Friday 9 | September '05

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awe-inspiring pangong lake
today's pics (21)
the road to pangong tso
on the way to pangong
road to pangong
view on the way
beauty on the way
exquisite lighting
loo with a view
a small lake on the way
signs of snow
the lake in all its glory
more of the lake
vikram at the lake
stretching into china
startling blue on the lake
can't get enough of the lake
still more of the lake
Day 15 - Pangong Tso - Lake Paradise << | >>
8.10am: Leh   >  Changla  >  Tsangtse  >  Spangmik :5.00pm

Set off for Pangong Lake, which I had seen in May when it rewired my brain. The drive to the lake was as spectacular as before and some of the sights and colours mesmerised me a second time.

the way up from leh
the way up from leh

We passed the Changla pass on the way; it's among the highest passes in the region after Khardungla. We stopped for lunch at a camp for tourists and being the end of the season, there was nobody there but us.

the changla pass
the changla pass

After a thoroughly enjoyable drive, we reached Pangong in good time and the first sight of the lake as we rounded a bend was breathtaking.

first glimpse of pangong lake
first glimpse of pangong lake

Once we reached the lakeside we were in no hurry and kept stopping along its banks to enjoy the lake and take shots. As we kept driving along the lake its colours kept deepening and I can guarantee that no photograph can reproduce what it does to your senses when you're there in person.

The lake is over 130 km long they say, although none of the books we had were in concensus on the actual size. It is a huge lake though, and only one third of it is in India with the rest of it being in China.

the brilliant blue of the lake
the brilliant blue of the lake

stunning vista at the lake
stunning vista at the lake

We stopped for the night at the lake itself - in Spangmik, a cute little village. We checked out the government facility there but it was pathetic, and although it was right on the banks, they had a horrible railing marring the view, so we opted for a little private guest house run by a local.

We got a room for all four of us above their pen holding 70 pashmina goats. It was positively cosy and warm inside the clay and wood house with a roof that held their winter store of goat feed above us. The loo was a compost toilet - meaning very simply that you used a hole in a raised platform so that they could put our crap to good use as fertiliser. They had a solar rice cooker as well and the dinner was simple but tasty and home cooked.

Highlights: The amazing blue of Pangong Tso

Downsides: None that I can think of
  << | >>
today's route - 162 km
day 15 km odo
Leh   184500
Karu 37 184537
Zingral 31 184568
Changla 12 184580
Toltak 7 184587
Durbuk 24 184611
Tsangtse 7 184618
Pangong Tso 40 184658
Spangmik 4 184662
total 162 4032