Sunday 11 | September '05

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last glimpse of pangong
today's pics (26)
our home at spangmik
last shots of the lake
road to nowhere?
past the chorten
weird chorten on the way
our oasis
the wide expanse
brilliant landscape
desert roads
beautiful horizons
toyota setting
wild horse
the indus
indus again
rezang la war memorial
tso kiagar
tso moriri
tso moriri
Day 17 - Tso Moriri - another day, another lake << | >>
8.00am: Spangmik   > Chushul  >  Nyoma  >  Tso Moriri :6.45pm

Woke up to the first snow of the season, all the mountain tops around the brilliant blue Pangong Lake suddenly snowcapped. It was a cold morning, but we got ready for our drive to the other lake in Ladakh - Tsomoriri.

We started out in good time and found that we were following the edge of Pangong Lake for almost 40 odd km before we finally turned off to the right, while the lake turned left into China.

leaving pangong tso behind
leaving pangong tso behind

weird chorten
the weird chorten we saw on the way

Today we had our first mishap - a minor one, but cause for concern since it put our only decent spare tyre out of commission. Omi went over a small rock, and it hit the spare lodged under the car. The chain holding it snapped and suddenly we found the back of the car rising in the air with a shuddering sound, shaking us up. Once I recovered I looked out to see the tyre rolling off the road. The impact had lifted the car up, the wheel rim was damaged and the tubeless tyre twisted so badly that it was leaking air.

It wouldn't have been so much of a problem, except that a while later we figured that one of our back tyres had a slow leak because of a metal bolt that had pierced it. Since the tyres are tubeless it will be tough to get it repaired anywhere around here. We used a small air compressor which Omi has in his kit to keep filling up air occasionally, and carried on leaving the bolt where it was, since removing it meant bigger problems.

Fortunately, all this happened right next to a wonderful little stream which was more like an oasis in our time of need.

comfort point after our mishap
comfort point after our mishap

The one thing on our minds was that we now had two bad tyres and the other spare was only for emergencies, it is the wrong size.

Despite the minor setback this was again one fabulous drive. The tyre with the bolt held, so we relaxed and enjoyed the sight of the flat and vast Chushul Bowl, the Indus river and the China border barely a stones throw away at one point.

We sighted more wildlife on this drive in the form of Kiangs, or wild asses found in this region. And we passed a memorial to the soldiers who fought the '62 war against China.

the kiangs
the kiangs

the rezang la war memorial
the rezang la war memorial

We got some snow on the way in the Indus Valley, not flakes but tiny little ice balls clattering on the windscreen. Another pretty lake called Tso Kiagar was a pleasant sight on the way.

desert highway
desert highway

the mighty indus
the mighty indus

Latish in the evening, because we were going slow on the tyre, we reached Tsomoriri Lake which was not a patch on Pangong but beautiful in its own way. It had a lot more places to stay as well as a monastery. We decided to spend the night in some tents by the lake, jacking up the car to ease pressure on the tyre. It was bitterly cold at night and we were glad to get under our razais.

Highlights: The beautiful drive, the snow, the Indus

Downsides: The loss of the stepney and the slow puncture
  << | >>
today's route - 214 km
day 17 km odo
Spangmik   184742
Man Village 9 184751
Marek 10 184761
Chushul 28 184789
Tara 34 184823
Tsaga 8 184831
Loma 24 184855
Muth 15 184870
Nyoma 7 184877
Mahe 25 184902
Karzok 53 184955
Tsomoriri 1 184956
total 214 4326