I tried tungtuk ( a soupy pasta dish) previous night and my stomach was little upset because of that. I over came that with eagerness of entering Spiti that day . Initially it is a tough climb till malling and again a nerve breaking super sloped downhill till Chango. I could notice the desert conditions begin now.
I’m nearly at same level as the river. 9 or 10 kms ahead of Sumdo, I nearly fainted because of heat and had a nap under one of the closed shops. I overheard a conversation that being sunday no balstings are going on . I wondered how days were being passed and I’m in ninth day of my touring ,I even forgot that it is Sunday.
The road condition is very worse from here. I’m riding on a loose gravel surface engraved with sharp stones !
As I’m getting closer to Sumdo, my heart is filling with joy. Spiti ! The driving force for my whole trip, the mysterious land hiding many beauties and the board finally came. It is the first achievement in my life that made me feel very proud The snow capped hills and beauty of the valleys I crossed just gave me happiness but this small board, covered with dust and surrounded by stones gave me a feeling beyond the words can express.
As soon as I crossed the board, I saw the sumdo bridge. I have noticed the group of bikers I saw in Chitkul, standing there. As I’m entering the bridge all of them stood up and clapped as I’m passing over. My joy was escalated further by this ovation I received from them. Many of them took pictures of me. A moment of pride 🙂
Mahesh crossed me in between, I guess they were coming from Geyu. I thought of having some food in Sumdo,but there is nothing available there. I went ahead and temperature also increased further. It is indeed a magical land in every aspect. The road appears flat but it will be elevating ! I slowly pushed my self.
The village Lari before Tabo is enchanting. It has an agricultural research center and it appears like an Oasis in this cold desert. At any point in the village one will be surrounded by the mighty mountains on all sides under the blue sky! A great sight and a wonderful feelinv to be in such a place. I took rest under tree shade at one of the entrance gates, while chatting with the security guard.
A little further, I couldn’t push my self at all and a person passing by suggested me to rest under a tree. I sat there and the air from that tree is so refreshing. This person who stopped me identified himself as ex-MLA of that place. While speaking with him, I also saw a support vehicle carrying few bicycles passing through and later a cyclist.
I gathered some energy and somehow pushed myself. In between I passed through villages with population below 100. After sometime, I finally entered Tabo bearing the unbearable heat.
I saw the cyclist who passed by while I’m taking rest. It is such a delight to meet a fellow cyclist, Shabu. He has taken me to their stay. I was surprised to see Mahesh waiting there. Shabu and Mahesh introduced me to rest of the group. Shabu looking at my condition offered me tea and bread immediately from their camp. They were tour operators from Manali providing adventure holidays under the name Magic Mountains.
They suggested me to enquire in Monastery if I can get any room as it is cheaper there. I enquired and got a room in monastery.
After getting refreshed, I went in and around the monastery. Even here the Monk didn’t explain much about Buddhism. I was surprised to see a Ganesh statute inside. Monk told that one sect of Buddhism follows some of hindu gods ! This increased my confusion further. Being closing time, I couldn’t get much explanations about paintings also. I clicked few pictures of the monastery and came out.
I went to meet Shabu again. He helped me swap front and rear tires, replaced my worn out breaks with the spares I’m/carrying. It was just a group chat from then with every one. Raju Sharma is the onwer of Magic Mountains. He told me about his participation in MTB Himalayas and further experiences in hills. Mahesh told about his experiences being struck in sand storm and 25 days in Mudh village. It was scary and thrilling to listen such experiences. It also gave me insight about safety measures one should ensure, before entering Himalayas.
They were kind enough to provide me with food also..The very hot dal chawal is so yummy and refreshing after a long stinct of chowmein and momos.
I came to my room after dinner. That monastery room is completely made of wood. Even walking on that floor is different. After gazing at stars for sometime, I went to bed and ended one more beautiful day.