Driving to Leh
Trip Start Mar 21, 2005
351Trip End Ongoing
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The Indian Army, perhaps scared from its 1962 defeat by China and repeated Pakistani aggression, was present throughout the trip, in the form of small bases and truck convoys. One truck partially fell through a small bridge, leading to a two hour delay.
Before leaving for Leh, we stayed in green Keylong for a day, surrounded by large peaks and visiting the Keylong Drukpa Kagyu Monastery across the valley. We spun prayer wheels as we rounded the monastery temple clockwise. A friendly monk then arrived, perhaps notified by the noise of the spinning prayer wheels. He showed us the temple and told us that His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa was here a few days ago and would be in Leh for the 800 year celebrations of the Drukpa lineage.
The last part of the trip to Leh was in the dark, as we crossed the Taklang La (about 17,500 feet) watching headlights on the switchbacks far below as Venus set behind the Karakoram Range. In the Indus River Valley, appraoching midnight, we passed hundreds of headlight-lit banners proclaiming the 800+ year Drukpa Celebration, with the driver running on spirtual Buddhist fumes of the Kalachakra, I suppose. Finally, we arrived near midnight and the Druk Guest House called our name, literally.
Where I stayed
Druk Guest house