This is an experience that is still clearly impressed in my mind despite not recent. It was August 2010 and I was almost at the end of my 9 months Asian trip, planning to visit the legendary Buddhist hamlet of Leh in Ladakh, India. Unfortunately I wasn't able to reach my final destination, because we got stuck on the famous road from Manali to Leh, hit by unexpected floods.
August generally means monsoon in India, but not in the Himalayan region where there is a totally different climate, thanks to the altitude and the protection that the mountains give against the rainy clouds. That's why I decided to go in Ladakh in that period, sure to find the dry climate I couldn't get anywhere else in India. Getting to Leh from Manali is a 20 hours trip at high altitude, across amazing landscapes and primitive roads, strangely called "highway", split into two days.
Despite it was supposed to be a good season to go toward Ladakh, unexpectedly torrential rains and floods caught us on the way, and while we were blocked on the road, at the same time on the city of Leh over two hundreds lives were lost. Below my point of view of the event, seen from a much further and safer, though still dangerous, condition.
We started the trip with a minibus from Manali, the most common starting point to venture in direction of Leh. We made friend very soon with the other passengers, a necessary and welcome step since we were going to share a long trip and an important experience.
Since the beginning the weather was quite bad, rainy and foggy; the road was really tiny and muddy, hardly two car could cross the road at the same time, and despite this there were even trucks coming both ways, pushing us to find dangerous trajectories to overcome the obstacles.