Leh Ladakh India – arriving

Jule (say joo-lay) which means hello, thanks, and anything you want it to mean in Ladakh. It’s the ultimate one word multi-tasker and a good thing, because arriving in Leh, the world’s highest-altitude airport, is so discombobulating that for the first 12 hours, your mind can’t deal with anything more demanding. High altitude sickness means fuzzy mind, tingling in fingers and toes, frequent trips to pee and inability to do more than drink tea in a prone position. Flights from Delhi leave at 5 am, so if you arrive on a connecting flight, as I did, you either sleep for 4 hours on a hard bench in the bare-bones user-unfriendly domestic terminal, hugging your backpack, or not at all. So sleeping away the first 12 hours in Leh isn’t a bad idea, and you can stagger around in town the next day, until you’re ready to attempt nearby climbs and further treks.

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