Vanessa_Ladakh with The Blueberry Trails
It’s that time of the year again, when we pack our woolens and get ready to go to the mesmerizing land of Ladakh. We have gone there every year since the year of inception of The Blueberry Trails and still the beauty that surrounds us never ceases to inspire. It takes our breath away every time. We have designed this trip for you keeping in mind the local nuances and smaller experiences that the land offers. We try to stay away from the mainstream, beyond the usual circuits.
1. A road trip in the Himalayan desert of Ladakh. Dizzying passes and fertile valleys, snow capped mountains and quaint villages will be your constant companion, that is, apart from an awesome set of co-travelers.
2. Offbeat curated stays like campsites in Pangong Tso, and Tso-Moriri. With incomparable views. Blues of the Pangong or lush green alpine mountain slopes. Sights you cannot forget too easily, even if you try. Alternatively, we stay in a hotel in Leh, and a basic homestay at Nubra, for a more local flavour to the trip.
3. Adventures like rafting, camel safaris, village walks, and river side trails. Experiences, experiences, experiences. Many of them are guided and many more will be the ones you find along theway.
4. Architecture, monasteries, and local culture: Whether it’s a cup of tea shared with locals or a quiet moment spend in a distant monastery watching a monk pray, whether it’s marveling at the bright colours that adorn these structures or wondering how they keep warm in the -50degree weather. Curiosity knows no bounds and our drivers will have the answers to most of your queries if notall.
5. Homestay experience in Ladakh. Basic stays that give you an insight into the Ladakhi way of life. Their culture, their food, their culture and how they pass their days. Perhaps you can assist them in theirday to day activities or learn their way of life fromthem.
6. Dizzying passes of Khardungla, Chang La and many more. The passes range from 13000ft above sea level and top it off at 18380ft for Khardungla. Literally on top of the world.
Day 1. (17th Sept) Leh (day at leisure)
Land in Leh and relax at your hotel, allow your body to acclimatize to the sudden change in altitude. Leh is a beautiful city, nestled in the Indus Valley. The Shanti Stupa and the Leh Palace form a formidable backdrop to the city and the roads that leave the city lead you to Srinagar in one direction and Manali in the other. Leh welcomes you with a warm glass of Ginger Honey Lemon tea and it takes very little to fall in love with this city.
Stay: Beautiful hotel overlooking the mountains.
Day 2: (18th Sept) Leh
The hotel in Leh is located at a 10 minute walk from the market, very close to the Shanti Stupa. It is surrounded by lush greenery on all sides and has a river flowing just across a small field from it. The day is at leisure. You can relax, acclimatize to the sudden change in height. For those who want to explore a little bit more, you can head to the market place and also visit the Shanti Stupa or the Leh Palace. Leh city has plenty of cafes which serve food from all corners of the world. Try some, like some, hate some-the adventure would have just begun!
Or you can even go for the rafting at zanskar river. Or take a bike and go backwards till Alchi Monastery. (Add On)
Experiences: Do local walks, a great day to acclamatise
Day 3: (19th Sept) Leh - Nubra via Khardung la
Head out to the beautiful Nubra Valley. The winding climb of Khardungla, a lemon tea at the canteen there and a downward descend to Nubra, where you will pass the sand dunes of Hunder. Valley, snow, peaks, frozen rivers and desert on one single day. Need we say more? Stay in an organic campsite in Hunder and go to catch the sunset at the dunes of Hunder.
Experience: Pass Khardungla, which at 17,580 is the highest motorable road in the world, Live in an organic camp in Nubra, go to the sand dunes of Nubra Valley and catch sunset there. We are staying in a traditional homestay in Nubra with basic facilities. The stay experience is provided to give you an insight into Ladakhi life, their food and culture and their way of life. Please do not expect urban comforts.
Meals: Breakfast| Ladakhi Dinner Travel distance: 130 kms
Travel time: 6-7 hrs
Day 4: (20th Sept) Nubra - Turtuk
Turtuk is a village that opened up to tourism only in 2010. A tiny hamlet 12kms from the border, it offers some great insight into the village life of Ladakh. The gorgeous landscape will bowl you over, and you spend the day with village hikes, and exploring the terrain.
Meal: Breakfast| Dinner
Travel time: 2.5 hrs
Day 5: (21st Sept): Turtuk to Leh
Drive back to Leh via Khardungla. Stop at the Diskit Monastary on the way, to enjoy the spectacular views that it offers.
Travel time: 8-9 hrs
Day 6: (22nd Sept): Leh to Pangong
A five hour drive and a visit to the monastery of Thiksey, you will pass by Chang La Pass to reach the great Pangong Lake. The blues of the lake will leave you stumped; the beauty is legendary and rightfully so. Stay in a campsite on the banks of the Lake. Swiss Tents will welcome you and the view from your room will just be the lake.
Experience: Camping near the banks of the Pangong Lake
Meals: Breakfast| Dinner Travel time: 5.5 hrs
Stay: wonderful Campsite
Day 7: (23rd Sept) Pangong Lake to Leh
Return back to Leh. If you haven’t visited any of the monasteries on the way to the Lake, you can do it on your way back.
Experience: visit local cafes for meals, try out different cuisines.
Travel time: 5.5 hrs Stay: Hotel
Day 8: (24th Sept): Leh to Tso-Moriri.
After a seven hour drive from Leh, experience one of the most beautiful, calm high altitude lake in India
i.e. Tso Moriri. The lake is at an altitude of 14,836 ft. above sea level. Expect to see Tibetan wild asses, marmots and other endemic species enroute. You will be staying in Swiss Tents here.
Driving distance: 230 Kms
Driving time: 5-6 hrs
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9: (25th Sept) Tso-Moriri to Leh via Tso-Kar
After an early breakfast, make your way back to Leh. En route visit Tso Kar, a gorgeous salt lake situated in Southern Ladakh.
Driving time: 5 – 6 hrs
Driving distance: 230 km
Experience: visit local cafes for meals, try out different cuisines.
Day 10: (26th Sept) Leh Return
Leave for home with a bag full of memories and a content soul.
- Meals mentioned.
- Internal travel (ex-Leh) by Xylo SUV
- Accommodation on 1 dbl Sharing room.
- Sightseeing according to itinerary.
- Flight/ Train charges to and fro Leh
- Meals not mentioned.
- Entry charges at museums, monuments, monasteries.
- Personal expenses such as room service, tips etc.
- Any additional cost such as additional stay, extra days of transport etc. arising from change of travel plans due to weather conditions, landlsides, flight delays, strikes etc. which are beyond our reasonable control will have to be personally borne by the traveler.
- Things not mentioned in inclusions.