Day 4 – June 15 – Markha

The Markha Valley was narrower than the Indus and much more varied. The hills on each side were a constantly changing scene of rugged spires and eroded slopes. The valley floor had sparse stands of buckthorn and other desert plants, with irrigated fields near human habitations.

The hiking was long but mostly flat. At one place we needed to ford the cold stream, but the water was relatively low and no problem.

We camped at Markha, the most sizeable village in the valley. There was a small monastery and the ruins of a hilltop fort that had been built during the 1830 Kashmiri invasion. The fifteen houses seemed mostly empty, with people off working fields elsewhere in the valley.

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