Leh is not so distant but that it can be reached in a short time, by riding quickly, from Spituk. It is an easy road over the even, gently rising surface of the wide funnel at the end of the valley, sandy, but strewn with blocks of granite which have fallen from the neighbouring side. The road is easy and straight, and marked by two parallel rows of stones which seem to go on for ever. Our little horses went forward with a steady, smooth pace until we urged them too strongly and they broke into an awkward, jerky trot. Half-way, a cavalcade which had come from Leh to meet us paid us their respects and then turned to join in behind us; then came another, and another, and then solitary riders who had tarried behind. We watched them come on at a good pace; then getting off the road they dismounted quickly and saluted us, bowing to the ground and raising their right hand to their foreheads; then they joined the others. And all the horses, as if in competition, quickened their rapid, smooth little steps, making more triumphal this unforgettable entry of mine into Leh. The unexpectedness of this and the quick pace at which we were going to a certain extent prevented those of us who did not already know it from observing the great tree-lined. avenue of the bazaar and the royal palace dominating it from the top of the short, steep ridge of rock, against which lean the closely-packed houses of the ancient capital of Ladakh.