The homes in this region are particularly special. Born from an effort to protect the endangered snow leopard amongst other conservation aims, the Homestay experience here brings home convincingly the interdependence of man and nature.
Most homes in the Hemis National Park, Sham or Zanskar valley region can be reached by a few hours road journey from Leh. A short trek is required before you reach some of these remote Homestay. The mud and wood Homestays nestled in gorgeous valleys overlook small terraced fields.
The homeownersâ daily duties include herding and farming. From milking the demo (the female yak) to washing and roasting freshly harvested barley, guests are encouraged to take part in various activities. Cut off from the continuous rumblings of modern life - houses here are powered by solar energy - time here keeps a different pace. The brilliantly clear night skies reveal the milky way sprawled in all its glory.
Midas can be harsh, so good sunscreen is just as essential as a hardy wind-cheater before you head out to the high pastures above the Ulle village or to ancient Buddhist caves.
For wildlife lovers, there is a great variety of birds and animals to spot. Bharals or "blue sheep", the ibex and the Tibetans wild ass are easy to find but to spot the Snow Leopard, will however take prior planning and need patience and the expertise of local guides.
Amenities are basic. The homes also use the traditional, eco -friendly, extremely hygienic dry compost toilets. Community solar heated showers are available in the Homestays. Blankets and traditional butter tea will keep you warm. Mild on spices, Ladakhi cuisine consists of soft barley breads, rice, steamed dough balls and soups often filled with noodles and vegetables.
Most hosts speak Hindi and the local dialect, but your guide can help you communicate with your hosts. But going for most guest communication is easily achieved with a smile and a few sign languages.
CheersBye © 2017