This post is in continuation with a previous one, and a part of my Stok Kangri Travelogue. I completed the trek in a total of 7 days, from Delhi. On the 7th day, we summited the peak and returned from Stok Kangri Base camp to Leh on Day 8.
Journey So Far:
- Stok Kangri Preparation and itinerary Planning
- Delhi to Leh City – Day 1 & 2
- Leh to Stok Village to Chang Ma – Day 3
- Chang Ma to Mankorma Campsite – Day 4
- Mankorma to Base Camp – Day 5
- Stok Kangri Base Camp – Silence Before The Storm – Day 6
- Stok Kangri Summit – At the Top of the World – Day 7
Everyone was up early & started packing their stuff. We were blessed with a bright morning, but the memories of the windy bone-chilling night before remained fresh. We grabbed a quick breakfast while Sandeep recorded the trek impressions in several video clips with each & every one of us.
It was humbling to see everyone expressing their thoughts wide open. That was the opportunity for me to speak my heart out. I did try to wrap modest words around the feelings stimulated in me on the trek, & somehow incorporated every emotion in a 5-minute video. Check it out:
Soon after the video impressions, we clicked the group picture with the Spur in the backdrop:
Day 8 – Stok Kangri Base Camp to Leh – Day 8
With a heavy heart filled with countless memories from the journey, we bid goodbye to the base camp that was our abode for the past few days. It was an exhilarating yet delightful experience leaving the base camp for good & heading back home. With the trek leaders whistle, we took off for the walk downhill.
Making our way through the same roads we’d struggled upon & lived the stranded moments with gratitude, we reached Mankorma in little less than two hours. The shop owners at Mankorma welcomed the group delightfully. While we spent some time chatting at the spot, I could manage to click the zone in my 70-300 mm lens.
We continued down the trail, crossing multiple river streams to reach Chang Ma by noon. On the way, we stopped multiple times to click some funny photographs & to make the most of the gift nature had bestowed upon us. Being there & experiencing the aura, was literally a great opportunity.
Everyone was talking about one or the other moment from the trek & the discussion just didn’t stop. We sang, we laughed, we fell & we got back up. In a nutshell, it was an immense feeling. I clicked my heart out in those desolate traces to nurture my love for the Himalayas. Pictures follow:
It got cloudy when we reached the Stok village from where we started our journey into the realms of nature. While waiting for our trek staff to arrive, I managed to play some cricket with the local folks who helped us on the trek.
Gotta say, these guys make the most of what they got. They might not have the best of resources, but they endure a respectful smile & appreciate life the way it is.
After we enjoyed some Maggi at the local shop, everyone loaded their rucksacks on the truck & hopped on to our seats for the drive back to Leh. It was like heading back to school after a vacation, only with some breathtaking memories from the moments survived in the thin air of the mighty Stok Kangri.
The humble ride back to our guest house took roughly 30 minutes. We settled in, and since no one was in a mood to nap, we checked ourselves out & headed out for a late team lunch. A series of local cuisines followed while we chatted at length about the last few days. We probably were the loudest around there, but then, we were the happiest too.
We called it a day after a long stroll into the Leh market picking up souvenirs. I got myself a “Stok Kangri 6153” patch to sow on my rucksack as an eternal memory of the expedition of a lifetime. As the night crawled upon us, we bid each other goodbye until next time & headed back to our respective hotels.
Thousands of memories instilled in my thoughts, would stay & remind me of the times lived on my own terms. Though the toughest, the last few days had been enthralling & presented a great learning experience. The more I stepped out, the more I knew myself better.
I hope the travelogue so far and the information I provided on Stok Kangri Summit and the trek from Stok Kangri Base Camp to Leh was of help. Please click on the link above to continue reading the next part of this travelogue. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will be glad to answer.