This post begins a series of posts that will appear over the next one week chronicling my Ladakh Journey. Each post will relate to one day of the trip.
But like all good things, this story would not be complete without first giving a little peek at the origins of this trip.
Well, my flirtation with the idea of going to Ladakh began about 3 years ago. At that time, Soumen and Jeevandeep, my colleagues at JP Morgan were toying with the idea of going to Ladakh. For some reason, their plans didnt work out. However, I was intrigued with the idea. Shortly after I got into one of the premier business schools in Mumbai and I had to shelve all plans till I finished my course. But I had planned on heading to either Sikkim or Ladakh when I finished the course, ideally in the time between the end of the course and the start of a new job. However, thanks to the wonderful year of 2009, I had to shelve plans yet again in favor of spending time in searching for a suitable job instead.
Since December of last year, however I started giving the idea of the trip some thought again. I quickly figured that I’d need at least a group of 4-6 to make it economically feasible. So I discussed the idea with some friends of mine and managed to find a group of about 10 people who were tentatively interested in going along for the trip. We decided on mid June to say late July to be the rough time period during which we would plan the trip.
As the date drew nearer, people started getting cold feet. The group of ten dwindled first to a group of eight and then finally to about six people. After much thought we decided on going in the first week of July, and started searching for tour operators. The group at this point included Soumen (my pal from JP Morgan), Ajay (Soumen’s pal with whom I went on my recent Dapoli excursion), Hansel (my pal from my engineering college days), Gargi and Devvya (pals from NMIMS).
Hansel spearheaded the efforts at finding a good tour operator that was within our budget range. We planned on going there for about 8-9 days, flying in to help save on the 2-3 days we would spend driving to Leh. The idea was that we would fly to Delhi on a Friday night and then onwards to Leh on Saturday. On the return journey, we would fly back via Srinagar (not a wise choice in hindsight). We felt that after proper planning we could cover most of touristy sights in about a week there. After we had finalized our itinerary, it was time to book tickets. And that is when things went a wee bit south.
Devvya, suddenly announced that she couldn’t make it due to various reasons. So we figured that Gargi wouldn’t come either, and decided to at least book the tickets for the remaining four of us. Soumen and me were booking the air tickets, when due to minor screwup in the bookings, me and Hansel ended up on a Kingfisher flight, while Soumen and Ajay ended up on a SpiceJet flight for the return journey. And contrary to our expectations, Gargi decided to come and managed to book her tickets as well.
Still after these minor mixups, it was all set – the five of us were going to Ladakh on the 2nd of July! As D-day neared closer, we got busy in frantic preparations for the trip and then at last the day of 2nd July dawned. [To be Continued…]

Did you like this? Share it: