Incredible India part 2 - Ladakh

 

 

 

LEH (3500m)

Enfin arrivés à Leh !... c’est quand même le but de notre voyageLadakh Rigolant

Leh est la plus grande ville du Ladakh, à l’extrémité nord de l’inde, perdue aux confins des montagnes de l’Himalaya. Perchée à 3500m d’altitude, elle est pourtant dans la vallée, les pics avoisinants s’élèvent a 6000m d’altitude !

Courant au fond de la vallée : l’Indus, fleuve majestueux gris bleu draguant toutes les poussières de roches des montagnes mystiques. La végétation pousse abondamment ici, mélanges de champs et rizières montrant l’utilisation indispensable de l’irrigation dans cette région. Entouré de montagnes arides, paysage de roche et de sable, la vallée a l’air d’une oasis géante !

Le soleil est éclatant mais le climat reste de haute altitude, comme explique notre guide, le Ladakh est le seul endroit ou lors d’une sieste les pieds a l’ombre et la tête au soleil, on peut attraper en même temps une insolation et des gelures aux pieds !!Vue de Leh

La première chose que l’on remarque c’est qu’on est plus les seuls touristes !! La haute saison c’est Aout-Septembre et ça se ressent ! Les difficultés pour trouver un toit commence : guest houses complètes, puis une autre libre mais pour 2 jours et on redéménage pour la Shanti guest house… chambre de 5m2, 1 lit simple par terre et douche commune… heureusement l’accueil est très chaleureux !!

Deux petits jours d’acclimatation/repos… pas de problème pour Mumu mais je dois dire que les 24 premières heures pour moi on étés marquées par de bonnes migraines !

On est ensuite partis visiter les nombreux monastères ou Gompas de la vallée. Premier jour, Hemis, thiksey, Shey : structures imposantes à flanc de montagne, d’un blanc pur tranchant avec le paysage aride et rocailleux des alentours. Les temples sont toujours entourés d’une multitude de petites maisons, véritables dortoirs pour les moines vivants ici. A l’intérieur des gompas, c’est beaucoup moins austère. Il y a de nombreuses sculptures, peintures décrivant buddha et les différents dieux. C’est en fait assez similaire à nos églises.

En tout cas, l’armée reste omniprésente… pas un kilomètre sans camp d’entraînement ! L’activité principale des soldats semble être de peindre des cailloux et les ranger par lignes ou en tas 

 

 

 

A Hémis, on a discuté avec un moine tibétain qui possède quelques notions de français : « oh lala ! », « Bonjour ! » « Merci » « comment allez-vous ? ». C’est à peu près tout mais plus que nous en ladakhi !!! On lui apprend à dire « Vieux de 4 siècles ! » : l’âge de son monastère. Lui nous apprend «merci beaucoup » : Thuk rje che ». Pas facile à dire !!!

 

 

 

  

Le deuxième jour, notre taxi driver, un petit papy ladakhi est bien plus agréable. Le contact passe bien… même si il ne parle presque pas anglais (comme ça on a le même niveau!) Notre plan était de partir de Leh en taxi pour visiter Lamayuru, Alchi puis de finir à Likir pour y passer une nuit, Likir étant le point de départ de notre trek.

Il nous fait office de guide touristique et nous apprend notamment que malgré l’immensité du Ladakh il n’y a ici qu’un seul corps d’armée ladakhie d’a peu près 5000 hommes… broutille comparé aux centaines de camps indiens de plusieurs milliers d’hommes… On passe également devant une montagne très particulière dénommée « Magnetic Hill ». Il parait qu’elle présente d’étranges caractéristiques et que la gravité y est ici modifiée !! les voitures passants trop proches sont attirées dans le ravin et les avions passants au dessus doivent augmenter la puissance de leurs réacteurs pour ne pas perdre d’altitude !! … (il y a même un article sur Wikipedia > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_Hill_(India) )

Alchi

 

Alchi est un joli petit village, le monastère est fait de plusieurs petits bâtiments (stupa) éparpillés aux milieux de jardins fleuris et d’abricotiers en pleine saison de fruits ! A l’intérieur : des centaines voire des milliers de bouddhas peints sur les murs ! Certains ont la peau blanche, d’autres rouge, et même bleue … c’est la fête quoi ! Nous retrouvons notre « papi chauffeur » piquant un som’ sur un banc près de la voiture !! nous hésitons à le réveiller, il a l’air bien endormi :D … en tout cas ça fait bien rire les autres ladakhis du coin ! Après cette petite pause (bien méritée) nous repartons pour…

 

 

 

 

Lamayuru

 Sur le trajet le temps se gâte : nuages épais et sombres puis quelques gouttes précèdent l’averse !! Nous arrivons avec un peu de retard (il est presque 18h) nous devons donc accélérer le pas pour visiter le monastère, ce qu’on a fait sans regret au vu des trombes d’eaux qui tombaient, notre chauffeur nous accompagne pour s’adonner à une petite prière (… qui sait ! peut être juste pour pouvoir rentrer sain et sauf malgré le temps de fin du monde !) Un immense bouddha d’or trône au centre du bâtiment, il fait plusieurs étages, le dernier étant juste au niveau de la tête. Son visage est bienveillant, calme, inspirant la bonté, alors que dehors le temps continue de se gâter…

 

La journée avance à grands pas et il faut repartir. La pluie bat son plein, l’orage est maintenant aussi de la partie ! Je sens le chauffeur plus tendu que ce matin et pour cause la route par laquelle on est arrivé il y a à peine 30 minutes est maintenant parsemée de cailloux acérés, l’eau ruisselle abondamment sur le bitume emportant terre et gravas transformant la route en véritable piste pour 4x4 !

La nuit tombe.

Les éclairs jouent le rôle de flashs stroboscopiques accompagnés du tonnerre amplifié dans les flans himalayens…

Plus qu’une dizaine de kilomètres jusqu'à Likir… mais le destin en a décidé autrement !

Au détour d’un virage, à la lueur des phares agonisants du taxi, accompagnée par un bruit assourdissant de gravas arrachant la route se dévoile devant nous une monstrueuse coulée de terrain !! la lumière n’éclaire qu’une petite partie du colosse mais le craquement sourd et continu de la rocaille mélangée à la boue laisse imaginer la réalité de la chose ! Notre chauffeur se retourne : « I think it’s not possible, we have to go back ! » Demi tour sans attendre, on rebrousse chemin jusqu’au village précédent: Ule Togtop, le chauffeur voulait nous amener à un endroit qu’il connaît un peu avant le village mais nouvelle surprise, le pont à l’entrée du hameau s’est effondré !! le ruisseau s’est rapidement transformé en fleuve et hop ! Plus de pont !!! Prise de conscience, on vient de passer là il y a un quart d’heure…

 

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