Ladakh Photo Tour, 2017

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BuffyFish and Lifetime Memoirs bring to you an 11-day photo tour of Ladakh

ladakh

25th August 2016 – 4th September 2016

Summary

The primary goal of this trip will be to try and better your photography skills. Our expert professional photographer/guide Hrishikesh Puranik will accompany you on the tour.

On this trip you will witness the local culture of Ladakh first hand – try the delicious, local food, learn about the history of Ladakh, interact with the locals, do some street photography, walk and discover cafes and restaurants in Leh and other towns and villages, visit some beautiful monasteries, visit high passes, visit beautiful mesmerizing lakes of Ladakh, star gaze under the clear skies of Ladakh, walk around small villages and quaint towns, shop and much more.

Here is what you will learn in the photography sessions which will be conducted on the Ladakh photo tour

  • Landscape, Himalayan lifestyle and portrait photo opportunities.
  • On location Hands-on photography assistance.
  • Extensive learning off-field during travel and hotel sessions.
  • Daily Image-reviews, post-processing discussions.
  • Post-Tour guidance, advice and assistance.
  • Sunrise and sunset photography.
  • Suitable for beginners and amateurs.
  • One to one attention with small group (max 10).

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – 25th August 2016, Thursday – Leh

Arrival and acclimatization day

You will arrive in Leh on this day.

This is a rest day for acclimatization. We will take it slow and get used to the altitude. We will have local food for breakfast (not included) as we will reach early in the morning in Leh.

We will rest for a couple of hours after arrival and settle down in the hotel.

For lunch, visit a vegetarian restaurant called Norlakh, situated in the main bazaar neat state bank of India and indulge in some local Tibetan cuisine.

Post lunch you can go back to the hotel or choose to sit in a café and gossip.

In the evening, we will go for a small walk around Leh and visit the Shanti Stupa, which gives a panoramic view of Leh city, which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

We will also visit old Leh which has narrow lanes and alleys, mud-brick houses and quaint ruined gompas. The peculiarity of the houses in this area is that they do not have windows.

Indulge in the local food in the cafes of Leh. Try the thukpas, which is a local noodle soup served with spicy chutney. Try the thukpas with the “khambir”, local baked bread. You can try the momos too. These can be found at any restaurant or café in Leh.

Overnight at hotel in Leh.

Day 2 – 26th August 2016, Friday

Visit to the Hemis, Thiksay and Shey Monasteries

Post breakfast, we will visit the Thiksay, Shey and Hemis monasteries.

Thiksay monastery is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Ladakh. It serves as the residence of approximately eighty monks. It holds the huge indoor Maitreya Buddha statue in a two storied building. It is also a smaller version of the Potala palace in Lhasa.

Following this, we visit the Shey Palace. This was the summer capital of the old rulers of Ladakh.

We will then visit Hemis monastery which is situated 45kms from Leh. It is the biggest gompa in Leh. It is situated on a green hill, amidst surrounded some spectacular mountains.

After returning to Leh, we will visit the Hall of Fame which is open till 7:00pm.

Dinner at the Desert Rain restaurant in Leh. This restaurant has the best espresso café in town.

Overnight at the hotel in Leh.

Day 3 – 27th August 2016, Saturday

Turtuk (via Khardung-La, Diskit, Hunder)

Post an early morning breakfast, we will start our drive towards Nubra valley, the cold desert. We will cross Khardung-la, which is the highest motorable pass in Ladakh, located at an altitude of 5,359m (18,380ft). We will stop for a cup of tea at the pass and view the valley of Nubra and the mountains from here.

We will then visit the Chamba statue of Diskit (headquarter of Nubra valley). The chamba statue is 100 ft tall situated on a hill overlooking the entire beautiful valley.

We will get to see some double hump Bactrian camels of Hunder, which are only found in this area. We will also see some famous sand dunes of Hunder.

Later in the evening we will reach the quaint, last village on the border of India and Pakistan, called Turtuk.

Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Turtuk.

Day 4 – 28th August 2016, Sunday

Turtuk – Leh

We will have breakfast early in the morning and walk around the town of Turtuk.

Turtuk is the last village on India-Pakistan border. Civilians are allowed to visit it. Turtuk is the only part of Baluchistan which is in India now. The village was in Pakistan until 1971. In the war that happened in 1972, India won Turtuk. We will get to see the India-Pak border and check-posts. We will take a small walk around the village and see some quaint architecture. We start our journey back to Leh after a short visit to the village, and reach Leh by evening. The journey from Turtuk to Leh is 8 hours by road.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Dinner at Zoya café in Leh. Learn about history of Buddhism with the monks there and enjoy the artists paint their renditions of Leh.

Overnight at the hotel in Leh

Day 5 – 29th August 2016, Monday

Leh – Pangong tso

We will start our journey, early in the morning post breakfast. We will go through some beautiful mountain ranges of Ladakh and reach the mesmerizing, blue Pangong lake.

Enroute we pass Chang la (17,000 plus ft) known as the third highest motorable road in the world. We will reach Pangong-tso by lunchtime. We will stay at a campsite on the bank of the blue waters of the mighty Pangong-tso.

In the evening we will witness the beautiful sun set behind the golden mountains near Pangong-tso.

Rest of the evening you can walk around the lake and soak-in the beauty of the lake and surroundings by being with yourself.

Dinner and overnight at campsite in Pangong-tso.

Post dinner you can choose to watch the stars above the lake.

Day 6 – 30th August 2016, Tuesday

Pangong tso – Leh

We will wake up early in the morning to see the sunrise at Pangong-tso. Post breakfast, we will start our return journey for Leh.

After returning to Leh, we will vist the Leh Palace and Chamba temple before 4pm. Visit the main square of the city of Leh. You can visit the area around the Jama Masjid which is situated the main square.

You can also indulge in some street photography.

You can visit Lala’s art café in Leh in the evening and spend time talking and gossiping.

Dinner at KC Garden restaurant in Leh.

Overnight at the hotel in Leh.

Day 7 – 31st August 2016, Wednesday

Leh-Alchi-Lamayuru-Alchi

Early morning, post breakfast, we will begin our journey towards the Srinagar-Leh highway and reach Lamayuru.

Enroute we will visit the Magnetic hill, the confluence of Zanskar and Indus.

Lamayuru is situated right after the Fotu-La, and is famous for its moonland landscapes that are carved out in the mountains nearby. If time permits, we will climb the meditation hill near the monastery and view the spectacular moonland landscapes.

We will then make our way for Alchi, which has the famous 12th century UNESCO world heritage monastery. It is a beautiful monastery located on the banks of the Indus river. There are plenty of apricots that are found in abundance in Alchi. We will walk around the villages near Alchi.

Dinner at a restaurant in Alchi,

Overnight at hotel in Alchi.

Day 8 – 1st September 2016, Thursday

Alchi-Leh

Early morning, post breakfast, we will begin our return journey for Leh. If time permits, we will visit the Likir monastery.

After reaching Leh, go for a walk and visit the donkey sanctuary.

Visit Pumpernickel German bakery for an evening snack with coffee and cakes. Indugle in conversations with the owner of the cafe. You could also try some butter tea with some cakes at any other café.

Dinner at Nirvana Garden Restaurant. Enjoy some live music.

Overnight at hotel in Leh.

Day 9 – 2nd September 2016, Friday

Leh – Tso-moriri

Post an early morning breakfast, we will begin our drive for the Tso-moriri wetland conservation reserve. It is a long 7-hour drive. Tso-moriri is located at an altitude of 4,522m. Enroute you will see some purple mountains and some quaint, beautiful villages. After reaching Tso-moriri we will visit the lake and walk around. We will also visit the Korzok village and walk among the fields. If time permits, we will visit a nomadic encampment and spend time with the nomads.

Dinner and overnight at campsite near Tso-moriri lake.

Day 10 – 3rd September 2016, Saturday

Tso-moriri – Leh

Post a heavy early morning breakfast, we will begin our return journey for Leh.

Enroute stop for lunch.

We will reach Leh around 3-4pm.

Post lunch you can visit the Leh markets and do some shopping.

Evening at leisure.

Farewell dinner at Bon-appetit restaurant in Leh.

Overnight at hotel in Leh

Day 11 – 4th September 2016, Sunday

Leh departure

Early morning, drop off to the Leh airport to catch your return flight to your hometown.

End of trip


Cost of the 11-day trip

INR 54,999/-

Cost of return flights from Mumbai to Leh

INR 4,999/-

Offer valid till 10th August 2016

Total cost of the package – INR 59,998/-


Inclusions

  • Accommodation in standard hotels and campsites (at the lakes) for the days in the itinerary mentioned above.
  • Breakfast is included as mentioned in the itinerary above.
  • Local English speaking guide.
  • All inner line permits, parking fees and other permits.
  • Guide/Photographer and excellent photography tips.
  • All entries and fees for monasteries and museums and other sights.

Exclusions

  • Return airfare/transport to Leh from your hometown
  • Lunches and Dinners on all the days is excluded.
  • Camel rides and other activities in Hunder.
  • Any medical expenses, medical evacuation, other evacuation.
  • Any other kind of transport.
  • Any entry to ongoing festivals in Ladakh,
  • Any other costs introduced by government or hotels or other body, at the last minute, due to various reasons.
  • Rafting is not included in the itinerary.
  • Bike costs are not included.
  • Any personal or shopping expenses of any kind
  • Mineral water, beverages, alcohol, table drinks etc.
  • Any snacks or meals not mentioned in the inclusions section above.
  • Anything not mentioned in the inclusions section above. 

What to carry on the trip to Ladakh

Pack light! If you want to use your throw away clothes you can bring them on the trip. It is the best way to get rid of them. If you want reuse the clothes that you will be wearing you can do so. That will ensure you have packed light.

Carry warm clothes – you will dress in layers of clothes to keep yourself protected from the cold at all times.

  1. A mediums sized, rucksack or a duffel bag or a stroller
  2. 1 small day pack to carry your water bottle, camera, small snacks, wallets etc
  3. One pair of good walking/trekking shoes – you will be wearing them all the time
  4. Clean cotton socks for 11 days
  5. 2 pairs of warm socks
  6. Floaters/chappals for using in the hotel/loos
  7. Trousers – 2 (you can choose to bring more)
  8. T-shirts – 3 (you can reuse them)
  9. Full sleeved t-shirts or shirts- 4 (you can reuse them and pack light)
  10. 1 woolen sweater
  11. 1 warm heavy jacket
  12. 1 woolen monkey cap – you can wear this all the time
  13. Carry a sun cap or a hat which you can wear with your balaclava
  14. Woolen gloves
  15. Cotton or woolen scarves/woolen stoles
  16. 1 pair of thermal wear
  17. 1 balaclava – if you do not have this you can get one in Leh
  18. Inner wear – as many as you think you will want
  19. Sleep-ins for you to sleep in. Make sure they are warm
  20. One cotton towel
  21. 2 small hand towels/face towels
  22. 1 water bottle. You can choose to get mineral water or refill your water bottle
  23. 1 Toiler paper roll
  24. Tissue paper packets
  25. 1 packet of wet wipes
  26. Sanitary napkins for women
  27. Tooth brush, tooth paste
  28. Soap/paper soap/hand wash
  29. Hand sanitizer
  30. Moisturizer lotion
  31. Cold Cream
  32. Perfumes/Deodorant sprays
  33. Good Sun Screen lotion with SPF 50 or more
  34. Other toiletries
  35. Lip cream, vaseline
  36. A pair of scissors
  37. Nail cutters
  38. Tweezers etc. if you want to carry them
  39. Oil for hair if you want to oil your hair
  40. Shampoo and conditioner
  41. Bathing soap/shower gel/loofah
  42. Sun glasses
  43. 1 Head lamp or torch, batteries + extra batteries for the head lamp or torch
  44. Memory cards for camera
  45. A DSLR Camera and all accessories that you would like to bring along with it
  46. Extra batteries for camera
  47. Chargers for your phone
  48. Charger for the camera
  49. Phone
  50. Lenses/glasses could be photo-chromatic
  51. Your own medical kit with personal medication
  52. Your Driving Licence or a valid government ID proof
  53. Spending money as in loose cash
  54. Extra ATM Cards if you want to carry them
  55. Diaries
  56. Pens
  57. Candies, chocolates
  58. Copy of your airline tickets
  59. A copy of your travel insurance
  60. A mind full of good will
  61. Yourself
  62. Smiles for the road

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness occurs when a human is acutely exposed to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It normally occurs above 2400meters or 8000feet. Anyone and everyone can be affected by altitude sickness. Most people can ascend to about 2400m without difficulty.

Altitude sickness is also known as altitude illness, hypobaropathy, “the altitude bends” or soroche.

It has 3 forms.

Mild altitude sickness is also called acute mountain sickness. It is similar to having a hangover. It causes nausea, fatigue and headaches. It is very common. Some people are affected mildly while some feel awful.

If a human experiences acute mountain sickness, then there is a chance of it developing more serious forms of altitude sickness like HAPE and HACE, both of which can be fatal within hours.

Acute mountain sickness (or AMS) can lead to HAPE (or high altitude pulmonary edema). Excess fluids accumulate in the lungs. This can be life-threatening and can happen to anyone who goes above 2400m. If you experience any of the following symptoms then you may die soon
• Difficulty in breathing or breathlessness
• Cough
• Weakness or decreased exercise performance
• Chest tightness or congestion
• Blue skin color
• Rapid shallow breathing
• Rapid heart rate
• Crackles or wheezing, while breathing, in at least one lung field
• In some cases, HAPE can cause a high temperature fever and coughing up frothy spit.

One of the main causes of HAPE is a shortage of oxygen which is caused by lower air pressure at high altitudes.

Acute mountain sickness can also lead to HACE (or high altitude cerebral edema). Excess fluids in the brain, leads to the swelling of the brain and this can happen because of the physiological effects of travelling at high altitude. Some of the symptoms are

• Vomiting
• Confusion
• Clumsiness
• Stumbling
• Laziness
• Excessive emotion
• Excessive violence
• Fever
• Coordination of movement
• Discomfort or pain in the eyes due to light exposure or by presence of actual physical sensitivity of the eyes
• An altered mental state
• Severe headaches
• Hallucination in some cases
• Stupor
• Blurred vision
• Paralysis
• Drowsiness and loss of consciousness can occur shortly before death.

It occurs when the body fails to acclimatize while ascending to a high altitude. It also occurs because of oxygen deprivation.

Treatment of HAPE and HACE are

• Immediate descent to lower altitudes is absolutely essential
• Dexamethasone and acetazolamide should both be given, if available
• Pressure bags and oxygen gas can buy time

The main causes for altitude sickness are

• Ascending faster than 500m per day
• Exercising vigorously at high altitudes
• Lower levels of oxygen at high altitudes
• Every one including a physically fit person such as an Olympic athlete can get altitude sickness.

To prevent high altitude sickness, one must ascend very slowly. One needs to acclimatize the body properly and get used to the altitude at every level. The body can acclimatize beautifully however, it needs enough time. It could take up to a week to adapt to an altitude of 5000m.

Only one drug is currently known to prevent AMS and to be safe for this purpose: acetazolamide (diamox). It causes some minor side effects, such as tingling fingers and a funny taste in the mouth.
Content reference

http://www.altitude.org/altitude_sickness.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altitude_sickness

There is no known cure for altitude sickness. Although these methods have been tried and it helps in reducing symptoms

• Stay well hydrated throughout. Before you hit high altitude ensure that you have had 0.5 litres of water atleast half an hour before. Ensure that every night before going to bed, you have 0.5 litres of water.
• Force yourself to eat even if you have slight headaches. Having slight headaches is normal.
• Slow down and don’t force yourself to go faster.
• Ascend very slowly.
• Go high, sleep low. You can go to a high altitude but ensure that you always sleep at lower altitudes.
• Stay positive.
• Enjoy the nature.
• Breathe deeply if you go breathless.
• While climbing stairs, go one step at a time. If you feel breathless, stop, take a minute to recover and then start climbing again. Slight breathlessness is normal.
• Staying fit is also a key. Altitude sickness can hit even the fittest of the people, but that doesn’t mean one should not be fit. It is better to tackle altitude sickness with a fit body than an unfit body.
• Regular pranayama exercises like simple anulom-vilom if started a couple of months before the trip to a high altitude destination can help in better breathing.
• Simple 30mins brisk walking, if started a couple of months before the trip to a high altitude destination can also help in improving levels of fitness.
• Ensure that you are dressed in layers. Even if you are indoors, ensure that you only take off the top most layer. The heat should never escape the body.
• Don’t stay indoors. Be outside in the cold rather than the warm indoors. It helps in better acclimatization.
• Some say Coca helps. Consult your homeopath.
• Don’t drink alcohol as it tends to dehydrate the body.
• Take the first day to acclimatize to the altitude. Take it easy. Rest for a couple of hours before you go for a short walk the moment you land at the high altitude destination.
• Avoid caffeinated products as they tend to dehydrate.
• Have the local food as far as possible.

Descend to a lower altitude immediately if the symptoms get worse. Consult the doctor. Use oxygen to increase oxygen pressure. Diamox is easily available over the counter in Leh-Ladakh and Nepal. Resort to that in case of bad nausea or bad headaches.


Essentials for Indian nationals

  1. Please carry 2 passport sized photographs for the permits.
  2. Must bring along your Indian Passport or Indian voter’s ID card.

Essentials for non-Indians

Coming soon!


Get in touch

For more details about this photo tour, write to us at getintouch@buffyfish.com or lifetimememoirs@gmail.com

Call Vidula on +91-9158351185

Call Hrishikesh Puranik on +91-7745056056


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