I arrived in Diskit and since the driver didn't seem to be an official driver, I asked if he knew of a guesthouse we stopped at a few until I found a room. After taking a much needed shower I ventured out. Wow, talk about a one horse town! I walked around a bit and found the way to the monastery and the huge newly built 100 foot Buddha that the Dalai Lama was coming to inaugurate, the weather was changing and I didn't want to be caught up a mountain side in the rain so I found the only place in town that had food, as did every other foreigner.
That evening I also found the only bar in town, it was an open garden, Sangam hotel bar and restaurant, connected to the Sangam restaurant in town that was the only one to have food earlier, and not good food by any means. The bar was filled with local men that almost fell over when I sat down and pulled out my computer. However all they had to drink was Godfather beer, yuck too strong and sweet, or rum with water. So I had the beer, the next night I would come prepared and bring my own coke for the rum. Indian rum isn't bad and when you can't find red wine its a good alternative.
The following day I wanted to see the Monastery and Buddha and the sand dunes and take a look at the camels. I hired a driver to take me around, and we went to the monastery first and the giant Buddha.
After we headed to Hunder where the sand dunes are, however the road was under-construction so we got stopped for an hour, after awhile we decided I would go on walking ahead and he would pick me later. I came across family in a truck the man said they were all his children, if its true he sure was busy the truck was packed full of them.
The driver finally picked me up and we headed for the bacterian camels, now I had told many people I would never ride a camel in my life again, they smell, have fleas and spit, I have spent too much time in North Africa too like camels. But these camels were different they are two humped instead of one and they looked clean weren't spitting at anybody and didn't smell to bad. I wanted to do a 15 minute ride which would have cost 150rs but the guy didn't have change so I opted for the half hour ride for 300rs, across the dunes. As soon as that camel stood up I regretted the half hour ride, OUCH! All I had between me and the camel was a blanket. I looked back at the Indian tourists also mounting their camels when one very aggressive male knocked the guy right off him. Shit, I'm holding on now! The boy who walked me and White Beauty (my camels name) told me these camels come from Mongolia and were used in the silk route, well I doubt White Beauty was but maybe her ancestors were.
The following morning I took another shared taxi back to Leh, this time the music was to loud to dose off. We were driving for a few hours when we came across a truck on its roof and another truck parked in front of it, the men were eating their breakfast between the two trucks, notably shaken but alive and with no injuries, wow miracles do happen. But I must of dosed off afterwards for I woke up to find we had a punctured tire, well no biggie right? The driver has a spare? NO!!! So now what do we do? I was told not to worry that the driver knows many people and soon one will pass and lend us a spare. I fell back asleep in the jeep and woke up and hour and half later to everybody getting in, luckily I guess the driver had found a friend.
The rest of the pass was a hairy ride as I mentioned before and with all the traffic coming over the pass to see the Dalai Lama it made for a breath holding ride. I don't want to scare my blog followers and especially not my momo and dad, but I don't get scared often or easily, however this pass was not for the faint of heart. Once I got over the Karhdungla pass and was on the side of Leh once more, I breathed a sigh of relief, I knew I was gong back to civilization , well sort of when the internet is working and the phone lines are on, LOL. But at least you can get a semi-cold Kingfisher beer or a bloody Mary.