Year 2014, the year was superbusy for both of us but nothing great had happened till then until one day when I saw some cheap flights from Delhi to Leh and back. I checked with my husband instantly, and though that was the place we wanted to go without friends but when none of them was available, we decided to go couple travel and booked our tickets right away.
To save time and cover all the main places, we had booked tickets both by air direct to Leh and back. Just 2-3 weeks were with me to book the accommodation and plan the itinerary; and the time when everybody was sinking towards the famous Pangong Lake ( Three Idiots fame), I was more interested in Tso Moriri; the place that I was actually hearing for the first time while scanning some good pieces of Leh blogs!
Dussehra holidays had begun and it was almost Sep end. We could feel how the tourists number had shrunk drastically in the small town of Ladakh and I found it quite difficult to acclimatize for the intial 2-3 days. Luckily we had befriended with another couple in the guesthouse who joined us for Nubra- Diksit and even Pangong lake tour. We had kept Tso Moriri as the last visiting point and by then they had already flew down back to their city.
Even during the off-season the cab was asking for 10K so we wanted travelling partner and came to know that a Swiss lady from our hotel was also planning for the same place on the said date. We got it checked but she wanted to travel solo, and that kept me intrigued.
What’s so special about Tso Moriri that she wants to travel without being interrupted, on her own?
Well I still remember that we left quite early in the morning ( some 6 AM or so) in an Innova and yes I was very very excited. On our way we saw lot of construction workers working on the roads and most of them appeared migrants. It was a graveled highway for quite a stretch I wondered if we are going to drive like this whole day long but the driver assured us that things will turn fine soon.
Soon we began slowly ascending towards the Karu and there is another highway that leads to Manali and one to Chumathang for Tso Moriri.
After couple of hours, I suddenly saw a shining splash of water in a distance, I asked the driver about it. He laughed at me and told me that it’s not the lake we are travelling for and the real lake would blow my imagination for sure. Anyways I saw a herd of flocks grazing over the green patches here and there and enjoyed my view. There were hardly any other vehicles on this route, probably not many wish to travel further for this lake when they could enjoy similar views in the Pangong.
Have you ever noticed that even an excess of beauty can also get boring?
The same thing was happening with me, and I just wanted to reach to our destination asap. And at last we reached to the most stunning part of our travel.
I literally wanted to gulp down the view in my throat forever, I instantly decided that I don’t want to go back ever. Actually we both were equally mesmerized but the driver soon clicked few of our pictures and took us to few of the hotels for stay arrangement.
Soon we were disappointed, prices were exorbitant and there was nothing splendid about the hotel room there. We had already decided that we aren’t going to spend more than 2 or max 2.5 k for one night. But then the Driver suggested us to look for a homestay. So that was the reason why the hotels were not so popular there, even most of the foreigners prefer homestays in Tso Moriri; I asked myself ‘why not’?
People in Tso Moriri usually lent out the upper floors for the visitors and prefer to stay on the ground or lower ground apartments; it’s actually a decent way to earn some cash. I guess if I will check Airbnb today, I might see some better options but till that time there was no such thing, even network was a big issue!
So we roamed around the narrow alleys surrounded by small houses to find a suitable stay. I checked few of the options and dejected them all! At last we settled for a room that had a decent view through the glass windows and since there was no other occupant at that time, our driver suggested to ask for extra blankets as he said that nights are unbearable with heavy winds and cold. I asked politely for extra blankets from lady of the house, she smiled and gave me some; the bathroom was common for all the visitors with no direct water supply, everything had to be filled so we had decided already to wake up early in the morning for the loo visit to avoid any dirty or soiled bathroom view 🙂
So we had good 2-3 hours left for the sunset, so once we finished our hot Maggie ( the staple meal on the hills), our driver drove us back near the lake and after clicking some of our pics recommended us to go back to the village or else it would get very cold to even walk.
What an amazing view, and there was practically no one around us even till the farthest glance; I was elated, I wanted to dance, sing and do everything with that view in front. We stepped ahead, water was very cold and lake looked quite deep. It was receiving a perfect image of the mountains in reflection and there was an Indian flag visible on the top; that was the Army Base camp. I joked to my husband that they might be watching us all the time. He even joked that the Chinese soldiers might be watching us too and might shoot or scare us if they want to have some fun (one part of the lake lies under the China area)
We came to our room by the evening and I must admit the cold had already snatched my energy; I wanted to retire and take a sound sleep. There was a lady who was preparing meals for her in a small kitchen behind her little shop, both of us surrendered at her place and didn’t moved from that cosy area until she finished cooking and serving us the meals. Food was heaven- a simple mix vegetable with Roti, we came back to our room which had nearly frozen by that time. There was no light except our phone’s torch and a candle provided by the owners. I was shivering and decided to sleep in my jeans and jacket, it was impossible to even change our clothes in that cold.
Though I mostly lied awake that night, it was a peaceful night. In the morning, we climbed to a nearby peak to get a mesmerizing view of the place. While we were about to left the place, I hugged back the lady who had served us scrumptious meals and gave some stationery as gift for her kids.
Our driver took us to another route that after a point is not accessible to the foreigners and that route was amazing. Not only it ended up to the second highest motorable road in the world, but also on our way we saw the famous Tso Kar lake. Did I mention that we were practically the only car visible on the highway almost for one hour?
I loved the place and the encircled journey; so much that I didn’t want my world to know more about this. Do you want to know why?
Because you go to Pangong and Tso Moriri; you can easily make out the difference between these two places, about how the humans have eaten the place with dirt and greet. Because only once in your lifetime you will see a place where you will connect with your heart and you would never want anyone to soil your heart; and I had the same feeling with Tso Moriri.
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