Monday, 19 November 2007

Road Trip in Ladakh: The Way to Rupsu

Indus River, somewhere on the road to Rupsu Valley.

As nice as the Indus Valley is with all of its old towns, palaces and monasteries, we wanted to experience more of this amazing district of Ladakh. We were planning to pass through the world's highest motorable pass to the neighbouring Nubra Valley. But since massive blizzards had shut down that pass, we had to change our plans. So instead we chose the somewhat longer drive to Rupsu Valley, close to Tibet in the southeastern corner of Ladakh. We followed the Indus river for a long time. As we moved ahead the valley was transformed into the canyon ytou see in the picture above. Not much room for more than the river and a road.

To share cost we teamed up with a Germany guy, Marc, and a couple of Israeli girls, whose names I can say but not spell.

Another picture from the rugged canyon. I love how one little, white house is placed on the mountain ridge seemingly in the middle of nowhere (slightly to the right of the centre of the picture).

Rupsu Valley is unlike any place I've ever been too. It's consisted of enormous, cool, windswept plains at altitudes of well over 4000 metres with very sparing plant growth and very little shelter. Most inhabitants here are nomads, who constantly move their herds of goats, sheep, cows and yaks to where there is a bit of food to be found. In the picture above is one such nomad dressed for late September weather. I can barely begin to imagine what life here must be like in the height of winter. Despite temperatures not far above zero degrees centigrade we saw several people here wearing only sandals without even socks. How they get through a Himalayan winter I simply do not understand.

A flock of sheep making their way through the barren and inhospitable yet amazingly beautiful landscape.

A large herd of goats walks past the shore of Tso Kar lake.

Marc using a break from the jeep ride to take pictures of the landscape.

A close up of some of the formations across the lake. I don't know how or why the rocks have so many different colours but it looks amazing, especially in this very weird sharp and cool light.


Oxhomiya Jeet said...

The last photo of the mountains across the lake is a killer, Esben! And you're right... the light is very weird. The landscape looks daunting and inviting at the same time.


Esben said...

Hi Jeet

Yeah, Ladakh is a very special place, which lends itself very well to photography. If you ever get the chance you should go there for sure.

sim said...

Wow! The pictures are truly awesome. They depict the mysterious beauty of the place. Btw, what's the right time to go to Ladakh? Is October a good month?

Esben said...

Hi Sim,

thanks for your comment. I suppose you could go in October, but it would be quite cold by then and many passes would be closed due to snow.

I went there in late September, just after high season ends (that happens on September 15). It was still nice but cold.

someone said...

Oh, that means one should rather plan a trip little early. Thanks for the reply.