What goes up...

I've got a feeling that I used that as a title previously - but hey, we're in the Himalayas and these are the highest mountains in the world and so there is a LOT of going up and down.

We'd been bathed in sunshine and warmth on the way up the southern side of Khardung La, now we were facing the northern side and it was not so welcoming with snow and ice piled up, reminiscent of our ride over Baralacha La

we tucked our heads down and just got on with getting the bikes down, slipping and sliding a bit, concious that the Nemesis Army trucks had overtaken us while we were doing our photo shoot at the sign.

That was the only opportunity I had to take photos as we rode through the snow, I shepherded (shouldn't that be shepherdessed?) my group down until we were out of the snow and meltwater, onto flatter ground and able to look around us a bit more

Thanks to Sachin Rana fo rthis shot, my favourite solo riding picture from thsi trip, with yak grazing in the background and I seem to be grinning at something, possible just the relief that we've all made it safely down out of the snow; or perhaps because we've stumbled onto something.
Because on the other side of that massive mountain known as Khardung La is a veritable Shangri La, a warm green oasis of lush fileds and gardens. We hadn't seen greenery since leaving Manali which felt like weeks ago. This was the sight that met our eyes as we entered the Nubra Valley

and it got better

We're heading into the green Nubra Valley

A lunch stop where even the loo has a lovely view

We're feeling very relaxed after our lunch, and make the most of the green grass - it really is a novelty for us after the dry. high altitude landscapes we've been in since leaving Manali.

we even do a bit of boot comparing

and then we hear the ominous sound of the Nemesis Army trucks getting ahead for the third time. Time to get moving.
However what we didn't realise is that despite the fact we had just ridden through the snow and ice up at the pass, ahead of us is this...

less than two hours ride from that wintry landscape, here is a different kind of riding peril - SAND

Scenes more reminiscent of the Sahara Desert

But they're a surprise that lie somewhere down the road, first we've got those lorries to deal with - again!