About this listing
48 kilometers of More Plains are never-ending dirt tracks. It feels like driving alongside a dried up ocean. Suddenly you start the climb for Tanglang-La,at 17,582 feet (5,359 m) world’s second highest motor able road. Very tough terrain and there’s almost no road!! That’s Rubani’s 5th pass – crossed smoothly at approx 17000feet.
The villages of Rumste and Lato are green patches before approaching Leh. Two very humbly sized villages, but very picturesque. River, lush green fields and mountains in red,green and shades of brown. Both these villages have the option of very neat homestays and camping grounds. We stopped by at Sonam’s Homestay in Rumste for home-cooked food and that’s where Rubani got her new name – CHO CHO (which means baby girl in Ladakhi)
We stopped by at the banks of Sindhu or Indus River, where the famous Sindhu Festival takes place every year. Those red sand stone canopies, with the backdrop of the mountains and the Sindhu flowing with total grace; make that spot special.
We headed straight out to Changspa Village on Shanti Stupa road. Met our dear friend, Dawa Tsering – who owns the most sort after – Oriental Gueat House. Unfortunately, Dawa was running houseful and could not accommodate us , even though we had booked the room in advance with him. So we stayed at Panorama and Zeejeed Guest house for the next couple of days, which was only a walk away from Dawa’s. I must say that Ladakhi’s are very hospitable people and were very happy to help us with CHO CHO in my arms. The locals were very surprised to see the size of our young “Traveler” Baby and admitted that they had never ever had a traveler as young as her in the valley. A few of them even took pictures of her , to showcase in their Cafe and stores. Our Cho Cho was definitely a star! Finally, her much awaited massage and hot shower with Aabu(that’s Sumit for her). She was relaxed, refreshed and tummy full. She slept well and was rejuvenated the next morning. This time of the year, Leh is very green in season and we literally had a panoramic view from our room.
Leh Palace and monastery on one side, lush green kitchen gardens growing all sorts of local vegetables, in every house and the magnificent Shanti Stupa on the other side. In just one word – Beauty. The morning began with traditional Ladakhi breakfast prepared by Ani-Ley(aunty in ladakhi)Kunzang in the neighbourhood. CHO CHO and Kunzang clicked instantly and we spent some quality time together. Next couple of days were spent in Leh, exploring places to eat,Cafés and book stores.
Café Jeevan is a must visit, probably for breakfast. However, my personal favourite was the Tibetean Restaurant in main Leh bazaar. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in Leh, run by a cute old tibetean couple. Their soups and chowmein are my strong recommendation.
We made a side trip towards Nimmu, Saspol and Alchi; on Leh-Kargil roacd. Alchi monastery is one of the oldest ones in the region. It offers great views of the Zanskar River. By the end of the trip, Rubani – The youngest “CHO CHO –ley “ in Leh was the favourite of one and all! The journey back home was smooth and comfortable. No signs of altitude sickness or dehydration. I guess it was a good time for her to travel, since she was totally on breastfeed and I was never worried about any feeding hassles.
Rubani has certainly evolved as a person ever since. No jokes, she has become more responsive and adaptive. For all those mothers out there, skeptical about travelling with their infants to high altitudes- I would say , anytime after 3 months, when your baby’s lungs are fully developed, is healthy, you are healthy and breastfeeding- there should be nothing to worry. We made our own experience a memorable one.. hope you will make your own someday,till then...Juley!!