The alarm rings at 6am. No response. 6:30am alarm. Still no response. Third one at 7am. I slowly wake up from below our tarp shelter on a small platform above the stream. The early morning hours were cold again at 4300m altitude.We quickly cook some veggie Knorr soup with Maggie noodles using the horse poop we collected along the way and a few branches we found near the campsite.Tummies full we pack up and cross the main stream which is now peaceful unlike yesterday when the water currents were dangerous. The trail climbs up on the opposite side of the stream till it reaches the main Rangdum-Dibling path which seems used frequently.My co-trekker Ganapathy decides to exit via Rangdum to take some rest while I decide to try crossing the Pidong La at 5000m to reach Dibling. I m a bit concerned of crossing the Orna river which might have high currents.A nice trail contours gradually up right above the stream and appears frequently used looking at footsteps and horse droppings along the way. We cross two side streams, 2nd one has a small bridge.After the bridge the trail climbs over a small ridge to bypass a narrow gorge and descends back into the stream. We now walk inside the stream crossing left and right and hopping over a couple of snow bridges.
Along the way I meet a party of 17 horses carrying camping gears for a group of 9 French hikers coming from Lingshed. I feel finally relieved as I realise that the route ahead is open. The Orna river waters appears passable.A long line of Buddhist prayer flags marks the Pidong La pass which at 5000m is still partly covered by snow. I sit down in the warm afternoon sun to take in the view and have a small lunch break.As I descend from the pass I come across a 20 member yak herd guided by two villagers on the way to Dibling where I plan to halt for the night. The trail hair pins 900m steep down in a mesmerizing beautiful valley below.As soon as we get down we enter a lush green wide open valley. You can see a few settlements along the way, most houses appear uninhabited. Wild yaks are freely grazing the plains.Closer to Dibling I start collecting dry cattle and horse poop to cook dinner when I encounter an elder lady doing the same. She carries a big load in a basked on her back.Dibling is like a fairytale setting hidden deep in the desolate desert of Zanskar. Vast green farmlands surround some 20 homes bordered with colourful yellow flowers. The fields get irrigated – as usual – from a side valley stream.I settle down next to one of the homes to break the chill evening wind and start a small fire to prepare my dinner: yummy oats. Soon a few curious villagers come to see what s happening and even lend a helping handBeing frequented by foreign hikers many locals come to meet and offer me homestay which I kindly refuse pointing to my tent and food. The popular hiking routes in Ladakh / Zanskar are a bit commercial compared to other regions.
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As I descend from the pass I come across a 20 member yak herd guided by two villagers on the way to Dibling where I plan to halt for the night. The trail hair pins 900m steep down in a mesmerizing beautiful valley below. Along the way I meet a party of 17 horses carrying camping gears for a group of 9 French hikers coming from Lingshed. I feel finally relieved as I realise that the route ahead is open. The Orna river waters appears passable. https://ultrajourneys.org/trans-himalaya-2019-pidong-la-aug-6/ #Explore #Himalayas #AlpineStyle #Minimalist #UltraRunning