ON THE WAY TO MARKHA, LADAKH
Posted on July 14, 2015
Last week my wife, Carolina, and I were trekking in Ladakh. We were on the Markha Valley Trek, an eight-day trek generally considered the most popular and beautiful in Ladakh. According to our guide about 1,000 trekkers complete the journey every year.
The trek is indeed beautiful and at times challenging with two or three mountain passes between 4,970 and 5,200m. We had a wonderful time and strongly recommend Ladakh to anyone wishing to escape modern civilization for a few days.
If you have the good fortune to do the trek I recommend that you stop in Sara, half-way between Skyu and Markha. The Skyu-Markha stage is long, hot and dry. Temperatures in the narrow valley can rise to 30c. Hydration is a must.
Sara has a tea tent (an old parachute stretched above a seating area). 50 meters beyond the tea tent, behind a few trees, is the Markha River. At this stage, the river is just a clear, clean, fast flowing stream about 6 meters wide and 70 cm deep. The water, snow and glacier run off, is a surprisingly warm 6-8c.
The middle of the stream is a wonderful place to cool the body, enjoy a water massage, and contemplate the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Best of all, you will most likely be alone. The vast majority of trekkers do not stop at Sara or they leave after a quick tea. It is unfortunate because they miss one of the great spots on the trek!