We’re Still Alive!

Hi everyone! Anthony and I are currently in Leh, Ladakh with our friend John. We have been on the road for the last couple of weeks, starting with a 38 hour train journey from Calcutta to Jammu, Tawi.

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We spent a few days in Srinagar on the banks of Dal Lake, “the Venice of the East,” where the picturesque mountains, lakes, and houseboats have made it a popular tourist destination for the more than a hundred years.

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Backwaters of Dal Lake from the front of a shikara Hari Parbat fort in the sunset

We next headed east to Sonamarg, en route to Leh, where we got stuck for a couple of days due to road closures by snow and rain.

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Snowed in jam session in Sonamarg

While in the neighborhood, we made a little day trip to Gulmarg and hiked up to Khilanmarg, where we saw our first Kashmiri snow.

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Anthony and John at Khilanmarg, near Gulmarg (which incidentally is home to the highest golf course in the world)

We also spent a night in Naranaag, a tiny little village north of Sonamarg.

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8th century ruins of a Shiva temple in Naranaag

We eventually got back on the road and decided to make the trip from Sonamarg to Leh in one day. There were a couple of hair-raising moments during the trip, while navigating the Zoji Pass at 11,575ft in a shared van, and later the Fatu Pass at 13,478 ft…but the views were beautiful, and we made it through in one piece!

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Zoji La (The Zoji Pass) at 11,575 ft

Once in Leh, we met up with my uncle Kurt, and the four of us spent several fun-filled days exploring local points of interest and getting out of breath from the altitude.

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Kurt’s first day in Leh and an excursion to the palace. (Perhaps a bit overly ambitious for those of us still acclimating to the altitude!)
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View of Leh palace from one of the other vantage points in Leh

We are currently planning our next move while we wait for the road from Leh to Manali to open. Internet is intermittent, so don’t worry if you don’t hear from us all that often!

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Congratulations to my sister Martha and soon-to-be-brother-in-law Jesse on their recent engagement, Anthony and I are enjoying speculating about your future wedding from afar, and can’t wait to do it with you two in person! Also, happy early birthday to my mom Pat and her twin sister Pam! We’ll probably be on the road again tomorrow, so I might not be able to reach you to tell you in person. Love you both and hope you enjoy your day to the fullest :)

xoxo

Sarah

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