Monday, 29 December 2014

Its a pity that we had to leave Spiti ...

We stayed at Tabo as it became dark and cold in a whiff which was totally expected. On a motorcycle its going to be a little brutal riding with the windchill and lack of heating equipment. It was a fine homestay and no complaints at all. We slept that extra one hour as we had very little riding to reach Kaza, a quaint village in the Indo-Tibetian border. Lot more people, gasoline availability and ATMs made life a lot simpler. It made me feel very sad that we had to leave the Spiti valley. So I made up mind that I will be back here, may be in the winter ?

Whats more to come was gnarly roads, more amazing people and the road to keylong via Batal and Kunzum la. I am going to let the photos do the talking !

Home stay in Tabo

The Spiti river

Thats me trying to run to pose, but the camera beat me to it !

First glimpse of Kaza

No Caption required !

We stayed in Kaza that day, did some much needed laundry and more or less spent the remainder of the day gazing around without any real purpose. It was nothing short of awe.

The road from Kaza to Kunzum 

We found this massive plains in the middle of nowhere and we were hell bent on getting some throws!

And, Yes - 2 hands...that how you catch the disc :) 

The roads got gnarly, and the scenery became heavenly ..

At Kunzum La

First sight of snow and we had to park and explore !

and Yes, Gnarly roads anyone ?

If you're on the wrong motorcycle, its the difference between enduring and having fun

Single tracks and the Spiti river !

You can literally see for miles ! 

Terrible terrible roads and lots to learn ! Yeah, So what...we kept dropping our bikes..

The gruelling 176 kms from Kaza to Keylong is the epitome of adventure on a motorcycle. Even on Dual sport machines with ample OOumPH, it took us a good 10+ hours on the saddle (with lots of stoppage to enjoy the scenery, of course). With 70+ kms of amazing tarmac, the remaining 100 kms took most of the 10 hrs of riding.

I cant imagine being back there on the 'wrong motorcycle'. Even with light weight motorcycles, its nothing short of a battle. The terrain is absolutely unforgiving and there is no room for error. Its key to know your limits. Not to mention the altitude. Yes, we dropped our motorcycles. It was hard to pick them back up and continue 'unbroken'. The water crossing or what the locals affectionately call "Nalaas" are extremely excruciating to cross. The water crossings on the leh-manali highway after Jispa and ZingZing Bar are a 'joke' compared to the ones that you'll encounter in Spiti. The water is freezing cold and the later you are during the course of the day, the bigger the water crossings. The inhospitable conditions will make you feel like shit at the end of the day. A false dilemma, or false dichotomy sets in, I was even wondering why I like doing this.

If not for the great tarmac from Gramphu to Keylong, which brings some life back into you, the road or the lack of any will break anyone and everyone. True story.

It was 8pm !
We live to ride another day and reach keylong to enter the lahul valley

And, Its that time of the year... Here's wishing all you dual sport delinquents and other goofy quirky motorcycle enthusiasts an awesome year ahead ! Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down, see you on the road in 2015 !