Gotripperz

Travel => Gotripperz Official Trips => Topic started by: Saurabh Soni on November 10, 2015, 02:26:16 AM

Title: Travel Story - Lahaul SPITI valley Motorcycle tour - 1900Kms Road less traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on November 10, 2015, 02:26:16 AM
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)  (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg802/#msg802)
Day 2: Chandigarh to Narkanda via Shimla (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg807/#msg807)
Day 3: Narkanda to Reckong Peo (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg832/#msg832) 
Day 4: Reckong Peo / Kalpa to Nako through most treacherous road in the world (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg837/#msg837)
Day 5: Nako to Tabo via Gue Mummy Monastery  (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg849/#msg849)
Day 6: Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar monastery and Kungri Gompa in Pin Valley (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg17506/#msg17506)
Day 7: Kaza to key monastery, Kibber Village, then Komic via Langza and back to Kaza (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg17508/#msg17508)
Day 8: Kaza to Chandertal via Losar and Kunzum Pass(Highest Point of our journey) (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg17522/#msg17522)
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?) (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg17526/#msg17526)
Day 10: Mandi .... --> ride ride ride ride --> ride ride ride ride .................. Gurgaon
 (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/delhi-shimla-spiti-valley-manali-circuit-trip-through-most-challenging-terrain/msg17536/#msg17536)
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 (http://www.gotripperz.com/gotripperz-official-trips/gotripperz's-bike-trip-to-kasol-in-october-'14/) 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 (http://www.gotripperz.com/north-india-24/key-gompa-monastery-spiti-valley/)
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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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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: ankitjuneja1 on November 13, 2015, 12:35:27 AM
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
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: ishanmalhotra on November 13, 2015, 01:49:02 AM
Amazing Bhai, What a trip!... Missed going on this one.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on November 24, 2015, 01:58:00 AM
Ankit and Ishan bhai.. more to follow, this will be a long one
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: amit1984 on November 24, 2015, 02:03:01 AM
Let it come, full circuit, all the way to Spiti , this is great stuff bro
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on November 24, 2015, 02:53:10 AM
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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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Ruchipatel on November 25, 2015, 02:53:55 AM
Carry on with this great Himalayan tale :p
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on November 30, 2015, 01:18:56 AM
sure Ruchi but didn't understand your :P just keep following as I unfold this great Spiti Valley trip :P
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on November 30, 2015, 01:28:15 AM
thanks Amit Bhai, will be completing this and you are a great motivation Sir
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: amit1984 on November 30, 2015, 01:37:31 AM
Yes lage raho... Did you stay in camps in Chandertal?
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on December 01, 2015, 02:14:41 AM
Day 2: Chandigarh to Narkanda via Shimla

Day 1 was a frustrating and a tiring day and we were already behind schedule by a day and I remembered that for the mighty climbs in store for us, Royal Enfield needed to visit a clinic again and wanted to get its Tapid Rods replaced as the mechanic at Sonipat advised us to do so. So, we packed our bags and went to the Parking lot and met with another surprise, at the parking, Royal Enfield was sleeping on the ground. Somebody hit her and both the rear view mirrors were broken. I mean seriously, we still are curious how both mirrors got a beating when the Royal Motorcycle fell and more surprising was it was standing between other two bikes, which remained unhurt. The Jinx was not leaving us.

Royal Enfield with both mirrors gone
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We straightaway took Royal Enfield to the Auto Market in Chandigarh and then we again waited for 3-4 hours there. Again half of the day was gone. There is not much for this day as I had only one target of reaching Narkanda that day otherwise the trip would have got doomed.

Finally, at around 2-2:30, motorcycle was ready to go and again Mechanic told us, "Sir ab to ise kahin bhi chada lo", Bloody hell his statement was. If I ever go on a same route again, I would love to make those mechanics take that machine and climb a steep peak of Hatu, where the story ended.

So we started and Royal Enfield was again out of sight from rear view mirror within minutes and this time my frustrated mind wanted to leave it behind. I rode at 100 kph on the beautiful Himalayan Expressway entering the great Himalayas.
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Finally, we stopped and waited for Sanjeev to come and then we 3 rode together and within no time we were riding in hills. Still target was Narkanda and I didn't want to stop. Finally near Solan we stopped for a while to take a little break and then we started again to reach Shimla finally at 8 pm.

Near Solan bus stand
Royal Enfield taking much needed fresh air, I hope somebody would invent an inhaler for the ailing machines
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We crossed the Tunnel and entered Old Shimla, there we refilled the Petrol and asked about the Road Ahead, it goes via Kufri and from my last trip I remembered it was an effective inclination. I asked few people about the road ahead and distance left to cover. I got mixed reactions, some told me not to go further in night and some told that on motorcycles it won't be an issue and we would comfortably reach in 2 hours as distance was appx. 50 kms. We decided to go ahead and started, suddenly it was very dark and we were riding in complete black with just headlight on. Frequently we were encountering apple godowns and we always felt as if we reached some beautifully lit village but those were only godowns. And then what I used to be fearing the most on the trip happened again. I got a call from Sanjeev again  :P and now he told me a completely new problem. He said,"Bhai Battery is dying and headlight is very dim". I asked Sahil to be behind his motorcycle and I will be ahead of him to show him the road. Totally frustrated, finally at around 10:30 pm, we reached Narkanda. It was drizzling, and wind was blowing harshly and was very cold and just one shop was opened. The only Hotel we could find was not opening the gates. We were shivering but were clueless about place to stay. All the places were completely booked. Finally one hotel owner opened the gates and offered us a conditional shared room for Rs 4000/- for a night. I mean seriously? shared room for 4000 bucks for a night and the condition was that we needed to vacate the room by 6 am in the morning. I got my senses back and went on to search for some cheap accommodation. Finally one Sardarji came to our rescue and fetched us a guesthouse room for only Rs 500/- for a night. It was a very basic room with no luxury but was decent enough for us to sleep in the night and to get freshen up in the morning.
So, we took our bikes near guest house, threw the bags in the room and went for a dinner on the only opened Dhaba in Narkanda and called it a day and that's how another tiring day ended and we were running behind schedule by a day but there was something to merry as we finally managed to reach Narkanda.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on December 01, 2015, 02:31:55 AM
Amit, yes we stayed at camps near Chandertal and it was one hell of a night at campsite near Chandertal. You will get to know as you read more :)
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: ghostrider on December 13, 2015, 12:50:15 AM
great stuff, I know you went on to Chandratal from Shimla side, but how much time does it takes to reach Chandratal from Manali side, Is it possible to do a to and fro from Manali in a weekend?
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on December 13, 2015, 01:00:19 AM
Actually it is possible to do to and fro from Manali to Chandertal and then back to Manali within a weekend, but that would be too tiring to do. The way after Rohtang Pass (Gramphu near it) till Chandertal is a very difficult terrain. and going doing a to and fro will be way tiring to spend a freezing cold night there at Chandertal. I would suggest to take a day break there and camp there at Chandertal and then come back.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: ghostrider on December 20, 2015, 03:59:55 AM
Ok...  Getting an off for so long to complete this circuit is a big ask.  I'll try reaching Chandertal from  Manali side when the season comes.  Anyways which is the best month to do spiti and chandertal?
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on December 20, 2015, 04:17:22 PM
well for a trip to Spiti, season starts in late May and ends at mid of October. After mid October, once it snows, it becomes very dangerous on high passes like Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass.
But according to me the best time to visit is couple of weeks before the season ends, which is you can plan to start for Spiti Valley at mid September till late September, when most of the streams will be dried up and you will not see much power of flow in those streams. Otherwise the streams you will face between Chhatru and Batal near Chandertal will be very difficult to cross. So as per my experience and the information I got from locals is that the best time to visit Spiti valley is in the month of September.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on January 09, 2016, 02:08:45 AM
Day 3: Narkanda - Hatu Peak to Reckong Peo via Rampur, Jhakri

After an exhausting second day and after struggling for first two days, we woke up fresh. I had 3 things on my mind while starting the day. First was to visit Hatu Peak asap and come back and start the journey on wards. Second was to cover the delay of a day. In my original Itinerary, we planned to reach Narkanda by end of day one but we managed to reach there by day 2 and thus we lost a complete day and I wanted our trip to be back on track and wanted to be at the place where we initially planned by skipping Chitkul and surrounding areas and slog on to reach Reckong Peo by end of Day 3. The Third and the most important thing, which also worried me, was again that Royal Enfield, now the battery also died and was looking for someone to fix so that we continue our struggle with Royal Enfield.

We all decided to skip bathing and just freshen up to ride on because there was no hot water there. As I wrote that at Narkanda we got a very basic room to stay and that was our worst accommodation on that trip out of many accommodations we took during our 10 days journey.

This was our room at Narkanda:
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At start of the day in Narkanda:
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We were fresh now, went to the main square of Narkanda, it was a bright sunny day. We did our breakfast and started our journey to Hatu Peak.

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Now Hatu Peak climb is a fun but a very steep one. It was one of the steepest climbs we rode on during our complete journey. Way was beautiful, Road was smooth but very narrow. We were on motorcycles so didn't face any issue on those narrow roads but if you are on a four wheeler it would become quite tricky on few turns. So, we were climbing smoothly, I kept my 150cc machine on 1st gear and kept on climbing but suddenly again Royal Enfield refused to climb further. I literally had to get off from my motorcycle and needed to push that Royal Enfield on multiple occasions. Somehow again after a struggle we reached the Hatu Peak and temple. But at that point I decided that this bike ain't be going further and now is the time to take a call finally and ask Sanjeev to end his journey and start back for Delhi. It was late but a wise decision because now I know what terrain we encountered on our way further and Royal Enfield would never have made it through the circuit. Sanjeev's Journey till New Delhi was indeed another interesting story but the copyright still remains with Sanjeev to make that story public.

Road to Hatu Peak:

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3400 meters  above sea level at Hatu Peak.
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We were enjoying the view. We took few pics and I also talked about the issue with Sanjeev, also met a rider, who was doing Chitkul route, riding solo. We shared our stories but his was an interesting one. I forgot his name but he told us that he is an MBA from one of the IIMs, quit his job and now only traveling for the living. Quite inspiring!

I was keeping a tab on my watch, we didn't waste much time and came back to Narkanda from Hatu Peak. We bid adieu to Sanjeev. One of the Biker Gang was going to Delhi from Narkanda and we set up Sanjeev with them. Me and Sahil started further journey in opposite direction.

Our last pic with Sanjeev on our Journey and then there was a farewell:
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It was a long descent till Rampur, Roads were wide and mostly smooth and we were in a hurry that day didn't stop much, not even to click the pics. We decided that we would do lunch at Jhakri as Sahil's father work place at Jhakri only but those days he was on vacations.
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We reached Rampur, my helmet glass broke the other night when we reached Narkanda and I was hopeful that I would find something in Rampur but to my bad luck Rampur markets were closed that day. We were short of cash, searched for ATM but not even one ATM was dispensing cash out of 5-6 ATMs. We moved on and finally reached Jhakri at around 3:30 pm and we stopped for a lunch as we were starving.

Now the roads started to show the real colour. Soon we would be travelling roadless mostly further on. Just small patches of road to be encountered from now on till Rohtang Pass after Gramphu.

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Finally a gateway to Heaven
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By the time we finished our lunch, clouds started building up. We both covered our bags with the polythene sheets and also we put our raincoats on. We started riding, we were lucky enough that we encountered wet roads but no rains that day. Gradually, Sun went down and also we were riding on tough roads. Potholes were there, dust was in heaps and we were riding on and on. Roads started to test us. It was completely dark but Reckong Peo was the only target, though there was no option to stay in between. We found a petrol pump some 30-40 kms still to cover before reaching our destination and tanked full.

Finally around 9 we were in the surrounding areas of Reckong Peo. The town seemed to be a populous one but majorly went to sleep. Suddenly roads started to become better and we started seeing the billboards. But based on our experience in Narkanda, we were quite scared and afraid because it was again the same time and town was again deserted. I saw two people talking on a deserted road, one was in his car and I asked him where are all the Hotels sir. He was an educated  and helpful Man. I was surprised to see a good planned town in that area when the place was somehow isolated due to very bad road connectivity. One of the uncles told me there is a lane further on and you'll find many hotels and then he suggested a hotel JK international and told us to give his reference there. We went there. It was fairly a newly built hotel and we got a very good room with all possible luxuries and amenities in that room and for what price? Just Rs 600/- only.

The bathroom was bigger than the room we stayed in the other night.

Finally we had a dinner. I called Sanjeev and he told me that he was near Ambala and Royal Enfield again broke down as its accelerator wire also broke and the Gang just helped him to find a mechanic and they left him. I was feeling bad for him but he took the challenge and reached back to Delhi that night itself. I called and informed my where abouts at my home also and finally switched myself off for the day.
 
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: sandhyasingh21 on February 16, 2016, 01:35:17 AM
Pics are just wow, Feeling Go there right now
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on February 16, 2016, 01:38:35 AM
Sandhya, never stop and go right now :) though you should wait for roads to open for the season.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: amit1984 on February 16, 2016, 01:41:58 AM
Yes many are awaiting the season to start
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on February 16, 2016, 02:16:09 AM
Day 4: Reckong Peo / Kalpa to Nako through most treacherous road in the world

After a tiring Day 3 and a good night sleep, we started a fresh day. Previous day due to not so good accommodation in Narkanda, we couldn't get a courage to touch Ice Cold water but this morning we had plenty of hot water and plenty of space in our room and also in bathroom. We took our sweet time to get ready, but we decided that today's target, which is Nako, should be reached before sunset. Lesson Learnt for good.

Our room at Reckong Peo

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I still wonder till date that how amazingly this big town is flourishing at such a remote location. This was the same thought that came up in my mind when we left our Hotel and started exploring Reckong Peo in bright day light. We thought of having a lite breakfast in Reckong Peo and then we'll have something in Kalpa and will have lunch half way from Reckong Peo to Nako, we did exactly the same just on breakfast part and rest was our planning only and we cursed ourselves badly for this for rest of the day till we reached Nako.

Leaving Hotel from Reckong Peo after going through a daily ritual of packing all the luggage on our Motorcycles.

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Exploring Busy Reckong Peo and had breakfast
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After having breakfast, I straightaway wanted to leave for Nako because target was still to reach Nako before sun sets but in my planning I got one thing wrong, I thought that Kalpa is on the way to Nako from Reckong Peo, but it was on the other way and we needed to go to Kalpa and come back to Reckong Peo to carry on with our journey further.

Going towards beautiful Kalpa from Reckong Peo
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At Kalpa
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Coming back to Reckong Peo from other side and Bad roads, really bad roads again started to welcome us for the day

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After covering Kalpa, we continued our Journey forward and just after we left Reckong Peo town, Roads refused to resurface and we were riding on terrain similar to Mars again, with an odd river flowing adjacent to the road or no road :P . It was a real test and in the day light we could see what we covered last night, when we were riding to Peo.

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My Gadgets at work:
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To give us some relief, there were small patches of ROAD used to surprise us.

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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on February 16, 2016, 03:08:33 AM
Day 4 Continued... on World's Most Treacherous Road

After few stretches of clean roads, we reached dragon stage, though the Board was there at this stretch, we would find mother of all roads on our second last day of the trip. I will be sharing that mother of all stretches in this log for Day 9. Coming back to Day 4, we were riding on a very dusty terrain, sometimes one can get frustrated riding on that rough road. I used to reach 60 kmph even on those roads sometimes due to frustration and eagerness to pass those stretches asap but those were never ending. It was for very long we were riding and started feeling hungry but there was no change in surrounding views, only a plain dusty and rocky way, mountains and a river flowing adjacent to us and after every few Kms, there were workers working really hard to make a better way. Dumpers used to block the way for 15-20 minutes to clear the rocks due to landslides etc. But no food joint came for so long. I was dying of hunger till the time at one point we had to stop as  a Dumper and a bulldozer were clearing the way. After 10-15 minutes a Swift also came and stopped. We started chatting and then they offered me an apple and it was a life saver for me :D

The Road or No Road?
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This Man on the Bicycle would become a very Good friend the next day, but today we just laughed and asked us what made him to come here on this deadly road
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Back to the road or no road!
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Finally an achievement of a life time - Reached the board saying, "World's Most Treacherous Road"
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Back to the way forward to Nako
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Point, which is very near to China Border. Shiplika Pass is just 40 kms away, which is China Border.
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This is where the way forward was getting clear and I got that Life Saver apple, while waiting for road to get clear and make way.

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Suddenly after this point at confluence of Spiti River and Sutlej River at Khab, the Road got very neat and black and suddenly very wonderful loops started. These Loops are popularly known as Nako Loops and one needs to visit and drive or ride on these loops to feel the beauty of these. Now the air was fresh, we were enjoying riding on those beautifully carved roads. We had to stop at every 100 meters and every hair pin turn to click beautiful views. It was a great reward for the day to ride on those Nako Loops.

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Happy faces after getting much deserving reward

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Finally as we planned at the start of our day, we reached Nako before sunset. Nako is a small village, we entered the village and after crossing 2-3 roads, the village was over. We took a guest house as the Hotel was full and was charging quite high. We got a decent room for Rs 500 and also the guest house had the good food. We untied our luggage from the motorcycles and went straightaway to eat something and after filling our tummies, we were in our duvets to sleep under beautiful "moonly" night
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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on March 01, 2016, 01:07:38 AM
Day 5: Nako to Tabo via Gue Mummy Monastery Following a very tiring day en route to Nako from Reckong Peo on most treacherous road, my first question to first person I met was: How is the road ahead? My plan was to reach Kaza any how on that day. On the Map it was showing some 100-120 kms to cover and target was to get there by the evening.

We woke up early, did our daily rituals and had breakfast, I wanted to roam around Nako village also as I saw some very good pictures of the place but honestly I was disappointed, the pictures actually increased my expectations. We went to Nako Lake, there we met an Israeli solo traveler, had a chit chat for a while and roamed around the lake.
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Our room at Nako

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There was not much to do and we came back to the main square of the small village Nako. We had a wonderful breakfast and ready to leave the place but wait, I remembered just before reaching Nako yesterday, my Motorcycle's horn, and self stopped working, in short all the battery operated things stopped working. I opened  the battery compartment and found out that thick copper wire connecting the battery was broken. The most treacherous road actually broke a thick copper wire. I somehow fixed it, but it wasted our precious 40-45 minutes.
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We tied our luggage and went to other corner of Nako, there was a monastery but it was closed at that time. Just roamed a bit in the village and went inside Monastery and clicked a few.
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And we left Nako and within No time we were riding under clear blue sky and clear brown landscape, the view was marvelous and the wind was powerful, the road was not very good but still the patches were little bit, just a little bit better than the roads encountered the previous day.

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We followed a loopy downhill and we were riding adjacent to river Spiti, On one side there was a river and on other side there were trees full of apples. Apples so low we actually effortlessly plucked a few. There was a place we crossed named as Chango and we heard that the best apple comes from this place in the world.
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Now the road again started to take a toll on us and started getting worse. Again no road side establishment and the view became similar to what it was the previous day.

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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on March 01, 2016, 01:36:39 AM
Day 5 Continued: Gue Monastery: After Chango, riding for sometime I started looking for Gue Monastery asked few people and It was 14 Kms off the road but I was determined to see the GUE Mummy and took the road inside. To my utter surprise the road was butter smooth and it was just opposite from the highway for those 14 odd kms. Finally we reached the Gue Monastery but unfortunately it was closed but the place was very good.

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It was already 3-3:30 pm and we realized that we are still half way from Kaza and we had to reach there before sun sets for the day. We started and now there would be no stoppages for rest of the day. Around 5:-5:30, we reached a village called Tabo. There I stopped to remove my contact lenses and wear specs. It was hotel and restaurant and there we thought of having a tea, before proceeding further. There we started chit chat with people and they suggested us not to go further as we were late for Kaza and told us that nobody goes further without visiting Tabo's 1000 year old Monastery. We decided to stay back and got a very nice hotel and ended our day.

At Tabo

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The other thing which I asked during the chit chat about the Road forward. I told how bad the roads behind but they told me ohhh it was nothing, mother of all bad roads is waiting for you between Losar and Gramphu. Ohh boy yes it was mother of bad roads. Read on to read my experience of that hell of a trail.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: sandhyasingh21 on April 11, 2016, 01:44:46 AM
wow, great, continue this, been a long time now
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: amit1984 on April 11, 2016, 01:47:44 AM
Agreed, continue this, hooked for a long time now  ;)
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on April 11, 2016, 01:50:07 AM
wow, great, continue this, been a long time now

Thanks, been busy for sometime.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on April 11, 2016, 01:51:45 AM
Agreed, continue this, hooked for a long time now  ;)
I agree too  ;)
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on April 11, 2016, 01:57:32 AM
I have completed half of my travel blog from Spiti Valley and it takes an effort to write such a detailed log, thankyou for hooking on to this and keeping me motivated to complete this. :)
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: amit1984 on April 11, 2016, 01:59:20 AM
Yo bro, complete it soon
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on April 17, 2016, 02:40:26 AM
Day 6: Tabo to Kaza via Dhankar monastery and Kungri Gompa in Pin Valley

On Day 5, we took an unexpected halt at Tabo and didn't go till Kaza as we originally planned to reach at the end of Day 5, it was a great decision as Tabo Monastery is a great place to visit and also we were just lucky to stop at Tabo the previous evening because on Day 6 morning I found a flat tyre, before dwelling into the flat tyre story, I'll just start with the beautiful morning that welcomed us in Tabo. Hotel room was great in such an isolated village and when we gazed outside the window, a natural canvas with a contrast in colours just awestrucked us and those Apple trees were like "apples on the cake"  :D . The Old Hotel land lady just welcomed us with a great cup of tea and two fresh Apples. I couldn't communicate much with her as I was barely able to understand what she was speaking. But my guess is, she must be in her 80s and was so active and solely running the Hotel. What I got to know from others in the village and owner of Trojan Cafe that she spent her entire life earnings to build that Hotel and even in her 80s she expects a good return and future from her Hotel's earning. Now the season is just for 7-8 months a year at max and also rent is very meager, just 600 bucks a night with a good quality and maintenance. She spent all her money in the hotel that she couldn't afford a staff and was solely managing around 10 room hotel. Locals do help her but not full time. This was one of the many inspirational experiences and stories I heard on the trip. I would have loved to talked to her but was not able to understand what she was talking.

Our Hotel room:
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So, with those gifts, a wonderful tea and an apple I started my Day, today's target was to maintain the sequence, visiting Tabo Monastery and start the journey onward and visiting Dhangkar Monastery and then take a left to go all the way till Pin Valley and on the way visit Kungri Gompa Monastery and then come back on the main route to reach Kaza by evening. So these additions of Dhankar Monastery and Pin Valley, made our day tight again.

We got ready and had our breakfast in a hurry at Trojan Cafe and traversed through all the wonderful streets of a small village, Tabo. It was unbelievable to see how planned the narrow streets were and the play school at the center of the village. We saw many cafes and guest houses and finally reached, more than a thousand year old monastery.

My Bike resting, covered up in desert conditions to save it from too much dust
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Roaming around Tabo through its narrow streets:
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Finally through narrow streets, Tabo Monastery emerged and we just went inside and saw the beauty and the brown colour, the colour of our SOIL, it was just an awesome place to visit and surely a mandatory place to visit, if you are on the circuit and near Tabo

Tabo Monastery:

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Though it was not allowed to click a photograph inside the Monastery but I am guilty and managed to click few just for the memory, will not share publicly as it wouldn't be right to post

Continuing with Tabo Monastery pictures:

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After visiting Tabo Monastery, it was time to bid adieu to Tabo and keeping in mind all the places to visit, we again had more than 100 kms for the day in our platter and again target was to reach Kaza before sun set. Though we confirmed and discussed our stay possibilities in Kaza and a friendly Tempo Traveler driver gave his number and asked us to call him once we reach Kaza.

I was just reloading my bags on my Bike and suddenly I say this man, whom we saw on Day 4 on that most Treacherous road.

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I just stopped him and just wanted to talk to him, I told him that we saw him couple of days ago on a road between Kalpa and Nako. Since then till now we are friends. He told me that he is doing this complete circuit alone on the bicycle and also told me how his group somehow ditched him last minute and then he came alone. He forgot to carry his altitude meter and told me its important in a way that on Nako Loops the altitude suddenly rose and then he couldn't figure out how high he was and was getting tired frequently then he just had a bite of chocolate, gained some energy, came back downhill, gained more energy and reached Nako. As I was also loading my own luggage on the bike, he offered me help and I denied politely as he was on a god damn Bicycle doing the circuit. I just had to respect him. I didn't waste much of his time as I knew the importance of time in a day and between places, I just said good bye and gave my phone number to him to meet me at Kaza.

My Motrocycle loaded again:

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Just after riding a few meters, I felt heaviness in my bike's handling and then I stopped and looked at my front Tyre and it was flat. The only thing I was praying shouldn't happen had happened. I changed my rear tyre to be a tubeless one and was also carrying a pump for tubeless tyre and was just hoping that the front one doesn't get flat. But the unfortunate happened and it was not so unfortunate as we inquired and people told that puncture repair shop is 5kms opposite side from Tabo. We rode back and found him and got my Machine ready. I thanked him as he was our angel that day. The only thing that got lost due to puncture was our precious 1 hour.

My Machine recovering:
 
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After the Motorcycle was back on its tyres, we started the journey again, I remembered that I just needed to be careful of a right turn going towards Dhankar Monastery.

On the way, I saw a board of a village, Kurith of Population Just 30
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Back on Road:
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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on April 17, 2016, 03:25:57 AM
Day 6 Continued: Dhangkar Monastery, Kungri Gompa in Pin Valley and finally in Kaza

As I was careful of the sign board to Dhankar Monastery for the right turn, I saw it and took an uphill way to Dhankar Monastery, the way uphill was too good and was such a relief of seeing a good road. We reached Dhankar Monastery and roamed around a bit to get downhill from Opoosite side with not so good road.

Dhankar Monastery on the way and there:
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After coming back from Dhankar, and rejoining the main road we again found Munna Pahi on his Bicycle

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As it was already around 3'O clock, we had an argument on going to Kaza or visiting Pin Valley first and then go to Kaza as sun was already getting dim. We took a left and decided not to go all the way till Pin Valley but till Kungri Gompa only.

On the way to Kungri Gompa:

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Kungri Gompa Monastery:

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It was already 5 at Kungri Gompa and now the clock started ticking, we rode non stop till Kaza but still couldn't beat the sunset and reached there in the dark at around 7:30-8, but as I got the number of a helping hand we got our Hotel easily in Kaza near main Kaza Monastery and Petrol Pump. We dumped our luggage and went on to the roads, found Munna Pahi also and had a discussion with him, also met few more people and had wonderful sharing with them and called it a day. Finally we were at the place and now next day onwards the other side of the circuit would start.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on April 20, 2016, 12:37:00 AM
Day 7: Kaza to key monastery, Kibber Village, then Komic via Langza and back to Kaza

Half way through the trip, Day 7 was the most eventful day of the trip. There was no target to achieve, no way to go but to explore around Kaza. Excitement was at its peak as we planned to touch higher peaks on the day. Day 7 was the day when I would visit the place, which I always wanted to visit, THE KEY GOMPA MONASTERY.

At start of the day, the rule early to start was to be followed and I hate this rule but if you dont follow you can't stick to the plan. We were ready early and went on to see the monastery in Kaza but unfortunately it was closed and then we went to the local market to have breakfast.

Kaza Monastery:
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Our Motorcycles resting in the stable for the tough roads ahead:
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The only relief today was that there was no luggage to load on the machines, Just a small Duffle bag we carried and straight away went on to get our bikes to their river, the world's highest petrol pump at around 3700 meters from sea level. We had to wait for 15-20 minutes before someone finally decided to entertain us at the Petrol Pump.
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After getting our Motorcycles full tanked, we started the real journey and first stop was the place of my dreams, KI Gompa  Monastery. It was around 20-25 kms from Kaza and you start getting the glimpse of beautiful Monastery from very far off and once you reach there the beauty of the place and the surrounding views just grip you. History of the place that it was attacked so many times also raise the historic enthusiasm in you at different level.

On the way to Ki Monastery:
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Finally first glimpse of the Monastery:
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At this point, I completed 1000 kms on the trip. 7 days to first 1000 kms and then just 3 days for next 1000
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Finally we reached Key Gompa:
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View from Ki Gompa:
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After visiting and mesmerized by the beauty of Ki Gompa, we went ahead for Kibber Village. It is the last village on the road from Kaza and then there is a village called  Chicham, which is not connected by Road from Kibber side and if you want to go to Chicham Village by road that is just another side of the river you will need to cover 75 Kms. There was just a small trolley to carry people to other side and Bridge was under construction and with a season of just 6-7 months in the year, it would take years to build that bridge.

On the way to Kibber:

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Reached Kibber:
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Board at entry to PrangLa Pass, a pass to trek till Leh covering Kaza - Parangla - Rachu Lamo - Korzok - Leh
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Chicham Village can be seen from Kibber side but end of the road:
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Bridge Under Construction to connect Kaza Kibber with Chicham:
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Next set of pics is the real treat for eyes, the beauty of Kibber
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Spots on the Mountain are Cows
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End of the Road from Kibber side till now and Last Point in India:

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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: sandhyasingh21 on May 03, 2016, 12:28:51 AM
Oh my God, what a wonderful place is this! Spiti Valley's Magic and all pics from all places like Kaza, Kibber are so awesome. Keep Going @saurabhsoni
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 03, 2016, 12:33:50 AM
Yes Sandhya, Spiti Valley is the most awesome place and gives you prefect paintings out of your Camera and this reminds me of completing Day 7 and this long pending work in progress Travel Blog :D
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 03, 2016, 01:08:32 AM
Day 7 Continues..
After touching Chichum village, its time to turn back as there was no road ahead and we again came back downhill crossing Kibber and Ki Monastery again and took the Kaza Road. Now, I heard about the highest motor able village in the surroundings and wanted to visit there, this place is Komic, at the elevation of 4587 meters.

We saw the link road board for Komic and Langza and straightaway took the road into the unknown again.
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It was a difficult trail to ride on, I would say it was a trail as there was not even a hint of morter or the Grey road. Suddenly we were riding deep in the mountains. We were already feeling hungry but we didn't hope much as now we were familiar with the limitations of the landscape.

Trail to Langza and Komic
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Finally out of nowhere we were riding in open areas and saw a board Langza, but wait where is the Village?
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I was so relieved to see that board that now I would get something to give to my crying tummy but there was no sign of a moving soul. I rode a bit further and caught a glimpse of a big Buddha Idol, Just beside it I spotted the village and there was some people working, I inquired of something to eat but response was negative as those people were also not native and had nothing to offer.
Disappointed we were, we started riding towards Komic because food or no food, nothing could stop us moving further.

Road to Komic

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Finally, we reached Komic and there was a sense of achievement to reach on such a height
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Certified Rider he is now and cherry on the Cake, his debut bike ride is to one of the most difficult terrains in the world
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At Komic:
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Komic Monastery:

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After getting clicked, we wanderers started searching for food and entered the Monastery. I must confess, at that time I was least interested in praising the Monasterial architecture and then we met one of the wonderful persons of my life, a Lama. He was a chef for head Lama of Monastery at Komic. I asked him for a food and he told me he has some Dal and Rice left after lunch and he offered us that delicious meal. He went to the Kitchen, made a tea for us as it was getting cold and also fed us tummy full with Dal Rice.

Then for around half an hour we chatted like old friends, we were from entirely different planets and were aliens to each other's life style. I was getting surprised by listening to his story and how he would spend his 6 months of winters trapped in a building but would still enjoy inner peace. I have more material resources than him, but he was the winner in life as his smile on his face was telling me his greatness from inside.

He offered us to sit on this big table while he was preparing food
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Making tea with all the love and was very excited to offer us food
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After a great and memorable time spent at Komic, it was a time to say good byes and head back to Kaza
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Last Picture of the day we captured was the best picture of the day:
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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: amit1984 on May 09, 2016, 01:07:27 AM
Kaza is beautiful place and all the surrounding places near Kaza such as Ki, Kibber, komic, Langza are heavenly. Kaza is accessible through Shimla side in winters and if one want to see the completely other side of Kaza then one should visit all these places in winter also, though it will be more difficult but will be worth every pain and effort taken
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Ruchipatel on May 09, 2016, 01:16:58 AM
These pictures show, how beautiful these all places are! As I see in your blog that it requires ~10 days to cover this tour, Can I do it in lesser number of days? 1-2 days plus weekend?
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 09, 2016, 01:21:35 AM
Kaza is beautiful place and all the surrounding places near Kaza such as Ki, Kibber, komic, Langza are heavenly. Kaza is accessible through Shimla side in winters and if one want to see the completely other side of Kaza then one should visit all these places in winter also, though it will be more difficult but will be worth every pain and effort taken

I agree Amit, I always want to go in winters also and will definitely want to see Spiti valley covered in white blanket
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 09, 2016, 01:26:00 AM
These pictures show, how beautiful these all places are! As I see in your blog that it requires ~10 days to cover this tour, Can I do it in lesser number of days? 1-2 days plus weekend?

Over a weekend would be too tight, but if you can add 2-3 days plus weekend then you can attempt Kaza from Manali side. You can take a Volvo from Delhi to Manali and then from Manali it takes a day or two depending upon your comfort to reach Kaza. Even you can go camping in Chandertaal.

You can see my other article on Advantages or reasons to go Spiti or Kaza from Manali side (http://www.gotripperz.com/plan-your-trip!/advantages-of-reaching-lahaul-spiti-valley-from-manali-side/)
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 09, 2016, 02:34:09 AM
Day 8: Kaza to Chandertal Lake via Losar and Kunzum Pass(Highest Point of our journey)

It was a great morning, another day another destination on our cards and this time it was Camping at Chandertal Lake. Through our Hotel owner at Kaza we booked a tent at Jamaica Camp for a night. It costed us Rs 2000/- for both of us.

We had our breakfast, roamed around Kaza market a bit and again full tanked Petrol at Kaza Petrol Pump.
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There was cleaning drive going on by Locals and lot of people were seen cleaning a Canal.
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Without wasting much time, we started for Chandertaal lake and again we were riding on those dusty roads and those Roads were rough and dusty but mostly plain between Kaza to Losar and were still rideable till Losar.

Ki Monastery from distance far enough to get this postcard sized pic of Ki Monastery
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Road to Losar from Kaza, as mentioned rough, dusty but mostly plain and rideable with beautiful surroundings
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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 09, 2016, 03:07:58 AM
Day 8 Kaza to Chandertal via Losar, Kunzum Pass continued....

So, after riding for 50 odd kilometers, we reached Losar and there was a check point at after Losar and then the terrain suddenly changes. But before that we relaxed for a while at Losar. Had my head banged on the roof as I was entering the restaurant, but luckily I was wearing my helmet but at these places, just be mindful of your head.

We had tea and maggie there before proceeding further as next milestone would be Kunzum Top, highest point of our journey.

At Losar and milestones giving us the motivation and sense of achievement
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After, a checkpoint at Losar, terrain and geography suddenly changed and we started to climb the high mountain and suddenly we realized that we were approaching Kunzum Top. It was a steep climb and temperature also started to drop and for the first time in our trip we found snow at roadside. Last snowfall would have been months ago and still we could find snow, you can imagine how high we were at that time.

While approaching Kunzum Pass:
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Finally, we were high, as we were at top of the world there at that region :P , the highest point I touched in my life at 4590 meters, Kunzum Top. It was an achievement cant be described in words.
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Kunzum Mata temple at Kunzum Top
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After spending time at Kunzum top, it was a time to cross the Kunzum Pass and reach further at Chandertal Camp site. It was time to go downhill and road was very bad and finally we saw a board telling us that Chandertaal is 14kms and Jeepable road is 12.5 kms. Road was seriously very aweful for those 12 kms.
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Road approaching Chandertal Campsite
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Finally reached there at Campsite, parked or Motorcycles, it was very very cold there.
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We were at Jamaica Camps and there were few more different camps there in the vicinity. Though it was very cold but it was best night of my trip. We met many new like minded people there, we sat at a warm cozy common tent for dinner, had a nice hot tea and chatted for hours. We met two 50-60 something foreigners, who were riding their bicycles, started from Manali and they would go to Amritsar via Dharamshala all the way on Bicycles, then there was a solo rider from France, who looked totally french, was speaking french but was a Sikh and came there for this tour only. Then there was a photography student who trekked all the way from Batal to take a night Photograph from Chandertal Campsite. Then there was a couple, who were on a Bullet and were from Gurgaon only and they would become our rider companions for next penultimate day and the last day. There were a group of adventurers coming on Scorpio. It was a great time spending time with all of them.

The temperature dropped till -14 degrees in the night at our campsite in the night but it was still a beautiful night
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Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 11, 2016, 02:11:44 AM
Day 9: Early morning trek to Chandertal lake and then Chandertal to Mandi via Batal, Gramphu, Rohtang La Pass, Manali and Kullu

After spending a cold night at -14 degrees in our tent, we were ready to go on a trek to Chandertal Lake, the reflection lake of Spiti Valley. As soon as we came out of out tent, we were welcomed by even colder outdoors. It was a few miles trek from our campsite till the Lake, we decided that we would take our Bikes to Chandertal Lake but when I pushed a self button, my motorcycle surprisingly gave no response, not even a click sound. I tried to kick start it but still no response, I tried to push start but again no respite. Those 15-20 minutes gave much needed warmth to my  body but it made me a bit worried but I saw few more machines in COMA, a Scorpio was also not getting ignited and obviously it was bound to happen due to those freezing temperatures. I finally gave up and then we tried our hands on Pulsar and it started with just a push of a button.

Motorcycle in a Coma in freezing cold:

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Pulsar started and we two on one Motorcycle this time and I left with a hope that mine would start when sun shows up that day and give some warm energy to my Bike.

Last couple of kilometers till Chandertal Lake need to be covered by foot and we trekked till the Lake but to our disappointment, Sun didn't appear till that time and then a long wait started for Sun to show up as we wanted to see the reflection. We also wanted to start riding as soon as possible because it was a long day to cover and we had to reach Mandi. We waited for an hour for Sun to come and to lit up the reflection Lake.

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And then Sun finally made an appearance

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Then the magic started to happen, though it was a bit windy morning and water in the Lake was not stagnant and was continuously shaking and thus we could not capture a clean reflection but still got a trailer of magic that happens at Chandertal lake

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After observing the surroundings, we finally started back and by the time we came back Sun was Super Charged.

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First thing I tried to again push the self start button of my bike and it fired up and I got my breath back. We had breakfast and clicked a nice Picture with our fellow travelers a wonderful storytellers and it was time to bid adieu to all and move forward for the toughest day and to cross toughest stretch of our trip between Batal and Gramphu

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Now at the start there was a steep climb while leaving the camp site and my Motorcycle almost gave up for the first time in the trip and it simply refused to climb, may be its lungs were short of oxygen at such altitude and I had to push my bike to climb those 20-30 meters.
Now plethora of streams were awaiting and clicked one of the easier and first fews, but believe me this was level 1 on the scale of level 1 to 5 with 5 being the most difficult.

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I got drenched while crossing the first stream and then had to ride till another 1 hour with wet shoes. Crossed around 20 streams in between Batal to Gramphu actually streams started right from start of the journey from Chandertal Campsite.

After few streams, we had to take a pause for a while. It was getting difficult as there was a lack of oxygen and it required a lot of effort to cross those streams and this terrain continued till Gramphu

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(http://www.gotripperz.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=217.0;attach=14500;image)
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 11, 2016, 02:45:39 AM
Day 9 Continued.. Gramphu to Mandi via Rohtang La Pass and Manali

After passing those difficult Nalahs from Batal to Chhatru, we took a quick Pit Stop at Chatru and then we started onwards to finally reach and cross Gramphu

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After crossing Gramphu, it was a time to reach Rohtang La Pass from other side of the world and the moment I reached Rohtang Pass, I saw such a crowd after 8 days. So many people at one place and then at that moment a great feeling was running through my system, it is very difficult to describe that feeling, I had tears in my eyes and I was still riding and crossing Rohtang Pass. Twice I had been to the same place and always thought of going further but this time I was coming back from the further. It was just like a victory Lap I was taking around Rohtang Pass and I could see many faces looking at me with my riding Kit on and my motorcycle covered in dust. Those were the same enthusiastic faces, which I used to look at other riders and then I gave myself a little self appreciation because I knew what I had achieved. We stopped at Rohtang to finally congratulate each other on completing the circuit and coming back to the real crowded world.

Rohtang Pass:

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How Rohtang Pass looks in early summers, around June:

(http://www.gotripperz.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=233.0;attach=14006;image)

(http://www.gotripperz.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=233.0;attach=14010;image)

(http://www.gotripperz.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=233.0;attach=14016;image)

See how the total landscape changed!

After spending a while in Rohtang Pass and digesting the feeling, we started searching for some place to eat and finally we found over crowded restaurants at Marhi. We had a Maggie and a hot tea there and got ourselves suited and then again a Royal Enfield of the couple, whom we met at Chandertal campsite, broke down. Drum Breaks of rear tyre got heated up and got stuck and tyre jammed, we had to break loose the break to reach Manali, where they found a mechanic to fix the Bike.

Manali as we see while coming from Rohtang Pass
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We didn't wait the whole time with them to get their Royal Enfield fixed, because it was already 6 pm in the evening and we still had to cover another 120 kms to reach Mandi. We started and crossed Manali, bymistake entered old Kullu but crossed it and finally found a correct way at Bhuntar and by 10 pm in the night we reached Mandi and found a road side hotel, where we checked in and called it a day.
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: ishanmalhotra on May 11, 2016, 11:45:03 PM
Now I got to know why you got some sudden love(Saracstic) for Royal Enfields :D
Title: Re: SPITI valley Circuit Motorcycle tour - Travel Blog of 1900Kms Roadless traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on May 12, 2016, 12:28:20 AM
Day 10: Ride Ride Ride from Mandi to Delhi

All the fun was behind us and finally it was the last and final day of our trip. Last day is always a tiring one for a reason that there is no excitement left, there is no hill riding, you need to ride on those crowded roads in plains and also you keep a long distance to travel on the last day.

With all these things in mind we still had to start our day and cover those final 450 odd kilometers from Mandi to Gurgaon. We had our breakfast, and started at around 10:30 - 11 am. Last time when I was on this road, it was in a very bad shape after Mandi, from Sundernagar to Bilaspur but surprisingly this time road was not in such a bad shape.

I don't have much to share from our last day from this magical road trip to Spiti Valley, it was a tiring day and our faces looked like we came right out of a coal mine.
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And then finally when we reached home at night, I checked my Motorcycle's meter and I calculated that Kilometers covered on the trip: 1900
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Title: Re: Travel Story - Lahaul SPITI valley Motorcycle tour - 1900Kms Road less traveled
Post by: ghostrider on July 02, 2016, 01:50:30 AM
Wow,  i started again and enjoyed every bit of your experience shared by you...  And this place is a photo studio in itself...  Every pic is worth clicking
Title: Re: Travel Story - Lahaul SPITI valley Motorcycle tour - 1900Kms Road less traveled
Post by: Saurabh Soni on July 03, 2016, 12:33:42 PM
Yes I agree, whole Spiti Valley is a photo studio in itself and the contrast given by Blue and Brown is just perfect in the Landscape for those perfect pictures.