We make it a habit of getting up late. Not my style, but when in a group, do as….
We are still at Ule. The toilets are outside, so each time I pee I fetch the torch and grope my way out. Do not forget the torch.
It gets light early. 5 AM. When I get out of the bath and tie my hair in the mirror, there are mountains, poplars, stark blue sky behind. Can you believe that?
Now let me introduce you to the one and only…wait for the trumpets….turrumpurrumparaaaaa…. DAWA. Driver, ex army, Tibet born. Who regales us with his stories, songs, anecdotes. Who berates us for being late everyday, every time. “Aree modom, bosh ko bolna podtha hai na. Feeer aap late ho joege.” (Madam, Have to report to the boss, you will be late again)Meet Dawa
While we are clicking snaps at Ule, Dawa comes running in, gesticulating and shouting. “Shob koi chala gaya, cholo, cholo.” Deepika wonders why the owner is shooing us away. She isn’t in our car; anyway we did not know Dawa well yet. But we meekly obey his bulk.
Breakfast at 9:30. Now to Lamayuru.
Lamayuru. A much larger, spread out monastery. Bright red prayer wheels. Young monks sit hunched in sunglasses and pose cheekily. Old monks sit on the stairs in pairs, pose for photos. Once you finish, they raise their palms and grin toothless, “Baksheesh?”
We are hungry and have lunch at the Khaltsi village. Rajma chawal, egg rice. We stuff it in. I meet a man who sells liquor. A rarity in Ladakh.
Almost 5 hours from Lamayuru to Leh.
I have Thenthuk at Golden Dragon which is much too spicy. The saving grace was Godfather beer. So yum.