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Photographer's Note

WE ARE ON THE HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD OF THE WORLD!!!!

From Leh in Laddakh you can take a bus to a remote valley called Nubra valley. You need to have a special permission to go there because it is near the line of control between Pakistan and India, where sometimes armed forces are fighting in the 40 years old border conflict.

Khardung La is called the pass leading to this valley at an altitude of 5600m!!!! No other road in the world is higher!

Inside this bus I travelled to Nubra valley. The road is very steep and dangerous with many many curves. Inside the bus I was thinking sometimes: "Why do I sit inside this bus?" On many points of this 12hours journey I have seen buses and trucks fallen down hundreds of meters, with obviously no chance to survive.
So this could realy be the road to heaven!
Inside the bus where many older people praying the buddhist rosary all the time, when we reached the top they where very happy and offered a buddhist prayer flag.

...It was allready October when I did this journey, and in this altitude there can be the first snow allready in September and the pass, the only road to this valley will be closed for weeks or the whole winter!!! So I got a little bit confused, and decided to take the next day the same bus back. Another German I met inside the bus to Nubra, decided the same, also the place we have been in Nubra (I forgot the name of this place) looked extremely unreal and menacing. We realy felt that we ARE at the end of the world here. So we went back.
100m before we reached the pass, the busdriver wasn't able to shift the gears again and had to stop the broken bus.
Every passenger had to leave the bus, so we walked the last 100m. The bus driver left with the next truck back to Leh and we felt completely lost!!!
On this pass there is a small army facility of the Indian army, there they offered us a free cup of tea. We had to wait 3 hours on this altitude!!!! The other German got depressed in this extremely thin air, with me it went opposite, I got overeuphoric.
After this 3 hours waiting, a truck with an open loading area decided to pick up all the passengers of the bus. We where extremely lucky and went back to Leh. In this altitude it is freezingly cold... good luck my sleeping bag was made for low temperatures, so we used it to cover us and some of the people arround us...
This was one of the biggest adventures I did ever!

JULE (hello, welcome, good bye) from Laddakh,

Daniel

*IMAGE SCANNED FROM SLIDE*

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Additional Photos by Daniel Weber (harras2000) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 12 N: 107] (710)
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