After spending a couple of days discovering Leh on my own, it was lovely to spend a couple of days wandering about with Christian & Michelle. Our meandering took us to two women’s coop shops which sold authentic Kashmiri/Ladakh fabrics/handicrafts, both of which were closed once we got there (after a good 30-min walk up a not-so-easy incline on a sweltering day). Michelle had attempted to visit them twice before, & they were also closed those times – 3 times strike-out.
They introduced me to a couple of their hangout cafes/restaurants in town, which served fabulous food – the Tibetan Kitchen tucked away down an alley where I had my first non-vego meal of the trip so far, some steamed chicken momos (dumplings), & the Penguin Cafe where I indulged in a Western cheese & mushroom pizza & mango lassi. I’m still a bit wary of where & what to eat, but lately I’ve starting to venture outside my comfort zone.
Michelle also showed me Maha Boudhi (sure I’ve spelt the name incorrectly), a peaceful meditation/yoga centre that sells great Buddhism (& other books) for around $3-4 (I can only imagine how heavy my bag will get). The centre also provides morning & eve meditation & yoga classes, payment by donation. Michelle also tracked down a reputable fabric/scarf dealer where she’d already down the hard work of bargaining him down to 200 rps each – though I do love to bargain myself.
It really is so cheap to stay here. Yes, I have a 2000 rps per night room (quite extravagant), but you can stay here very comfortably in a room with attached bathroom for 600 rps (@ AUD $10) per night. And meals will usually only cost between $2-6 – bargain!
Definitely not the cleanest of cities (many people here wear face masks), but it has a unique old world feel that is quite charming & certainly triggers my curiosity to explore further.