An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 2 | Jispa To Sarchu

Next morning, we started our day with Yoga and some basics of Kalaripayattu (the ancient martial arts). This was day 2 of our trip and we just had to cover about 86kms. We crossed Darcha, ZingZing Bar, Suraj Tal and Baralacha La to reach Sarchu. Situated at an altitude of 16,040 feet, Baralacha La is a high mountain pass in the Zanskar region. You could get a peculiar type of headache because of the altitude. And to cure it, you could either take Diamox or just have another cup of Tea and relax! šŸ˜Š Sarchu lies on the boundary of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Also known as Sir Bhum Chun, the barren grandeur of this place is similar to the Ladakhi landscape. The weather here was cruel to the coreā€¦the people and the tents were the victims of it! After dinner, we were strolling around, talking about love,ā€¦

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 1 | Manali to Jispa

We left Manali a little after noonā€¦ Crossing Rohtang Pass, we entered the beautiful Lahaul and Spiti Valley. We stopped at Koksar for Tea and a plate of juicy Mutton Momos. The temperature had started to drop and we decided to add beanies and gloves to our warm clothesā€™ stock. We stopped at Tandi to fill-up fuel but unfortunately the petrol pump was closed. This petrol pump is the last one on the way to Leh. But we were hopeful that we will be able to get some fuel arrangement done in Jispa. We reached Jispa around 9pm. The host at Nomadic Camps welcomed us with the warmest of smiles, interesting stories and good food! The tents had all basic amenities and was comfortable. We also tasted the local alcohol made of Barley, known as Aara. As we gulped it down, we could feel ā€˜strongā€™ written all over it! Iā€¦

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 0 | An Intro

The Epic Route

Please donā€™t kill me for the title! But to be honest, all the blogs and notes that I have read that talks about peopleā€™s experiences and trips in/to Leh-Ladakh has such fancy wordsā€¦ This was my 3rd trip to Leh-Ladakh and I donā€™t think any of those big, fancy words is able to justify what one feels! So, instead of browsing through the dictionary to come up with a better and bigger word, I have decided to call that feeling as ordinary. At times, just an ordinary feeling is what you need… The way one gets up early just to take a walk around the townā€¦to steal the morning sun rays and the ghost-town sort of a look of the valleyā€¦the first cup of Teaā€¦the way the river dances when it pours…the way the words of a book make senseā€¦the sparkling lakes, the majestic mountains, the tricky roadsā€¦every second actingā€¦

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 9 | In Manali

Next morning, we headed to The Lazy Dog for breakfast. But surprisingly, the staff was extremely rude and we left the place but not without giving them an honest feedback of their behavior. We were back at our favourite place, CafĆ© 1947. We had to wait for 20 minutes for the cafĆ© to open but it was all worth the wait! After a delightful brunch, we were back in our rooms, happy and excited to find 2 tattoo artists waiting for us! It was one of the most random decisions that we tookā€¦ I think somewhere during the trip, Pooja mentioned it in the passingā€¦we should get a tattoo doneā€¦. And a week or so later, we were staring at Ankur and Vikas from Yama Tattoos arranging their equipment in our room. It was already 3pm and we had a bus at 4:30pmā€¦for a second, we didnā€™t mind missing theā€¦

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An Ordinary Ladakhi Tale | Day 10 | Back In Delhi | Rewind

How I long to be in the hills againā€¦ the city life, the 9 to 5 ordeal, is a web of complicationsā€¦ How I long to be with simple, uncomplicated beingsā€¦ the madness, the chaos, the competition, it gives that adrenalin rush at times ā€“ to achieve things, to do the work better ā€“ I have often heard the city dwellers call it as passionā€¦. How I long to be in the lap of nature, staring at the mountains and sipping Tea, not many souls aroundā€¦ A traveler tempo passes by, honking ā€“ it reminds me of the traffic in the city, the obsession with excuses and phonesā€¦. How I long to be treading unknown paths, meeting strangers, exchanging storiesā€¦. For now, the city life seems inevitableā€¦ Until next adventureā€¦ How I long to be in the hills again with all of my secrets, my scars, my sorrowsā€¦. How Iā€¦

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Sweet Escape To Chail

It was 3:30 amā€¦Irk in my Motherā€™s voice told me that it might have been her 10th attempt at waking me up. There was unusual chaos in the house. It looked like those lets-leave-for-the-airport-drama scene from the movie, Home Alone. Just that there was no chance in hell that I would have missed this trip! We reached the station at around 5:00 am. And the journey began with the rhythmic clinking sound of the metal wheels. We were travelling in a non-ac /second seating (2S) for the first time. And it was an experience in itself. Getting down at every stop just to stretch ourselves and get a cup of kadak chaiā€¦talking to our co-travellers, making a mental note of what all they have been upto in their lifeā€¦commenting on both the landscape and the lifestyle that we could see outside of our windowsā€¦the sound of the vendor shouting ā€˜tea-coffee-chips-thandaā€™ā€¦

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Cafe1947: In Rhythm With The Voice Of The River

The bridge over Manalsu River is a gateway to a magical world. This part of the town is famously known as Old Manali and it has a series of uber cool cafes. But the one that will win your heart is Cafe1947. Owned by brothers Ankit Sharma and Abhishek Rune Sharma, the cafĆ© is cozy and exhibits a magnetic vibeā€¦ And here are the reasons why the cafĆ© is a must visit. Location: While the indoor seating is warm and comfortable, the outdoor seating provides a superb view of the river. During daytime, you can see various sports activities being carried out at the river side. You can chill here for hours while playing cards or tickle your mind with the board games that they have. Amazing staff:Ā All smiles and quirky remarks ā€“ thatā€™s what the staff here is equipped with! They are friendly, super-efficient and would always give youā€¦

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Sethan Village: A Magical Paradise

ā€œThank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder–no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered.ā€ It was 4am when we experienced seasonā€™s first snowfall. A thing of wonderā€¦little flakes of happinessā€¦it was a magical event! The valley was draped in white! We were in no rush to experience anything else other than the magnificence of the day. We were more than happy about celebrating white Christmas! We were at Sethan Village in Hamta Valley. Sethan Village is located about 15kms from Manali and has just about 15-20 houses. One can see towering Dhauladhar ranges surrounding the village. It is believed that inhabitants of this village were originally from Tibet and they were given land permit/grant by the then Government of India. The first day we reached here, we went out forā€¦

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Wanderlust: Tracing Where It All Began

It all started with my 18th birthday. I had just come back from college and I saw my mother smiling and acting funny. Upon asking what it was all about, she told me to open the white envelope placed on the table. Little did I know that the content of the envelope will change my life forever! It had to and fro rail tickets to Gujarat. It was the month of October and was indeed the best time to visit the state ā€˜coz of Navratri/Garba celebrations. I had studied in a boarding school in Gujarat and was more than happy thinking about the reunion with my girlfriends who were still there in Ahmedabad and Anand. I was travelling alone but being backed up both morally and financially by my mother, I was a bit relaxed. Going to the best of restaurants, saying ā€˜table for one pleaseā€™, sitting at Crosswords forā€¦

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Kareri Lake: An Epic Trail

Planning a birthday is one hell of a task! Itā€™s cruel and gruesome! From ensuring only the right set of people are there to keeping a check at every order that is placed to making certain that the birthday boy/girl does the mandatory bday-shots to making sure the DJ plays just the right kind of dance tracks to ofcourse ensuring that you get the cake, gifts, birthday glasses and what not! Phew! In the last surprise birthday party that we had planned for our friend, everything that could go wrong did go wrong! From unpleasant beings to exotic orders to embarrassing pictures to exorbitant bill at the end to an extremely bad hangover! That party could very well be documented for teaching us/anybody ā€œwhat not to do while planning a surprise birthday party.ā€ So, this time around when our friend took complete ownership of planning his birthday party, we wereā€¦

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