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Desert Capers

It was time to head into the sand dunes

Buddha

We've ridden across the valley to the Maitreya Buddha statue at Diskit Monastery.

We go closer

and closer

Diskit Monastery

The Monastery is up a steep twisty road (hmmm, thinking about it, that describes most places in Ladakh )

Hanging in Nubra

We'd headed down to the river with our local friends, the kids were there, catching fish.

I went out a bit deeper

Nubra Valley 2

We're at the far end of the Nubra Valley

-by the way, anyone else hoping to head this way - don't forget to get your Permit for the Valley while in Leh, otherwise you're not allowed over the mountain, it's apparently a bit of a sensitive area, close to the Pakistan border. I did meet someone who got turned back as he hadn't realise that he needed a permit.

Nubra Valley

Up on the hillsides, it's still quite a dry landscape

the roads are not in great condition, but the lack of traffic means we can make reasonable speed

and then around the next corner, what's lurking there waiting for us?

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

Success!

We bade faewell to our military hosts, ahead it starts to get a bit more tricky. Pausing to take photos, I sent my ladies on in front of me - only a guide (or an anxious mother) can spot her brood on the road - look carefully

It's difficult enough just spotting the road to be fair

Khardung La

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worth having to post it twice as it was a beauty of a road we were riding - straight up to Khardung La, the highest road pass in the world.It's not too far from Leh, but we managed to have a few stories to tell along the way.
first an unofficial checkpoint, where all non-Ladakhi number plate vehicles were having to queue up, explain them selves AND pay money to proceed. I merely played our matrimonial trump card, announcing

Riding back to Leh

Riding back to Leh

I'm trying to work out which will be the best route to take, we've got the option of a bridge ahead

and we're also on the lookout for a clandestine al fresco loo stop! several
of us plus lookouts mean we end up looking like a bunch of meerkats.

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