In Leh, we booked the next part of our trip to the Nubra Valley. 13 years ago Robin and I went over to the Nubra Valley on a Pulsar motorbike which was something like 150cc and we went over the Khardung La Pass 5602m on it!
Now with a baby, life is different. We hired a car and driver and the whole trip for 3 days and 2 nights plus the Inner Line Permit, all booked via the Zanskar travel agent located at the corner on the pedestrianised street opposite the new Mosque in Leh, cost 15,500 Rs (£174). Naturally this was expensive but the only other way of doing it would be to share transport with a group, and we weren’t able to find anyone to share the trip with at short notice. Still, absolutely no regrets as my driver Nubu was amazing and we had an incredible time.
On 20 May we went over the highest motorable pass in the world, the Khardung La at 5602m. How on earth we’d ever done it on a rubbish motorbike I’ll never know! The road was good until the pass, then it was super bumpy…. We jumped out for photos at the top and of course got the usual Tiger celebrity snappers… but it was a bit chilly so we were quick and onwards to Panamik which took around 6-7 hours in total.
In Panamik we stayed in the Hot Springs Resort (but never saw the hot springs!) at a cost of 1800 Rs (£20) per night including dinner and breakfast. It was a really easy place to stay for 2 nights with Tiger as they brought all our meals to our room, the shower was hot and they had an amazing thing I’ve never seen before – a wifi box. Now, we only had electricity from 7pm to 11pm and the wifi box only worked so long as it was charged up but this meant we had some wifi outside of electricity hours so weren’t completely cut off.
On Tuesday 21 May we spent the whole day driving around visiting Diskit Monastery and its Buddha Statue which was absolutely stunning.
The absolute highlight for me though was going to Hunder and going on a camel. I am not a huge fan of camels normally so the request to the camel men was “just up and down no walking” but for 100 Rs (£1) Tiger and I got up on the camel – awesome!
On Wednesday 22 May we had a long drive back from Panamik and back over the Khardung La to Leh. Lovely to get back though to the Grand Willow and back to civilisation!