Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Road Trip, part 4: Lunch on Top of the World

Tsokar View restaurant near Taglang La pass, Ladakh

Leaving Rupsu Valley was an amazing experience as it took us to higher altitudes than I have ever experienced. In fact we had our lunch up here at 5300 meters altitude in the restaurant you see in the picture.

Same restaurant seen from the opposite ridge, gives some perspective on its location.

The kitchen inside the restaurant.

Marc and Lasse relaxing while waiting for their cup noodle lunch. It was really simple fare, but under these circumstances it tasted heavenly. At this point I was slowly recovering from my altitude sickness, which had taken my appetite and stopped me from eating for almost 24 hours. So I was very hungry.

The very friendly owner of Tsokar View restaurant. What a weathered face. It is a hard place to do business here, but at least he has a monopoly on lunch in the area.

A really nice bird outside the restaurant. It's a male white-winged redstar.

View of the valley below from the restaurant.

After lunch we drove the few hundred meters on to Taglang La, which is supposedly the second highest motorable pass in the world at 5328 meters. A colourful tablet marks the spot. "Unbelievable is not it?"

At the top I got my hands on the first snow in years. On this picture I am making a snowball to throw at Lasse. Unfortunately I missed.

The view from the pass towards the south. At first it may not look like much, but in fact this is my favourite picture of the entire trip, if not the favourite of all the pictures I have ever taken. I love the play of the shadows of clouds on the valley and how the rocky outcrop with its faded and blackened prayerflags add depth to the picture. In the background you can even catch a glimpse of Tso Kar lake. Click on picture to enlarge.

View to the north side of the pass. A truck has just started it's long descent towards the Indus Valley.

A little bit after the pass, we were forced to make a stop as some men were busy clearingthe road of fallen rocks. They quickly got the job done, so we could move on after 5 or 10 minutes.

Wrinkly hills further down the road.

This concludes my series of pictures from Ladakh. I hope you enjoyed them, because I sure enjoyed taking them. Ladakh is an absurdely photogenic place, and perhaps the most beautiful place I've ever been. There is a grandeur to the landscapes and the life here, despite all the hardship. I cannot recommend a trip here strongly enough. It's simply just amazing.


oreneta said...

Do you ever print and blow up some of your pictures? I agree with you that your favorite there is an astonishing shot...

Oxhomiya Jeet said...

Ah Esben... so amazing... you're truly showing me parts of my haomeland I will probably never ever see myself. Thank you. But even more amazing.. I met this lovely lady called Elisa here in Toronto and she had her picture taken at the same spot that you did not so long ago... I want to email that photo to you... pls send me your email ad again... Jeet

Esben said...


Actually I have been meaning to do exactly that for some time, just haven't gotten around to it. But one of these days I will. And that shot from Ladakh will be the first one I print.


Thanks for another nice comment. As an amateur blogger there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that someone gets something out of what you do.

To email me Elisa's picture (excited to see what spot it is) use my, where I use the user name eagersnap@.

Fairfield County CT said...

Wow, Esben, those pictures take me back about twenty years (my father was in the army so I know Ladakh and J&K quite well) when we did a six week driving trip there. I was as young as you and just as overwhelmed by the stunning beauty. Did you get to visit Lake Panggong Tso on your trip?

Esben said...

Hi Fairfield County CT

No, I didn't make it to Pangong Tso this time around. Since we had limited time in Ladakh (7 days total), we were pretty much limited to one short trip out of the Indus Valley. But I KNOW that I will be going to Ladakh again, and when I do Chemrey Valley and Pangong Tso will definitely be a priority.

PurpleDenmark said...

Stumbled upon your post. Good to know that you liked Ladakh. The pictures are beautiful like painting. As a Ladakhi living in Denmark, the biggest thing I miss here is the landscape and the mystic feel of the ladakh. Otherwise, Denmark is great :)...i think :P