From Srinagar over Kargil to Padum and than to Phutkal

Part two of our Road Trip from Srinagar to Kargil and finally to Padum from where we started to trek to Phutkal or Phugtal Monastery. The last post did end with a Yak baby so i start that one with another picture from the same Yak baby.

Kargil, India

Kargil, India
Good bye sweety!

Kargil, India
Where is the next frame?

Kargil, India
The driver was still sleepy so Jathin did drive almost all the way to Padum

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Went to a Guesthouse and scored the room of the two daughters. There rooms had only 2 beds and we where 5 people so it was the only one for us. Nice decoration on the walls and a night later we where off to Phuktal.

Kargil, India
The gang in the early morning – sleeping sound and save.

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Kargil, India
We did take the path on the left side of the river. Most of the supplies do reach the monastery on horses

Kargil, India
My team – Jutin called Frodo, The Professional – hiding behind his dust cover, Miky from Poland and Helena from Spain

Kargil, India
The locals do use every possible patch of land to cultivate some food

Kargil, India

Kargil, India
One of the many prayer walls we passed that day

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Kargil, India
Did stop at a village for a tea. Did find this tool in a corner.

Kargil, India
They do collect wood for winter and use the dried dung to cook.

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Kargil, India

Kargil, India
Phuktal Gompa is one of the most isolated monasteries in Zanskar. The monastery was built in the 12th century. The name Phutkal means a cave in the local language.

It was founded by Gangsem Sherap Sampo, a Tibetan Buddhist guru. The monastery is one of the holiest places of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists.

Kargil, India
The main prayer hall on the top right of the picture. There is a smaller one on top of it but you can not see it on that picture.

Kargil, India
Detail of the door

Kargil, India
The little monks in Phuktal had a lot of fun with us

Kargil, India
Thanks to French director Marianne Chaud and his documentary on the life of monks in Phuktal Monastery the hostel was full with french people. I found it on Vimeo: Himalaya, a Path to the Sky if you want to watch it.
So we went to the school under the monastery. The head monk did gave us a class room which was quite expensive and full of bugs. Since there was no water and i was all sweaty from the walk in the hot sun it was a terrible night. Bugs all over me and to hot in the sleeping bag so i could only use it as a blanket. And we could not open the door or the window as the porch was full of bugs of all sizes and big spiders. There where no mattresses on the floor – only a dirty carpet. When we came back from dinner the monk came again to the room to chat. I gave him a dental floss stick and we did explain how to work that thing. Voila – instant karma – 2 mattresses for us out of nowhere. So at last the night was a bit more comfortable. Still – a night to remember!

From Srinagar to Kargil to Padum Part 1

After i did catch up with my team in Srinagar we walked up to a hill and down again – that was all i did see from over there. I took a few pictures with the iPhone on the way to an internet café.

Srinagar

Srinagar

Srinagar
Be careful when you prebook – you might end up on a house boat like that. I rather have a room that does not move if you ask me!

Srinagar
Breakfast at our homestay in the morning

From Kargil to Padum
Landslide blocked the road for over 4 hours. It was hot, dusty and very very boooring!

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Srinagar
At last with a view when there was not too much dust for a few minutes

Srinagar
So you sit in the car – a girl from Ireland did watch Rambo somewhere in Vietnam till her batteries went dry. Than more waiting. When the dust comes you have to close the window so you can breathe. But than the sun is heating up the car. Catch 22!

Srinagar
Our cruiser

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum

Srinagar
Work Work!

Finally we did reach Kargil – at the same time as the bus which took the “longer” road. Great! Called Mikey to meet us at the corner and went with him to our Guesthouse. Big room with a few blankets on the floor. Since we only had a few hours to sleep – it did the trick.

Srinagar
Waiting for the next jeep in the early hours.

From Kargil to Padum
Perfect time for the sun to come up

From Kargil to Padum
Helena from Spain

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum
Miky from Poland

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum
The good old Tata jeep – hard to kill!

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum

From Kargil to Padum
Since our driver was so tired and crashed the jeep – lucky for us towards the hill-side of the road – Jutin took over the wheel. One of his dreams – drive a jeep in the Himalayas. There you go boy!

From Kargil to Padum
At the pass

Srinagar
Little Yak baby – took me about 10 minutes to gain trust and stop it for a cuddle