One of the highlights of any trip to Leh, which has the highest airport in the world (approx. 13,000 ft), is the view from the plane. We lucked out and got a window seat on the good view side.
When we landed, the airlines left us standing on the tarmac for a while. It was so surreal, to be in a place you usually can’t go at an airport and seeing the stark surroundings for the first time. Leh doesn’t look like any mountains I have ever been to. It is stark and empty. I kept saying that it looked like Mars.
Once here, it takes a couple of days to acclimate. We felt pressure in our ears, had head aches, and were drinking a ton of water. So, we decided to river raft on our first full day, since we figured rivers have to be low, and thus easier on the altitude headaches. I added a couple of photos to Mike’s post about rafting.
The next day, we went for a small hike up to a Buddihst Gompa. We have some amazing places of worship on this trip. It seems like the people in this part of the world are much more comfortable than Americans are with the idea that where you are born will likely dictate what religion you practice. Many people we’ve spoken with don’t seem to need to believe that they would have chosen their specific religion if they were living in another part of the world, which is interesting. Learning this has Mike and I realize that there are many more similarities among religions than differences.
The next day we left on our road trip. When we got back Mike wasn’t feeling so hot, so I did a lot of exploring around the village, which was wonderful. I met an old woman who tried to teach me how to make thread from sheep wool. She was a pro, and I never quite caught on (you have to move your hands in about ten different directions at once), but it was still an incredible experience.
After we got back from our roadtrip, the weather started getting wintery, so we hibernated in our room the last day, which was great since we both had good books and this was our view…