|Padum-Lamayuru trekking route (data generated by by GPS Logger)|
1. Are physically fit.
2. Not scared of heights.
3. Do not suffer suffer from HAS (High Altitude Sickness).
The first 2 points are easy to figure out, but how to know if you might suffer from HAS?. The best way would be to travel to Leh (altitude 3,500 meters), and acclimatize by staying there for 2-3 days. If you don't get sick, you can proceed with the trek.
While it is possible to do the trek from Padum to Lamayuru, it should be noted that rough (but motorable) road links Padum to Pishu (marked in blue line in the map above). At the other end of the trek, there is a motorable road from Photoskar to Lamayuru. So in reality, the actual trek can be made from Pishu to Photoskar, and you can arrange to have a car pick you up in Photoskar. So instead of it being a 10 day trek, it can be reduced to 5-6 days.
Our actual trek was from Pishu to Hanupatta (after Photoskar). The reason we trekked all the way to Hanupatta was that we had not made any arrangements for pick-up at Photoskar, so we had to continue an additional day of trekking to Hanupatta, where there are cars available that can take you straight to Leh.
To start the trek, we had to first travel to Padum, and the only way one can reach Padum, is via a very long and unpaved road from Kargil. The journey from Kargil to Padum takes approximately 10 hours by car (which can you hire in Kargil for about Rs. 12,000). The road winds through some fantastic Ladakh scenery, and gives you a taste of what you will encounter during the actual trek.
|Long and winding road from Kargil to Padum.|
Since we were travelling from Srinagar, it made more sense for us to start the trek from Padum, and then travel to Leh. We first travelled from Sringar to Kargil (Elevation : 3,800 meters).
Kargil is a bustling town. We managed to find a decent hotel and decided to hit the bed early, in order to prepare ourselves for the very long journey to Padum the following day.
|On our way to Padum|
|Darang-Durung Glacier on the Kargil-Padum Road|
|My first view of a Gonpa (Buddhist Monastery) in the Zanskar valley. Rangdom Gonpa.|
|Penzila Pass (approximately 4,300 meters above sea level).|
As it turned out, things did not go exactly as we planned. Details of that will follow in the next post.