Today’s road was a marvel of human engineering and labour. Wow. We drove over two passes, through two gorges, and much of the time it felt like what I imagine driving through the Grand Canyon would feel like.
The scenery was spectacular and ever changing. The rocks diverse in both colour and erosion temperament.
The picture above captures much of the drive. Way off the deck with terrifyingly few guard rails. One wrong adjustment on the wheel, one unanticipated oncoming vehicle, one soft shoulder not noticed and the road trip would become a flight with not the best outcome.
The roads here are build by a group from the Indian Army called BRO. Border Road Organization. They post many inspirational driving messages such as “Married? Divorce speed” and “Better to be late than Mr. Late” and some even had rhymes. “Don’t be gamma in the land of lama” and “Drive with care, life has no spare.”
My favourite of the day had to be “Drive, don’t fly.” I hoped and prayed that flying wasn’t on our agenda today and it wasn’t as Stanzin, our driver, is very skilled.
We’ve got two days of driving done and one more long one to go to get to the start of our trek. Over much of the drive today, we saw workers digging the trench beside that road that will bring a fibre op line from Kargil to Leh, bringing with it much more reliable internet with it. I wanted to know more about the process of laying such a line-wondering when the fibre op will be out in the plastic channels we saw them bury and how do they put in 150 km of such a line? Over two mountain passes, through river gorges, and beside one of the most intense roads I’ve ever driven on. Anyone?
I’m looking forward to the trek and 9 days of walking through what promises to be stunning and difficult terrain. We will be crossing six or seven passes and have some distance to make.
You can’t use a sat phone in India as a civilian so you most likely won’t hear anything from until we return to Leh in 10 days…unless, of course, some internet surprisingly appears.
We visited three more monasteries today and we continue to enjoy the mindfulness that comes with such visits. Each one has a different character, vibe, and atmosphere. These visits are an important part of our Lungta Livyer journey and I’ll share more as words form that can describe the meaning(s).
Thanks for tuning in. There are lots of pics in my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds. I’ve only used a few here tonight to make sure I can squeeze the message out through the line. 🙂