Nubra Valley is one really beautiful valley at the end of the world. There is Diskit monastery and in the next village Hundar is herd of Bactrian Himalayan camels, where I wanted to take a ride. The road from Leh to Nubra cross the highest mountain pass in the world Khardung La Pass.
We found out that once a week there is a local bus to Nubra Valley. Of course we asked our owner of Guest House Kolto how safe is the road. Kolt assured us that we have nothing to fear. He recommended us to take a bus because the road is in very good condition. So we trusted him, of course.
Way to Nubra Valley supposed to take four hours, so we decided to come back to Leh at the same day in the evening. It meant that we didn’t take many clothes with us as well as money.
In the morning we went to the station and found your bus. We had seat reservations. The bus was about three times more crowded than its capacity, plus millions of luggage on the roof including the giant gas bomb owned by Arab travelers.
Bus started going up above Leh. The road was too steep. Then local people began typically vomit. It’s interesting, but mostly local people vomit on mountain roads. I have never seen tourists doing this activity in the buses.
Sona sat next to a girl who started to be sick, but she didn’t indicate anything. When she tried to get to the window in the last minute, she missed it, and threw the entire contents of her stomach to Sona. Of course, Sona didn’t take more clothes with her. Then Sona sat down push next to me and my poor father stood all the way.
I already saw Khardung La pass up in the clouds. The bus continued going up, shivering, despite the fact that we were going about speed 15 km/h. I was looking forward to the moment when we will pass the peak and begin to decline. I thought it will be better. We quickly passed Kardung La Pass without break.
We were on the other side of mountain and started to decline. Crowded old broken bus tried to brake. Incredible squealed brakes sounded as if someone was killed. The road was so narrow that our bus barely passed it. And just imagine if our bus tried to avoid other vehicle. No, if you do not survive such horror you can’t imagine. And I thought before that I have quite a lot of experiences with Himalayan roads. People panicked, they were crying hysterically, Arabs have stopped looking out the window, took the Koran and began to pray.
On the right side, where I was sitting, was the abyss filled with wreckage and debris. The worst thing was that the bus was so full that if something happened I couldn’t get off, not even jump out of the window, just wait what is going to happen. This road has bad statistics of accidents, but I found out it later.
We went a little lower, but there was still deep abyss on the side. Suddenly most of the people on the bus started to laugh. It is caused by a substance that your brain secretes during rapid descent at higher altitudes. So we all weepy passenger looked at each other and laughed. It was a nice situation. And girls from France, who was sitting behind me and have had panic attack few minutes ago now cried because of strong laughing. Madness!
When we were finally out this horrible part of the road, whe could see from the valley what we did with our old bus.
After a while we came to a place where landslide was. On these roads it happens almost every day. So we waited until they rake up it by the Indian way. There were two excavators. But one driver was so hardworking that he buried the second excavator, who stayed in trap. So, another half an hour Indians made him free.
So “finally” we were going on. As we were getting closer to Nubra Valley,views start to be really amazing and I began enjoy the journey.
At one point, when people were quite calm, something strongly exploded. The bus started shaking and the driver couldn’t control it. We almost fell into the abyss. No one knew what was happening. People started screaming and inside was real panic. I realized it is my last moment. But very short feeling of reconciliation appeared what was very liberating.
It was a flat tire. Fortunately it happened on the tire that didn’t cause accident, because the driver knew after few second managed the bus to stay on the road. We have gathered slowly into the valley where it started repair.
Rest of the journey was relatively calm. We got to the village Hundar late afternoon. 114 km road didn’t take 4 hours, but 10 hours. We were tired, after shock, Sona had remains of vomit on her clothes, and I began to get altitude sickness. We decided to stay here one night and the next day visit Bactrian camels and Diskit monastery.