Ladakh Day 5 – Kungski La to Fangila

The day we created a curse word…

Day Begins: Camp at Base of Kungski La Trail
Day Ends: Fangila

From a pure trekking standpoint, this was one of the more mundane and boring days. We basically spent 90% of the day walking down a road to the village of Fanjila. However, when you think about how remote we were, the fact that there was a road is lifestyle altering for the locals. It’s a reminder that what the Western eye may view as negative progress and unnecessary development is, in reality, quite the opposite for those benefiting directly from that same development. It’s also a reminder that some of these untouched places are changing. Fast. While it was surprising to see a road being constructed with basic equipment and a lot of manual labor, I was also grateful that I happened to be there at that particular point in time. It might not be what many people would consider when thinking about “seeing history before their eyes” but that’s exactly what we were seeing.

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Environmental distraction or progress? Depends on your perspective.

Based on the progress we were making (and Sanjeev’s rough recollection of the trail), he determined that we were better suited stopping short of that day’s planned camp and camping in the village of Fangila. While this meant that we’d miss out on the extra day in camp on the tail end of the trek and the chance to see K2 from a distance, I think everyone enjoyed the slower pace. Plus, it gave us the opportunity to add the word fangila to the English language:

fan-GEE-lah: A malicious, unpleasant selfish person, especially a woman.

If a spelling bee contestant were to ask for it to be used in a sentence, the likely response would have been, “Fangila. Noun. Lindsay, stop being such a fangila. Fangila.”

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The comedic relief may not have been the best part of the village. But it may have. Regardless, Glenn and I also were happy to find the Godfather served at the campground which we called home. And so while Judith and Lindsay enjoyed the only opportunity for a shower on the trip, Glenn and I devised a cooling system for the beer in a stream and partook. And partook some more. The shower and shave that followed were a welcome break (and probably necessary to not fall under the mischievous spell of the Godfather.

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The (much needed) shower tent.



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