• Travel Story - Lahaul SPITI valley Motorcycle tour - 1900Kms Road less traveled 5 1
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Offline Saurabh Soni

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Gotripperz went on a memorable 10 days Lahaul Spiti Bike tour from Delhi to Lahaul and Spiti Valley Circuit through most difficult terrain in Himalayas at the end of the season in September, which is the best time and month to visit Spiti Valley.
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We covered all the important Milestones on the Spiti Valley Bike Road trip circuit with our Ride starting from Shimla and ending at Manali: Gurgaon --> Chandigarh --> Narkanda --> Reckong Peo / Kalpa --> Nako --> Tabo --> Dhankar --> Pin Valley --> Kaza (Key, Kibber, Langza, Komic) --> Losar --> Kunzum Pass --> Chandertal --> Batal --> Chhatru --> Gramphu --> Rohtang La Pass --> Manali --> Mandi --> Gurgaon.

It was a Bike trip of a lifetime spanning 10 days 1900 kms on arguably the most challenging circuit in the world. And the machines were not those Royal Enfields, which you see plenty on this terrain but Road trip's backbones were 2008 model 150 CC Hero Honda with 60000+ kms on the meter and another one was 2011 model 220 CC Bajaj Pulsar and 1998 Vintage classic 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet(Totaled).
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Prologue:

It was always a dream to go into this terrain and get myself challenged to test the limits and the very first name comes to ones mind is always Leh Ladakh and to do Delhi Srinagar Kargil Leh Manali Road trip circuit has always been on my bucket list, but that requires plenty of time to squeeze out from the ever busy corporate schedule. Since January this year, I was waiting for the roads and the passes to open, I asked every friend, known or Unknown  ;D, to do this trip with me but no plan was shaping up as the days required to do this circuit were too many. (I always open the log with this issue of leaves, please bear with this  :-\). August end was approaching and so does the end of the great summer season of the dream destination.To find a solution, I saw a great opportunity at the end of September to get around 10 days by officially taking 4 days of leaves. But 10 days were still not enough for Leh circuit and I only wanted to experience it on Bike and strictly no other mode of transportation and then I proposed another circuit through Spiti Valley to my friends. So, 5 including me had confirmed and we finalized to leave on early morning of 25th September 2015 and we had leaves till 2nd October, thus 10 days in Hand. 
Now after the confirmation and a pledge to leave, it was time to pull out some tough Project Planning tools :P, I took the initiative of planning as I knew this would be a challenging outing and margin of error on the trip would be very less but still few learn only when they smell the dust and one of my friend made a mistake of ignoring few suggestions and thus went very unlucky on the trip. It was like you are on the summit with all the excitement and then somebody tells you that you need to go down buddy. When you go to the uncharted territories and dealing will uncertainties and taking the risks, issues are bound to happen, it is how you react, take hard decisions and then move on, makes you climb the mountain and conquer the top.
I started researching on internet, started planning each and every day, places to stay each day, what to do each day. I started writing down each and every thing. In parallel, I started suggesting my friends to start preparing go shopping, take motorcycles to service, get the worn out tubes or worn out tyres changed, get the wires changed, get those bungee chords, insurance, pollution etc etc etc. Get everything sorted out atleast before a week of departure date.

My Hunk getting ready for the trip
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Below was the plan, which got finalized and we sticked to it mostly but not fully during our trip because plans are always meant for ideal cases and uncertainties always deviate you from the plan and then when the risks are encountered you gotta have mitigation plans kicking in to save you.

Original plan:
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How it went

Day 1: Gurgaon to Chandigarh (This day has its own story, keep reading)
Day 2: Chandigarh to Narkanda via Shimla
Day 3: Narkanda to Reckong Peo 
Day 4: Reckong Peo / Kalpa to Nako through most treacherous road in the world
Day 5: Nako to Tabo via Gue Mummy Monastery
Day 6: Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar monastery and Kungri Gompa in Pin Valley
Day 7: Kaza to key monastery, Kibber Village, then Komic via Langza and back to Kaza
Day 8: Kaza to Chandertal via Losar and Kunzum Pass(Highest Point of our journey)
Day 9: Chandertal to Mandi via Batal, Chhatru, Gramphu, Rohtang Pass, Manali, Kullu, Bhuntar, Mandi(This was the most eventful, adventurous, tiring, difficult day for our riding trip.. read on till Day 9 and you will get to know why?)
Day 10: Mandi .... --> ride ride ride ride --> ride ride ride ride .................. Gurgaon

Apart from this planning, we also did a deep planning on the things to carry and also about the Motorcycles. I made a list during my last Motorcycle trip to Kasol and this list required a slight modification and helped saving much time.
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Introducing the machines with Riders:

Sahil on his 220 CC Bajaj Pulsar:
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Sanjeev and his 1998 model 350 CC Royal Enfield Bullet
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Myself Saurabh on 2008 model 150 CC Hero Honda Hunk
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The Tripperz:
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Few Teasers to open the log:

Amazing view from Hatu Peak in Narkanda
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Click enroute Kalpa to Reckong Peo
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Roadless Travelling from Reckong Peo to Nako
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And presenting to you World's most treacherous Road
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Beautiful Nako Loops
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Spiti Valley and where is the Road to ride
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Gue Mummy New Monastery under development
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Just after leaving Nako
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Apples and apples all through the circuit
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Tabo Monastery
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Pause but got lucky
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Meditating
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Valley and the Spiti River
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Dhankar Monastery
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Friends that you make on the trips, Munna Pahi
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Spiti Valley beauty at its best
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Dream Destination Key Monastery
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Machine relaxing between Key Gompa to Kibber Village
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Went beyond kibber till end of the road
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Going to Langza and Komic highest Villages near Kaza
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A Food joint at Kaza
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Amazing formation in between Kaza to Losar
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Kaza to Losar, this road is far far better what we would encounter after this
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Climbing Kunzum Pass at 4500 meters
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Finally at Kunzum Top
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And the chain of streams started and the most difficult portion of the trip commenced
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Freezing cold at Chandertal Lake
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And the beautiful Chandertal Lake
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Another Stream, a very small one from the lot
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A rare view, snowless Rohtang Pass
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A Happy Face
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 02:39:47 AM by Saurabh Soni »




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Offline ankitjuneja1

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So, Tripper is back with new set of pics and experience from a very new trippy place. Great pics and this time I will complete the reading, just finish this log soon :P

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Offline ishanmalhotra

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Amazing Bhai, What a trip!... Missed going on this one.

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Offline Saurabh Soni

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Ankit and Ishan bhai.. more to follow, this will be a long one

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Offline amit1984

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Let it come, full circuit, all the way to Spiti , this is great stuff bro
Leave the trail, wherever you travel.

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Offline Saurabh Soni

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Day 1: Gurgaon to Chandigarh

So, all the hard work was done, all the planning was completed and it all boiled down to a D-Day. Had a very hectic day, a day before the D-day because you know you will be out of contact from the outer world for 10 days and these living organisms tie you back whenever you try to get away otherwise they don't need you but when you just tell them that you want to leave and go out you tend to become most important person to everybody.. Initially the plan was to leave very early in the morning and 'very' early morning means 4ish but the previous day ended very late, whatever you plan but the fate has its own recipe for you. There was so much work calling me back and I was still not sure about the trip I still was deciding to go or not to go. Finally I made up my mind to do hell with materialistic world and leave for the adventure for next 10 days. Started packing and packing went on till 1 am and then in the night itself, we postponed it to start at around 8 in the morning now and we didn't know it to be a very long and tiring first day in store for us.

So finally at 9 in the morning (8 Indian Standard Time), we were ready and now out of the initial 5 only 3 were going and 2 of us started from my place at Gurgaon and Sanjeev would meet us near Indira Gandhi International Airport. We decided to have a breakfast at Murthal, which would be our first halt but we never had a breakfast that day, such was a story and terrible start of the day and the trip.

At the start of the trip at my place in Gurgaon
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Sanjeev met us near IGI and we didn't waste much time as we already were very late and were behind the schedule, I was thinking of a new destination for the day to take halt as Narkanda seemed to be beyond reach for Day 1. So, the deviation from the plan started within first hour of commencing the trip. After meeting Sanjeev we crossed Dwarka to take outer ring road and while waiting at a red light, first shocker came. Sanjeev came near me and just murmured in a very shaky voice, " Yaar Bike hawa le rahi hai" (some problem in bike), I still remember that first sentence from him but I ignored and told him to keep going, I thought it is just 5-10kms, it must be some minor thing. We rode for 5-10 kms more and then my phone beeped inside my pocket. I stopped and it was Sanjeev again, his Royal Enfield just denied to climb a flyover. I waited for Sahil for a while and explained him the situation, this worried me a bit and we reached back to Sanjeev and decided to take his bike to some mechanic but such is the royalty of Bullet that only Bullet mechanics fix the machine. Searching Searching and searching we finally found one near Rohini.
Now the mechanic in Rohini was one of his kind Ustaadji, He started the bike, accelerated it and heard the sound and replaced, I don't know what, a small part and putting back his aviators on his eyes from his forehead said confidently, "take this beauty to another 2000 kms now". I didn't buy it but Sanjeev was now very confident. I still asked him to take a test ride and check, he said, "Now it is fine, I know about my Motorbike, let's roll". I couldn't do much and agreed.
It was already 12 pm in the noon and I wanted to ride little faster now and was still targeting to reach Shimla but there we reached Delhi-Haryana border and I got a call from Sanjeev again. Afraid to pick his call but still found some courage, I picked up his call and now he said, " Bhai this would not go". Me and Sahil now started taking this seriously and were deciding what to do and we decided let's see if we find a mechanic one final time and ask his opinion.
Now I hate Royal Enfield mechanics because of blind love they have for the bike they just say anything in confidence. Even if the bike is a piece of Garbage they would again try to sell it as a Vintage piece, which is made for 100 years spanning unlimited number of Kilometers. ;D
We took it to a mechanic and he told us that during the last service some Tapid Rods were not fitted properly and were bent. He hammered those rods to straightened and took a couple of hours and said the same thing, " Take this beauty to another 5000 kms, it will go and climb, just get Tapid rod replaced as a caution and keep a close monitor on Engine Oil". We poor souls again bought that.

Long Idle wait when the Royal Enfield Bullet was getting fixed 
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Man looking after his sick machine
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At around 4 in the evening, we were still there in Sonipat, around 10 kms from Delhi border and were hungry as hell and still didn't reach Murthal to have a breakfast  :P. Finally Bullet started behaving normally and we rode fast to reach Haveli in Murthal to fill our empty tummies.

At Murthal Haveli
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Now re-planning was done and it was already 5 in the evening and we decided to reach till Chandigarh now as going further didn't make sense. Fortunately ailing motorcycle behaved normally till Chandigarh and we didn't stop much before halting and finally ended the ill day at a hotel in Chandigarh.
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« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 02:34:07 AM by Saurabh Soni »

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Offline Ruchipatel

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Carry on with this great Himalayan tale :p

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Offline Saurabh Soni

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sure Ruchi but didn't understand your :P just keep following as I unfold this great Spiti Valley trip :P

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Offline Saurabh Soni

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thanks Amit Bhai, will be completing this and you are a great motivation Sir

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Offline amit1984

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Yes lage raho... Did you stay in camps in Chandertal?
Leave the trail, wherever you travel.


 


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