High up on the Ladakhi plateau at 3500 meters, I find myself lingering for the day while arranging bicycle replacements parts for Pandemic The Magic Mountain Climbing Bicycle through friends of friend in Germany. My altitude junkie soul and mountain legs are antsy to pedal south over the 5325 meters (17470 feet) Taglang Pass that lay ahead in the Leh to Manali via Spiti Valley. The route is famous for altitude cycling and often considered one of the world’s best cycling routes.
Due to my September start and the surrounding accumulation of snow high up on the mountains I am sure to encounter some cold temperatures and snowy adventures, The road rises to over 5300 meters just south of here and then continues on over 4 more high altitude passes. Regardless, The Ladak Festival and the dance of the Tibetan Buddhist monks is surely nothing to complain about for a day, while I wait for an e-mail from friends of friends in Germany.
As the monks descend from the temple steps, the trance like rhythm of wooden flutes and trumpets indoctrine the mid-morning morning crowd into a peaceful post breakfast glow. A tempo of rainbow colors beat in the high altitude shimmering sunshine as the dancing monks of the temple, circle round and wave, sway and jump in rhythm.
A cadence of didgeridoos pulse throughout the Himalaya, ancient ceremonial flutes echo from the snow capped hills as the gong of bells reminds me of the Buddhist nature of finding spirituality in the beautifully mundane nature of life. My multihued impatience of waiting for an e-mail quickly succumbs to the tempo of bells, drums and dance.
Cloaked masques soar high above as watchful prayer flags flap in the peaks of the crystal blue air. Tasseled capes brush by like soaring Himalaya eagles, as the gathered crowd smiles and sense the percussionist gong of an experience remembered. As the music shades the afternoon cool breeze, the lingering sensation of a last dance wafts through the cobble stone alleys of Leh, Ladakh. I hesitantly return to Pandemic The Magic Bicycle to finish preparing for tomorrow departure for the mountain tops, where I hope to find my subsequently imposing dance, the magic bicycle mountain dance of the Tibetan no longer tardy e-mail.