Rigours of the Road in the Himalayan Monsoon.
I had always wanted to travel in the Himalayan Ghats during monsoons.I had always imagined just how beautifully ferocious the mountains wouls look when the rain pours down upon them,flooding the rivers and spreading a green carpet across the slopes.
I was granted my wishes and some more.For when we started down for Delhi from Kibber on 22nd July,we got stranded for 2 days in the valley due to landslide and the consequent roadblocks.finding the road obstructed by big boulders which had fallen down from mountain slopes due to rains became a common occurence in our journey through a sumo taxi.This continued till the end of Rohtang pass.We spent 3-4 hours at the beginning of the pass from Lahaul because the weekly maintainance work was on in the pass.But it was worth the wait cuz thanks to this maintainance work,there were no blockages that we had to face at Rohtang.Nonetheless,road was so muddy that the fear of the wheel getting stuck in it kept looming in front of us the whole time.On the third day after leaving Manali,i and Kullu landed at Manali,just in time to catch the 7.30 p.m bus to Chandigarh.The overnight journey in the state transport volvo bus was mostly about trying to sleep in the last seat(which was not so difficult,after the exhaustion of the last few days).We arrived at Chandigarh bus stand at 6 a.m.From there we took a bus to Delhi and alighted at ISBT around 10.30 a.m.I was back in the urban civilization!
My Spiti journey was over(at least for the time being.I do nurse plans to go back in December if only to check whether all the winter stories told by Kullu are true :P).There had been so many new experiences packed up in this journey that its hard to stop reflecting on them.
This was my first ever trek where I was accompanied only by a like minded friend and not family or people from some trekking club.Most of the road journey was done backpacker style.We used to reach place A and then see what options we had to reach B.We would then proceed to choose the option that would save most of our time and money.We travelled in state transport and cramped shared taxis.I stayed in Kibber for almost a week and there,i had wonderfully delectable dinners with the local families .At NCF office,i met some people involved in wildlife.I would never have had the chance to meet them had it not been for this Spiti adventure.The Lingti Valley trek was rendered the most memorable by the difficulty of the terrain and the long distances we used to cover everyday.The perfection with which Kullu had taken care of the logistics right from Delhi till the end of the trek and then back to delhi doesn’t stop amazing me.His knowledge about SPiti and Lingti is undisputable and everyone in Kibber and Kaza seemed to know him.It was thanks to him that we had no trouble finding accommodation and transport from Manali onwards.
Kullu,saying that i am thankful to you would be an understatement for I really am glad that you offered to take me along on this beautiful journey.I do hope that one day,as is your plan,you write a book on your very own Lingti Valley.
With this,I’ll take everyone’s leave now..Happy Smiles!
Stay tuned though.Pictures from the northern most state of India will soon be up here!