Travelreport 56 - India 2 from 01.10.2013 - 11.11.2013

Leh - Phiyang - Likir - - Alchi - Lamayuru - Mulbek - Kargil - Srinagar - Mc Leo Ganji

After the long break in Leh we only ride short stages. Through stony desert-like mountains, soon reaching the oasis of Phiyang with its beautiful village and great views of the mountain range with Stok Kangri as well as an interesting monastery. A bit further along, we reach Likir monastery, lying above the village giving excellent vistas over the green valley. Attractive are the colorful wall paintings, the golden Buddha statue as well as the very old Tibetan texts. Alchi monastery shows as exciting sand mandala - the first we see in our life. The village with its Potala palace, many stupas as well as the authentic Ladakhi houses are impressive. Colorful rock formations and the moon valley make a stunning ride up to Lamayuru, where another monastery sits on top of the rocks and make a great visual impact.

Being healthy makes cycling again very joyful, and we enjoy the sunshine, the great views or just cycling effortless up passes. Reaching Kargil is a bit of a shock, too many cars, people and noise after the quietness of Ladakh. Up to Srinagar there is only one mentionable pass, Zoji La, where we encountered long queues of military trucks. And just after the top, there was roadwork going on. Hundreds f trucks and cars had to wait for 2.5 hours. Luckily we managed to get across before the the road was cleared finally, and therefore had a car free down hill ride on a dusty and rocky road. Over all it is a great route.

Srinagar and Kashmir State looks a bit like Switzerland. But unfortunately for us, a lot of traffic accompanied us more or less from Srinagar up to Mc Leod Ganji, the exile of H.H. the Dalai Lama and about 10'000 Tibetan refugees. Here we hike in the surrounding hills, stroll through the town and get spoiled with massages and good food. To Delhi we will travel by bus.