We flew into Ladakh province, over the Greater Himalaya Range and what an austere sight they were. Not a glimpse of greenery and snow covered peaks as far as the eye could see. We landed in Leh -altitude 4,350 m. – and I thought we had somehow been transported to the moon. I had decided not to bother with the Diamox – for altitude sickness – and I was a bit worried that it would be an issue. However so far although I can feel my heart working a bit harder and it is easier to get short of breath I don’t have any other symptoms such as headache, nausea etc. Yah!
The hotel we are staying in seems to be the best in town, very “other” in layout with chairs and chesterfields set back against all the walls, bright lighting and of course a shower head hanging from the middle of the bathroom ceiling. No hot water however.
the staff have bent over backwards for us but tend to get quite cranky if we don’t allow them to open each and every door, pull out each chair and ply us with tea at every opportunity.
Beverley has organized this whole expedition with the help of a fellow called “TN” – long Indian name so everyone calls him that apparently and he will be with us until Srinagar. He constantly wears a plaid cap and a big puffy winter Jacket, has a cute pot belly and smiles to light up his face! His recommendation was for us to just take it easy today – naps were in order. I didn’t think I would sleep – hadn’t actually done anything but promptly conked out for 2 hours!
Dinner was delicious, lots of vegetarian dishes and the ubiquitous dal, Beverley brought out a bottle of gin which worked very nicely with fresh lime soda – it really is better here – and we toddled off to bed at about 9:30. Only one drink each in deference to the altitude tho”…
It isn’t because we are older either – it is because of the altitude – that’s my story and I am sticking to it!
This lovely Lady is the owner of the hotel and I am not entirely sure how velvet is the glove that covers the iron fist. I had to do a fair bit of sweet talking to get her to agree to the photo.
More later – tomorrow we are off to visit some monasteries ……