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Mornings are blissful in general but when you are at Chandrataal, they are a rare blessing. Even the considerable drop in temperature dint allows us to stay inside. It’s a wall painting out there which we admire in our daily lives and often are forced to think if such a piece of perfection exists in the living world out there. And then one fine day, the painting comes to reality and you immerse your soul in the sweet nector and enjoy every bit of it. And that’s the way my morning at Chandrataal was!
Heights are infectious
Lure a bait so easy
Tempt to a view
Only a sight can conclude
Like the best variety of food
For a food lover
Like an ultimate thirst quencher
For a nature enthusiast
And like an orgasmic read
Between the pages
To a book lover
A world down an eyeshot
A world down so eyesome
A love to dig deep down
And an addiction to hold close on
My heart was not getting any more generous in granting permission to move on from the addiction. Leaving Chandrataal felt like leaving a belonging. But with the plan of trodding another paths, we borrowed a ride from Tenzin till Battal from where we were supposed to get the bus for Kaza.
We waited for the bus at Chandra dhaba and took our brunch meanwhile. The freezing wind made our faces numb but we were so lazy to turn inside. In order to cover up, Kunal made a bet of staying out there for longer rather. We kept on adding clothes to our body but no one made the bargain to lose (stubborn him)!
Chacha Chachi, at the dhaba, were a jovial couple who made us pay 1000 bucks in order to get a photograph clicked with them (one of their hilarious situational jokes).
There is a satellite phone in Battal but unfortunately it was not working at that instant. I was secretively glad that the cellphone networks were unavailable. In our routines of bended necks over the fones, it was a welcome change for me to get some time of freedom from all the social alignments.
There are very few chances when we get the opportunity to overcome the scarred body and soul and to continue as a bare free spirit, and when there was one, I made sure to not let it go.
The bus was late that day and arrived at around 2:45PM. We boarded the bus and our ride began towards Kaza. The roads were getting narrower, the heights were getting higher and the risk was raising its stakes. My heart skipped beats at dangerous turns and then we reached Kunzum pass. At the elevation of 4590 m, the bus driver stopped for a few moments and we enjoyed the breathtaking views of the serene valley around.
There is a temple dedicated to “Kunzum mata”. We visited the temple adorned with prayer flags, got blessed with some calm and continued the ride further. The next village on our way was Losar where the bus stopped as the foreigners need to register there, seeking permission to visit Spiti valley. We got down from the bus and the surroundings had other revelations to make. Wherein we were seeing brown mountains till now, Losar had all the green vegetation spread out there.
The breaths I took in felt so pure and fulfilling that it seemed a worthy place to stay for some more time but unfortunately public transport does not run according to our wishes! The paths next on our way were movie-like. The ground level straight roads with mountains surrounding and the opportunity of spotting rare species of animals inhabiting around, I kept looking out excitingly all the way throughout.
It was around 7:30 and we were at Kaza bus stand. A small town, narrow lanes of souvenir shops, limited number of home stays, inn’s and mid range hotels, at least one restaurant /café of each type: Kaza is tiny, yet a sweet engagement.
The people around are so generous that when I asked a shopkeeper about any pay phone around, he asked us to call through his phone rather and also suggested a nice home stay close by. We stayed at Lhamo home stay, another tiny but home like space.
We took our dinner at The Himalayan café (A café owned by a young woman who has nurtured it from the scratch and is nice enough to take a small chat with). Kunal was so tired to make any further plans and hence we decided to keep the thoughts for another morning.
Some useful information:
- Take ‘Diamox’ tablet for altitude sickness. It starts working after 12 hours, so better take it a day before.
- The single bus from Manali to Kaza starts at 5:30 from Manali, reaches around 12:30 at Battal and the final destination Kaza is another 6 hour ride from there.
- BSNL networks start picking up the range after Losar and are available in Kaza too. There is no other phone network except BSNL.
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