. It was a lot easier to walk. However, the sun was beating down harder than it had earlier, and the trek didn’t feel any easier. It of course didn’t help that we were getting quite tired -- mentally more than physically -- and were really eager to finish the trek.

This day we were going to get to Pishu. An option we were thinking of was to go to Zang La, another village across the river and take a bus from there to Padum (our destination) the next morning. While the bus sounded very tempting, the additional hour of trek to Zang La from Pishu didn’t.

From Zanskar Trek

The guest house owner in Hanumil had said that we will start to get cell phone reception in Pishu. We decided we would call up from there to our agent in Leh, and try to have him send the car all the way to Pishu or at least to Karsha. We also thought maybe Pishu is a more populous place, and we might find even more facilities there -- such as a guest house!

The hike was actually quite nice -- we hiked through the pretty village of Pidmo, and hiked along the river. After a 5-6 hour hike, we eventually reached Pishu. The first thing we did when we reached there was to get our cell phone out and start looking for signal. No such luck. We tried hard: we walked around, we held it up, we checked at different times of the day, but our cell phone refused to find a signal. “You should be able to get a signal here,” said a local. “But sometimes they turn off the generator so the tower may be switched off!”

From Zanskar Trek

The campsite in Pishu was, for a change, very green. And huge. It was soothing to the eyes, being jaded from all the dust and rock the past several days. We thought the horses must be going nuts -- having arrived at a buffet after days of fasting. The horses indeed were -- and so was the land owner. He didn’t want horses grazing there for the night and insisted they be taken into the mountains as usual.

This was something else we felt somewhat amazed at on our trek. After each day’s hike, the guy who tended to the horses will hike up further into the mountains and take the horses to greener pastures. Often he would sleep there in the open as well and return the next morning, and then hike with us for the rest of the day!

From Zanskar Trek

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