Stories From The Camp: When Nature Turns Moody
Everyone knows that the weather in Ladakh is unpredictable. But Rupert Winchester recently found out just how unpredictable it can be! Here’s what he has to say about it
The weather here in Ladakh is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been, in that it can change in the blink of an eye. This morning, the skies were blue and it was warm, with a peaceful breeze gently stirring the leaves of the poplar trees outside my window.
Then suddenly, dramatically, the skies darkened, and a wall of forbidding black clouds appeared from the east. Driving winds hoisted splatters of rain, damping down the swirling dust. The poplars are now bent over sideways, gusting in the wind, and the temperature has dropped significantly. It’s very exciting.
The sunshine up here has to be seen to be believed. It is bright, and crisp, but surprisingly strong, you definitely shouldn’t go out without sunscreen or the ultraviolet rays will bake your skin. I favour long sleeves and a broad-brimmed hat. And sunglasses. But watching the sunlight play across the mountain sides, the shadows from the clouds drifting across the cols and promontories, elongating and bunching-up and alternating between a deep cocoa-brown and a tawny tea-coloured background, the honey, ochre and a sharp orange, you could watch it for hours.
The night before last it snowed up on the high peaks, dusting the mountaintops with fresh powder, now hidden by the swirling clouds. Last night the temperature dropped to -6 Centigrade, and this is the middle of June. Luckily all the tents are equipped with super-efficient heaters, so the ‘roughing it in the ultimate luxury’ feel continues and who wouldn’t want to be warm and toasty under canvas and a thick duvet while the wild wind blows outside?
And tomorrow, no doubt, the day will dawn clement and warm. The butterflies and hoopoes will be back, the sun will sparkle on the ponds and the warm breath from the mountains will caress one’s skin.
Until, of course, about the middle of October, when TUTC will pack away its tents and steal away into the night, as it were. During the winter the temperature up here averages around -20 Centigrade, and life gets infinitely more difficult. Local authorities clear the roads as best they can, some flights still arrive from Delhi, but it is a chilled and frozen place. Stick to the summers, I say.
Want to see the best of Ladakh in luxury? Then TUTC should be your pick!
Take a look at some of the experiences we offer