I had a planned my Ladakh vacation months in advance, dreaming about the thrill that lay in store for me every day. In hindsight, I think I underestimated Ladakh. A 14 day trip to the place is a little less for an adventure enthusiast like me, but I still tried to make the most of it.
After a bit of rest, it was time to hit the trails
As is advised to every traveler going to Ladakh, rest for the first couple of days is essential. It lets you adjust to the physical demands of the place and the thin air density, because of the heights. Once I had my share of rest, I didn’t waste a moment to hit the trails of the destination. Trekking in Ladakh was at the top of my priority list. And the experience of trekking in Ladakh lived every bit upto its expectations.
Although I couldn’t cover all the trekking trails in Ladakh, I did manage to squeeze in the most recommended ones. My first tryst with Ladakh trekking happened to be Nubra Valley. Home to some really old monasteries, the Valley took me through some really memorable sights of quaint villages, of locals living a life of contentment and of Buddhist monks being calm even in places where survival is difficult. The trek even took me through Khardung-La Pass, the highest motorable pass in India. Given the arduousness of the trek, I wouldn’t suggest this trekking trail to the beginners. But for hardcore beginners like me, it just fits the bill perfectly.
With a trek through Nubra Valley, I had tasted blood. But I was in no mood to huff and puff again, which is why I chose the easier way out- Markha Valley. For amateurs who are interested in trekking in Ladakh, Markha Valley is the best option they have. The trekking trail is easy but as wonderful as the rest of them out there. It takes you through amazing landscapes and locales that are straight out of an artist’s brush.
The next stop was rafting
While I did want to do a bit more of trekking in Ladakh, the paucity of time didn’t allow me to. I had to squeeze in everything I could, which is why I headed to Zanskar River for rafting. I had a lot about rafting in Zanskar River from my friends, and I was itching to do it. The experience cannot be described in words. The only thing I can say about rafting in Zanskar is- it was exhilarating and soothing at the same time.
How could I miss the magnetic mountain
Missing the magnetic mountain when in Ladakh is, like being an appreciator of paintings and not having seen Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. I wasn’t going to let that happen to me. Off I was on my cruiser bike to the famed magnetic mountain which is talked about in every travel magazine. It does seem unbelievable at first when your bike starts to go uphill with the ignition off. But I guess there are some surprises of nature that you just have to believe in.
Unfortunately, the time was too short to squeeze in paragliding
While I did have fun with a fortnight’s vacation in Ladakh, I rue having missed out on paragliding. Soaring like a bird above the snow capped peaks is something I want to experience at least once in my lifetime. That’s why, I am coming back to Ladakh very soon, and this time, my trip would start not with trekking but with paragliding.