Day 7: Pangong – Leh
The day began for me by an abrupt awakening from my sleep by my wife. I didn’t realize what was happening until she wished me ‘Happy Birthday!’. Yes, it was my birthday :). I started wondering whether I could ever get a more beautiful gift on my birthday than the experience of being at such a serene place. Though the moment was overwhelming for me, we still decided to get back to sleep as we had to get up early the next morning to endure few more long hours of journey. This is when things started to get a bit difficult. For a start, the water connection gets cut off at 11 in the night, so the bathroom literally becomes unusable during the night. One can hear the wind howl continuously and it becomes difficult to catch sleep if you are not already asleep. To top it all, we were finding it little uncomfortable when we tried to lie down. Spending the night at the altitude of 14,000 ft. is not an easy task. In fact, most people from the touring group faced difficulty in the night sleeping – either due to the heavy blanket, or due to limited oxygen supply. We stayed upright for a while before gradually dozing off to sleep. We managed to catch a few hours of sleep after that, before I was woken up by my alarm!
It was 5 am and I wanted to make sure I was up before the sunrise, because I did not want to miss this wonderful opportunity to see Pangong Lake lit by the morning sun. My lack of sleep didn’t stop me from making my way to the lake. The sun was not up yet. I set up my camera on a mini tripod on a rock from where I felt the view was good. The big cloud cover was posing quite a threat, but I was still hopeful it would clear up by sunrise. I waited for almost an hour for the sun to rise, but when it did, to my disappointment, it hid behind the cloud. Though, I did manage to get this pic of the sun rise.
I went back to the tent, got ready, had breakfast and we left at 8.30 am. I can’t remember much from our journey back as we spent most of our time sleeping. We did make a stop at the Changla pass before reaching our hotel at 2 pm. We relaxed for a couple of hours, got refreshed and went out for dinner outside. We went to the restaurant – ‘Summer Harvest’, as it was recommended by many. The ambiance was OK, as we sat out. We ordered ‘Thukpa’, which is a Tibetan dish. The dish turned out to be soupy noodles, pretty bland in taste. I guess the Tibetans don’t like their spices :). After doing some light shopping, we headed back to the hotel. Just when we were about to sleep after finishing our packing, we got a call from reception to come to the dining hall. To our surprise, the MakeMyTrip folks had ordered a cake for my birthday which was a special gesture from their side. After collecting our flight tickets from them and thanking them, we finally made our way back to our room to hit the bed one last time at Leh.