7/29/2010 to 8/5/2010 | India , Ladakh

Leh the quiet before the storm

I first met Zangmo and Angchu when my Latvian friend Santa took me to one of the family style dinners held nightly at their Tsavo guesthouse when I was in Leh last year. I was impressed with the warm family atmosphere created by the Ladakhi couple in their guesthouse.  When I returned to Leh this year I made an effort to stay at the Tsavo guesthouse, especially since Tam’s husband Kip thoroughly enjoyed cooking and food.  At the Tsavo guesthouse those who wish to eat, chip in 50 rupees and a bit of their time to help Zangmo prepare the meal by cutting vegetables, rolling and stuffing the momos, or whatever task she delegates.  For this effort patrons are stuffed with motherly concern by Zangmo whose trademark phrase “little more” and an irresistible smile always ends up in you eating a half plate more food than you had intended.  The guesthouse feels like a home, and it is, with the couple living on the ground floor and renting out the upper rooms.

Our plan was to hang around Leh with day trips to monasteries and short hikes to get acclimatized to the high altitude of Ladakh for the first week, and then head to Tso Moriri to do some more serious trekking from there.  We managed to accomplish the first part of this plan, visiting Thiksey Monastery and walking via the villages and fields to the monastery and ruined palace at Stoke, and taking in the sunsets from Shanti Stupa perched above the eastern edge of the city.  However, in the early morning hours August 6, 2010 tragedy struck Ladakh and the rest of our plans became irrelevant.

4 comments to Leh the quiet before the storm

  • Andrea

    JULEY!!!! what a fantastic word. One of my favourite experiences of my travelling trip was sitting and making momos with all you guys. What amazing people and stunning place can’t wait to go back.

    Good times

  • Yes, it was good times, good to hear from you.

  • Susan

    I discovered your blog while researching a possible trip to Ladakh this September. Love your writing and your travels. Your pictures alone have convinced me to try to make it to Turtuk if I get to Ladakh. Do you have any contact information for the Tsavo Guesthouse in Leh or is it a show up and hope there’s room sort of place?

  • Thanks, I don’t have a contact for them I had a card at one time but not sure where it is. Its usually full. Its the kind of place you have to move into after you get to Leh, and hope there is a room or get lucky, or have stayed before and crash on the couch for a few days until a room opens. Since it seems like there is really no scheduling I doubt she would even know if there would be a room available in a few days, if you called ahead.

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