Having fielded numerous questions about trekking in Ladakh — which trek to choose, how to find a trekking agency, when to go, how to get there, what to pack, and more — we’ve created this Ladakh Trekking Beginner’s Guide. We hope it encourages you to make the long journey to Ladakh and explore its stunning mountain landscapes and fascinating Ladahki and Tibetan Buddhist culture and people. You won't be sorry.
We were out of breath, having just climbed 1,200 stone steps when Celso, our indigenous guide, called for us to join him around a group of stones arranged in a circle in a clearing. In the middle of the circle stood another square stone on top of which lay a pile of coca leaves placed as an offering. Celso explained with trademark calm in a slow, deliberate voice, “This is a place where we should let go of our impurities, our negative thoughts and emotions.”
Each year we like to go on a long trek, one that takes us to a new region somewhere in the mountains. It’s an exercise for the body and also for the mind. To disconnect with our day-to-day and also to reconnect with a region once unknown to us and learn about it through its nature and people.
This year’s trek of 200 km / 125 miles through the mountains of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo along a newly established circuit called Peaks of the Balkans was one we’ll never forget.
The Accursed Mountains, sworn virgins, blood feuds and 15th century codes of honor called kanun. It sounds like an experiential blend to inform the writing of a Game of Thrones season. Instead, it’s the cultural and historical backdrop of a 200-kilometer trekking experience we recently took through the hills of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo called Peaks of the Balkans.
Perhaps you ask, just as we did before our trip: is trekking in Haiti even a thing? Yes, it is. And it probably ought to be for more travelers. But it takes a little effort to organize. This Haiti Trekking Beginner's Guide explains why it’s worth it, plus all you need to know to plan a trek in Haiti.
Ladakh: a place we had dreamed about for well over a decade, a visit packed with expectations. What made this place remarkable wasn’t quite what we expected.
Imagining Ladakh for all of those years, we focused on the landscape. Sure, Ladakh as a setting for just about anything did not disappoint. The physical beauty was more stunning – and more consistently so — than we’d ever imagined.
This is a story of our re-discovery of a few of life’s truths amidst a seven-day trek in the Himalayas.
“One foot in-front-of-the oth-er.”
This is a story about how sometimes it’s a good thing to take the long way, to miss the bus, and to find the shrine.
Poa kichizi kama ndizi.
— Swahili for “Crazy cool like a banana,” the most appropriate response to “How are you?” while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
So we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and shared some of the life lessons we learned along the way. But what did the climb look like? How did it feel?
A few ideas on how climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to the top of Africa can teach you something about life.
For some, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is another check box on a “to do” list. For me it turned out to be a journey — in its own way, an epic exercise in achievement.