We reluctantly left Alchi and set out back along the road to Kargil. I discovered that my camera takes video – RTFM Kim! – and so tried to capture a bit of the experience of the roads we are traversing. Now I just have to figure out how to get it on the BLOG…..
Kargil – the less said the better in my opinion – it really was just a stopping point. The hotel felt like something out of a Stalinist era blueprint – did I mention, still no hot water – and the town itself has such a glowering vibe to it that none of us ventured out.
We did however stop along the way at Lamayuru Monastery. It is the oldest holy site in Ladakh and actually was a shrine prior to the advent of Buddhism. It is also known as Swastika or Peace. Which makes the symbol all the more ironic and tragic given the Nazi’s preemption. They did however flip it so perhaps we can read it as the reverse of peace being war?
It is very high up on a cliff – poor knees – but once you get up there the views are panoramic. I had a delightful little encounter with the caretaker monk; I was sitting on the doorstep looking out over the valley and he came out, chatted with Tsering a bit then plopped himself down beside me, gave me a huge – mostly – toothless grin and insisted Tsering take a picture of us both. Then we just sat there quietly for awhile and sort of communed.