Travelling 3911 miles on two aeroplanes in a rucksack, isn’t an attractive proposition to most, but to the little Blue Sky Bear, it was all part of his year of magnificent adventures!
As part of Blue Sky’s tenth anniversary year, Blue Sky Bear has visited vineyards in the south of France, relaxed on the gondolas of Venice, posed on the slopes of the Alps in his skis and visited the sights of ancient Turkey, plus much, much, more! So, when the opportunity arose to travel to the tiny kingdom of Zanskar in a region called Ladkh, sitting between Pakistan and Nepal in the Himalayan mountains with Ted Tombling, a great friend of Blue Sky’s, well, he grabbed it with all four paws!
Ted is a hugely experienced expedition guide who helps our young people through their Duke of Edinburgh award challenges and is a very popular and respected colleague.
As Ted explains: “twelve years ago, on an expedition to India, I assisted with a project to help young people. Whilst there, I met Yangchan, an eleven year old girl whose prospects of education were about to come to a sudden halt as her family couldn’t afford to pay. So, I stepped in, gave her financial support to live and paid for her schooling”. Now, back in Zanskar, Ted had the opportunity to meet up with Yangchan and, together with Blue Sky Bear and a guide, they climbed the 4968 metres to the base camp of Stok Kangri. From there, Yangchan and the guide trekked to the top of the mountain (6123 metres), which Ted describes as a “wonderful achievement”.
With Teddy safely back in his rucksack, Ted and Yangchan traversed the lakes, gorges and mountain passes from Zanskar to the country’s capital city, Padam, a journey of about 9 hours. “We stayed with Yangchan’s family on their farm, where their crops pulses, corn and potatoes keep them fed during the long winter months when temperatures can go as low as -40c. With no central heating, I can’t imagine how they survive!”
Teddy and Ted said their goodbyes and left behind the snow covered mountains of Zanskar, flying into the warmth of Delhi, enjoying the sunshine and 32c temperatures for a few days before hopping on a plane back to England.
“Teddy and I really enjoyed our month in the Indian Himalayas and are looking forward to our next adventure together!”