from Kargil to Leh

For start our guys and hotel staff argue if we should get breakfast or not.
The hotel wins and tourists get to eat their stomachs full of butter toast and banana-papaya salad.
In the morning people gather in the gas station. It makes sense to come from all directions so that there would be more yelling, noise and arguments. Everyone wants to cut in because everyone else comes from the wrong direction. Our driver quickly hires a random guy to move our car while he himself is blocking a small white truck. The hired guy turns out to be a traitor, does not move the car even one inch and the white truck gets ahead of us. A couple of old men obviously have only come to watch the theater. A big party. If all came in one queue from one direction then it wasn’t half as much fun and it would take terribly little time.
The road to Leh is mostly paved and goes fast. Only six hours instead of ten that we needed yesterday. More and bigger and sweeter apricots are loaded on the car. The main thing is not to throw the stones on passing motorcyclists.
In Leh we say hi to Wasim, distribute tip and drive to a randomly picked hotel with big garden and big rooms. In shower there is a ban to wash clothes written on the wall with a pen. Hotel boy has to chase the calves out of the garden who arrived with us. No internet. Ladakh has been separated from Jammu&Kashmir state starting from today and is now union territory. Internet has been lost in the process.
We take money from inside a wall, buy an anti-beard instrument for Kalle and go to pay the second half of the trek price. Sana turns up, we last met five years ago. His marriage is planned to happen on 17th of September but he seems not very happy about it. Family pressure. We agree a dinner for tomorrow and go to celebrate our return to civilization to already familiar roof terrace. A melancholy bearded man sings old Western ballads. Some internet is found but that does not reach our hotel.
from Padum to Kargil
resting day in Leh

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