Travellers flock to the Himalayan region of Ladakh in northern India - drive the Khardung La (the world's highest motorable road), go whitewater rafting or trekking and to take their travel photography to the next level. But even the most robust and ready traveller would struggle with the recent spate of heavy rain and flooding the region is experiencing.
Steve Davey has just returned from leading a travel photography tour in Ladakh. He says:
Communication in Ladakh is difficult at the best of times. For security reasons, no international roaming is allowed for mobile phones. Even pre-pay Sim cards from the rest of India will not work. Satellite phones are also banned without a special licence. While we were there, the broadband internet link with the rest of India was down for a couple of days, and only a few internet cafes with satellite connections were working.
What's worse, Steve believes, is that Ladakh is not used to wet weather and the ramshackle, mud-brick buildings on steep hillsides may not stand up to the torrent of water. Plummeting temperatures also make the situation more serious for travellers and locals alike.
Although the temperature in Delhi was around 40°c, there was still snow on the top of some of the passes. Anyone stuck up there in a vehicle overnight would be at serious risk of freezing if they were not well prepared. With the heavy monsoon rain that has hit, the situation will have got much, much worse, says Steve.
Reports from Indian officials said that dozens of people were still missing after floods, triggered by the recent unexpected heavy rains, damaged houses, telephone towers and government buildings in Leh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Soldiers are taking part in rescue operations.
Ladakh shares borders with China and Pakistan and is a predominantly Buddhist area.