A day in the life of the Pashminas

Cass and his furry friend

I was sifting through our summer 2006 pics, and came across these two furry fellows. The pic was taken by Aussie Dan after I’d fed this friendly miniature goat a piece of chapati. The toothbrush was for my own benefit. The three of us were reaching the end of our Karzoc Valley ultra-light (and ultra-hungry) hike’n’bike adventure, on a mission to unearth new singletrack. A story which I’d like to write up one day (if they’ll have it) for a fine UK publication by the name of Singletrack.

The night before, we’d dined with a Tibetan semi-nomadic shepard and his wife, as well as a handful of hey-diddly-neighbours in cowboy hats who’d crammed into the tent to watch us. As luck would have it, the wife spoke surprisingly good English, and told us a bit about their lives.

In the warmer summer months the small village of a dozen families cross the pass and descend to the vast, grassy expanse of the Morei plains to fatten up their livestock – in their case a grand total of 99 Pashmina goats. In the winter, everyone huddles away in cuboid, mud brick houses. They’re set in a protective quandrangle, with windows only on the inside: this place gets very, very cold. It’s 3 days and nights away by horse from Leh (when the roads are cut off by snow) and a real ghost town in the summer. We’d passed through it the day before, and even in these warmer months a cutting wind was whipping through the valley.

Every once in a while, a businessman from Leh visits to buy the pashmina wool, considered the softest in the world. Interestingly, the goats aren’t sheared but brushed, which removes their fine hairs.The family treated us to a hearty breakfast (goat milk and goat yogurt amongst other things) and then we said our farewells – the husband set off with his mates towards the hills, yodelling and yipping to the various yaks, sheep and goats that were milling about. I said I’d go back next year with some pictures.

The Pashmina Massive

The Pashmina Massive.

Nomad head

This chap didn’t say much, but he seemed to like watching us.

Cass, Dan and Rob

One for the family album.

Bike shadow

Inside the nomad tent, warm and out of the wind…

Singletrack Morei Plain

Singletrack off the Morei Plain.

Pics by Daniel and Cass.


1 Response to “A day in the life of the Pashminas”

  1. 1 remo March 27, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Kinnaur is a breath takingly scenic and sparsely populated region. Spiti and Satluj rivers flow through Kinnaur to

    meet at Khab and become one the Satluj. Scores of flowing streams feed these rivers and all their valleys are

    strikingly beautiful the slopes are covered with thick woods, orchards, fields and picturesque hamlets.Here are two

    of the world’s great mountain ranges the Zanskar and the Great Himalaya.Sumdo is the last Kinner village on this

    road i.e.NH-22 whereafter the SH-30 starts leading into Spiti Valley. The total length of road from Shimla is 355

    Kms whereas Shimla is another 385 Kms from Delhi.
    Please Visit For More Detail

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