December 16, 2011

Give Water for Christmas

I wonder if Santa washes his hands before he gobbles up the milk and cookies at each house.  Practicing proper hygiene is something we take for granted, but some people aren’t as lucky to have this basic education.  Millions fall ill and die due to the effects of poor hygiene–mostly children–and MangoHwy thinks that’s ridiculous. [...]

September 6, 2011

Pangong Lake

Pangong Lake is a closed basin lake.  Without rivers leading out of the lake, its water is brackish.  It is 134 km (83 miles) long and extends from India to Tibet.  Sixty percent of the length of the lake is located in Tibet, now controlled by China.  Further down the road from the tourist area is the Line [...]

September 5, 2011

Journey to Pangong Lake

On Cory’s and Kunal’s final full day in Ladakh, we got an early start so Jack could drive us the 150 km to Pangong Lake and back.  Getting there and back takes about five hours each way and we would have to cross Chang La, advertised as the third highest pass in the world. Along the way we saw [...]

September 5, 2011

More Gompas and Palaces in Leh

After a few hours at the Hemis Festival, Jack took us to see a few more gompas and palaces around Leh: First, Thikse Monastery, the largest monastery in central Ladakh.  It was supposedly built to look like Potala Palace in Lhasa. Next, the Shey Monastery and Shey Palace complex.  Shey was the old capital of the upper Ladakh region, but when [...]

September 5, 2011

Hemis Festival

The Hemis Festival is held every year in the Hemis Monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery of Ladakh.   The two-day celebration kicked off on July 10, the tenth day of the lunar month on the Tibetan calendar. The festival celebrates the birth anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism. During the festival, the Lamas gather around the central flagpole in the [...]

September 5, 2011

Diskit Monastery

Heading back to Leh from the Hundar in the Nubra Valley, we stopped at the Diskit Gompa (gompa means monastery in Tibetan).  Founded by Changzem Tserab Zangpo in the 14th century, the gompa belongs to the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is a sub-gompa of the Thikse gompa.  At the foothill of the gompa is a 32 meter statue of Maitreya Buddha, known as future Buddha. In the [...]

September 5, 2011

Nubra Valley

We made it to Hundar, a small town in Nubra Valley, in the late afternoon and went straight to the sand dunes.   The geography of the Nubra Valley is overwhelming: the Shyok River meets the Nubra or Siachan River to form a large valley separating the Ladakh and Karakoram ranges of the Himalaya.  Like the [...]

September 5, 2011

Flat tire on the way to Nubra

About an hour after crossing Khardung La, Jack stopped to replace a flat tire with a spare.  This was the third and thankfully final time we had had car troubles in India and surprisingly this time was the quickest fix.  One hour further down the road, just inside Nubra Valley, was a small auto shop [...]

September 5, 2011

Alchi Monastery

On the second day in Leh we took National Highway 1 on a four hour trip to Alchi Monastery, located on the south bank of the Indus River.  The site was built around 1000 years ago and marks the beginnings of Buddhism in the region.  There are three major shrines: the Dukhang (Assembly Hall), the Sumtseg, and the Temple [...]

September 4, 2011

Getting around Ladakh

Those who ride motorcycles say a Royal Enfield is the best way to get around in Leh.  Since none of us knew how to ride, our travel agent, Stanzin, arranged transport to the many sites outside of town with Jack. Over the next five days we were in Jack’s Toyota Innova between five and ten hours [...]

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If you have any questions or comments about these adventures or fundraising, please drop me a line on the contact page. Thanks!