Yordu and Bilal’s family

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Bilal’s family live in Yordu. In order for one  to get to Yordu it is necessary to cross the Mawau River either via the old bridge or via the newer suspension bridge which takes a larger load. Then a short walk up the hill to a sort of commons where some shops are located on one side and a Forest Rest House just to the right of the track.

basic shops on what I call the common

basic shops on what I call the common

There are no roads here and as far as I know no plans for one yet. This is what makes Yordu so beautiful.

The valley narrows as you cross the river at a very nice suspension bridge at Kolihal. As one walks down the river and nears Yordu then the valley starts to widen and opens out further as one heads in the direction of Hanzel. On the Yordu side there is another river called the Rin Nai which is substantial and joins the Marau River just a little downstream from Yordu. On the opposite side of the river their are a few towns including Nawaan ub thus broad valley until it ends in a morrainal scree slope.

Bilal’s family home is a traditional building made like a log cabin of interlocking deodar trees.

These are gradually becoming less common as people change to concrete homes. I love the feel of these homes, they smell nice and the wood inside is pleasant to look at. The living quarters start on the first floor with the animals kept downstairs. There is an outside toilet but inside is a room with hot water for showering. Wood fires are still used for cooking.

Bilal and myself

Conked out with Bilal in his room

I had no idea when I arrived who would be there. As it turned out I was welcomed by  Zubaida  ; Bilals mother.

It only took a few minutes and I felt at home back in Bilal’s room.  Bilal turned up later followed by his dad GH Rasool  and later his sister Nisha. Ulfat who was my guide last year didn’t come as he now has a job in Kishtwar. I was sorry not to see him as I really appreciated his companionship last year.

As Ramadan was in full force I believe I was offered food and drink but naturally everyone else abstained. After a rest we then decided to go for a swim as it was a particularly hot day. All the kids joined up and I the Pied Piper headed with them to the river. When we got there we had to be careful where we jumped in as the waters were particularly cold and fast moving. Everyone seemed reluctant mainly because none of them were experienced swimmers and they new better than anyone that the waters were very cold. Never the less I had to be a little more macho and jumped in . I must admit three strokes later I had to get out as it was so cold. I realised too that it wasn’t such a good place to play in the water as it was so cold. So then we went down to almost the junction of the Mawau River with Rin Nai where a small tributary had a number of waterholes which were much safer to swim in.

A perfect day to spend in Yordu and a lovely family. Later I walked around the town and saw some stunning views of the bridges across the river.

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basic shops on what I call the common2012-07-22-11-53-322012-07-22-11-54-46Bilal's mother on the rightBilal and myself2012-07-22-14-19-392012-07-22-15-23-172012-07-22-15-46-002012-07-22-15-48-232012-07-22-16-12-172012-07-22-18-04-582012-07-22-18-07-172012-07-22-18-09-582012-07-22-18-11-542012-07-22-18-42-082012-07-22-18-48-432012-07-22-18-52-542012-07-22-18-53-302012-07-22-18-54-202012-07-22-18-55-482012-07-22-19-01-542012-07-22-19-03-032012-07-22-19-05-122012-07-22-19-30-042012-07-22-20-06-132012-07-22-18-53-30_02012-07-22-18-54-20_02012-07-22-18-55-48_02012-07-22-19-01-54_02012-07-22-19-03-03_02012-07-22-19-05-12_02012-07-22-19-30-04_02012-07-22-20-06-13_0

Not wanting to overstay my welcome I decided to trek up the river Rin Nai to the hot springs just after Anyar and then go on to Metwan. . I knew I could get to Laddakh from the village but wasn’t exactly sure as my map only went to Chilung La. I wasn’t particularly worried though as I new someone would turn up somewhere with the necessary info to get me to the other side. Little did I know that is exactly what happened but not in the way I expected.


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