Visit June/July 2015
This trip was in addition to my normal twice yearly visits. The aim of this visit was to explore the life of the Nomadic People in Changthang.
Changthang, is a high altitude plateau, home to the Changpa nomadic people.
Rinchen and I set off from Leh in her little car loaded with two spare wheels, petrol, food and our little tent. The journey normally takes around 7 hours, on not very good roads. Unfortunately the mountain road was blocked for 6 hours by roadworks, so we were put up by a friendly Ladakhi family for the night and set off again the next morning.
We lived with a Nomadic family for 11 days in the remote desolate mountainous area of Changthang.
We arrived and put our two man tent next to the family’s yurt which is situated at an altitude of 15,000 ft (4572m).
Our days were spent learning to milk goats, taking the sheep and goats to even higher pasture at 17,000 ft (5182m).
There was so much to learn – we saw the men hand shear the sheep and strip the goats for Pashmina, and watched the ladies spinning the wool and the saw beginnings of the weaving. We played with the children, whilst avoiding the barking guard dogs…
Life is simple, peaceful, but very hard, day in and day out, in all extremities.
As a result of this trip, we have a new child to sponsor. She is a young Nomadic girl we will help to support at Druk Padma Karpo School.
Living as I did gave me even more insight into life in Ladakh and it was a huge privilege to share this time with our Nomadic family and I will treasure the memories of those 11 days for a long time.
I hope through this to produce a book to show Nomadic life as it is now, but this could take some time…….
I will return in November to pay all the fees of the supported children, and visit the families and the children in the hostel schools.