Trans Himalaya 2019 – Dad to Debring, July 23

I wake up in the green meadows around the nomadic village of Dad next to a Swiss hiking group. The sunrise is lighting up the surrounding snow peaks as I chat up with Tenzing, the enthusiastic boy I met the previous evening.He offers me tea and as I kindly refuse breakfast (after a heavy dinner) he hands me a packed lunch as I head towards the Manali Leh highway in the Moore plains from where I will hitch a ride to the next part of my journey. I bid goodbye and am on my way.From Dad a jeep track runs through a (water deprived) wide open flat valley towards the base of the Yar la pass at 4940m. A pretty boring long walk through an infinite plains in which only a lonely wild donkey breaks the monotony curiously onlooking from a safe distance.As I m about to reach the Yar La pass a group of horses descends into the valley. They carry camping gears and food for a Danish couple who are hiking in the opposite direction. As most others they are surprised to see me hiking solo and minimalist covering 100+ passes in a fast pace.They kindly take a photo of myself near the Mani stones and prayers flags of my 69th pass crossing which appears to look better then my usual pass selfies. I proceed down from the pass following a long wall of stones used by the Nomadic tribes in winter to allow their cattle to walk above the snow.At the half ruined hamlet of Lungmoche I meet up with a kind gentleman who is the dad of the boy I met in the previous camp. He comes to drop fresh food supplies for the group and happily chatters away about his decades of hiking experience in the region.From Lungmoche it s yet another testing endless walk along a dirt track through a vast open landscape. Time here appears to run slower with little to stimulate the hikers mind. The track turns left towards Debring along the Manali-Leh highway.I decide to head straight towards Shanga a small hamlet and cross over the Pogmar La pass into the Moore plains to catch up with the Manali-Leh highway. On the way to the pass I walk through another scenic lush green valley in which I find the ruins of yet another abandoned, once vibrant hamlet.A new road appears under construction towards the pass as you climb up of the ridge on the left valley slope. A trail gradually contours up towards the Pogmar La which at 4980m offers nice views on both the Lungmoche valley and the infinite Moore plains on the other side through which lorries move on the distant highway as little black dots.It s a good 6km down the pass into the vast plains to reach the Manali-Leh highway which climbs up from Pang into the Moore plains. Frequent vehicles move up and down the highway in both directions.At the end of the day I’m again surprised by the many fold colourful collection of alpine flowers I clicked along the way. It’s really amazing how beautiful the internal valleys of this barren landscape of Ladakh are, hidden from the tourists cruising the highways through this vast no-man’s land.After a seemingly forever walk I finally hit the highway. After at least 10 unsuccessful attempts to hitch a ride from the many passing lorries and cabs, I finally get a ride on a Triumph bike driven by a kind young man from Leh returning from Delhi. He takes me at 120kmph and swoops past all the vehicles who ditched me earlier.I get off the pillion seat at Debring near the junction towards Tso Kar lake where I plan to halt for the night and pack up new ration. In one of the tents I meet a young rider from Pune who is cycling solo from Manali to Leh over 9 days.His first big ride he enthusiastically shares about his passion for solo hiking. We chat up long stories over dinner about our common interests before I settle down outside near a small BRO worksite for the night.