Road Trip to Spiti valley
Every rider dreams of going on a ride to Lahaul and Spiti. The ride is long, hectic and adventurous. Dedication is required to turn such a dream into reality. A few days back I followed my dreams and did a solo bike ride in the region for 5 days. It was a life-changing experience.
First Day of the ride
The ride began from Patiala, a town near Chandigarh at a distance of about 65 Kms.On the first day I was feeling relaxed, full of energy and motivated. hence, in order to cover the maximum distance on the first day, the ride started by 5:30 am in morning. The target for the first day was Rampur Bushahr. It is the midpoint of the journey, about 300 kms from Patiala as well as Kaza. It is one of the main cities located on the way. It has many options to stay and food. I enjoyed the ride between the mountains and kept on riding slowly and calmly. I had my first halt at a dhaba for breakfast after riding 135 km. It was located on the outskirts of Solan. The Shimla was 45 km away. I travelled for the next 60 km from Solan and reached Kufri. Here I had a cup of tea and relaxed for a while. Then I had my next halt at Narkanda, it is a beautiful village. I had some snacks and relaxed for a while. Then I decided to ride continuously for some time. I reached Rampur Bushahr by 4:00 pm. It was my target for the first day but there were a few hours left for sunset. So, decided to continue the ride untill sunset. Rekong Peo, the next main town was about 100 Kms from Rampur Bushahr. The road are dangerous, narrow and curvy that leads to the fall in average speed. It took me another 3:30 hrs to reach Rekong Peo I reached Peo by 7:30 pm. By the time I reached Peo, I was completely exhausted and wanted to rest for a while. I went to the hotel, had my dinner, and went to bed. I covered about 400 Kms on my first day of my ride. My target Kaza was just 200 kms away from Peo.
Second Day of the ride
On the second day of ride the distance was less but the route was challenging, as we elevate higher the ride becomes more and more adventurous. The road becomes narrow, curvy and dangerous. I started my ride on the second day by 8:30 am. The next filling station is located in Kaza. So, I went to the filling station to refill my fuel tank, and carried some extra fuel with me in a can. Then I started my journey for the second day. I enjoyed ride for about 80 Kms and had my first halt for breakfast at Khab Sangam. It is a beautiful place located between gigantic mountains. It is a place where river spiti and river satluj meet. There is a hotel located next to the rivers. I enjoyed the view clicked some pictures and had my breakfast. Once I was relaxed I started the journey again. The next halt point was Nako. It is the last big village of the Kinnaur region. In Nako there are many dhabas on the way, one can chill here for a while and can enjoy food or a cup of tea. There are may home stays in the village. Just next to Nako is miling naula I encounter mud when I was crossing it, But Border road organization officials were working on it. They cleaned it in some time and restored the route. The next point Sumdo is about 40kms from Nako. It is the entry point of spiti valley. There is a barricade of SSB in Sumdo. Tabo is just 30 km from this point. I went to tabo relaxed for a while had a cup of tea and maggi. I went to Tabo monastery, enjoyed the site for a while. Kaza was just 45 Kms from Tabo. Once I was relaxed, I started the ride again. When I about 10 km away from Kaza the temperature started falling and winds were chilling. I was wearing multiple layers but still was feeling cold. The weather was harsh. The ride was quite difficult, but I keep on riding as I knew that my destination was not so far. Finally, I reached Kaza by 6:00 pm, the first thing I did was I found a hotel and went to the room. Relaxed in a blanket for a while. Then I checked the temperature on my mobile, it was -2 degree. I rode m bike in that cold weather. After a while, I went to the market had some snacks and did some chit-chat with locals and enjoyed the weather. During the night the temperature fell to -10 degrees.
Third day of the ride
After having a conversation with the locals, I came to know that due to snowfall ahead the road from Kaza to Manali is blocked. So, I was suggested to go back via Peo and Shimla. So I decided to halt in Kaza for a while rest for a day and then go back. So, I rested for a while and went to market, visited the monastery and enjoyed the breathtaking views of Kaza.
Fourth Day of the ride
As it was not possible to ride ahead due to snowfall. So, I decided to ride back towards Shimla. When I went to the filling station to refill my tank I was told that there is no fuel and fuel will be available by 2:00 pm. So I went to a dhaba just opposite to the pump had my breakfast and decided to explore the tourist spots nearby. I went to Key village and monastery. I enjoyed the monastery for a while and rode to Kibber. Relaxed there for a while had a talk with the locals. It has a famous sanctuary spread in an area of 14000 sq km. It is famous for blue sheep and ibex. It is the main center for study, sports and photographing the Himalayan wildlife. As I had to planned to return the same day so I came back. The fuel was available by 2:30 pm and I started my ride by 3:00 pm. It was too late and thought that Nako would be a good option to halt for the night. When I reached Nako it was dark, time was about 7:00 pm. As I was not that tired, I decided to go further. It was adventurous. I like traveling in the dark as the traffic is always low and one can achieve a good average speed. I use to travel via car earlier. It is my first bike riding experience in a hilly area at night. It took me another 2 hours to reach Spillo. It is a small village located on the main road itself. It was 9:00 pm when I reached Spillo. I travelled about 180 km. The experience of a bike ride at night was excellent, but a bit risky and one should avoid it as much as possible.
Fifth Day of the ride
I started my ride by 8:30 am from Spillo. It is about 40 Kms from Rekong Peo. I reached Rampur Bushahr by 1:00 pm rested for a while had lunch at a Dhaba. I reached Narkanda by 3:30 pm and Shimla by 5:30 pm. I relaxed at a Dhaba on the outskirts of Shimla for a while. It took another 2 hr to reach Solan. The road between Shimla and Solan is under construction. I crossed Solan by 7:30 pm and reached Zirakpur by 9:00 pm and Patiala by 10:00 pm.
Although the ride was adventurous, challenging, rough and hectic, but it was a lifetime experience. As I always say ‘ Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all’, I enjoyed every bit of my ride. The breathtaking views, the serenity of the place makes your mind calm and transports you to another place.