Pang to Sarchu

With Sahip from the oil company I come to a longer conversation at the evening before continuing walking. I see always the trucks bringing oil and gas and…. for the whole region on the street with ‚Indian Oil‘ as a logo. And from the beginning I ask myself, if India has own oil or is importing from where – …Iran? Now I learn from Sahib, that India is able to cover his oil needs from own resourses for 60 %. And his company is searching for more. I am really surprised and did not know. And India is able to cover 100% of the own needs for gas. Wow. A nation of 1.2 billion people have so many gas and oil resources. Why I have never heard of this? Further I learn, that India resently found another huge gas field east of Bangladesh. This gas field is so huge, that it’s dimensions is covering all the area under Bangladesh, too. So this means, without searching,  suddenly poor Bangladesh has rich resources. This is again a evidence ‚that everything is everywhere‘ and often we don’t know. He tells a story of elephants bathing in east India in oil, before even someone new, that it even was oil. Scientist found out later.  And we talk also about Ladakh…. that people here have lived a poor life, in the sence, that there where little varieties of vegetables and fruits and suddenly scientist find out, that nearly everything can grow even on a elevation of 3500m (Leh) and up to around 4.000m+. And Sahip adds even another interesting news, that he believes, that there is less oxygen in the higher altitudes, because of little, less or no trees. The last information I kind of push away in the first some days, but after moving it in my thoughts, I understand the truth behind it and I became thankful for opening my mind…..

Walking with a tent, it brought extra weight on my shoulders. From the last two days walking I learned, it’s not enough to carry just 2 liters of water. In this high altitude rivers are often in deep valleys, not everywhere to reach. And there are no other  sources around, no houses, exept stopping a car in a emergency. So I carry 4 liters of water. Plus the tent, sleeping bag, mat, and much more food than normal, my light and easy to carry bag of 8 to 9kg is grown to a ‚heavy‘ backpack 16 to 17kg. I am so surprised, that it all fits even in and around the backpack.

I have to cross two passes. One Lachulung La Pass is 5.070m and NakeeLa Pass is 4.739m. From Pang to Sarchu, 77km, is no house. A camp at Wiskey Nala (after 27km) is closed since today. The scenery is just so beautiful and partly spectacular.

All is taking a lot of energy, I kind of realize. The high attitude, less oxygen in the air, the temperature (I real have the best non cloudy weather, at daytime it’s comfortable ‚warm‘), but at night and in the morning….. puh so cold. One morning, when waiting for the sun to come up over the mountains, I thought I could already lose some ribbon at the tent, ohhhh my fingers could not stand to touch anything from the material. It was at least -10 degrees…. And walking with much more weight, building up a tent, staying in movement (after a day walking) in the evening and morning, to collect wood or making a stone circle around the tent…. all that is taking so much energy.
But at daytime, I always enjoyed some really nice resting time in the warm sun. Sometimes even sleeping a bit….
One night I came to a place, little area, with some dunes (the dunes itself where a kind of greeting from Amrum/Germany, maybe my favorite iland at all), and again some fire wood…. the dunes where close to a river, Tsarap Chu on only 4.200m. The river flows towards the Zansgar valley, into Zansgar river (Later into the Indus). The valley gives me a little feeling of ‚Zansgar’…. and I feel connected. The other entrance to Zansgar I saw/felt from the place, where Zansgar river flows into Indus ( close to Nimmu around a mounth before)

The next morning I feel so weak. After one km I come to a place with water. Even though I have enough water with me, I start to drink and drink, maybe two liters, maybe a bit more. My weakness came from to little drinking….. The Tsarap Chu is turquoise in the most beautiful colour.

Little later I see some workers. They are busy with laying cables, but now they have a break. One of them comes to me. To the same time a motorbike is also stopping. I really think, the guy on the motorbike is my friend Ankush, who nearly decided to walk this way with me. Do I pass the worker towards the bike, but it is another man. But I have a 10 min talk with him. The worker stands patiently at the side. Finally I turn to him, and he has a invitation for lunch for me. ‚But‘ they cooked with meat and the veggi variation is with onion (allergy), so I thank him but don’t take the invitation. Some 100m later I regret the way I left this invitation. This man was sent from God and was standing so patiently on the side until I ‚allowed‘ him to talk to me. Anyway, I sent him a blessing, even now, while writing the story.

The way to Sarchu is ‚long‘ this day. First straight, then along a riverside in another valley, to meet a bridge and walking back on the other side of the river….. to finally reach the place. Sarchu is done only from corrugated iron huts. Here and there some tibetan praying flags brings some colours. I end up in a shek ‚Shanti restaurant – beds avaible‘ with a lady from the region. At home she has 40 yaks and her area is reachable only by feet. One 1 year old kid is with her, the other two kids live at her sisters in Leh because of school. It takes days to find out this details, because she is a bit very shy.

At the second day in Sarchu I packed all the tent stuff together, directly after I met a taxi driver, 8 in the morning, who is on the way to Leh. He is so kind to take the things back to Leh, so Sumit can pick them up. I am so wonderful with this decision? Grateful to the help from Sumit for lenting me the tent, even though for the next 77 km to Darcha, there is also no accommodation. Only a workers place, or the army?… So happy again to be with less weight.

Sometimes I ask myself, especially when I don’t feel good: where do I like to be, do I like to be on another place. Looking deep, even though it’s a unplesent situation, I very very mostly, like to be at the place, where I am. Today I feel good. I like to be where I am. But…. I miss Leh….. do I want to be there?

What will happen after Manali? Do I want to be in crowded India, coming down from the mountains there?

Health update. The cut in the hill is healed. The place behind my teeth is not swollen anymore. Everthing calmed down. The lower lip has another issue again – sunburned, or another herpes? I have a little cold, but that’s maybe good as a smell protection – washing is not possible to often…. My spine is fine….

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