I woke up in my still-hot-water-bottle-warm bed, jumped out into the cold, pulled back the curtains: no more clouds! Yay! After breakfast I went out without my backpack to have a look at the village. As in Ladakh and Zanskar, there are villages where the houses are scattered and close to the respective fields and those where the houses stick close together and everyone has to walk to their fields. Demul is the second. It is quite big with over 50 houses. Here are a few impressions:
Then I shouldered my backpack again and set off. First I went down a gorge. On the way, I met 3 people going up with donkeys, 1 person trudging up alone and many Bharals/blue sheep. I also enjoyed the beautiful landscape, the somewhat warming sun and the decreasing altitude metres.
I had to cross this ruined bridge. Tactic: don’t think about it for long, just start, the next movements would come up. And then I was actually over there with dry feet, and then it was walking along some kind of roads. These, however, were hardly frequented. This river flowed into another one, so I first had to go down in one direction, cross it on a proper bridge and then go back and up on the other side.
And then the day’s destination appeared: Lhalung. There are about 45 houses there and the fields are all underneath.
The special thing about Lhalung is not its location, houses or anything else, but its old monastery. Like the 3 oldest monasteries in Ladakh, it is about 1,000 years old and dates back to the time of Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo, the great translator and founder of the monastery. Lha means God and Lung means place. The monks. were busy with probably ceremony preparations in a house, but a man had the key and unlocked it. The statues and walls were really special. It was also special that I was immediately told not to take any photos with my camera around my neck. But wouldn’t I have something in my pockets? Confused, I pulled out my glasses case, wallet, etc. – shaking of his head – then the mobile phone: yes! I could take pictures with it. Strange.
Otherwise it was another rather silent day, hostess spoke almost no English, made dinner early and then rushed off to the ceremony at the neighbours’. I was glad that the night was a little less cold and the toilet was “only” over the courtyard without steep stairs.