- Off the beaten track
The road leading up from Leh involves an endless succession of sharp bends. Grin and bear it, and an hour and a half later you'll really be ready to enjoy an Indian tea in the building with the prayer flags above it. It will not be very warm on the pass, even in summer. But the discomfort caused by the coolness at this altitude is of little importance.
I have never been at such a high altitude before. It should be marked by a cross.
If you can manage to overlook the empty bottle dump on the other side of the mountain, the scenery is breathtaking. And, just as we'd read in our guide, down below in the direction of Diksit, and before reaching the sand dunes (yes, really), we stopped for a break to see some marmots (there were even baby ones!) in a small green area with a stupa on it. We felt like we were kings of the world and yet so tiny in this immense, rocky landscape.
From the outskirts of Leh, you tackle an interminable climb to the Khardung La pass. The mountains quickly become snowy and you can see the workers toiling in the cold on the road. You are not immune to difficulties on the road, especially in the case of bad weather.
At the level of the Pass strictly speaking, as in Pangong Tso, there is a restaurant where you can get a typical Ladakhi meal, a temple and, surprisingly, toilets. A mini kiff? Go to the toilet at 5602 metres, take a photo of the signs and climb by car. At this altitude, you shouldn't pass out. Written on a sign, "The sky's the limit".
From the Pass, you quickly lose altitude after the village of Khardung. You will only have travelled a third of the journey to Turtuk.