I had a good night's sleep. The others aren’t so lucky. Most complain of headaches and nausea. The thin mountain air has unleashed its suffering. Slowly, but surely.
We are visiting
Khambit, apricot jam and bhurji for breakfast again. Two cups of steaming hot ginger tea. I like how the day begins, everyday.
We visit the Shey palace monastery. It has the largest gold stupa in the region. Some interesting finds.
When I come out to the car, Dawa is helping a lady set up her jewellery for sale. I compliment him on his generosity and linger by the seller’s wares. Soon my co travelers gather. Haggling begins, exchange of cash and turquoise earrings, pali bracelets, rotating bells. Dawa is chuckling happily by the side. We spend a lot but the bargains are good. I leave behind my old earring at the cart. By mistake.
We then visit Thikse monastery. Bright yellow, freshly painted.
After we leave Thikse, disaster strikes. The second car breaks down. We call for another car. While we wait, we have the yummiest mutton noodles and momos. Gulnawaz serves us. After lunch we also raid an army truck selling surplus T shirts. Us tourists are like roaches, but hey we spend the money.
It is a long six hour drive to
. We stop at many places in between. Random tea tents, grazing shepherds, yak chases, Mammuts. Though, I strongly insist we reach Pangong by sunset. Pangong Lake
At around 7 PM we reach
. I am all excited, I dump my bags in the car, snatch my tripod and camera and run to the lake. It is all I'd dreamt of and more. The setting rays of the sun changes the lake to a lustrous Prussian blue, slowly turning black. Wild geese fly out, spreading their urgent wings over the stark blue sky. It is surreal. Pangong Lake
Bon King rum and warm water at night. The café plays songs of 3 Idiots ad nauseam. The lights go out at 10:30. We chatter in the freezing wind. Call it a night early and curl up in the warm tent. I need to catch the sunrise tomorrow. Umm.. too ambitious?