Daramshala, July 28
The new valley, where we turned on the way to Simikot, is the kingdom of gophers and jops. Jops are a mixture of a yak with either a buffalo or a cow. They are less furry than yaks, but they are comfortable at altitudes below 4000 meters above sea level. It seems that in these parts, jops are the main type of livestock.
The first part in our today's program is crossing the river. Where we ran into it yesterday, it is absolutely impossible to organize a crossing. The powerful stream knocks you down instantly. We went upstream. Here the river splits into a huge number of branches, each of which does not look so scary. In general, instead of one river, we crossed two dozen of its branches. In the dry season, the water is usually knee-deep. But we go in the rainy season, and even broken down into branches, the river turned out to be quite strong. In some places the water reached the waist.
The valley leading to the Nyalu Lagna Pass is very flat. In 3 hours of travel, we gained only 150 meters of height out of the 650 meters missing to the pass. The main climb begins closer to the pass itself. In many places in the valley you can find the tents of the Jop shepherds. They sell Jop cheese and Jop kefir (even more like yogurt). The cheese is very peculiar. We came across cheese in the form of "worms", which are very difficult to chew. Continuing to experiment with jerky with Rancho Myassuri.
Yesterday's feelings are confirmed - if you periodically chew pieces of jerky, then you want to drink less.
The Nyalu Lagna pass was rather difficult. Still, it is not a good idea to pass the 4990-meter pass at this pace. In the original schedule, we were supposed to have two more stops before the pass, but we ran past them to make up for the days lost due to quarantine and bad weather. As a result, today we have covered 26 kilometers, rising from 4150 to 4990 meters and descending back to 4150.
I continue to enjoy the scenery. The main attractions of this crossing are as follows.
1. In good weather, you can see Mount Kailash from the Nyalu Lagna Pass. We, however, were not lucky - the entire north was covered with clouds.
2. Magnificent lake descending from the pass. Deep and with the purest water. If not for our race, I would definitely go swimming, despite the fact that the lake is at an altitude of about 4500 meters above sea level.
Remember, I said that you can get from Haldja to Simikot by jeep? So - it is not so. First, the road is largely destroyed and this year it is unlikely to be rebuilt. Secondly, there was snow on the pass, through which the jeep could not pass. Accordingly, if you plan on trekking to the Limi Valley, you should not rely on transport. It is better to make up a timetable based on the fact that the entire route will need to be walked on foot.
We stopped for the night in a place where four valleys converge at once. And from a distance it seems that all four rivers flow into this place and disappear somewhere. But then, of course, it turns out that one of the valleys goes down and all the rivers join together in this valley. Tomorrow we have another big crossing, but without passes. I decided to pamper myself before this transition with ready-made food, because I was already tired of the diet of the products available here. Unfortunately, you can't get enough ready-made food every day, but once a week I will probably arrange a holiday for myself.