2013 OVERDRIVE Independence Quattro Drive Day 5
Leh. The Goa of the extreme north. Leh is a relief because by the time you reach there your body has acclimatised to the lack of oxygen. The headaches are gone and while you can still get breathless, it isn't debilitating or liable to having you hurling your meals into the wilderness.
It is also a relief because you can choose what you want to eat. Italian? Pizza? Shwarma? Thukpa? Maggi? Hummus? We've got it all!
Leh is a relief because by the time you reach there your body has acclimatised to the lack of oxygen
We stayed at a nice hotel called the Royal Ladakh near the Shanti Stupa (aka Japanese Temple). We reached by noon on the previous day and much time was spent discussing what to do on our rest day.
This being the OVERDRIVE experience for our participants, we decided to have them thoroughly clean out our dusty Audis. It turned out to be a lot of fun and many of our team members even participated in it. An hour or two later, the Audis were shiny and good as new and we decided to head out after lunch. Some of us wanted to do some shopping. Leh is a great place to buy turquoise jewellery for the wife/partner who hasn't come with you as a peace offering. And how can you not go into a shop that says "More junk upstairs" on its board, right?
How can you not go into a shop that says "More junk upstairs" on its board
Having understood the perils of a cold camp, I decided to spend money on a pair of windproof pants and a sleeping bag. And I discovered later that not only were both items original but that they were mine for vastly less than they list abroad!
I decided to have a snooze for the rest of the afternoon while some of our crew decided to head to the Leh Palace for a spot of tourism.
At dinner, the discussion was about one thing and one thing only. Tomorrow was 66th anniversary of our Independence and a big, huge day. And we had big, no huge, no epic, no unprecedented plans for the celebration.