12th July, 2008.
Route: Leh – Karu – Hemis Monastery – Karu – Shey Palace - Leh.
Distance Covered: 90km.
The day of Hemis festival.
Since today was supposedly a rest day, we got up late in the morning. Sudhakar, Shantanu and Manoj had already left from the guest house in search of an agent who could help us obtain permits. By the time they returned it was already 11am. The news was good one; they had found an agent who had tomorrow’s permits for Pangong Lake, and he would be arranging permits for Nubra Valley by Monday. So no day wasted in obtaining permits. We would be traveling to Pangong lake in ‘Scorpio’.
The plan for the day was to take rest and visit nearby areas. We planned to visit the Hemis Monastery, near Karu. For our luck today, the largest festival in Laddakh Hemis Festival was starting. The roads are in very good condition ever since Rumtse, reached Hemis quickly. Spent an hour or two at the monastery, saw the Hemis festival. It started raining. Since the weather was good when we started from Leh nobody brought rain wear along. Now we had to ride back in rain till Leh. Somehow on the way visited Shey Palace and then nobody had energy to stop anywhere else.
The continuous rains throughout the evening and night at Leh meant another problem which we were to know of tomorrow.