Saturday, March 29, 2008

Leh(Ladakh)-Drass(Kashmir),India: 24July2007

Heavily Militarised Paradise, Kashmir

We hugged said good bye early in the morning. i don't know taking a two days bus will be a good choice or not, since obviously there is no cost different and the longer time. However, if compare with the tourist packed jeep, this option was definitely let me meeting and interacting with more local people.

The bus ride was surprisingly comfortable. The pus back seat and the nice weather. But may be my standard or expectations get lower as well. i was sleeping most of the time in the morning until noon. (Later, some people in the bus said, they were really amazed and envious that i could actually sleep through out the journey.:) Unfortunately, i slept so soundly that i missed one toilet stop and had to just bear with my natural call for 6 hours!

The secnery changed from the dried brown of Leh into the greenery of Kashmiri. The border between Kashmir and Ladakh was a mixture of gompa and mosque and it looked kind of harmony with the brown and dry mountain as backdrops, yet green patches of plans by the road side.

There was only a German-Holland couple in the bus, no other foreigner. So i have no companionship. They actually kind enough to offer to let me share their room at Drass, but i was a bit shy to do so, so i rejected.

The bus stopped at Drass, said to be the second coldest inhabitant in the world after Siberia. Winter temperature is -45 degree celcius. Two Indian ladies offered to share a two-bed room with me. They requested me to pay for half of the room and take one bed while two of them paid the other half and share another bed. i said fine, since obviously paying 150RS is better than 300Rs for a small and dirty room like that. The next journey would start at 4.30am tomorrow.

After the Zoji La, the barren and dry of Ladakh turned into the Kashmiri reen and lush.

The bus stopped at Gumry Camp at Ladakh, which regulates the convoys coming from/to Kargil.

The road clings precariously to the side of the mountain, with sheer drop to river below. Wide enough for only one vehicle.

"If there is paradise on earth then it is here, it is here, it is here in Kashmir." -- Mughal Emperor Jehangir.


柏大衛 said...

wow. lovely mountains!

Amit said...

Hey great info just wanted to know where did you go from LEH to Kashmir or vice versa......Where did you get info from about the bus and what do you say which season is the best to go there.

shenjiaqing said...

i took a two days bus from Leh to Kashmir. Just buy the ticket from Leh Bus Station. Ask the bus schedule at the bus station. At least buy ticket one day in advance. Just to play safe, as most local will take bus. Ticket running out fast. Else, there are actually many jeeps going from Leh to Kashmir. It takes only a day and price is almost similar. The bus drop you at Kashmir bus station, but i do not know how about the jeep.
You can only access to Leh via land during Summer time. Other time, the road is Leh is covered by snow.
By the way, with the unstable political situation in Pakistan, Kashmir might be affected, in terms of safety. Make sure that you check the situation before you get to Kashmir.
Good luck!