Maling Nala – Tabo – Kumdoh – Kaza
Nako 6:00 A.M: Weather getting only colder as days pass and with rise in altitude. Walking even with woolen socks is paining in the legs. Heard some thump of bullets at a distance, guess they were checking the bikes before the days ride. Went around on my bike to check who was it and hoping to get some bullet company on the road. But by thr time I have reched them they moved on. Met a couple at the Nako camps from Gurgaon, who were doing the circuit on an esteem. Very cordial and helpful they were in sharing their experienced and information about the places ahead of Nako. Fulled up again for the ride, this time carrying extra fuel as we do nit have any bunk till we reach Kaza. I started off fast this time hoping to catchup with the bullet guys, Did around 40 kms and took a break, infact waiting for my team. The roads were full of apple orchards on either side and when ice seen a guy in between the trees. “Sir, kuch apple milega kaneeko?” that’s it he came up closer plucked three big ripped red apples and gave me, when I told I was waiting for my other friends, he went back and got more apples :-). Clicked few pics and gave him a diet Pepsi as a courtesy for which he was all smiles looking at the can.
Started again once the team was there, next stop was the Tabo monastery made of mud in 8th century. Wonder how it survived the rains and snowfall. I was reluctant to go in as for me it only about the journey and the ride no matter what the destination. As Joydeep rightly said. Ride is like a movie and destination is like an intermission where you go to washroom, buy snacks, etc. Its true. After that comes the Maling Nala, the most dangerous road in the world where rocks keep falling and with water crossings. Was all excited to click a pic at that board which says the most dangerous road. Wait… Oops.. I guess we have crossed it, like a joke it was. 😦 Unfortunately that road was very call and quite that day. Even missed the board and moved on. My BAD 🙂 Passed a couple on a BMW 800, wanted to know about them so made a turn and went back to find out. They both were from Germany and know what..they ride from Germany all the way. Wei geht’s..gut danke conversation it was. On a trip of 120 days. All these interactions were only making me more determined to give a serious thought for early 2016 Europe road trip. Then crossed the Kumdoh check point where we need to enter the details t the check post before entering the Spiti valley region. There was a mummy in a monastery nearby, which was 500 year old, got a chance to check that place too.
Monastery again, this time after may be done 20 kms and by this time in done with monasteries where we have to remove sandals and all.As told for me its only the journey. Was waiting there along with the mechanic Aman when this guy named Linge from Denmark comes in on a Royal enfield Thunderbird rented from Delhi. The funny part is he was lost in the mountains but he thinks that his other team mates were lost. He was complete euphoria about bullets and the sound, took my contact and said he would meet and ride if he visits south India in coming,months. Told me to convey the message to his team that he will be waiting at kada fuel station the next day at 3 pm. The traveled in those roads are more foreigners and less Indians, seems it was in fact only foreigners few years back. Mostly we also see small petrol cars like Maruthi 800 which have less starting problems and powerful at those altitudes with low temperatures.
By evening we reached Kaza and right headed to the fuel station with the board ‘worlds highest retail outlet’ there was no power and the generator doesn’t work making all the bikes and trucks wait for backup power. The next fuel station is in Manali around 240 kms leaving no option but to wait. Meantime checked in the Spiti inn at kaza. Met the bullet group again here, this tine to know each other. Slept early as I was leaving early around 6 a.m the next day covering the key monastery and Chandrataal lake, this makes my ride of 240+30 kms to reach Manali to ride in the most treacherous roads till now in that circuit.
End of Day 3