Reaching Manali was an adventure for me ,I stayed at Zostel where I was bantered by a fellow roomie with loud snoring .I took the responsibility of waking up early and escorting the group for the journey next day.I had to wake up at 3.30 am and the guy did not let me sleep ,well well well you need to sacrifice sleep to enter heaven I guess . (Haha)
I along with my group reached the pick up point at 5 am and our driver Tanzin was pitch perfect on time .Our journey to experience something which we had never experienced was about to begin.
I booked my Spiti tour through wethetravellersofficial . You can check out their page on https://www.facebook.com/wetheamazingtravellers/ .
The vehicle was a mini (12 seater)tempo traveller .We left early because we did not want to face any traffic on our way to Rohtang .Saying a bye to Manali with some gorgeous views on our way to the first stop .
The roads were crazy,but they were better than what was coming ! The road which we took is closed all year round and is only open between June to September .We were told to consume Dimox daily after breakfast .Dimox is usually consumed when a person travels to higher altitudes where the oxygen level is less.
The view was so good ,the air was so fresh and cold ,I totally forgot that I was sleep deprived . Yes I was ,I missed majority of my sleep for the last two nights .
Rohtang is 51 kms from Manali and takes about 3-4 hours to reach . The clouds were getting closer to us as we slowly and steadily crossed every turn and witnessed the might of the mountains .We also experienced slight rain on the way .Drizzling and not much of a bother .As the sun was rising higher the snow was melting faster .This enabled us to see tiny waterfalls or ‘nala’ as they say in Himachal .
We were hungry so we decided to take a stop for breakfast at Marhi .(a village just before Rohtang). It was 7 am and the views was spectacular .The sunshine just highlighting the snowcapped mountians .The tibetian multicolored flags which I was eager to see were increasing in number .They say ‘OM MANI PADME HUM’ protects us in the mountains and keeps all the negative powers away from us .
The place where we had breakfast offered both vegetarian and non vegetarian food .It was cold and to keep our body warm we definitely wanted a lot of food .My experience is the mountains with food when ever I had parathas was amazing and as soon as I saw Aloo paratha on the menu I was tempted rightaway .I decided to order Aloo paratha and also had Maggi and a cup of tea.After my breakfast I decided to stroll outside and explored a small stupa right in front of the cafe .
From Marhi we began our journey once more ,refreshed and warmer .Next stop was Rohtang pass .
Rohtang pass is a high mountain pass at about 13000 feet ,which is popular for its appearance in Bollywood movies like ‘Jab We Met’ .The pass is at power with the clouds and the temperature drops to almost 0 degrees here.
With Snow everywhere ,It was enthralling and amazing .Rohtang is a popular tourist spot where in people come for yak rides ,skiing or simple experiencing the immense beauty this place offers .
Rohtang got me excited and curious to know what is next .Leaving Rohtang behind we took the Manali-leh highway .We stopped in between to let the army trucks pass .Every officer who was sitting in the truck looked at us and gave us a wide smile .I felt so good after that and proud of our soldiers who go through so much just to keep us safe and smiling .
Our crazy road trip had just started ,we had to go beyond all the mountains shown in the picture above .I constantly asked our driver Tanzin ,how do you drive in such narrow roads so accurately .The terrain is beautiful but scary .
The adventurous roadtrips had many ups and downs .Obviously it is not going to be an easy ride to heaven .Our first hiccup was the popular ‘Ganda Nala’.
The vehicles waited in a queue ,as every other car or truck was getting stuck in the submerged road .Our driver Tanzin was used to such things .he told us to get down and enjoy the show .He guided other drivers on how to get through this .Here are a few glimpses.
The air was getting colder,the wind was getting stronger and the views were getting better and better .There were no concrete roads so we were advised to close the windows to avoid dust .After travelling for another hour we halted for tea .
The journey to one of the most beautiful places on earth was not easy ,with twists and turns at every minute the roadtrip was tiring and drenching .
We finally reached the place I had heard about as the best dhaba for having the local food on the way to Kaza .It was called the Chacha Chachi Dhaba ,ironically both chacha and chachi were present at the dhaba .
I tried the local rajma rice and roti and a bowl of maggi here.
After a great lunch are next stop would be after entering the majestic Spiti valley .Our bodies got used to the jerks ,the cold air and dust blowing ,it was as if we had spent 10 days here and we belonged here ,the feeling was amazing .
Our next stop was an amazing and beautiful pass .It was the place which connects Kullu and Lahaul valley to Spiti valley ,The popular Chandratal lake is just 15 kms away from here.Enriched with natural beauty this part of India is one the most eye catching locations in the world .
After clicking a lot of pictures ,we were tired and waiting for our destination .It was all going good until one last nala .This one is called Pagal nala .It is one of the most dangerous nala’s in the valley .They say Spiti does not have any particular road ,local drivers like tanzin make their own way and seep through .Confident as usual Tanzin drove through the Pagal nala and bang we were stuck .
Because it was late afternoon ,the snow had melted a lot so the water currents had a lot of speed and the worst part was that the amount of water was increasing .Tanzin asked us to get down and push the Tempo .We got down and thought it might work .But as soon as we stepped the water current ,our feet were freezed .The water being generated from snow had to be extremely cold.
The worst part was ,there was no one and we could not push the tempo further .It was freezing .The tire was getting submerged more and more .Tanzin waited for sometime and there was some help after half an hour .The local drivers saw us stuck and came to our aid .The along with Tanzin had a plan ,they first changed the flow of water by adding heavy rocks .The clean up the stones near the back tires .After doing this they created a path for another tempo traveller to go ahead of us .Once he went ahead he tied us with a rope and the most adventurous path of our rescue was finally working .With over an hour spent ,we were finally rescued .Tanzin and the other local drivers waited there to help all the people who were coming by the same path .I will uploading a youtube video of the rescue operation.
After a tiring day ,we finally managed to beat the changing weather ,the threatening waterfalls to enter our destination.
Yes it was time to enter SPITI VALLEY!
From snow capped to mountains,to lush green fields,from cold desserts to majestic lakes .Spiti valley gives you experiences like no other location in the world .It is a separate world altogether.After a journey of a lifetime with ups and downs we finally reached to the valley of beautiful landscapes ,a place with warm hearted people and views you can never forget .
Kaza the main town of Spiti valley.Our mobiles network were not working ,the oxygen level had dropped and the experience of entering a place with amazing landscapes was just about to begin.
The homestay where we stayed was called Solo Yolo .On reaching I rested and made myself rejuvenated for the trip ahead .My next blog will be about the wonderful places I visited the next day ..Stay tuned ..