Day 25 Thursday 26 July. Leh.

The Dal Lai Lama is visiting the monastery in Leh today. All the roads were blocked and there was a peaceful expectation with locals and tourists lining the streets. Most shopfronts were closed or never opened so there was not much else to do but eat and watch. We have had a week in Leh and it was probably too long but we had a lot to sort out and it has been a good resting place. Familiarity has its benefits and our Moslem tea shop owner now knows us and makes tea without us needing to order. Others in the street recognize us from changing money or stopping to talk. Being on bikes has also contributed to us standing out. We have come to feel comfortable.

I found a cardboard box, bought some calico and went to a tailor to have my parcel sewn up as required. After lining up at the Post Office at 2pm I discover they only accept parcels between 10am and 1pm. So now the parcel will have to wait until tomorrow and I won’t be able to get an early start. Oh well, back to the guest house and do some cleaning and last minute maintenance on the bike.