Spiti valley

The Spiti Story: An affair to behold (Part 1)

The time and spacial coordinates of our existence keep on changing constantly. And the idea of turning those coordinates into a justified graph sounds like a worthy plan to me. A design worth checking out later on when you are old and tired enough to finally settle down, taking a sip of coffee in your home’s garden, doing a revision of the mighty life you have spent in all those long years.

And with the dreams of such a splendid old age, I ought to make beautiful moments each day. The plan of visiting Spiti was one such big moment’s result. A 10 day approved vacations was all I needed.

Manali to spiti valley
Prayer flags near Manali

Kunal, as always, got happily ready for another travel spree. And next was a Friday night bus to Manali from New Delhi at 10:30 which was the first step towards a long journey which I almost missed. Howsoever, I caught the bus via which we could make to Manali next day around 2PM. Having lunch at Mall road and talking to a few locals, the best option seemed to take a taxi and reach Battal that day only. Also, I was so keen on spending the maximum of time in Spiti which helped me reaching the optimal decision so fast.

Around 6 hours journey from Manali to Battal was about to turn our ride into an adventurous one. The chill of the breeze was continuously rising with the progressive turns. Soon we reached Rohtang pass and hugged happiness seeing the BRO milestone (Border Roads Organisation).

Rohtang pass manali spiti valley
Rohtang pass, Manali

The driver kept on telling us which places to cover, where to stay and which of his friend’s places to eat and we kept on noting it all down as that would have been the last information broadcast. Going around 125kms from Manali, he stopped at a small mountainside shop where we met the hero of our story, “The Tenzin”.

The background story goes somewhat like this, Chacha Chachi are a famous and brave couple and in Battal who saved many lives during the adverse weather conditions in year 2010. The snowfall continued for around 5 days and many tourists got stuck. It was the couple then who took care of those people and gave them shelter and food. Every year they run the dhaba at Battal for around 4 months when the Spiti route is clear and open for tourists. The hero of our story and their son Tenzin puts over his camps in Chandrataal, the moon lake which is around 10 kms from Battal.

Chacha chachi dhaba battal spiti valley
Chacha chachi at Chandra Dhaba, Battal

Tenzin was going through the same route towards his camps and hence he decided to take us further. With a friendly smile over his face, experience overloading his attitude and lots of stories over his mind, we continued the rest of our journey with him.

Humming to the tunes of his favorite tracks which turned out to be our favorite tracks too and dancing to the bumpy ride of the rocky terrain, we had a wonderful in-house party on our way to Chandrataal. I won’t say that an experienced driver is needed over those paths, because no matter how experienced one is, no one can make the ride as smooth as Tenzin. He knows each stepping stone, and how to make through with ease.

We stopped midway at a dhaba to have dinner. Maggi, Rajma chawal, half cooked omelette’s, everything was finding itself a yum treat straight to our hunger buds. We reached sound and safe to the destination camps in Chandrataal at around 11:30PM.

Moon night Chandratal spiti valley
Moonlit night at Chandrataal

The temperature definitely was less than 0, the breeze was chilling enough to make a human come to standstill but Kunal’s excitement kept him going to put up the camp he bought just before the trip. In the phone’s torchlight, we put it up like it was the only option and the chill hardly let us sleep through the night. We were not even thinking of sleeping that much, rather awaiting for a wonderful morning which would soothe our senses.

Read next part of the story here

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