Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mustang | Flowers and Plants



The rain shadow area of Mustang close to the Tibetan border is similar to the rest of the Trans-Himalaya and close to Tibet in topography and features.

One would expect that this desert like terrain where the winds howls up the Kali Gandaki river valley every day would not be conducive for plant life.

A South Col team trekked Mustang in September 2016 and we were very surprised to find many flowers and plants in bloom.

Here are some photographs of the plants and flowers we saw:









For more information and photographs on Mustang do visit



Friday, October 21, 2016

Mustang & Lo Manthang Trek | Peakfinder Screenshots


Evening Ghar Gompa
South Col Expeditions trekked to Mustang and Lo  Manthang for the second successive year. In 2015 the South Col team had just come out of the monasteries of Lo Manthang and entered a painters studio when the Nepal earthquake struck. This September 2016 there were no mishaps and the team made the trek without any problems.

These Peakfinder screen shots identify the mountains from different locations on the trek

Pokhara - from the south side of the Annapurnas

Jomsom View

Kagbeni entrance of Mustang

Yamdo La view above Shyanmochen

The view from the Choser Caves north of Lo Manthang



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Langtang Valley Trek | Lodges Reopen after the Earthquake



The Langtang trek has re- opened after the earthquake and the villagers are happy to welcome tourists once again despite the scaling down of facilities due to the devasation in April 2015. The report below gives the list of lodges which are available:

Syabrubesi
Plenty of lodges available many with wifi, hot showers, attached bathrooms.

Rimche
Both lodges in Rimche are functioning.

Lama Hotel
All the five lodges are functioning here.

Riverside and Woodlands
Both these locations after Lama Hotel had one lodge each and both the two lodges are functioning.



Ghora Tabela
This used to be a popular lunch stop - one hotel is available for lunch.

Thangsyap
Two lodges are running here  - some others are under construction

Gumba before Langtang village
Two lodges have been rebuilt here - two more are in progress.

Langtang Village
Six lodges have been completed. Another four are under progress and will be done soon.

Mundu Village
Two lodges have been rebuilt

Nepali Hard Rock Cafe after Mundu Village
The tea shop is functioning.

Kyanjin Gompa
This was least affected in the earthquake and most of the lodges there are functioning. This is now the biggest settlement in the Langtang valley.




For more links on Langtang after the earthquake please do visit

http://www.worldtravelforums.net/showthread.php/9127-NEPAL-LANGTANG-VALLEY-has-opened

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-indian-subcontinent/nepal/langtang-valley-april-2016-trekking-report-including-post-earthquake-status

Do return to the  Langtang valley once again and help to rehabilitate the villagers post earthquake.



For our past treks in the Langtang Valley do visit

http://sujoyrdas.blogspot.in/2013/03/the-langtang-valley-trek-in-nepal.html

http://sujoyrdas.blogspot.in/2014/01/langtang-valley-trek-photos.html

http://www.sujoydas.com/Nepal-Himalaya/Langtang/i-c8nSHK2

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Likir to Temisgam | The Sham Trek in Ladakh

Harvesting mustard in Hemis Shukpachen
INTRODUCTION
You won’t find an easier trek than this in Ladakh. The passes are all below 4,000m, and the distances between places are relatively short. Plus, there is the added bonus of the Himalayan Homestays offering accommodation in village homes, which means you don’t have to lug tents and equipment all the way.


The Sham area of Ladakh is quite dry and hot and although you can trek this route anytime from the beginning to end of Ladakh’s tourist season (late May-late September), When I trekked this route around ten years ago , the link road from Likir to Temisgam was just being built. Today, it is a full-fledged ‘pucca’ road, albeit with little traffic. So much of the journey can be done comfortably following the road all the way.

ROUTE
DAY 1 LIKIR-PHOBE LA-CHAGATSE LA-YANGTHANG
DISTANCE 9 KM TIME 4-5 HOURS LEVEL MODERATE


Young lamas at morning prayers at school in Likir Monastery
 We will drive in the morning to Likir from Leh ( 90 min). After visiting  the Likir monastery we will start our trek. Although the distance today is short, the route is hot, without any shade or water and you must traverse two passes, so start early with water bottles filled. For Ladakh, these passes are low, but do not underestimate them. From Likir,, take the road heading west up to Phoebe La (3,580m). The climb is gentle and you will top the pass in an hour. From the pass, you can scramble down the short-cut tracks and meet up with the road below, avoiding the longer loops of the jeep road.
 The road continues west to Sumdo, a small settlement where you can stop for tea. Just before Sumdo, you will need to cross the stream over a bridge. From Sumdo, follow the main road that climbs steadily upwards, winding its way to the west for a little over an hour. From Chagatse La it is another 30 mins down. The village of Yangthang (3,630m) is on your left through the fields.. If you reach early and have the energy, check out the Ridzong Monastery, which lies about an hour south of Yangthang. This quiet, secluded gompa is over a hundred years old and nestles in a narrow gorge.

DAY 2 YANGTHANG-TSERMANGCHEN LA-HEMIS SHUKPACHEN 
DISTANCE 8 KM TIME 3-4 HOURS LEVEL EASY


Descending from the pass of Tsermangchen La
 Today is an easy walk despite the pass because both the approach and the descent are of gentle gradients. From Yangthang Village, head back through the fields onto the road that brought you here and turn left, or west. The road heads north, descending for a bit, crossing a stream before climbing up west again to Tsermangchen La (3,750m). Take a break at the pass before heading down to Hemis Shukpachen. The village, named after the grove of cedars (shukpa in Ladakhi) is one of Ladakh’s prettiest. There are plenty of sparkling streams surrounded by shady willows and large barley fields that add the much needed dash of green to the otherwise desolate, rocky mountains. 






Day 3 HEMIS SHUKPACHEN TO LEH


Chortens and statues at Hemis Shukpachen
The car from Leh will come around 11 am to pick us up and we will be back in Leh by lunch time.

For more photos of Ladakh and Zanskar do visit  http://www.sujoydas.com/Ladakh-and-Zanskar

For our treks in Ladakh in 2017 do visit http://www.southcol.com/treks-nepal/rumtse-to-tso-moriri/


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