22 July – We are high in Leh!

Already, the early morning flights are getting to us.  Waking in the wee hours to make sure we get to the airport at least 90 minutes before the 6:30am flight is tiring.  When we arrived in Leh’s little airport after an uneventful flight, there was a struggle to get all our gear, then paperwork done for being in a special region.  Our small plane was the only one which arrived anytime near 7:45am in the airport but it still took more than an hour to get out the door.  I am not sure if this was why no one was there to greet us from the hotel as promised but we managed to negotiate a taxi ride into town.  The fun started when the driver stopped on the main road just before the center of Leh and kicked us out of the cab.  He told us we had to walk the rest of the way as there were no driveways to the hotel.  Okaaaaayyyy.  We grabbed our gear and lugged it up the winding sidewalk along the drain for a while, turned right along a couple of houses and eventually found the well hidden jewel (Padma Guest House, Rs1,850/night).  We checked into an en-suite room in a building that seems to be built on the owner’s back yard.  We were given strict instructions by the owner that we should not do a single thing today except stay in bed to get acclimated to the 3,500 meter altitude.  I can live with that.

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