After a very long previous day climbing Stok Kangri and Stok La from midnight till evening I slept off like a baby in a small stupa shelter at Yurutse. Woke up by 7am, packed up and was heading for the Ganda La at 4960m a solid 800m climb.Being a popular route into the Markha valley I passed quite a few hikers along the way. A bit outside Yurutse I passed a tea tent but the owner was still asleep. At the base of the pass a group with horses had pitched up. Also still asleep.I finally reached the Ganda La pass where I met two hikers from Mumbai. Late morning the weather had turned misty, a welcome change from the burning Ladhaki sun. I ate my packed lunch (a delicious sandwich) given to me by another homestay guest in Yurutse the previous evening.On the way down the pass I met another solo hiker from Italy who had pitched up his tent at the base. He was enthusiastic to meet me and like most other alpine style hikers was loaded with a 20kg backpack.Further down you enter the first hamlet of Shingo which has a few homestays and cafe tent. Lush green farm lands surround the village. From Shingo there is a direct trail to Choksti but I decided to proceed straight to Markha valley so I could resupply my snacks ration in a known shop in Chilling.After Shingo the valley becomes more narrow like a gorge and the trail frequently switches sides of the stream. In several places the trail is partly gone due to landslides. Closer to Markha they are putting up power lines to electrify Shingo.At Skiu in the Markha valley I had an early lunch in a cafe tent where I met two girls, one UK, one India who were hiking together (without guide) in the opposite direction. I started walking down the valley along the jeep track towards Chilling. I passed many hikers entering into the Markha valley.As luck would have it I was able to hitch a ride in a jeep of a local person heading to Leh and skip 15km of boring road section till Sumdah Do. We stopped on the way at Chilling to refill my snacks and I took a second lunch at a small shop cum restaurant in Sumdah Do.At Sumdah Do you take a left into the side valley of the Sumdah Fu stream. A road is present all the way till Sumda Chungun and new power lines are being erected. On the way you pass through Ezas, a small green hamlet in this barren valley.Further up you leave the Sumdah Fu valley and take a right side valley towards Sumda Chungun village at 3900m where the road ends. The village spots an 11th century gompa with two large Buddha statues. Before the village I met up with a Polish couple who were on a cultural tour through Ladakh.The main shrine is locked and you need to ask one lady in the village who has the key to unlock. Inside the shrine there are walls of beautifully carved statues and ancient wall paintings. The roof is constructed of wood.At the gompa I met two alpine style hikers from Israel whom I joined in their homestay for dinner. We had long conversations on the many locations they had hiked over the years and exchanged contacts for future trekking planning.The hostess served rice and fresh veggies from the garden. After late night conversations I bid good night and settled down outside near the gompa below the stardust of the Milky way ready for the 1300m ascent of the Stakspi La towards Alchi the next morning.