Sleep eludes me again at 4:30 am. Head throbs. I try to sleep. At 6:00 am boss bellows into the tent "Get up, we have to reach Leh. Who asked you to pop pills?". So their car is repaired and they've caught us at Pang. Loo is out in the open. We have to find our spots. So Parul, Nidhi & I go behind a mountain & scout around for our spots. Soon we're back on the road...eating chocolates and junk to keep hunger at bay. My headache is still on. Neeti rubs Chinese oil on my forehead. Soon we're driving through a desert-like patch and then we're stuck in sand! Car trouble never ends! My head is spinning & I am off to rest in the other car. Help arrives & the car is dug out. We're behind the wheel again. We stop at a stream, get wet, drink the fresh water and Sid, D & I lie on the grass, leaning on rocks. It's a beautiful day, a beautiful place and the headache is beginning to lift! The scenery is just to be captured in the memory. No camera can do justice. The drive to Leh is beautiful, the weather warm. We enter Leh. On to Fort Road. Hotel Mansarovar, here we come! Rohit arrived in the morning - with SIT's Ramnath Goenka Award. A hot water bath and fresh clothes. Calls home - we're alive & kicking! Then we're off to eat. It's been 27 hours since our last meal at Sarchu. We reach 'Gesmo'. Order Tibetan food....momos, soup et al and they take FOREVER to arrive. Evening snacks become dinner. Meanwhile we've told the hotel, we'll dine there. Parul, Runmee & I then start exploring the market & Sid & D are off to hire bikes! It's D's dream to come to Ladakh on a bike. He's about to fulfill it partially by biking in Ladakh. Tonight we only explore the market. Tomorrow we shall buy! Parul & I still end up buying red coral pedants that we are yet to discover are not real coral but imitation coral - nevertheless they look good!
Then its a late night session of UNO in our room. Runmee, Parul, Sid, D & I. Divya & Nidhi join us briefly. We're creating a ruckus and our next door firang neighbours come to give us a piece of their minds! Time to catch 3 hrs of sleep!