Markha valley, part one.
first day of #trek in #markhavalley was quite easy with stats like 10,1 km #hike, 293m altitudine gain and after 2 hours and 41 minutes we arrived to the first remote #ladakh village skyu after we left from chilling where the driver dropped us. he treated us with #ladakhimusic on the way and it was one of those kind of routes where your hear beats faster just by looking down on the window. right on the edge of the cliffs - special indian #himalayanroads. we had super fun! like a party on the road but with no dancing.
anyways - when we left from leh city it was very cold but by the time we started the trek the sun made it warm and nice. walking and hiking made it even hotter so we had to get down layer by layer until we were wearing only one.
when we arrived in skyu i saw an old couple outside building a house with their bare hands. literally. no gloves.
i asked: #homestay? they said yes so we entered and we were amazed by their hospitality. we were welcomed with milktea - something that people drink here more than everything. and butter tea, but i will explain that in a later chapter.
they knew basic english words like: dinner, breakfast,sleep, toilet, water and tea and it was enough to get along.
she soon started to prepare the #dinner and i thought that's an amazing chance for me to help the #locals and also get my hands dirty for a local #cookingsession.
we had the local famous #momo and a regular #soup made with the leftovers from the main #dish.
everything happens on the floor, from #cooking to #eating and #chatting.
the house was carved in the mountain and part of the kitchen's wall was literally the mountain!
there was no source of heat except the #cookingfire and limited electricity.
i could talk and write so much more about this but unfortunately even in this nice, cozy city like leh internet is limited and slow.
i have to say that i am keeping a travel diary as well and i wrote so much more there. so note to self: go back there and rediscover those awesome memories!
p.s. the electricity just went off in the whole city! wonder how the internet still works.
p.s. 2. this is day 19 in india and i am in love!
We just came back from the #markhavalley#trek and i have to say it was one of the most memorable #experiences of my life!
after 5 days, 84.3km, 3255 alttitude gain and 32 hours and 32 minutes, we are back to internet, electricity, tap water and everything else that we call "civilization". the aim was gongmaru la #mountainpass in the himalayas which officially is at 5130m but all our 3 #altimeter watches registered 5260m alttitude which was confirmed later by some local guides.
i am proud of my team as nobody had any #altitudesickness! we've tried to do everything by the book, we carried suplimentary oxygen for emergency situations, i planned and studied the route many times in advance and i really wanted to do this on our own with no local guide.
we've acclimatized well, drank a lot of water, had plenty of alttitudine sickness pills and quite a big and complete first aid kit.
bought a detailed map of the region and carried good power banks with us.
the gear list was prepared many months in advance and it paid off.
the mountains (at these heights) have no mercy and you can never prepare 100% but you can reduce the risks that depend on you as much as possible and that's what we tried to do.
the arhitect (@holy_snitzel ), the it consultant (@bogdancucos ),the graphic designer (@ovidiuronin ), the photographer (@andrei.ciungu )the yoga teacher (@deilephila )and the crazy (@denisblidariu )went on this incredible adventure and with some (obvious) exceptions everything went well and i am very very proud of this amazing let's trip team! thank you guys!
crying, laughing, freezing, hiking, screaming, sleeping at -15 c degrees, meeting all those local people that deeply touched us with their stories and their life attitudes, waking up at 06:00 to catch the morning prayer with the buddhist monks in remote monasteries at 4000m, packing and unpacking while tired,dirty and cold, riding old cars at the very edge of the cliffs while the heart was pumping hard, all those blisters and dried lips, and all the other emotions that cannot be described here were unique and they will stay with me and deep in my heart for a lifetime!
Leaving the village of skyu for our next location: markha village. this place keeps blowing our minds with every step we take. in the evening, around 5:30 pm we get close to markha. we were exhausted. suddenly we started hearing a man singing. we get close to his house. there he was with his 2 daughters separating the barley from the seeds. he was using his horses and his tzo (a mix breed between a cow and a yak) and singing this captivating song. it's like he called us to his house. 📸 #canon6d .
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Pighle neelam sa behta hua ye sama
neeli-neeli si khamoshiyaan
na kahin hai zameen, na kahin aasmaan
sarsarati hui tehniyaan, pattiyaan
keh raheen hai ki bas ek tum ho yahaan
sirf main hoon
meri saansein hain aur meri dhadkanein
aisi gehraiyaan, aisi tanhaiyaan
aur main sirf main
apne hone par mujhko yaqeen aa gaya
It's hard to choose just one photo that depicts the experience of the 5 days long markha valley trek. but this one makes justice to the magic that this hidden valley in the himalayan mountains holds. life in this valley holds a centuries old feeling with a well preserved traditional buddhist culture resembling tibet and the landscape is everchanging between snow capped peaks and incredible canyons. a few months ago i had no idea this incredible part of the world even exists but it speaks so much of our existence in general. i am forever charmed by the hidden life of the himalayas. 💕 more about the trek soon, there is so much to share!