This is a rest day to allow for acclimatisation to the altitude and to rest from your journey. We will gently wander around the town to become accustomed to our new surroundings and have our first group dinner.
In the morning we will visit the beautiful Spituk Monastery before taking a short scenic walk to Shey Palace. We finish with a visit to the architecturally gripping Thiksey Monastery that covers an entire hillside. Built in the style of the Potala Palace in Tibet, it has maintained its murals and paintings very well including a huge 3-storey Maitreya Buddha housed in one of the temples. The afternoon we will spend at leisure either resting or visiting the market to enjoy the bustle of Leh.
Today we will start to stretch our legs properly as we hike up to the Shanti Stupa where we are rewarded with panoramic views of the Leh valley and the Stok Mountains. We follow the road to Tisuru to inspect a Library now being looked after by the Archaeological survey of India. From here we follow a rough jeep track to Gompa village before continuing up through Horzey village and back down to Gompa making a loop to meet the main Nubra road from where we continue on to Leh Palace and Tsemo and return to Leh. 4-5 hours walk.
We drive to Alchi with an optional stop for a short white water rafting trip on the way! Wander through ancient 12th century Alchi monastery, unique for its Kashmiri artwork on the statues. En-route we stop to visit the Giant Buddha in Likir. We spend the night in Alchi.
A 30 minute drive to brings us to Ridzong to see the monastery and the nunnery. The monastery is renowned for the strict order the monks who follow their order with their only possessions being their books and robes. We now begin our trek which is a very pleasant walk to the village of Yangtang (3720m) following the Uley river upstream to our camp for the night. 3–4 hours walk.
We hike to the large village of Hemis Shukpachen (3596m) crossing the small pass of Tsermangchanla at 3720m before descending gently to this large village. On a weekday and barring school holidays, you will meet with many children from the village of Yangtang walking to school in Hemis Shukpachen. We can visit the school and spend time there. We will spend the afternoon enjoying the beauty of this place, visiting village homes and taking in the local culture. 3 hours walk.
Crossing farmland, we quickly leave the village and hike westward over another two passes, the first smaller (3740m) and before the Mebtak La pass (3820m) with a good bit of up and down in between! Once over the Mebtak La,the trail winds gently down gently to the village of Ang where we meet the road and drive for 45 minutes to Tingmosgang which was once the ancient capital of Ladakh. In the evening we visit the ruins of the fort and a small temple that dominate the landscape. 4–5 hours walk.
From Tingmosgang we still follow the road for a short way towards a side valley, passing fields to cross a river on a bridge and then climb towards Bongbong La (3470m). From here we descend gently to Bhalukhar. We meet with vehicles at Bhalukhar and drive back to Leh to celebrate our adventure. 4–5 hours walk.
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