All posts tagged: Leh travelogue

Jullay from Leh!

I groggily board the flight to Leh at an unearthly hour. Waking up irritably to the flight attendant’s announcement, the view outside my window quickly changes my mood. We are flying precariously close to the snow-covered Himalayas, and would soon land in the cold mountain desert of Ladakh. Three years after my first solo trip to Spiti, I am back in the trans-Himalayas, still dreamy and wide-eyed, a little nervous, and hoping to find solitude in the mountains. It feels like life has come a full circle. At first glimpse, Ladakh feels majestic and harsh, and immediately introspective. Mighty snow-capped peaks and stark, barren mountain slopes stand in striking contrast against a surprising amount of greenery. I’ll later find out that cultivating this dry desert in the strong sun and harsh winters has taken centuries of careful water management by the locals – something that has been heavily compromised for tourism needs in the last two decades. The shy but friendly locals, their cheeks reddened by the strong sun, make me feel right at home …