Photograph of water carrier Photograph of monk in dunes Photograph of tata drivers Photograph of leh rooftops Photograph of novice monk
Water carrier Monk with wheel TATA drivers Rooftops of Leh Novice on dune
Photograph of monks at window Photograph of man on dzo Photograph of young monks Photograph of school children stakna Photograph of cricket in nubra
Monks at window Man riding dzo Novice monks Stakna children Cricket in Nubra

Life in Ladakh

"I began to appreciate the joy of driving in India, the etiquette of horn blowing and their unflustered cool in any situation. Indian drivers never get angry. If I were to try the same technique of blasting my horn behind a slower vehicle back home I could expect at least a handful of figured gestures or verbal threats at the next junction. In India, where so many roads are single track with just rough verges, most lorries carry an invitation to “Horn to Pass Please” painted on the back. They would eventually move over onto the verge to allow a faster vehicle to pass, even if the gap left no space for a stray hand. Sometimes, of course, it was necessary to blast the horn continuously for several miles but finally the lorry would hoot back as an invitation to overtake. At this point we would dive into the blinding dust, grip our seats and crawl past the lorry with one set of wheels bouncing on the opposite verge. Quite why our driver never thought to change down a gear to accelerate, I never asked, but with our vehicle spluttering along at 20mph in fourth gear past ugly black spinning tyres only inches away, I had so many other thoughts in my mind. "

Excerpt from 'See you in Leh' the book by Alistair Baird

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