The Journey

This was the first journey to the Himalayas for both Master Lim, a Thai monk friend, and me. I actually thought we were going for a couple of months of trekking, but that turned out to be a naive assumption on my part. It was April of 2008. Both mountain roads to Ladakh were still closed from the winter snows and the lower valleys were just beginning to thaw.

I had no idea when I started on this trip, that it would end up with me stumbling haphazardly, without apparent rhyme or reason, into a deeper understanding of why we are here, yeah, you read it right, the meaning of life. Believe me, this is not what I was expecting when I climbed into the aging, beat-up bus that was to ferry my travel buddy and me between the New Delhi airport terminal and the plane waiting to take us to Leh, the capital of Ladakh.

Flight from New Delhi to Leh over the Himalayas.

Ladakh, India

Flight from New Delhi to Leh over the Himalayas.

Ladakh, India

Stupa and Gompa in Sakti Valley.

Ladakh, India

Entrance to Gompa, Nubra Valley.

Ladakh, India

Sand Painting at Tak Tok Gompa.

Ladakh, India

Statue of Guru Rinpoche.

Ladakh, India

Statue of a Mahakala.

Ladakh, India

Tak Tok Gompa.

Ladakh, India

View from Shanti Stupa, Leh.

Ladakh, India

View of anciet Palace and Gompa, Leh.

Ladakh, India

Khardung La Pass on the way to Nubra Valley.

Ladakh, India

Master Lim near Khardung La Pass on the way to Nubra Valley.

Ladakh, India

Mani wall and Disket Gompa, Nubra Valley.

Nubra Valley, India

Mani wall with stone etchings.

Nubra Valley, India

Mani wall with stone etchings.

Nubra Valley, India

Mani wall with stone etchings.

Nubra Valley, India

Mani wall with "Om Mani Padme Om" in Ladakhi.

Nubra Valley, India

Gompa near the Indus River in Leh Valley.

Ladakh, India

Gompa in Sakti Valley.

Ladakh, India

Sunset and stupa near Ensa Gompa.

Nubra Valley, India

Bus ride to Lamayuru Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

Mahakala below Lamayuru Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

View of Leh from Ancient Palace.

Ladakh, India

Downtown Leh.

Ladakh, India

Monks quarters at Lamayuru Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

Keys to ancient locks at Lamayuru Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

The last 15 kilometers before the Gompa, note no guard rail.

Lamayuru, India

Stupa at sunset at Lamayuru Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

View of Gompa from stupas above.

Lamayuru, India

View from stupas above the Gompa looking up the valley.

Lamayuru, India

Statue of Buddha in the Lion room at the Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

Wall paintings at Lamayuru Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

Statue at the Gompa.

Lamayuru, India

Snow Lion protector statue at the Gompa, underneath and supporting Buddhist statue.

Lamayuru, India

Description of Ancient Palace in Leh.

Ladakh, India

View of stupa and Leh from Ancient Palace.

Ladakh, India

View of Palace from downtown Leh.

Ladakh, India

View of Leh from Gompa above Ancient Palace in Leh.

Ladakh, India

Ruins of Ancient Fort above Palace in Leh.

Ladakh, India

View above Alchi Village.

Ladakh, India

The Village of Chilling, knowns throughout all Ladakh for its traditional metal craft.

Ladakh, India

In Mulbekh, a rock sculpture of Maitreya Buddha 9-metres high dating back 1300 years.

Ladakh, India

Avalokitesvara or Chenrezig. The Buddha of Compassion.

Ladakh, India

Tso Morriri Lake on the border of China.

Ladakh, India

Entrance to Wanla Gompa.

Ladakh, India

Library at Tikse Gompa near Leh.

Ladakh, India

Monks after Oracle Ceremony, Tak Toc Gompa, Sakti Valley.

Ladakh, India

View from Disket Gompa down Nubra Valley.

Nubra Valley, India

Boudnath Stupa, one of the most sacred places in Nepal.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Boudnath Stupa, one of the most sacred places in Nepal.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Bhairavnath Temple in Bhaktapur.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Lukla airstrip on the way to Everest Base Camp.

Khumbu, Nepal

Maost flag at Lukla.

Khumbu, Nepal

One of many Ravens in Nepal. Simple reminders.

Khumbu, Nepal

2 nights in Namche for acclimatisation.

Khumbu, Nepal

View looking down on Namche.

Khumbu, Nepal

View of Ama Dablam from Namche area.

Khumbu, Nepal

Catching some rays in Thagna.

Khumbu, Nepal

Area around Gokyo and Ngozumpa Glacier on the way to Choyu Base Camp.

Khumbu, Nepal

Area around Gokyo and Ngozumpa Glacier on the way to Choyu Base Camp.

Khumbu, Nepal

Melting ice at 5th Lake. Gokyo.

Khumbu, Nepal

Gokyo Namaste Lodge.

Khumbu, Nepal

Sunset over Gokyo Namaste Lodge.

Khumbu, Nepal

Sunset from Gokyo Namaste Lodge to the north, Choyu Peak and China.

Khumbu, Nepal

Moon setting, Gokyo.

Khumbu, Nepal

Ascent to Renjo La Pass.

Khumbu, Nepal

Sunset from near Everest Base Camp.

Khumbu, Nepal