Visiting India has never been on my travel wish list – mostly on account of the noise, the huge population and the sheer amount of effort just to get there. But then I thought back to a film I saw about a dozen years ago from the Best of Banff Film Festival. It showcased a teacher from the west living in a remote village in the Zanskar region of northern India basically cut off from civilization, especially in the winter when traveling on the frozen Zanskar River was the only way to get around. The mind-blowing mountain scenery stayed with me for all these years.
Last winter I was in the planning stages of a longer than usual trip to celebrate a big birthday. The images from the film came to mind and so I began the search for a tour company that offered a trek in the Zanskar region. After a lot of research my husband and I ended up choosing World Expeditions, largely because they run the most comprehensive tour in the area. In the end we ended up on a trip that involved trekking for 18 days, at altitudes up to 5,100 metres (16,732 feet).
The landscape that we trekked through from the turnoff on the main highway near the Lamayuru Monastery several hours west of Leh to the finale, a campsite at the end of Markha Valley was nothing short of spectacular, even otherworldly at times.
These 20 photos will merely give you a taste of the trek with future blogs looking at the trip in more depth.
Now that you’ve seen some of the photos would you do a trekking trip like this?
It was always beautiful, often dusty and very tough going at times because of the altitude, some long days of hiking and plenty of tent time. You really need to go prepared mentally and physically. A huge thank you to all the congenial, hardworking staff on the ground – including the three horseman, the three cooks/assistant cooks/do anything that needs doing fellows and to our two guides.
Other posts related to this trek from the Zanskar Valley to the Indus River:
- What You’ll Want to do if You Have 24 Hours in Leh
- What a Day Looks Like on a Multi-Week Trekking Expedition
- Highlights of 3 Days of Trekking in the Markha Valley