Alchi Circuit, Ladakh – day 3

trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | not recommended

About midnight I felt droplets of rain on my face. For the first time in Ladakh I got up and put the fly on the tent.

Opening the fly next morning I was surprised to see a winter wonderland.

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Yet more new snow dusted the mountains.

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I’d tented out of sight in these trees.

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Dropping further down the valley I finally saw some people. An elderly couple bringing up their goats to graze.

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water pipe insulation

water pipe insulation

It’s a nice valley, for sure. Some of the buildings impressive.

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autumn colours

autumn colours

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My face somewhat burned from reflected snow the previous day, the shade of the creek foliage was appreciated.

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I saw some unusual Buddhist flags and scarfs en route. Like wash day at the monastery.

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This is some significant Buddhist site. Unusual rock formations.

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I know because a foreign tourist arrived by car to take photos. Here. On this excellent black top roadway.

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A road? What?! 😦

There are no people in this valley. Yet the Indian government built a road up this valley?

I’d planned two more nights on the Alchi circuit. But right here I decided my trek was over. I don’t hike roads.

Then – despite my protestations – I proceeded to hike the road all the way down to Sumdha Do.

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Mountain people want roads and electricity. Both degrade the hiking experience.

AND it’s nearly impossible to maintain these roads. Washouts, rock slides and collapse are non-stop.

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At Sumdha Do I had trouble finding out how to escape. Indians feel it’s polite to give strangers an answer, even if it’s incorrect. Finally I collected 3 independent answers that concurred.

This was the road heading in the direction of Leh.

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It was 21km to Nimmu village on the main highway.

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Would I have to walk it?

NOPE. 🙂

The second vehicle to pass picked me up. An Indian Army jeep.

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They dropped me – after a rough ride – at the highway crossroads. The second vehicle to pass picked me up. Turned out it was a jammed, shared taxi. For $2 it delivered me back to Leh by 1pm.

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After a hot shower I was just in time for the closing ceremonies of the annual Ladakh festival. Speeches. Ethnic music and dancing.

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I didn’t last long. I headed, instead, to the excellent Leh Ling Cafe & Bookstore for Chai.

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See all the high resolution photos from this day.

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | not recommended

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