Wondering what a typical trekking day in Ladakh, The Himalaya, might be like?
What to expect if you opt for camping rather than a homestay– though negotiate with your tour guide if anything can be done to improve your comfort or your day.
A gentle wake up call is made between 6 – 7am with tea in bed, after which a bowl of hot water (each) is provided to wash. Breakfast follows and consists of porridge/cereals, bread, pancake, tea/coffee, eggs, jam / marmalade / honey and peanut butter. This is served in the food tent or outside depending on the weather, as you wish. Use the loo tent / whatever arrangements are on site when camping and finish packing your duffle bags and clearing the tent. The crews meanwhile dismantle the tents and begin loading the ponies/porters.
Leaving camp after breakfast, you carry your packed lunches, waterproofs and necessary water which has been cleaned for you. Hot lunch is served wherever possible (depending on the trekking region and distances). On arrival in camp, washing water is given to freshen up after which tea /coffee, and snacks are served. Dinner usually begins with soup at 7pm or earlier and is a full course menu of either continental, Chinese, local cuisine ending with dessert and tea/coffee/ hot chocolate. (Note: food is vegetarian and there is plenty. Also bear in mind your appetite is suppressed at altitude, but you need to eat.) Meals are wholesome and nutritious but you could carry a bit of candy bars/bites to munch on the trail whenever needed (available in Leh).
You need to carry in your rucksack/daypack: camera, reading/writing materials, a light jacket and waterproofs and your water bottles. Also sunscreen, sunhat, tissues and gloves. If you feel your daypack is a bit heavy our sherpa assistants help wherever possible – and yes, I did have to bow down and accept help on Day 8 and I am eternally grateful (Dorjee – thank you!)
Water is thoroughly boiled and served in camp. It would be best to have 2/3 bottles as it can get very hot during the day and you need to drink. Water is boiled and given at all meal times and everyone in camp must ensure all their water bottles are full before setting out each day. (Don’t worry there are reminders.)
You sleep on inch thick roll out mattresses which are very comfortable in 2 man tents. Once you are in for the night you won’t lift your head until the morning. Just get your bags organised with clean/dirty/sleep/wash compartments and it’s a doddle.
For ideas on Ladakh Trekking Itineraries read here.