On our first day we were told to take it steady and rest whilst we adjusted to the altitude. In this spirit we settled into our quaint family run guesthouse before making or way into the centre of Leh. Leh is situated at 3500m above sea level and is a busy length pint for trekking and the most populous town this far north in India. We began the slow and steep climb up to the monastery in the centre of town. Thus took some time as we became tired easily. Eventually we made it to the top and were rewarded with spectacular views over the town. Both exhausted we slept briefly against the walls of the (closed) monastery before returning to the town for dinner where we impressed the cafe owner by eating with our hands and what for Joe was one of the best curries he had ever had, potatoes stuffed with cottage cheese and coriander in a tandoori sauce. That night, both exhausted from the journey, altitude and our trip up to the monastery we managed to sleep for 16 hours.
We spent Thursday on a for of the surrounding area outside of leh. As well as a monastery and palace the highlight of this was climbing up a steep peak surrounded by local Buddhist pilgrims to a small temple built into the rock. Locals attached money to the rock in a temple so small and ornate we were both overwhelmed by the detailed beauty of the place. It was well with the 90m climb up!
Friday morning we tried yoga for 90m at a local Buddhist centre. Joe thinks we were both made aware write how inflexible we both are! We feel energised now however and will be looking to do it again soon. Mediation is also on our agenda.
Toby had a busy weekend with rafting along the Zanskar river on Saturday (beautiful scenery but with the water being glacial melt water it was freezing even with wetsuits on and the sun shining).
Then on Sunday Joe and I were up at the unsightly hour of 4:45 so that I could be at the start point of the Leh 10k by 5:30. The run itself was good fun, a lot more hills and a fair bit less oxygen than I’m used to, so I was happy with my 45:40 time. Spent the afternoon sunbathing in the garden of the hotel as it was super hot and I went to the local barbers for a cut throat shave so that I was nice and fresh for a week roughing it in the hills!
We are both embarking on a 7 day trek, starting Monday, through the Marka valley. We will be staying with local people in hill villages along the way, reaching a peak of 5000m. After returning to Leh we will move on to the best of Kashmir, near the Pakistani border.