25 Dec 2011

Pictures and Memories - The Ladakh Journey - IV

Our next excursion was for Tso Pangong (Pangong Lake). Driving from Leh we crossed the Chang La pass to reach Pangong. We encountered summer snowfall on the way
Chang La top had the now-familiar gompa (shrine) draped in prayer flags
An army convoy began rolling out from the top as we parked
The road downhill from Chang La - wet patches are from melting snow deposited by vehicle wheels
Onward to Tso Pangong…
A gaggle of black-headed gulls greet visitors at the water’s edge at Tso Pangong. One of the largest lakes in Ladakh, Pangong is more than 130km long and about 5km at its widest. A land-locked endorheic lake, The Pangong does not flow out into any river or stream, water being lost only to evaporation and seepage. About 60% of the lake lies in China
The water of the lake changes hues with reflected light throughout the day…
There are a few basic tented accommodations on the bank of the lake. The double-bedded field tents are sturdy and well-secured to stand-up to the chilly winds that blow down the hills and across the water. The wind carries pale dust as fine as talcum powder, that is continuously deposited on all exposed surfaces
The rocks are mossy, the water crystal clear and extremely salty. Evaporation continuously increases the concentration of minerals in the water. The salinity of the water is a surprise, given that we usually expect lakes to be freshwater !
As everywhere, the faithful build prayer columns beside the lake
Moving on - Tso Kiagar, en route Tso Moriri
The drive to Tso Moriri, through hills of slithering gravel
Tso Moriri is reached mostly by following tracks. There are no roads, roadsigns or residents to provide directions…

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