Before you read further, let me assure you something. Ladakh can be done in less than what some of us would spend on a trip to Goa! Absolutely.
Now, if you are a first timer to the Land of the Lamas, there are few things to expect before you set foot, there:
1) Excruciating headaches and nausea/ vomiting: On my first trip to Leh, I met a group of guys, in their mid-thirties, returning after only a day in Leh. They couldn’t bear the constant headaches, they told me. I was scared, but, it didn’t stop me from visiting the place again and again, over the years. But, one thing to note, here: those guys had arrived by flight!
2) Expect a road block anytime: Especially on the mountain passes. You would find a JCB machine toiling the road ahead of you, out of the blue. And you’d be waiting until the work is over, along with the several other vehicles on either directions of the road. It is a common sight, there.
3) Streams spring out on the road. Literally! I was riding calmly over a beautiful stretch of land while returning from Pangong, and, all of a sudden, this stream is ahead of me, about three metres long. I, somehow, managed to apply brakes, else my trip would have been disappointingly abrupt.
4) After riding for long on the rugged terrain, the fingers start getting bouncy and springy. Penis becomes erect with the high blood flow. Women become more tired as their breasts are engaged in constant vibrations.
5) Meet some adorable local kids on the road, all by themselves. Yes, no parents around. They are free to roam around their vast home without a hint of fear.
Do carry some toffees. The smile on their faces when they receive those toffees is priceless!
6) Plenty of road travel. Places in Ladakh are far off. The famous Pangong Lake is about 120km from the main city, Leh.
7) Get tanned: If you don’t bother applying sunscreen and tons of others creams, prepare to get several shades darker. It’s like someone dumping a bucketful of black colour over your face. Your lips, cheeks, forehead, eye lids: all black!
8) No proper food: Several days have been spent on the humble Wai Wai, and dry fruits. The long travels by road leave you bereft of much options to dine and wine. What am I saying? Not on the usual touristy places, though (read: Pangong, Nubra); they have all the facilities at good intervals. I’m talking about those remote villages in the Zanskar valley!
9) Amazing landscapes: If you are bored of the never ending clear skies and barren lands for several kilometres, then fret not, not much farther into your journey, the landscape would again evolve into a mini oasis, with thick woollen goats and village kids playing beside, and shrubs and grass abound!