We planned this as a short day to drop the rest of the way to the Markha valley, where we would spend the next four days.
We met the valley at a village called Skiu, a collection of a few houses and farms spread out along the Markha river. A small monastery overlooked the village. Its modern part was like most others, but a small door led to an ancient room with a statue of Maitreiya (Buddha of the Future). This statue stood 6 meters (20 feet) tall and was of great antiquity.
The weather was better than the previous day but we still had a few drops of rain as we neared our campsite. Ladakh is normally a desert and June is one of its driest months, but this year the pattern seems to be different, with small showers passing across the mountains even on days that start sunny. Everyone blames global warming.