If it rains, there is no power. Every time so far since I have been here. Of course, as I write this, it is raining and the power has again turned off.
Leh is the largest city in Ladakh and also the location of the airport so is at least the starting or ending point for those flying into or out of Ladakh. On the rocky slopes above the city lie the Leh Palace, which blends in quite well with the surrounding rocks.
Alcoholic beverages are rare in Leh in restaurants. A few do serve some. However, when the Dalai Lama was here for various teachings and the Kalachakra, there was no beer to be had in any restaurants. One evening, about 10 of us from Gangba decided to go down to a restaurant that was rated #1 in Tripadvisor, but shall remain nameless here, so we thought we better go check it out. Well, one of our group asked for beer and the waiter said that they were not serving beer during the Dalai Lama time, but then whispered that he could bring us some camouflaged as something else, so he brought a picture of beer in a pink plastic water container and tea cups. I decided to stick with mango juice.
Leh has dogs. Leh has lots of dogs. Since they have to survive a lot of winter and cold weather, they are furry, fluffy but very scruffy. During the day in the summer, they are all laying around the city, basking in the sun and napping. They almost look cute and definitely not dangerous.
However, at dusk, all the dogs turn into vicious pack animals from hell. There is barking all over the city. They are aggressive packs as well and fight each other, pick on the cows (remember, this IS India) and the donkeys (seem to be a lot of them roaming around the streets too). They can even be aggressive with people. You need to carry a stick or some type of protection in case some dogs come up to you. Tour agencies even recommend tha people get rabies shots before coming to Ladakh. (which I did). I never went out at night unless accompanied by a few friends where our number would not encourage a dog pack our way.
One tour I decided to do was the Heritage Tour. This is part of a NGO that works on the reconstruction of many buildings and temples in Leh to restore them and save them. Some are hundreds of years old. It is a small tour and to do it we went to Lala's coffee shop the day before and asked if we could get a guide for the next day for 4 of us. Fortunately, they had a new guide who would take us on this tour. She also had the keys for temples and such that were locked, but which we could see. The restruction they have done is just amazing. It also helps with employment and the owners get repaired homes to live in for no cost.