“I was expected, and was met at the gate by the wazir’s jemadar, or head of police, in artistic attire, with spahis in apricot turbans, violet chogas, and green leggings, who cleared the way with spears, Gyalpo frolicking as merrily and as ready to bite, and the Afghans striding in front as firmly, as though they had not marched for twenty-five days through the rugged passes of the Himalayas.” - From Among the Tibetans by Isabella Bird published in 1894.
Isabella Lucy Bird, married name Bishop FRGS, was a nineteenth-century British explorer, writer, photographer, and naturalist. She founded the John Bishop Memorial hospital in Srinagar. She was the first woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Jacki recreated Isabella Bird’s journey through northern Ladakh to see for herself the danger that the early explorer had put herself in. Jacki walked her route from Leh over the Dinar Pass as far as the Shyock River and back via the Lasirmou Pass, one of the most stunning 150 mile treks in the world.