Sarchu to Darcha

My way had some delays. So for example I stayed one more week in Leh. When I look at these nights to the sky I see the moon coming close to the full moon size. Is that an invitation to walk through the night?

Next morning I start walking without only knowing of one place, where some people are. In Kelang Serai is a station of workers from the Border Road Organisation (BRO). But this is not really a inviting place, I guess.  During the walk I become more and more confident to walk through the night. It is clear weather, but a bit windy. Coming along BRO I try not to get in communication with the people. My heart decision is done, but I do not want to discuss about it. Little after BRO,  The sun disappears behind the mountains, I see a short cut. It’s a old ancient road for humans and horses…. wow. So beautiful.

Coming up to the BaralachaLa pass on 4.915m it’s already dark. The wind is still blowing. On top is surprisingly a building, a Shiva temple. Oh, this is a good place to get some clothes on. I try to open the door, difficult and I get a little shock. Someone is inside, he is opening the door from inside. Mohammed Izhaar has very long curly hair. After calming down we have a lot to talk. He is also walking, but from south to north. He just arrived two minutes before, we nearly met in the entrance area…… Izhaar wants to sleep in the temple. I just want to dress more, incl. my mohair top underwear and my wind/rain jacket. All together 8 layers on the upper body, 3 thin trouses. Record on this walk. Izhaar has also a thin sleeping bag, not enough for this elevation and is anoid by carrying so much weight with the tent utilities. He thinks of giving it away, and walk always until it gets dark. Then taking a lift to the earlier or upcoming village. Next day getting back by lift to the place he walked before to continue. That’s a good strategy, which I also thought about before.
I mention that I wish, that the wind would calm down. Izhaar: ‚Its always windy in the mountain. Every night the wind is blowing.‘ I tell him about my 3 nights in the tent. Every night the wind was calming down. Once, when I was singing the ‚Om mani padme hum‘ mantra. The other times, because I needed that. The elements just helped me. So for tonight I also wish it. And I know, that the elements can help me.
The moon came over the mountain, (it was just 8pm or a bit later, but it felt like 2am or so…..) we both enjoyed the rise, and I continued walking – interesting meeting……
And the wind calmed down……
I took a lot of short cuts (not following all the zig zak of the road) and reached at around 0.30am Zing Zing Bar. I thought Zing Zing Bar would be a camp, what is also already closed. But Izhaar told me, it’s open…. So arriving I was surprised, it’s not a camp, it’s another BRO place. They were several buildings and the first, as Izhaar told me, to get in, was oily stinking. A kind of gas station for all the trucks. I walked around several buildings, kind of not finding a entrance. At the second building there was a big huge empty pot of rice in front. A big metal door leaned again the wall from inside, this I can’t touch….. At the other side a door which I can open. 6 man were sleeping inside. No-one realized I was there. Everythink oily and stinky. Too beds were rolled, waiting for a tired person….. I enrolled one and went to sleep. A very fullfilling walk layed behind me. Thanks for the bed.
Next morning here and there a little surprise about a guest ….. they maked some heat with some smelly kerosin, but it maked it warm, but nearly no communication why, where, what….. So I left without a breakfast offer. So many men, about 30 or 40, staying there the whole saison, but don’t take any effort to make it a bit cosy???…..

77 km in the road, with all the short cuts I guess ‚only 70km‘. 2 days and a half night walk to Darcha.
The climate has changed after the pass. It’s more green then before. Desert lays behind me. First little trees again. Water flows again out of the mountains. The river flows south instead of north. The weather is still so good. Even not a cloud.
In Darcha it’s a bit warmer, 1000m lower.
Coming down two Darcha, from above, there is clearly a earlier mountain slide to witness. My host, a former monk, Rashi Depp, 30, explains, that no-one really knows when that happend. The mountain slided down like a wave into the big river bed, but because it is not water the material did not swob back. It is guessed, that the mountain burried a village. Now no-one is here longer then 60 years. Rashi Depp is a happy guy, making fresh nudles now and having this simple accommodation and restaurant, says, looking back, he was even more happy, having a monks life. When he was 12 he decided to become a monk, while 26 he dropped it. A lot of his friend monks were leaving before, so he felt alone and had to take care of more young monks, no time for studying anymore. So he left. Having a relationship after that he is never allowed to come back. If the vows are broken once, there is no way back.
Also in Darcha a lot of workers. Mainly they live in tents and that have no toilet or washing place. So everyone just does it, whereever that is….

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