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A morning in Leh

This morning we explored Leh looking for butter tea, the traditional Ladakhi tea consisting of tea leaves, yak butter and salt. Definitely not something we were used to but a necessary right of passage for being in Ladakh, as we found it’s sold in tea stores all over town. We then made our way to the second hand market that hosts cots piled high with puffy jackets, snow pants and t-shirts with funny slogans. We learned that these clothes are donations from western countries to India that have made their way to Ladakh that are now being sold by locals. Upon hearing this we spent some time thinking about the system and the pros and cons of foreign aid in India and specifically Ladakh. We also learned through some conversations with friendly locals about how commonly barley, one of the few crops that can grow in this arid climate, is used as traditional trekking food in Ladakh. While on trek this grain is made by adding hot water and sugar and pressed into balls on the mountain side.