Friday, August 31, 2012

The day with the free travel... almost

Rangdum to Padum

By 7 am we were at chacha's restaurant with our bags in the hope of getting a ride with some vehicle going towards Padum. Breakfast done. Still no vehicle. After a couple of hours, 4 tourist vehicles came in quick succession but none of them had any space for us. After a while a couple of trucks came along - one said we could travel on the roof if we wished. We said 'no thank you!' It was past 11 am when a goods carrier 207 came along. The driver reluctantly agreed to let the both of us and another local sit at the back with his luggage!

The roads ahead were really bad. Every time the vehicle went over a bump we would be tossed up. By the time we reached the Pensi La pass all our bones were rattled. We were glad that the driver decided to take a small break there.

The awesome views continued till the Darang Durung glacier. It was a sight to behold - the glacier stretches almost right till the road. Despite being very unstable at the back of the vehicle I somehow managed to capture some snaps

We were now in the Zanskar Valley. The landscape changed from the predominantly green one in Suru Valley to a relatively more barren one. To bide time we clicked ourselves :P

Don't we look like the snap in the first post!

After almost 5 hours on the uneven roads, all bones rattled and some muscles numbed, we were back on a tar road! And then he stopped. He had reached his destination. Padum was still 8-9 kms away. We got off and went to the driver to offer him the fare for getting us there. To our surprise he refused to accept any money! He was going to his home in that village with his family. Since this was a personal visit, despite our insistence he refused to take any money.

We thanked him, washed our faces in a nearby water stream and started walking towards Padum.

After we had walked for 1-2 kms, a truck came along. He agreed to take us if we climbed up. Chalo yeh bhi kar lete hai! Up on the truck there were already some other people. It was damn scary, especially when the truck crossed over a narrow bridge! Somehow balancing myself I managed to click one snap from above the truck

And just then... there was a loud noise... the front left tyre of the truck was punctured! We had to climb down. Padum was still 2-3 kms away. We offered the truck driver the fare and again he refused! So we started walking on. Padum was only about a kilometer away when an empty Sumo jeep came along. We got in. This guy charged us Rs. 10 each for that distance. Finally we had to pay!



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