Likir:Situated 50 km west of Leh, Likir is a picturesque village divided into lower and upper Likir. It is a relatively prominent village and Likir Monastery is the main monastery in the region. Likir be reached from Leh airport in a bus which starts at 3 pm and will include a long walk to the village after the bus drops one at Leh highway. One can also take a cab.I stayed at Old Likkir Guest house, owned by Stanzin Takspa. Stanzin is a mountain guide who has been to Siachen(7000M), Stok kangri(6000M) and other passes above 5000M. I have found him to be a very nice guide and have been trekking with him in Ladakh.One can go during summer (June-Sep) to enjoy comfortable weather, which is the peak season. To enjoy local festivals one has to go in winter. Losar celebrations start around 2nd week and continues till end of December and Likir Monastery festival occurs after January. It is great place to stay, relax and enjoy adventures around Likir.Likir has found a place, deep in my heart. I can't get enough of the beautiful people there and the amazing view as well. This place overwhelms me with its simplicity and beauty. Perfect for soaking in nature and life in its primitive form.Though with the inception of networks, you are now always on 4G from Airtel, which I would not have preferred in a place like this, but I don’t mind as well.There are a lot of short trekking options all around where you can find wildlife and can even chance upon snow leopard tracks or even the leopard itself.
The day of my departure from Likir has arrived. The morning was gloomy and the sun could not be seen. The stage was set for the first snowfall of Likir and i was so happy to have witnessed it.
Stanzin's father has been building a house for himself and was nearing completion. Here you do not get a lot of service to complete your personal work and people mostly build their own house.We decided to pay a visit to the newly made house and appreciate the view. The morning was beautiful. It felt like being a part of their life as well.
The next day i practically did nothing and rested most of the time, apart from taking a stroll nearby and capturing the beautiful evening.
I did not go with a premeditated plan and wanted to get suggestions from locals. Stanzin suggested that i do the Sham trek, which does not require special expedition equipment and gives a good flavour of Ladakh. Sham means "West" in ladakhi language and this trek takes me through some high mountain passes and remote villages. Both me and Stanzin are passionate about wildlife and this trek gives us ample opportunities to spot wildlife. But going without any expectations is very important to enjoy the sightings.The day before we start, i was amazed to see Stanzin take out elaborate topographical maps of the mountains to chalk out the trek route. Since sometime, map for me means "Google maps". Luckily Stanzin himself is a seasoned guide and he will guide me through the trek.