We finished our work near Padum and started our long journey back to Leh. New direct road connections from Padum to Leh and Manali were under construction, but not yet finished, so we had no other option than to return the same way we came via Rangdum and Kargil.
During our stay in Padum, the weather had changed slightly towards the better and we had a splendid blue sky when we drove through the Zanskar and Suru valleys to Kargil. On the way, we passed several Ashura processions in which the locals mourned the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of prophet Muhammad, during the Battle of Karbala. Some were quite drastic with self-flagellations and thus blood-covered believers.
After three days of driving, we reached Leh in the late afternoon and by mere luck our return to the city coincided with the start of the colourful Ladakh Festival.