This was going to be a real fun day for us! We were to visit the Dhankar Monastery first, then the Pin Valley before reaching Kaza where we had planned to spend 2 chilled out days.
We checked out of Tow Dhey at 7:45 AM after having our breakfast and bid goodbye to the fabulous staff of this hotel who served us with warm smiles and delicious food! Hope they remain popular like they are and maintain their service levels.
One of their restaurant staff was absolutely awesome; he was from Jharkhand and used to work in Tabo for 6 months every year. The only reason he came all the way to Tabo from Jharkhand was that his village was very hot and he loved the winters so decided to move to a cooler place. We loved his simple thought process and customer service attitude – he always had a warm smile on his place and talked ever-so softly; here’s wishing him the best of luck!
The Terrain enroute Dhankar was absolutely magical with the barren landscape and the Spiti River keeping us company.
It was impossible to give in to the urge of stopping multiple times to soak in the beauty of this circuit. The Hair Pin bends even though quite challenging to traverse were lots of fun!
We reached the road towards the Dhankar Gompa at 8:35 AM and started the ascent through some stunning scenery & terrain. The Monastery looked divine from a distance and the early morning sun rays accentuated the beauty!
The Gompa was quite beautiful close-up too! We spent some time there but didn’t go inside the Gompa. It was quite cold and the wind chill factor was very high too. I took a dump at the public bathroom and enjoyed a gorgeous view of the mountains.
The Gompa is located at a height of 3,894 metres (12,774 feet) and sadly AMS got to me! I had severe headache and was getting a bit of nausea too. I decided to leave immediately and lose height to get rid of the AMS effects.
I felt better and the scenery kept getting better too! The vast landscape was absolutely majestic.
Our next destination was Mud which is located in the Pin Valley. From the main road we had to take a 39 kms. Detour to reach it. I was not feeling 100% but still decided to move forward.
After about 10 kilometres, my bike slipped and I had a fall on one of the turns, thanks to the sand on the road and my braking mistake. I almost took a 360 degrees spin. Thanks to my knee guards and my jacket I had no injuries so moved forward in a jiffy without any damage to me or my bike! One funny thing happened here; George was right behind me and while I was trying to gather myself, he stopped and gave me a “kya hua?” hand signal, I gave him a “360 degrees spin” signal which he took us “take a u-turn” signal and started going back! I was like WTF and then shouted “Abbe main gir gaya tha and poora ghoom gaya road pe”! He then realised what I was trying to tell him with my hand signal and we all went laughing crazily!
All of us stopped after a bit and I told them that AMS was still troubling me and I just could not go any further towards Mud. I wanted to reach Kaza, check-in to our hotel and rest for a bit. I pushed all of them to move forward and explore Mud but they didn’t want to go as well so we decided to head back. I was feeling bad that due to my issue they also decided to head back and not move forward but then I just couldn’t help it.
This valley is absolutely humongous and we felt so tiny standing infront of those huge mountains. It was absolutely surreal and I would never forget the sheer size of those mountains ever. Check them out!
But before we left the Pin Valley, we went to the riverside for some bakar moments and chill out on the “beach”! We went offroad towards the riverbed for some time and then played out the echo effect.
I am sure all of you would have done that in the mountains; shouting and then getting the echo back. It is one of those things which can be only enjoyed in the mountains!
After having some more bakar moments and taking loads of pics we finally headed towards Kaza. This was another gorgeous stretch with very good roads thanks to the “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna” project; helmets off to their entire team for making such awesome roads in that tough and relentless terrain & height.
We checked into Hotel Deyzor which going to be our home for the next two days. The hotel is one of the best in Kaza and understandably so. The dining area cum reception has been decorated in a beautiful way and is very spacious too. The rooms are also designed very well and even though they are minimalist, they have every amenity you would want. There are tonnes of beautiful paintings and photographs spread across the hotel and we loved the quotes painted on the room walls!
Another big thing about this hotel was that it had WiFi and even though it was a BSNL connection and kept conking off now & then but still we could talk to our families back home and also check our Social media accounts!
While we were getting the luggage off our bikes, a young boy came to check out our bikes and he was most interested in Adit’s bike. When I asked him “Don’t you like Bullets?”, he replied “Nahin, bahut aawaaz aati hai”! The charm of innocence! He was absolutely innocent. All of us had a hearty laugh and I took a photograph with him too.
We freshened up, had our lunch and then enjoyed a 2-hours long afternoon siesta which is always a luxury during Bike rides but we didn’t let this opportunity go you see…
I chilled out in the room while the others went to get their tanks full and get jerry cans to carry extra petrol for the ride ahead.
Our dinner was once again the hotel restaurant and was a fabulous one. We had our tummies full after the hearty meal. The weather was quite “child” and we were in no mood to go out so went back to our rooms for another bakar session before dozing off!
This was another chilled out day for us as we just rode for 85 kilometres and relaxed through the day. Except for the minor bout of AMS earlier in the day and that 360 degrees spin, the day went off pretty well.
The day ahead was a real special one for me. It was my birthday and it was the first time in my 8-years long Motorcycling sojourn that I was going to celebrate it on the roads and by far the best roads – The Himalayan Roads. I was very excited to explore the tough roads and slept with a smile on my face!
Day by Day Travelogues of the Ride:
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…