Spiti was in my hit list from last two years and unfortunatly, I missed in during my last visit to Lahul and Spiti district, but fortunatly I was able to make it this year. Vibhu just got back from spiti trip, in telling his story he used senses which sensed into my mind and very next week I made a fast, risk and expensive schedule with my school friend Aditya. He is also a travel freak, but the only difference between him and me is he does a lot of research before leaving to destination. We left to CP(New Delhi) a day before our journey and booked our tickets to Manali. It was another turnout in quest, we used Manali and entery point to spiti valley while most of the travellers uses Shimla as entry point. The only logic behind this move was we didnt want to spoil our trip due to heavy rain in Kinnur district. We met on Metro and left to Manali.
Bus ride was very comfortable though it was a bit expensive on our pockets. We reached on time but still we were out of time, that was another loophole in our planning. Finally we decided to spend a whole night in Mahri a point 34 Kms above Manali. Luckly, we stayed in a rest house which was owned by a Spitian woman, she told us about his husband who work in Spiti and a lot about Spiti river and its history. Everything was seeming beautiful except rain, somehow we got a bus to spiti which was loaded with nearly 50 other people and some dopped Israelis. The good thing in this bus was, somehow it was taking us to Spiti on inaccessable pathway. The person next to me was a local spitian guy, who was interested in selling his guesthouse to us, but he added some valueable facts about Spiti.
After a seven hour, hopping serveral beautiful villages and giant KumZum La pass we finally reached to Kaza – the capital of Spiti valley. Kaza is one of the driest cold area in India but clouds were following us like they were our colleagues or something. As we stepped out, rain begun to start with strong cold wind waves. We start poking for some room and fortunatly we found it very fast. I wasnt aware that rain, cold wind, bad food and height (4800m) just struct me and in night I couldnt sleep, I was so dumb that I didnt want to take painkiller in night.
Next Moring, it was all new except my headache. We ate eggs in a local resturent with all Isreli and Italian menu in it. Aditya suggested me to take painkiller and i did, that certainly helped me to get back to my way of exploration. As in our plan, Kye-Monestry was a must visit point and fortunatly there was some annual day function on the same day so there was no reason to not visit Kye. Many tourist who visit Kaza skip kye monestry but after having a close look on it, I found Kye is very different buddhist place. A noble man gave us a cheap lift to Kye and we enjoyed the whole ceremony and nice buddhist food. While coming back to Kaza we met with two canadian girls who were thinking that young Indians are scoundrel. Emma and Garanda were on Indian pathways from last 6 months and till then they liked India, suddenly they asked “what you doing deepak?” I said computer science and “you?” Emma said to Aditya. “Fashion Designer” he replied. In this moment i saw frustation in myself as girls were suddenly turned to him. we had nice talk and we were on our ways.
The next day, everything seeming to be new, even my headache was gone too but not the rain. We went to Bus stand to get information about Bus to Tabo and this bus man replied “There is no bus for 2 days to Tabo”, that was another major hit to out trip. We’re thining that we just lost the whole trip after coming so far but we were wrong. Soon we came into a fuzzy mood and made plan of camping over chandartal lake. We were two and this would be too expensive for a team of two. We queued our interest to one of the tour organizer and here we met with Tino, Dao, Rachel(sorry i forget her name in Portuguese) and Joao. They got bus ticket but were not too lucky but still lucky enoguh to get a comfortable ride to Chandratal Lake, a famous travel photograher John and his wife were also on the same way and we paired with them to get a nice comfortable ride. Lake was heaven, it was srounded by small peaks which were ideal for hiking and a huge flat ground with tidy water. we had nice and relaxing time, next day i was in hurry to come back as I had to leave to Berlin and I didnt even plan anything.
In morning, we started to trek to Batal, we just its 20 Kms far and if we talk with 5km/hr then in 4 hrs we’ll be there. My bagpack was light enough to carry but Aditya carried his whole room with him, I was around 1 hr ahead of him and suddenly i saw a tampo with Aditya. I had some intution in my mind that he’ll get some lift because i saw his bag was too heavy to carry. We loaded ourself on tampo and headed to Grumpoo and then Manali.
In summing up my journey to spiti, its necessary to mention nagging Israels(we met with few good israelis too), Ecosphere – camping organizers and ultimate transportation system by HRTC. Spiti was much more unpredictable but in a good way, hope I’ll make it again someday.