As I started making plans to holiday at Ladakh, I took the usual route of researching online. The first thing that hit me was that return trip from New Delhi would make me poorer by an average of 40000/- per person. This made me rethink my strategy and I started considering tours offered by operators. For a seasoned traveller, considering a conducted tour is almost unholy but with passing time or lack of it, it was not a bad option.
Every travel website has top ten lists. If there was ever one for top ten scenic flights, this would certainly be on it. I am talking of the flight from New Delhi to Leh. It was the most incredible flight ever. I caught the first glimpse of the snow capped mountain peeping out of the snow white clouds about 15 minutes into flight. It is one memory that will forever be etched in my mind. From there things just got better. No looking back!
With the mandatory resting period being ignored as this holiday was planned by an operator, the first pit stop was the shanti stupa and Leh palace. The stop at these two locations gave us another glimpse of the town of leh from a new perspective. The first thing that hit me was that the majestic Himalayas surrounded us by 360 degrees. As summer had onset, only the peaks were snow white supported below by the stark dry cocoa with a splash of chocolate, a sprinkling of cinnamon feeling all tan and tawny base. A first for me! A contrast to the green lush Himalayas I have been a part of before. Majestic nonetheless! Landscape to be experienced and enjoyed which I would over the next few days!
After taking in the captivating sight of the mountains, the eyes are drawn towards the town of Leh. An oasis of green with freckling of modest homes making the harsh environment more friendly. Unfortunately the old ways are giving way to new modern construction with influx of more tourists
The Hotel that we were going to call our home on and off over the next few days was the " spic n span". As utilitarian as it sounds, it a decent place to crash if you are ready to go in for the super deluxe category. The deluxe category is housed in the older building and facilities are bare minimum. They try to do their best in providing a good meal but far from being tasty. It location close to the shopping center makes it very convenient.
Juley to my dream come true!
Location: Leh, Ladakh,India
Date of travel: June 2013
Tip: Fight for that window seat!
Must do: Visit Leh
First: Flying into 11500ft
The travel connection: New friends!