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Just arrived in Leh

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  • vance_stevens
    There is Internet in Leh, Ladakh. I guess there is Internet almost everywhere travelers are likely to go. My son Glenn, 23, from San Francisco joined us last
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2002
      There is Internet in Leh, Ladakh. I guess there is Internet almost
      everywhere travelers are likely to go.

      My son Glenn, 23, from San Francisco joined us last week in Abu
      Dhabi. On Thursday my wife Bobbi, my other son Dusty, and Glenn and
      I all traveled to New Delhi. On the way in from the airport, we
      passed groups of pilgrims on a 600 trek to a shiva shrine. They
      carried religious objects and slept on the way in tents set up for
      them with loud music blaring from each one (how did they sleep, I
      wondered, exhausted perhaps). Bobbi and I had been in Delhi before
      and although it seemed familiar it was sometimes uncomfortable to be
      walking around the town. It was hot for one thing, and it was
      difficult to get a cycle rickshaw because the drivers all had games
      they play with tourists, and people were coming up to us in the
      streets all the time and walking along and asking the same questions,
      always trying to get us to a shop or travel agent, and when we
      decided to walk instead of ride it started to rain and we all ended
      up soaked and standing with rain blowing in under a sheet of
      plastic. But we were cool and comfortable enough and happy to be
      together and dried quickly and from then managed to reach the Red
      Fort of Delhi and visit the where the moghul emperors lived in
      marbled splendor. Security was heavy at the Red Fort, scene of a
      recent terrorist attack, and there were long lines of people waiting
      to get in. We walked around the old town there, and visited the
      large Friday mosque and climbed the minaret for a great view of Old
      Delhi and the Red Fort and temples and mosques in the area.

      Next morning, that's today, we got up at 3:30 a.m. and got a cab to
      the domestic airport for a short flight to Leh in the northern
      Himalayas. We landed at Leh after a flight in a jet through gaps in
      the mountains. Travel here was easy, and no one looked for the
      permit to travel in the region that the embassy in Abu Dhabi refused
      to give me in my passport. By 7:30 we had reached the town and at 8
      we had rooms with large windows and mountain views costing about $5
      per room, one for my wife and I and one for the kids. Leh is at 3500
      meters, so when you get there you have to schedule a day with nothing
      to do except sleep, eat, and drink. So that's what we did all day
      today, starting with sleep till about noon. After that we went
      around checking on treks. We'll probably do one for 8 days. For $25
      a person you can get horses to carry your gear and someone to cook
      for you, and you just walk and enjoy the views. It's what we came

      Also we found that the Dali Lhama will visit Leh in a few days and
      stay a week. It would be interesting to see him.

      Leh itself is a small town with Tibetan flavor surrounded by bare
      hills. On one, there is a palace built in the 16th century. and
      there are religious monuments on other hilltops which we can walk
      to. One buddhist temple has prayer flags strung from that mountain
      top to a shrine on the next one over. The views from the town
      itself are of a skyline with gold domes of buddhist temples and
      muslim minarets, plus the major structures just mentioned. In
      contrast to Delhi, people are friendly here and not a nuisance.

      Anyway it's a very comforable place to be, especially when you travel
      with a family, you have to watch how you spend your money, but here,
      a meal for 4 (the one we had today, for example, with drinks aplenty)
      is only around $10, very affordable. The rupee is half it's value
      from last time I visited here. Plus, Leh is a very interesting
      place. Since it opened to tourists in 1974, it has the usual
      traveler amenities, including Internet. One thing I have to be
      careful of though is power outages. So I guess I'd better leave this
      off for now.

      In any event, I know I can keep in touch from here.

      All the best,

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