From Phutkal to Leh

In the morning we left our school room to have breakfast down at the guest house. Than it was time to hike back to continue our trip to Leh.

From Padunm to Leh
Up in the mountain in the middle of the picture you can see Phuktal Gompa – a last look before we went round the corner towards the end of the trek.

From Padunm to Leh
If you pass a stream that comes right from the mountain you fill your bottle!

From Padunm to Leh

From Padunm to Leh
This guy was almost 90 years old and did walk up all the way with his bag. And he was quite fast as well.

From Padunm to Leh

From Padunm to Leh
This guy was not even a third of that and took a horse taxi up the mountain – together with some Asian tourists. Somebody told us that he is a big shoot in the system. Still he did not like that one can identify him on the picture. As soon as i lowered the Canon he was lowering the hand as well.

From Padunm to Leh
The usual road fixing. This is a never-ending story here. Some guys from England explained that the Himalayas are still “growing” and they do grow fast. So that is why we have all the road blocks and you have to constant take care of the roads. Makes sense in a way.

From Padunm to Leh

Military check point
Military checkpoint

From Padunm to Leh
At a rest stop somewhere on the way to Kargil

From Padunm to Leh
The friendly owner of the place

From Padung to Leh
Tired Spanish girl

From Padung to Leh
Our “Tourist Bus”. It was really not a bad way to travel and it was way cheaper than a jeep! The downside: 19 hours of driving with the SAME driver! We got a bit worried when it got dark and we still had a few hundred curves to go in the mountains.

From Padung to Leh
Somebody did push lots of great landscape along our bus windows

From Padung to Leh
Thank you State Bank!

From Padung to Leh
Our ride

From Padung to Leh
The gang with the bus driver and his friend

From Padung to Leh
Sunset towards Kargil from the pass or Fatula Top – that is how they call it over here

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!