Ladakh Day 6 – Fangila to Hanupatta
The day Glenn named a mountain…Day Begins: Fangila Day Ends: Camp near Hanupatta
High above camp, in the direction we were headed, rose the hallowed slopes of Mount Chalupa. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the official name of the mountain; in fact, I’m pretty sure Glenn named it after the beloved chalupa tent erected each night in camp. What’s a chalupa tent, you ask? I’m glad you did. Well, when your days are filled with nothing more than eating yourself from one camp to another, thinking through what wondrous vacations you plan to take subsequent to the wondrous vacation you are on, and pondering the meaning of life, you have time to think of new names for certain aspects of the trek. The most famous of which was the new name for the toilet tent which was christened as the “chalupa tent” very early on the journey. Why chalupa? Why don’t you visit a Taco Bell and find out. Unfortunately, Mount Chalupa quickly went behind clouds and was lost for the trip.
The day’s trek followed another road up through the village of Hanupatta. While a second straight day on a developed road took a bit of juice out of how remote everything felt, it was a peaceful walk that meandered up through a red rock canyon that reminded me of Utah.
Camp that afternoon had three primary events. First up was yoga. I decided to partake for the first time and may have been asked to leave shortly thereafter for making a mockery of the process. I would later claim it was simply my job to keep everyone loose. While we were busy doing yoga, the crew was busy trying to procure yet another sheep. Again with no luck, this was the third straight night. Finally, during tea and cookies, a roving band of Hanupatta’s youth approached the tent. Usually, a roving gang is up to no good. These were nice kids. So nice, in fact, that when we gave them a package of cookies the oldest took control and rationed out two or three cookies per kid and tried to return the remaining food. Without taking any for himself. We assured him it was fine for him to take some as well.
Throughout the trip, it was difficult to determine the age of the Ladakhis. Kids looked younger than claimed (likely a function of nutrition) and adults looked years, if not decades, older than I’m sure they were (likely a function of the harsh climate and environment). These kids were also no exception to the “you’re how old?” double take we found ourselves making when we asked how old they were. They claimed to be between ten and thirteen. I would have cut three years from each of the kids’ responses.
After a few pictures with the kids, we settled into camp, with views back down the valley from which we came and views up around the bend of the valley to which we were headed.