Khardung-La Chronicles – Day 1


 

A secret location and a secret mission was all so cinematic and the travel part added to it. The plane just about flying low if you know the land is the almost 12000 ft above MSL.  As we descend to the highest altitude Airport of Leh, both sides out of the window looked like out of the world. Mountains covered in the snow and rocks in formation and clouds all below us. The flight looked tantalizingly navigating a route amidst the snow clad mountains and lakes. We were very near to the ground in real. Looking out of the window we could see them crystal clear.

The plane did one roundabout of a hillock and touched very neatly on the ground and what a small run way it was. This airport is also the base for the Indian Air Force.  A nice landing done and a chill weather welcoming us, the view was breathtaking as we got down the plane. I am sure the view from the cockpit should be breathtaking. And for someone who had just finished the two parts of Amish ‘s novels – Immortals of Meluha  and the Secret of Nagas, it was like looking at the Kailash and other from above and I could imagine them snow clad and people living in such places.

The temperature was 13 degree C.  We were led to a smallest airport possibly, with a smallest luggage belt. The oxygen levels were also about 20% to 30% less. This would make you pant literally. So you should even watch your steps to keep yourself from exerting too much!

After the luggage being cleared, we headed to the Hotel Grand Dragon where the RBR Team was put up. Post an initial briefing on the climate and how to keep ourselves fit in the high altitude and how to react to certain possibilities, then we went further to our place Hotel Ladakh Resort.

It was a scenic view from the hotel and my window opened to the Shanthi Stupa and the mountains on the other side.

The most important part on this trip is getting acclimatized. This is important for the visit for anyone simply because it helps you to enjoy the days you had planned without any further medical problems.

So the message was clear, get set to acclimatize for a day or two, keep yourself to your hotel, travel less and let the plan begin to take shape on day 2 or day 3 preferably.

This being a first of a kind visit for me personally, I decided not to take any risk for there was something which I felt I did not want to miss for a lifetime and I decided to take it one step at a time. And the journey has just begun.

R Senthilkumar