There couldn't have been a better way to announce the registration of Travel Stories of India's brand new domain, Traveller Stories, than to write a post about Ladakh. A few months ago, I'd posted a short piece on Leh, but here I'm going to detail out the road trip I took in July last year. The route was: Mumbai-Delhi-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi-Mumbai.
So enjoy this post and wait for many more to come :) here's to many more travel stories.
Three months and I’m back again with my backpack, all set to finally go to Ladakh; a place that has fascinated me ever since my first steps into the world of travel. It is 6:30 a.m. and I’m whizzing past an empty Worli-Bandra Sea Link to catch the flight to Delhi. The crisp, cold morning air feels refreshing. It leads me to my usual digressions. Although I’m a night person, I love how it feels to be up so early in the morning. I wish I were a morning person; I’d enjoy morning walks. Coming back, I reached the airport well in time. All formalities done, I head to the bus that leads to my plane. Turns out, it doesn’t. The on-ground crew sent me in the wrong bus. So I wait to be chauffeured to my flight that is literally 10 steps away, but I’m not permitted to walk the distance. Anyway, I’m all buckled up and waiting for take-off when my thoughts scatter around again as they’d been doing ever since I decided to take the trip. You see, I was going via a tour group. “So?” You ask. Well, for one, I’m not particularly enthused by the idea of a group tour as it has a restrictive itinerary. However, since my friends were too busy and this was the only week I could take off, I chose the second best option because I HAD to go to Ladakh this year, anyhow. Another hitch (or blessing in disguise, I couldn’t be sure just yet) was that I had no idea who I was going with. I knew no one from the group. I was well aware that it could go either way for me: I could end up cursing myself for taking this trip with strangers, or it could be the best decision I ever made. So lets add on some drama here. Read on to find out which way it went
Worli-Bandra Sea Link at night
For easy navigation and a lighter read, I’ve divided my 10-day trip into four separate posts as per the places I visited, in this order (click on the names below to go to the blog post on that destination):
The route is as follows: Mumbai-Delhi-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi-Mumbai.
Kingdom of clouds
If it wasn’t obvious until now, you should know that I am completely and madly fascinated by clouds. And the kind of magical overdose I had on my flight to Delhi was something I’ve never experienced before. Never before had I seen clouds form such mind-boggling, vivid landscapes. In my head, they formed a mini castle, with little towers and arches. As a soft pink haze enveloped them for a few seconds, I remembered all those images I thought were photo-shopped and realised that they were real, oh so real. The announcement of our arrival to Delhi snapped me out of my dream soiree.
Grabbing my bag, I headed for the departure gate and met my tour guide. A Cappuccino later, I met the tour gang. A round of introductions later, we board our flight to Srinagar.
Coming soon: Posts on the remaining destinations...