The Sham Trek is a 4 day trek that usually goes from Likir to Ang. However, since I preceded the trek with the Lamaruyu Gompa Festival, I was to do it in the reverse direction. The Sham Trek is called t he 'Baby Trek' as we never have to trek above 4000 meters (approximately 13000 ft). I guess I am a 'baby' as I found it quite difficult going uphill at this 'baby' altitude. I already had my guide, Mantog, with me for the festival, but joining us for the trek was another guide, Stanzin, and an Australian woman, Anna, who decided to do the trek at the last moment and was able to join us.
Homestay in Ang
Stanzin making breakfast at Ang
This was a day trek to the new monastery above Temisgang. This was about 5 to 7 hour hike, but we would get to return back to Ang, so we would only have to haul our water, lunch and rain gear. The hike started straight uphill on a very steep grade. Going down the other side was steep too, but of very soft dirt, so could slide down a bit making it much easier.
I didn't take my camera this first day, so no pictures to show of the Temisgang monastery. We did get to tour through the monastery after receiving some tea from one of the monks and getting the key to unlock the doors to the temples. We even got to walk through the living area of the lamas and the rinpoche. It wasn't finished but very nice and very modern.
We then hike up to an area called the Palace which had 2 monasteries. One was an extension of the Hemis Monastery and the other an extension of the Likir monestary. There were ruins of an old palace of kings past.
Day 2 of the trek: Ang to Hemis Shukpachen (3690 meters)
Up 2 passes today. Usually the path is just cut along the side of the mountain. We stayed at Tsetan Angchuk Homestay.
Pictures from the Trail:
A shorter day with only one pass. We crossed over the Sarmanchan La pass and down into a river valley to the Tokputo Homestay. When we got to the top of the pass, the 4 of us turned on some Ladakhi music and Mantog lead us in Ladakhi dancing. Mantog is quite good at it and will dance at the first opportunity.
After settling in at the homestay, we walked UP to the village of Yangthang to see the small monastery there.
Looking back at Yang thang village on the next day.
On the return to the homestay, we stopped at a barley mill where they grind their barley into flour. Afterwards, Mantog makd some kartuk, which is barley flour mixed with salt butter tea and we all snacked on that.
Day 4 of trek: Yangthang to Likir
A long trekking day, so we had breakfast early and hit the trail. First up Charatse La pass, then down to a tiny village of 2 homes. Next up Cross Pobe La pass and finally down into Likir.
We finally made it to our homestay and after some tea, decided to hike up to the main road as the Dalai Lama was due to arrive and the towns people were all dressed in their best. However, as we were walking up, people were returning, so we missed him that day. One of the returning women had a fabric containing a lot of turquoise. She was more than happy to let me take a picture of it.
Looking down on Likir Village.