I just passed the halfway point on my trip yesterday. We were lucky enough to make friends with a very sweet Tibetan lady and she invited us to a Tibetan wedding. My friends had been to a Hindu wedding, but this was (according to them) very different. We drank "salty" chai and never ever want to again. They took four tasty things: tea, milk, salt, and butter and made something [shudder] not so tasty with them. It's a cultural thing, of course, and we did at least *try* it.
We just got back from visiting a Buddhist monastary (in Thiksey) and walking 3 or 4 miles to a ruined palace (in Shey). Tomorrow we will go on an overnight trek. It's something we set up with the cousin of the woman who invited us to the wedding. *Much* cheaper that way.
We've also arranged for a shared Jeep (taxi) to Menali, over one of the highest and most spectacular highways in the world. I'm told motorcyclists travel here to drive over it. It's not officially open yet, so I'll probably post a message saying "ok, we're leaving" and a confirming "ok, we've arrived" so you all can raise hell if something happens to us in between (as we will be travelling at our own risk).
This has been a very interesting experience so far, and I'm very fortunate in my travelling companions. I wish I could post pictures, but I think it would be too complicated and expensive (as I am paying 1.5 rupees for every minute I'm online). So, you'll just have to wait.
Until next time!
Oh, I meant to post something additional:
I've borrowed a friend's GPS receiver and have been wanting to give coordinates and link to an online map, but have yet to find an online resource that uses coordinates (like I think Google Earth does).
Here they are anyway (I'll transcribe them as exactly as I can, but I'm not sure why the E coordinate has a 0 or an O in front of it):
Glacier View Hotel (Leh, India):
N 34deg 10.096'
Elev. 11574 ft.
(accurate up to 21 feet)
If any of you has any helpful links, post it in the comments. Thanks!