The first night inside the tent was cold but comfortable. Fortunately, we were in a wooded area and there was not much of wind. The good part with treks in Himalayas is that you go to bed early and get up early. At 5.30 AM Tashi and team served us hot tea which was god sent. Sitting inside the tent, we sipped the tea with cookies. Stanzin was there too and said that we shall leave at 7.30 AM sharp after Breakfast.
We came out of the tent and got ourselves ready. We walked around on the banks of Markha river before Stanzin called us for breakfast. Tashi had prepared lovely porridge and had also got some fruits for the breakfast. Being the first breakfast of the trek we were curious as to what would be on the menu early in the morning. Stanzin explained that it would be porridge and fruit to start with as it is easy on stomach. Later in the morning, we would munch on sandwiches and eggs. That sounded good.
Stanzin tells us it would be a long walk today to Markha village but will be compensated by some lovely landscape. We are all excited. Let us start day two of our Markha valley trek.
Join the excitement. Join us on day two of the trek. Please click on the pictures to see them in larger size.
Porridge and Chai for breakfast…..
Ready for day 2!
A lovely Ladakhi house in Skyu……
As soon as we started, we could see these lovely gorges on our left. Would be great to trek through them one day!
This is the route we will take today……along the river….into the mountains.
We walked close to these elephant foot!
Then there were these spectacular pop ups of mountains!
We descended to the river and started walking on the bed. These bushes were welcome and we stopped there for our snack break.
We walked on the dry river bed flanked by bushes and Leh berry plant,
First river crossing. A make shift foot bridge made of bamboo over Markha river.
A nice patch of greenery amidst barren mountains. We see the white canopy which will be our place for lunch break.
We continue our trek and we are greeted by colourful valley….
We along the river. The landscape gets interesting. We could see the mud walls looking like a “fort”
Then there were caves too!! You can see the holes in the mud wall….
….and a sheer granite wall!
The valley opens up and the gentle flowing river becomes more broader.
This was a beautiful spot. A wide river. Green shrubs and meadows and lovely ountains as backdrop.
Another river crossing. Stanzin going first….
We enter outskirts of Markha village which is a small village with 20 houses. We walked through the barley/wheat fields on the trail – you can see in the picture – on the left bank of the river
Chortems in Markha village
The camp site is still two KMs away. We are to walk through this lovely valley.
…..but we need a break too….before the home run!
The last stretch was interesting landscape. We climbed a little and the landscape looked lovely!
“We are camping there” said Stanzen! showing us the white chortems! “Another KM only”!! One more Kilometre to go……
There we come. Lovely golden barley fields. Next to the river!!
It was a long day. The longest distance in the 5 day trek wherein we covered close to 18 KMs. It was a gradual climb walking along the river bed. At few places we had to climb which is tough at these altitudes. The sun was strong. Fortunately we had many trees where we could stop, rest and recover.
Tomorrow will be an easy day and beautiful, say Stanzin. We look at each other and smile.
This is the second part of a series of five posts on our experience of trekking in Ladakh in Markha Valley in August 2014. Please stay tuned for the remaining posts.
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