Day two started with us looking forward to a mighty climb from 4700 ft to 12400 ft. The drive though just 40kms was going to take us a good 2.5 hours.
The destination that day was Lake Tshangu or also called Lake Tsomgo. Enroute we came across many army settlements where photography is strictly prohibited. In between the settlements, our car was filled with the sound of the camera clicking away without a break. Though a picture cannot replace the experience of being there, the few below yearns me to go back there again.
Though i have been on the Himalayas as a kid, the shear size was unimaginable. The narrow roads, the deep valley and the high peak just added to the feeling of might .The green cover slowly started to metamorphize into dry brown and then at a distance we could see white capped mountains. Interestingly as we started approaching the snow capped mountains, on the left of the road she was brown and on the right side all white. Now i cannot recall whether mountains are feminine, masculine or thing. But considering the rainbow of sights and emotions that was being offered, allow me to consider mountains as feminine. The division of stark and soft continued all the way to the lake. Was the road the line drawn by the weather god or was it cause the mountains on left faced the morning sun and to right faced the afternoon sun. I don't have an answer.
Tchangu lake is about 1 km long and offered me the sight of a frozen lake for the first time. It also offered yak rides. Now how could I pass an offer to ride on a beast of burden. Hypocritical me would have frowned if somebody offered me a ride on buffalo but yak, that's a different matter all together. You see, Yaks look so cute especially as the handler called it, with his or her fashion accessories. Judge yourself after gazing at the photos!
Nathula pass at India China border is closed on Monday and Tuesday and we decided to skip Baba Mandir - a memorial to an Indian soldier and head back to the city to do some local sightseeing. The descent was certainly faster than than the ascent. We stopped at the check post at 10400 ft for a lunch of maggi noodles at one of the numerous "cafes" lining the road. In case you have forgotten that Tshangu could be freezing, these cafes also offer all the wollies you need and trinkets from Sikkim and China.
The local sightseeing in Gangtok is limited and not very exciting . I will touch upon it after the North Sikkim. On the second day we had no clue on what the third day was going to offer. It certainly did not disappoint as it was one of the most exciting days of the holiday and i can't wait to recount it.
Location: Lake Tshangu, Sikkim,India
Date of travel: March 2012
Tip: Don't assume a 40 kms ride is going to take you 1 hour on the mountains.
Must do: Yak ride
First: Frozen lake
The travel connection: Reminder of the good work our forces are doing!