The incredibly nice keeper of the J&K Bungalows, knowing his way around, told us to wait at the teastall up the village for the “many” trucks passing by, in order to hitchhike our way up in Zanskar, as there is no more public transportation from here (don’t count on the legendary bus from Kargil to Padum, nobody knows where nor when it is).
After waking up at 6am, waiting from 7am at the teastall for three hours, we were getting ready to give up when arrived… military trucks! They gladly took us on, for a 4 hour bumpy ride up the green valleys, all the way to the Gompa!
Their small base was actually at the foot of the Gompa, luckily for us.
Don’t expect to be able to find anywhere to sleep there, but only in the Rangdum village 5 miles before. We stayed with at the Norboo family guesthouse, one of the best places we stayed in of our whole trip in Ladakh. Indeed, Mr Norboo is a father to 11 children, now scattered around the world, and is such a humble and helpful man, seconded by his 2 or 3 youngest kids. He asked us for so little money we gave him the average price we were usually paying, as he and his family well deserved it.
He is located right behind the J&K Bungalow, which is much less nice than the one in Panikhar. This one is more of a truckers stop than anything else. But, thankfully, we could deal with the trucks staying there to have one take us back down to Panikhar.
The drive back down was more hectic, as the road had been blocked during the night by a landslide due to rain, with rocks in the middle of the road, 10km away from Panikhar. We got off the truck and walked back down, knowing it would all be downhill, and back to the J&K guesthouse for the night, and an early 7am bus back to Kargil.