Trekking through Ladakh -the Diary of a procrastinator: Days 1 & 2

From the time I reached Stanzin’s home-stay to when I bid goodbye to Leh, the one refrain that was a constant companion was -Julley! The Ladakhi Julley is the equivalent of Namaste/ Hello and people greet each other with the word all the time, respectfully bending their head as they do so. I was soon doing the same with gusto and by the end of my trip I came to the conclusion that it is a rather Julley Good Word (forgive the pun)!

I spent two days in Leh to get acclimatized, considering I’d been sufficiently warned about the thin air and its side-effects. And I spent my time well, exploring the old town, the Leh Palace and adjoining LAMO center, the various foodie hot-spots, the bazaar and visiting SECMOL, the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh established by the now famous Mr. Sonam Wangchuk. I’ll not bore you with too many details though, and rather leave you with a few photographs of places/stuff that intrigued me. Do scroll down to the very end ‘coz the last photo is by far the most interesting 😉

And until we meet again on the first day of my trek, Julley!

Wish I were a Snow Leopard . . .
Hello! says Mr. Yaksha perched atop the entrance to the Leh Palace
Did you notice the sign that says – Entrance fee is a smile?
Two rather intriguing laundry ads . . .the list & illustrations are to die (laughing) for!
View from the Ladies’ Toilet of a rooftop restaurant -no pane, all gain 🙂
Traditional wooden tandoors run mostly by immigrants from Kargil
Hot kehwa at Cafe Lo with freshly baked sesame bun from the tandoor outside -the strains of Namaaz filtering in from the neighboring mosque completed the ambience.
A cozy nook built by SECMOL students -the temp within was 5 degrees lower than outside
The Donkey Sanctuary – a novel concept!
The Me Too moment OR Who says Donkeys don’t like to be photographed? 🙂
Remember the Museum where I met Stanzin Yanrul? It showcases a variety of minerals, stones -precious or otherwise – and fossils found across the vast expanse of Ladakhi terrain. The place is tiny and dingy and clearly calls out for investment to better preserve the specimen; but what it represents – one man’s (Phunchok Angchok) passion and respect for the terrain he calls home – is way more precious than words can describe.
The lady at the Tibetan market downtown made me a pair of Turquoise ear-rings and bracelet. She said the stones were sourced from the Ladakhi terrain by nomads and then processed by few cottage-industries around Leh before being used for making jewelry and artifacts.
Delicious Thupka!
A metal tree outside the LAMO center
When a restaurant teaches you Ladakhi swear words!!