We were welcomed with a prolonged breeze from the valleys of Lamayuru. This small village-town was bustling with raw life; monks in cloaks of deep maroon running up and down sand covered paths of the majestic monastery, old women with thick glasses chanting prayers by the road and navy green army trucks with their roaring engine whizzing by crafted a welcoming setting for us. We soon learned, through exchanging conversations of broken English and hand signs with the old crusty man who runs the only provision shop in the area, that we just missed an important religious festival. Some claimed we just missed the Dalai Lama. I left after buying three bottled water, an aluminium spoon and two Mars bars and caught two teenage Ladakhi girls smiling at me. I smiled back.