To go to Nubra and Pangong, you need a permit since the areas are close to Pakistan and China borders respectively. A 7 day permit is usually arranged by a travel agency for 150 rupees or so.
We started in the morning. I, Fee(German), Tim(Korean) and Nicholas(French). As I have mentioned earlier, I mer Fee as I was standing in a queue before the SBI ATM in Leh. She had aleady teamed up with Tim and Nicholaas and they were looking for one more person to share the taxi and the expenses with. And I was the lucky one.
So we drove down the Manali highway past Shey and Thikse after which the taxi turned left. Since the rest of them hadn't visited Thikshey, I asked the taxi to stop at Thikshey so they could take a picture of the lovely looking monastery perched on a hilltop.
We stopped at a junction where the road forks – one of them going towards Hemis and the other towards pangong – and had breakfast at a small roadside shop. Tim and Nicholas had parathas I think of which they had already had a taste. Tim had learned two phrases ‘Achha hai’ and ‘Badhiya Hai’ which understood to mean good and great respectively. Whenever she used them, everyone was amused.
As we proceeded towards Shakti valley, there appeared in the distance Chemde monastery perched on a hill. This monastery was not part of the deal and hence I had to be content with a few pictures from the taxi window.
Thats a marmot
You head towards Chang La Pass, the third highest motorable pass in the world (17290 ft).
There is a military post here.
You get free tea in a military shop. There are signboards that warn you not to stay longer than 20 minutes. Oxygen is very thin and breathing can get difficult.