These children posed for me as their mother, Tensing Palkit, prepared food. I camped near their house in the village of Tashi Tongze, the last village before you cross Pensi La pass.
This is the Drang-Drung Glacier, near Pensi La pass. As you stand there looking at the glacier, it looks so picture perfect – almost as if someone has designed the whole thing. It was very cold and windy the day I reached, then I climbed Pensi La. I so wanted to camp opposite the glacier, but weather wasn’t good. It was windy and cold; I was shivering in the middle of the afternoon. The thought of cooking a meal in the wind and cold made me decide to go down further and camp.
Tashi Choktup, 50, poses for a picture in his kitchen. Choktup runs a guest house in Phey. I had been riding for six hours, was really hungry as there were no eating joints on the way. I came knocking on his door, there was no food readily available but he offered to cook for me. After the meal, when I asked for a bill, he said, “Now we are friends. You can pay me whatever you feel like.” That put me on the spot! Tashi also organises trips on the beautiful winter trailer – the Chadar Trek - for small groups.
Angela, a German cyclist, takes a picture of Markus, a Swiss cyclist. Each of us cycled solo till Padam, then decided to trek together as it would be easier for us to hire horses to carry our cycles and stuff. On the first day, our horse man arrived with one horse less, so we had to push the bikes. It's tough to do on the narrow paths, for hours on end. It required all the energy that we could summon; though it was very tiring, it was a memorable day for us.
I snapped Markus crossing a makeshift suspension bridge on his way to Phuktal monastery in Zanskar. These precarious suspension bridges are made from tree stems, which are knitted and jointed with the metal wires which run across the length. They shake as you walk on them, but it’s an experience worth trying.
Two young llamas play at the Phuktal monastery. When I asked the boy sitting on top what his name was, he yelled ‘Dog’ and they ran away.
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