trails & tribulations

by Jakob

We walk slowly uphill, sometimes we have to stop because of the lack of air. I’ve the feeingl that I’m not really adapted yet to the heights of the Himalayas, the minimum height is around 4000m and today we have to climb a pass at an altitude of about 5300m. The three French girlfriends seem to have less difficulty.

A few days ago we, Clélie, Emelie, Frederick from France and Sergei, a naturalized Frenchman from Russia and I left with a bus from Leh and after a journey of about 5 hours we arrived in Rumste where our trek began.
The trek from the town Rumste to the “Tsuru riri lake” will last for about nine days and we have to ceoss several mountain passes. Our luggage and provisions are worn by horses, happely because even without our heavy backpack the thin air makes walking here tiring enough.
The first day was relatively easy: no mountain passes, although it was a decent walking pace, because the French ladies were pretty pace.

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Arriving at our first camp, we set up our tents and the first thing I did is a power nap, because the night before I had barely slept: the barking dogs kept me from my sleep.
After some time I am awakened with “dinner’s ready!” …. what a luxury that we don’t have to cook by ourselfs.

The next day, I woke up early and after a good breakfast we cleared our campsite, which is quite an organization: breaking down the tents, trying to pack everything efficient, loading the horses. We soon are hours further before we continue on our way.

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As we continued walking the area become increasingly inhospitable: a lunar landscape, sometimes almost surreal, ever-changing colors of the mountains: purple, green, gray, blue and it seems an area where you can not live, but there live people. During our trek we stay once near a nomad camp, where the people are living in primitive tents. The large herds of goats and numerous yaks and horses ensuring livelihood for the nomads.
In the evening we gather dry manure for our campfire, there are no trees but the alternative, dry manure, is just as good. Some time later around the campfire one of the horsemen shows to be able in good singing, no idea what he’s singing about, but it sounds great in the silence of the mountains.

Arrived at our camping-place

the food

dinnertime

After a few days in the highlands I begin to feel more and more adapted to the thin air: walking uphill is easier, despite our continuing high pace. Usually we arive mid-afternoon at our destination and have enough time to recover from climbing from the daily mountain passes, for some reflection, playing card games, drinking tea and eating the amazing 3 course meals Tenzin, our cook / guide prepared for us.

Horseman

a nomad family

the surroundings of Tso Moriri

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Tsomo Riri Lake

After 7 days we arrive at the lake “Tsomo Riri”. We say goodbye to our horsemen and horses: they walk all back to Rumste to guide another group and we leave a day later with a bus to Leh, which is still quite a thrilling ride through the mountains with the occasional deep abysses.

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