Today consisted of 6-7 hours of trekking through Markha Valley, which sits at an altitude of 3770 m, a bit higher than Leh. It was cloudy and windy for most of the day, with brief periods of snow (which promptly melted).
I didn’t feel great during the trek and ended up with a headache towards the end, which I assume had to do with the slightly higher altitude. After some ibuprofen and hot chai, it disappeared. We are now in the main village in Markha, in Ishey’s brother’s home. It’s very cold here, and there are dzos, goats, sheep, donkeys, horses, and cows steadily parading past the windows, occasionally calling out their characteristic farm animal sound to announce their presence. This is a nice homestay—very clean, and the rugs and curtains in the bedroom are newer and more vibrant. Again, to my surprise, we have electricity here. After a long rest in my sleeping bag and a head massage from Deachen, we sat down to momos for supper, made by Ishey and our hostess (her sister-in-law). A traditional Tibetan/Ladakhi food, momos are yummy little steamed dumplings filled with a fried vegetable mixture. We ate them with ketchup. Again, comfort food at its finest. I feel a little homesick up here, maybe because Ishey is with her family and mine is so far away. I don’t often feel homesick, but pangs of homesickness inevitably arise out of the blue, which is to be expected.
I feel warm and welcome in this home, despite being out of the loop language-wise (not a new feeling after living in Germany for almost two years).