The man on the motorbike did a double-take as I flew past him with a hearty jule (hello). I was in Ladakh, in north India, on a pushbike hurtling down National Highway 1D the main road between Leh and Srinagar. My destination was the small village of Nimoo and I was accompanied by Dorje, my excellent guide from the Chamba Camp where I was staying.
The Chamba Camp was blissful. Tucked away from the road surrounded by sunflowers and in the shadow of the fabulous Thiksey Monastery, the location is hard to beat. Each morning, after a deep sleep, I would wake and unzip my tent to gaze on the mountains as they impassively observed the break of a new day. The sky, blue and pink, gradually brightened revealing previously unseen cracks and fissures on the flanks of the mountains. As I sat quietly watching the peaks a pot of fresh coffee would appear. The service at Chamba Camp is impeccable and while you never want for anything the staff allow you space. They all smile and are happy. A good sign. The food is so good it warrants a separate blog.
To my left two rivers collide in a riot of colour. This is the confluence of the Zanskar and Indus Rivers. I brake, a little sharply, and pause to soak in the view. I turn to Dorje who has just hopped off his bike. A grin cracks across his face and I smile back.
Sometimes it isn’t necessary to say anything.