Ladakh day 9: Tso Kar

8th July 2011

The night at Tso Moriri was a long one. Even though rooms were cozy, we had trouble in sleeping. Surprising that we had already spent few days at 14,000+ ft. And in the morning the hotel guys gave a “shock treatment” with their bill. Furious with this, we asked our driver not to bring any passengers to this hotel. Anyways, he was not to be blamed as we were the ones who choose this!!

With last few shots of the lake, we bid adieu to Tso Moriri. A person interested in birding can easily spend a 2-3 days on this lake. But we had little time to relax and go!!

The drive was back on the same road that we took on the previous day. We again passed through Kiagar Tso Lake and crossed Namshang La. The journey would have been eventless but for a “race” between two vehicles near Kiagar Tso. Our driver tried to give him a chase for some distance but the other driver was too much to handle. He quickly took detours on that barren land and managed to keep ahead!!

Few km before Mahe Bridge, we took the diversion to Tso Kar. The road to Tso Kar was bad with no trace of asphalt. We found lot of small water springs all along the way!!

After about 2.5 hours of journey we got the first glimpse of the lake. Unlike Pangong and Tso Moriri, Tso Kar has large tracts of marshy land and salt deposits. Birds are seen aplenty but are hard to take snaps. Thanks to marshy area, it is difficult to get near the birds. We tried to go near the water but our efforts proved futile.

We had our lunch at Tso Kar. We were thinking of staying at Tso Kar but the poor conditions of accommodation deterred us to do so. The other choice was to stay at expensive luxury tents. But we decided to spend few hours at lake and continue further.

30 minutes of journey brought us to Morey plains on Manali-Leh highway. For people planning to return via Manali, it would be ideal to plan Tso Moriri and Tso Kar at the end of the visit. The Morey plains were as dusty as before and we longed to get out of it. Mighty Tanglang La proved to be milder this time as we did not face any signs of AMS unlike a week before on this road. A proof of how acclimatization helps in this high altitude.

Salt deposits at Tso Kar lake

It was refreshing to be back in Leh after five event filled days. We promptly went to the same guest house that we stayed before. A hot water bath there was rejuvenating!!

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