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Day 13/13 – July 10th 2015 – Batal- Rohtang top- Delhi : part 2/2

While I’m lost in watching the rainbow, I have totally ignored the fact that clouds are passing right above me. Clouds !!

Did anything occur to your mind ?

Clouds ! It is going to rain ! It started with a raindrop falling on my forehead bringing me back to the reality from the fantasy world. I quickly wrapped a cover around the bag, pulled out the rain coat and wore it. Though the distance to Rohtang top become single digited, I lost hope that I will reach there and the increase in intensity of rain drops caused a bit of anxiety and fear in me.

Two more hair pin bends and the it started raining. I pedalled faster, but Mind it !it is one of the highest passes, so even my legs pedaled faster, I’m moving slowly. I started feeling much colder.When I thought it will never show up, just after a turn it appeared .

The Rohtang top. Standing with pride and crowned with snow. I wondered if it is the meaning of being Majestic.


Rohtang top.

My dream fulfilled, the reason I came all the way. There was snow all around ! Tons of snow and just snow. Even it is drizzling, my happiness was inexplicable. I thought how beautiful show white (Disney princess )would be looking. All the dirty ice blocks I saw till now, were nothing compared to the snow and beautiful white around me now. As if it is for me, rain stopped just for a while to enjoy the scenery all around. There are small green patches amidst the snow. I had no clue, if it is reality or if I’m looking at a painting. There was just happiness all around. People playing in the snow, sliding in it, throwing it all around. I was lost in thoughts seeing them all. Just to bring me back to reality it started raining again !

Everyone started going to Manali. Within five minutes I was there all alone getting drenched and I remembered that I’m hungry ! and damn !! there are no shops, nothing. It is only me there. The most confusing moment of my life. I was witnessing the most beautiful sight I ever saw and feeling sad at the same time. I started shivering more. The fog increased and visibility is getting decreased. I wore all the warm wear I brought and yet felt the cold. It was just freezing and my hands started shaking out of fear.

If I haven’t seen Into the wild movie, I would have fainted there.I looked around, and I saw a small and wrecked house at a distance. I thought I will stay there if it gets dark.

Just in minutes it was turned foggy like this.

View My Video
A small video showing the condition around.

Time was still 6.30 pm and I have a small hope left that I would get a lift. Tourists who are going down hesitated to give me a hike. To my despair only oil containers are going. Still thoughts are running in my mind, that I came so far and so high, yet there is a sad feeling that I couldn’t make it to Manali, the planned destination. I wanted to give a try and started pedalling , but due to rain brakes were not applying properly (rim was wet and slippery) . Since, it is downhill all the way to Manali,I didn’t want to take risk.

Morning, when I started my plan was, even though I reach rohtang top by 6pm, I thought I could make the rest of 50 Kms downhill within 2-3 hours before Himalayan Sunset at 8.30/9 Pm, but I never expected rain, as I was in rain shadow region past one week,

Back on Rohtang top, I started waving my hand desperately at every vehicle that passed. I just laughed as it turned out to be a thriller climax to a beautiful picture. As each minute passed , I shivered more. I lost hope and I started waving with two hands now. (he he , sign of loosing everything), and finally a truck stopped. I couldn’t even speak to them properly and they understood right away that I’m in a helpless position. They asked it would be Rs500 to drop me at Manali and I agreed readily.(of course, I’m almost ready to pay in thousands of demanded. Life is still sweet to me ) There are two of them and one loaded cycle in back and helped me to get inside cabin. They asked me remove all the rain coats and wrapped a rug around me. That warmth was so pleasant and cosy. They were bothers living near Mandi , doing Transportation business mainly between Himachal and Leh. The elder one scolded me for travelling alone and then cursed all cyclists and motor bike riders for going to Leh.

” arey, poora sukha rasta hai. Naa ped, naa kuch sundar aur sirf pattar ! Kya dekhne jaate ho aap log ? ”

I had no answer at that time. But they were checking upon me constantly if I’m alight or not. I was alright, but as the truck passed through 10-15 feet high snow block, I nearly cried as I lost the chance to enjoy that beauty. At the same time, I trembled with fear whenever he applied brakes in slopes, that truck may fall in valley. To add to this, there were big rocks all along the road that fell from the hills. I asked them about their driving experiences and how they were able to do it . Their simple answer is
” jeena hai , toh kuch karna hai “.. and when I looked puzzled, they said,,” aadat hogaya “.

He also told me, that he stopped just because I waved with two hands and he felt that I’m helpless.There was traffic jam, rain increased and with rocks falling I wondered how this journey would end. They asked me to sleep. I never sat inside a truck cabin before, but it was very comfortable there. There is even place for me to sleep. I slept without hesitating, waking up in between only to feel sad that I missed pedalling there. My heart beat came to normal when they woke me up telling that we reached Manali.

I was confused for a moment to decide, if I have to spend there a day or go back to Delhi. But since I reached Kunzum top, I was pissed off by the roads and conditions. Especially today’s experiences made to call it the end of first beautiful journey of my life. Those brothers enquired if there is bus to Delhi. There is one , which is about to move and they made me board into it. Ofcourse my cycle too was loaded on top.

Inside bus, there was another young cyclist (he is in 11 th or 12 th class), who pedalled from Manali to Leh and came back after falling sick to AMS. He was admitted to hospital there and was sent back by Army. They even packed his cycle. Later in our conversation , this boy mentioned that he cycled from Rohtang top to Kanya kumari last year and he was the youngest Indian to do so. He assigned my next mission , he eh . We both were lost in conversation for sometime. Since, I was tired, the bumps didn’t bother me from waking up from sleep.

It was a fresh morning next day. I’m on plains. I had two big glasses of Lassi at Kurukshetra to enjoy my victory. The plains, paddy fields, rivers and sugarcanes in Punjab are very beautiful. It was a very long journey to Delhi, but in bus going at that speed, it was thrilling after travelling in single digit speeds for long long time.


Beautiful fields at Kurukshetra

Me and Mohit Kapoor (Young cyclist )parted in our own ways in auto after reaching ISBT. I stayed for three days in my sisters home there. I ate rice and other south Indian delicacies to my fullest. This time I choose GATI to bring back my bike to Chennai for avoiding and hassle in airport. All those three days , all the trip used roll in my memory while I slept and when I woke up I used to think when will I get a chance to be back there.

But I severely regret missing Dharangathi, Sarahan,Kalpa, Dhankar and mainly Chandrataal. Even when I listen about Mud valley now, I feel sad that I couldn’t make it there. I only satisfy myself telling that there is always a next time.

Two more things I missed are the grand welcome Monk got on Rohatang top and that pride got after talking to condutor getting onto bus going to Delhi. The conductor in bus I boarded just gave ticket for me and cycle with no feelings in face and went away !

Even when I’m typing now, tears are formed in my eyes. This trip has changed my life in a permanent way. After coming back to Chennai, I became an endurance cyclist and started participating in events called brevets (long distance cycling events from 200-1200 km) and pedalled more than 14,000 Kms in past 9-10 months with 1000 km being one among those events. I wouldn’t hesitate to attribute all that power to the inspiration I got from mighty mountains. There was recognition at work because of this trip and even in life. I’m meeting different people from different walks of life because of cycling.

Those beautiful people, the valleys, rivers, mountains, sheep, cattle, dogs, chowmein, momos, HRTC buses, yuts and mostly the damaged roads, everything became part of my life. There is not even one day that has passed without thinking about any one of them. My manali- leh and Zuluk trip this year was cancelled as I got very busy in these events. My longing for coming back there grew even desperate now, but I have to wait for my time.

It would be very bad on my part if I stop this travelogue without thanking four important people that helped me for this tour.

1. Dheeraj Sharma and Devil On Wheels team – Believe me, I had no clue about anything about Himachal and forget Spiti. All the place names were tongue twisters initially. I didn’t even knew where to start or end. Thanks to selfless help of Dheeraj and others here, that many were able to visit those beautiful vistas. He gave me detailed itinerary for travelling in public transport, with day to day journey break up. At the point of asking him, it was still a back packing trip.

2. Monk – who works at xBHP. He went in the same route on cycle. When I had no clue about anything there, he wrote a very detailed blog and instructions for riding in Spiti valley, It became my bible for three months and I sincerely read it everyday morning. It boosted my moral confidence that I can indeed ride there.

3. Nobal Mohan – He is from Bangalore, who cycled from Shimla- Leh, the year before. After reading his blog and seeing pictures,no one could stop me coming to Himalayas by cycle. It was very inspiring and I can say, it made me courageous and prepared.

4. Prakash- when we desperately wish for some sincere cause, we will be definitely shown a path. While practising for riding there, I met Prakash accidentally in Chennai. He went several times to Himalayas on Cycle and travelled a lot over north east. He guided me with route and conditions, and after meeting him, I was very confident that I can definitely do it . If I hadn’t met him, I would have definitely missed visiting Baghi and Bahli. Taking diversion at Narkanda, to avoid Highway was his idea.If I was not much scared at Darangathi, I would have enjoyed more.

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Day -13/13 -July 10 th – Batal – Rohtang Top – Part 1/2 – My Cycling trip to Himalayas

Day-13: Batal-Rohtang pass
Distance : 64 km
Batal to Chatru : 32 Kms undulating and descent through Chota Dhara
Chatru to Rhotang pass : 32 Kms.
Undulating, Descents,ascents till Gramphoo and gradual ascent till Rhotang pass.

I didn’t have a good sleep due to the speculations on stream crossings, which made me wake up exactly on time to start at 6 am. The bill at dhaba is negligible compared to the places I travelled before. Everyone had breakfast and in no time, I was on saddle. Others started few minutes later.

It is very weird situation after Batal. The roads are worse. It was cold, yet I am sweating. Road appears climbing but pedalling was easy !

Also this is the entirely different day in the trip, in terms of beauty and challenges the magical land offered me. The landscape changed ,all of a sudden. The barren and dusty mountains are replaced by rocky and snow caped peaks.

There were snow blocks on both sides of roads at many places. At some places there were channels made below the road and water flows behind the ice blocks !

This beauty is a treachery leading me to the stream crossings. There were stream crossings for every 5/6 kilometres. The first few crossings were easy and I pedalled through them easily and it was fun. As sun started rising, the flow of water and depth of streams got increased. I have put on my sandals for further crossings. At some places and it was terribly scary as I had no idea, how deep the streams were ?

I used to push my front wheel for checking the depth and then used to step on the biggest visible stone for proceeding ahead. At places, the wheels of incoming Enfield were half immersed in the streams and that sight used to cause a chill in my spine !

Looking at these streams, I wondered how terrible the pagal nalah will be ! At every stream I used to look around in desperation to see if I can get any help for crossing, but its only in vain. Sarcastically, vehicles used to come as soon as I crossed. After pedalling sometime and if I remember correctly, after crossing chota dhara I came across a very big stream. All the streams till then were harldy 10/20 meteres, but this is very big and will be surely 60 or 70 meters long and water is muddy not giving me a chance to estimate depth. If that was the first stream crossing I had to cross ,I would have fainted right away. Again there is no sign of getting any help and I crossed the stream spending the longest two minutes of my life ! I caught my breath after the crossing and felt so happy to be alive. I have asked a shepherd passing by, if this is the pagal nalah and he said yes. I felt so relieved.

Spiti had no mercy on me .When I passed few kilometres, there was a big waterfall, directly falling on the road and damn, it is a national highway ! Stream is more than 100 metres long and one could imagine the reaction in my face to see this after crossing pagal nallah. I parked the cycle, went and checked the depth for few visible metres and then came back to take the cycle again. This stream was thrilling compared to the previous one as the water is clear and I could see the stones, but it is very deep and made my feet numb as that waterfall is melted ice !

After crossing some more small streams, I reached Chatru at 9am. I had breakfast there and now it was time to decide to decide the destiny of my day. 30kms riding takes me to Gramphoo and if I ride 81 kilometres more ,I will be in Manali.
I made a bad estimate, that I may reach Manali, by the time it gets darker (10 more hours )as 50 kms from Rohtang top to manali is a downhill.

I started slowly. All of a sudden landscape changed to incredibly beautiful green. It is a very beautiful sight, to see such green among the rocky hills. Some of the peaks appeared very smooth. The spiti flowing throughout, with roaring sound adds the missing sound effects from nature.

In this route, I was constantly stopped by the herds of sheep and sometimes horses. I had to get down every time due to the dogs protecting them. Some of the shepherds just are laying on the rocks looking after the flocks of more than 500 sheep. I curiously asked one of the shepherds if they lose count anytime, but he replied that all sheep will return home safely and he need not worry about the count.

 I was riding steadily, coming across BRO workers and shepherds at many places. Gramphoo never showed up and I even began to get hungry. Around 2 pm I have arrived at a junction, where the road from spiti splits as road going to Leh and other one going to Rohtang top, which is just 15 kms. I was not aware that Gramphoo is just few kilometres downhill and also there is no one to ask for directions.

I have decided to head for Rohtang top and have some food over the top. I thought, I will be there in a hour or so ! My bad flat route rate calculations.

Seeing tarmacs after a long long time made me happy,but my bicycle was very slow on that also with the increasing steepnees, I was terribly slow. Also there countless hairpin bends.

The biggest water stream I had to cross

Throughout the climb, I got cheers and thumbs up from the bikers passing by. Many even took my photographs while riding ! Even though that brought a smile on my face ,the quads cried in pain which made me sad and even more hungry. I ate the chocolate bars in available with me, even the dry fruits, hoping to refill everything on the top. I thought that I will have a hot plate of chowmein.

After some time, I was completely exhausted and couldn’t pedal any more. I sat for sometime,then walked and pedalled again.All the while many Enfields and Dukes whizzed past me either to Rohtang or to Leh. I got envy looking at their speed, but I was helpless. I just pedalled ahead as it is the only thing I could do at that moment.

At times, in beautiful places when you are sad and in despair, the mother nature does something to cheer you up. After all that is the duty of mother. I got the surprise I wished for past 13 days. A rainbow appeared right in front of me. I was speechless for a moment. Viewing rainbow on the way to Rohtang top towards Chatru is just a pur bliss. It is the beautiful sight I ever saw. Added to its beauty are the clouds that passing right in front of me. I was thrilled and stood there for sometime.

One should not forget that I’m in a land of magic. Again, nature has it’s own way of teasing you. Enjoying the rainbow, I forgot about the villain which passed right before me and troubles he has put me into !

A rainbow and cloud passing before me , made my day

Stay connected to meet the villain.

Day-11/13:7th July- Kaza-Losar : My Cycling trip to Himalayas

Day-11:7th July- Kaza-Losar
Distance : 52 Kms
Undulating stretch with climb trough switch back after Kyoto bridge and gradual climb till Losar village

After staring ride from Kaza,I understood why it is called the gateway of spiti. The land turned more enchanting and hills more beautiful.

I avoided Ki monastery also due to climb and moved ahead. I wanted to go there desperately , but ten days of riding in mountains made my legs figure out ,every way I can escape a climb. At Rangrik I had tea. I saw a new food here, potato stuffed between a kind of flour and being fried. I got two of them packed and moved ahead.

The beautiful Ki Monastery

The road condition is worse again. It started to drizzle a littlle as I’m approaching Hull village. Hull is a small village with enchanting beauty all around. Here I could see the rain falling in valley behind me and sunlight ahead of me.I felt , I would see a rainbow today but Spiti is not kind enough to me in this aspect.

I pedalled as slow as I can ,to enjoy the beauty of Hull. I spoke with some workers in Jowar fields. Had some of the packed food and went ahead.

It is small but yet exhaustive climb at Kyoto bridge. Losar was only 16 kms from there . I thought, it will be just an hour of ride .But the gradual climb makes it tough to ride and made me respect Himalayas once again.

At Hansa village , I was exhausted and enquired if I can get tea anywhere ,but no luck. A person saw me and invited to his home for tea.

I was completely taken away by the hospitality provided by this person Dogre and his brother Tenzin. From the way they speak one can notice their innocence.They have identified Chennai from CSK team ! We spoke about their life in winters and their daily routine. While leaving, they said ” agle saal parivar ke saat aayie,hum aapki seva karenge ” … that line has touched me and my respect on Himalayan people increased further.

Few kilometres later , I have encountered the first stream crossing. A innova is already struck in it! Flow is heavy and sound adds more scare. I had no idea how I will be able to cross it. I removed my shoes and prepared myself mentally to cross. An other vehicle passing by stopped ,helped innova cross it, helped a couple on bike cross and finally they helped me cross the stream . That 30 meters walk is the longest and toughest walk in my life. The freezing cold water made my feet numb.Little did I know that this is the teaser for the upcoming blockbuster.

After crossing another stream, I have entered Losar slowly. I was welcomed by herds of Donkeys, cows and horses. I had to wait for them to cross the bridge for entering the village.


There are more snow peaks now and I could feel the beauty and chill.

In PWD house accommodation has to be reserved through phone and they denied us to stay. I went to village and got a accommodation. Mahesh and the couple on bike (Hitesh and his wife)I saw at the water crossing were already there. I was told that another couple is arrivng there on bicycle ! I was so eager to meet them.

There were also other tourists in that place, it is such a delight to interact with many people and know their travel stories and experiences. A person is on a roadtrip in hjs duster past two months alonv with his wife and a 4/5 year old kid !
It was getting dark and cycling couple didn’t arrive. Everyone is worried about them and after lot of waiting they arrived and minutes later everyone gathered for dinner. I liked the rice they served there and had lots of it.

It started getting very cold gradually and even it is partly cloudy. So I didn’t bother to stay out and went to room for sleeping. In Tabo and Kaza, it is very hot in the night that I didn’t use blanket at all while sleeping,but losar I had to cover up my self with thermals and two blankets.

Another beautiful day in spiti has come to an end.

Bliss in the Hills – 2015

Prologue :

Since PBP (Paris Brest Paris, a 1200km endurance cycling event to be finished in 90 hours and it is kind of world cup for randonnuers ) is finished, my excitement of participating in a 1200 brevet is increased exponentially.

I have seen a randonnuering friend here in Chennai who rode 200kms the previous night and is all set to ride a 300 km brevet in the dawn,as practice for PBP. I was like a just born in the world of randonnuering then. The dedication in his practise made me fall in love with randonnuering right away.

A month later in August, PBP was held and finished in a grand manner. Tracking the riders from Chennai, following the updates, seeing the pictures from France, I got addicted to PBP. A rider from Chennai, Ashwin Govindswamy has finished PBP within 77 hours. That fuelled my spirit further and randonnuering became part of my blood and breath .Since then, I was desperate to participate in a very long brevet.

Signing up forBITH, Reaching the Garden city and start :

Just like a boy who enjoys looking at every girl in college during teens, I started to like and send request for joining many randonnuring pages in facebook, Bangalore Brevets being one of them. In the course of finishing SR,I came to know that events in Bangalore were one of the toughest due to rolling terrain and climbs. So I wanted to take up the challenge of riding atleast a brevet there. One day, I came across this event in their fb page and signed up right away to fulfill the desire of taking part in a 1200 brevet and also a brevet in Bangalore.

Being a very lazy rider, I knew I was not very fit and knew very well that I still don’t have the experience of riding such a length within the time, yet I want to take a chance and see the power of enthusiasm, which made me sign up for the grand brevet. Also, in some corner of my heart I wanted to prove that love on randonnuering and mental strength is enough to finish a 1200 km brevet and fitness can be secondary ! ( I was proved wrong later )

I was skeptical about many things, proving my point about fitness being the first and then food, sleep management, unexpected bicycle problems, wild animal encounters, forest night rides etc.I didn’t want to take any chance with bicycle, so got it overhauled , chaged chain, rear sprocket, bearing balls and was all set for the ride.I wanted to get a Brooks saddle before the event to prevent saddle sore, but I couldn’t afford one it as the Treasure chest was almost empty due to two outstation brevets, in same month. Also a chat with Mohan and Opendro changed my thinking and made me go with my stock saddle.

My only practise was riding a 600 BRM in Hyderabad and then a 400 BRM in Mumbai before the event. Since, both were rolling terrains and having finished both of them my confidence levels for participating in BITH are boosted.

I got a huge support from my family, friend and friends from randonnuering world who knew that I’m attempting BITH, which made me confidently board a volvo bus to Bangalore. In Bangalore, I started looking for a hotel near start point, but then I saw posters of paying guest hostels and settled in one at Madiwala.

As usual, I had a sumptuous rice filled lunch for a heavy carb loading before the event. I slowly pedalled to start point near silk board and I was the first one to reach there. This start point is unusual from the other brevets I have seen, where there used to be lot of organisers, brevet cards , banannas and lot of noise ! It was utterly opposite here with just one of the organizer and I wondered if anyone will show up .

Soon some organizers and other riders showed up. I could sense that everyone filled with some sort of unknown feeling. Not sure if it is pride to be at start or tense to go into the wild like me or excitement to finish the ride very quick !

I was happy to see Mohan, who was from Bangalore and we rode along in a 600 brevet at Hyderabad. I was eager to meet Opendro and Chiddu.While reading about brevets in bangalore I came across their blogs and wanted to see them in person.

I was not sure Opendro, was name of a magazine (which, I confused with over drive) or some product and was surprised to know that it is name of a person. Also his blog about the BITH held last year was very detailed which was my only reference and confidence about the route and how it going to be. Also I was privileged to meet Ashok Thiruvengadam, PBP finisher, whose picture will somehow pop up on my facebook wall everyday and Manjula Sridhar, I read her blogs and was happy to see her in person.

Reading till here, those who are not associated with randonnuering can get a sense that ,it is not only about cycling but about lot many other things like people, new meetings, their writings,new places etc.

As soon as Chiddu arrived at start point , Brevet cards were distributed, bikes were inspected and after a small briefing the ride was started twenty minutes later than scheduled, among the cheers and wishes from the supporters gathered.

A person by name, Anil Kadsur is riding a fixie. Fixed gear cycle is one in which one has to pedal as long as the cycle moves and legs cannot rest. Riding it is considered as challenge and usually people who are riding it deserves a lot of respect.

To Belur ( 1st CP)

As I was not completely aware of the route for getting out of city, I followed the wheels of Mohan. It was fun manoeuvring through traffic in which many cars were struck and we were moving at a decent speed. Traffic accompanied us a little beyond till Yeshwantpur. The roads were all ours as soon as we crossed Nelamangala to join the Mangalore Highway.

Silvester , a PBP finisher and Ramesh Palani ,also from Chennai and a PBP participant were also riding along. All four of us are on MTB’s. Except Mohan, rest of us are riding with slick tires. While following PBP, I wondered if I can see any PBP rider at all, but now I was overjoyed as I am riding along with them.

I asked Silvester many questions about PBP, for which he answered very patiently. After 40-45Kms of ride, my sipper got emptied. I didn’t want to miss the group as we are going at a decent speed, but riding without water is a suicide attempt. So, I stopped for water at a bakery, refilled sipper, brought a spare bottle and was back on saddle very soon. It started to drizzle as soon as I started.

After few Km’s (around 70 km) I saw that rest of group stopped at a hotel for a quick food stop. I too joined them, and refilled hungry stomach. We planned here to ride together till the end of ride. We stopped at Mayura hotel around 115 kms from start point for Dinner. After few stretches, curd rice and lemon juice we were back on saddle.

I was little sad that, I missed greenery along the route. It was unusual, but I was surprised to see myself riding ahead of group. I always find myself among the last set of riders usually. I stopped a couple of times for group to catch up and Mohan advised me not to stop, unless I’m tired. Those words acted as some magic and from there I just sprinted. I read account of fastest PBP rider a day ago and it too helped me maintain a good speed, tail wind also helped me. It was very pleasant initially, but then the deep silence of the night turned scary which prompted me to turn on music, which increased my speed. I stopped in between for refilling water and caught up with group again, but then I went ahead again. Around 20 Kms ahead of Hassan, an auto driver warned me, to be careful as it is going to be forest ahead. As soon as he left, the batteries of my light were drained and I was left in pitch dark. I changed the batteries soon and started to ride again. I reached Hassan around 1 am and was waiting for the group.

We took a very small detour, as we missed a turn and were back on path quickly. After a small halt at a tea shop and riding through fog filled roads, we reached Belur at 3.15 am. It is entirely silent and one can sense a nice smell from fields and trees, some I hope were eucalyptus. I can feel the cold already, but being on saddle helped me maintain warmth. We saw Chiddu at Control who took our picture and we moved on without taking rest. A mental hurdle which I couldn’t jump over, something that didn’t go according to my plan, I wanted to rest here for a while, but had to move as group is starting. Sleep started to hit me right away
.
To Madikeri – 2nd CP :

After sometime, we stopped at a temple, where Opendro and his team were resting. I will be extremely thankful to Ramesh Palani, for feeding us with his home made Chapathis. We then caught up with other riders and rode till Ballupet on a extremely bad and pot hole filled roads. Sad that Mohan slipped at place, but luckily nothing happened. Everyone stopped for a quick coffee and snack break at a roadside tea shop, but it turned out to be a pretty long break.

Our group started ahead and from here, the bliss started for me. When fog started to disappear , greenery showed up . It appeared like we are making way through green blankets. Coffee plantations appeared both sides. I couldn’t notice anything apart from green. I felt the essence of Coorg (Kodagu). We passed through a series of small towns Kodlipet, Sanivara santé and Somvarpet to start climbing for Madikeri.

Till here the terrain was manageable for me and I maintained a decent speed, but from here the gradient was higher and climbs appeared to be tougher. I’m being bathed in sweat. At many palces, I was reluctant to ride in lower (easy gears), which also made me exhaust a lot. After many small stops, very minute power naps, we reached Madikeri.

The entire route was surrounded by hills, I was very sad that my first visit to such a beautiful place is in a brevet, which didn’t allow me to enjoy the nature to the fullest.

Ramesh palani’s front derailleur got damaged and he was struck on larger chain ring, riding with that is not easy, but he managed to continue, appreciate his power and attitude. It was so nice of Mohan and Silvester to wait for us at entrance of town. Madikeri welcomed us with nearly 45 degrees downhill slope. After lunch and power nap, we started again.

To Iritty – 3rd CP :-

It was a steep downhill ride with occasional climbs till Virajpet, where we stopped for a juice. Here, I was seriously hit by sleep deprivation, but didn’t want to waste time in day light, so started to ride for Iritty. It was a very steep downhill ride till Iritty through very dense plantations, where sun light hesitated to fall on roads. It would have been a beautiful ride on a normal day. I was sleep riding throughout the length, which made it a terrible ride. I missed hitting three four vehicles and was saved because of their loud honking. I washed my face many times but it was of no use and I continued. But, I was happy that I crossed yet another state on bicycle. I’m in Kerala now.

I was feeling alright as soon as I reached a place called, Kottupuzha. I got chance to ride with Opendro and team for a while here. It was rolling terrain and my quads has become sensitive for climbs, also I felt urge for using washroom, but didn’t want to stop as time is running out. At Iritty, the group decided to move in and I had no option except to follow. We started after an Ice cream and Juice refill.

To Periya Climb start-

The group was all set for an adventure of riding through forest during night and we started moving ahead asking for directions. Ashutosh, also joined us here. Silvester’s bicycle got a flat on the way and it was a blessing in disguise for me to catch up a little nap.

The gradient became higher and the climbs became strenuous. Whenever I turned back, it was just pitch black and darkness. I felt so proud and happy, that I’m riding in such extreme conditions. We took many breaks due to which the rythm of climbing is lost. Also we walked, when group became very exhausted.

All the way, the silhouettes of big leaves appeared as ears of elephant and I was too scared to move ahead alone. After what appeared to be an eternity, we reached the control at start of periya climb few minutes before the cut off time around 9.10 pm. I used washroom at the hotel and we had food whatever that is available. I have removed my wet jersey which was drenched with sweat, drizzle throughout and just put on light weight wind jacket. This helped me recover from shivering.

To Kalpetta :-

The hairpin bends were easy to climb, but then, the downhill pothole filled roads made our ride terrible. The time which is intended for making up time lost in climbs is now being wasted in riding carefully over the potholes. We stopped at many places and even slept on roads. At a place while waiting for Ashutosh, who was left behind, we were warned of elephant crossing by an auto passing by and were suggested to wait at next village.

The group moved very slowly, when we started again and we halted at a roadside tea stall. I had first sukku coffee in my life there (Black coffee). Being very hot it tasted amazing. Even after having two of them, I went into a deep sleep. I thought it was a fifteen minute nap, but everyone in group slept too, turning it into a 1.5 hour sleep. It was end of the brevet for me mentally as we have to ride another 30 odd kms with only few minutes left. I wore a boxer inside my cycling short, which caused a terrible chaffing . Even it slowed me down a lot.

When we set back to ride, I was terribly disappointed, yet moved ahead with some hope. I don’t remember what happened till Manthanvady, as I was sleep riding throughout, but it was all either climb or pothole downhill. We stopped for a tea/coffee break and moved ahead. We halted for a power nap even now. Silvester’s rear wheel had a problem and while they are at it, I had a nap once again.

When we started again the group dispersed and after riding few kilometres I was awake suddenly realizing that I’m riding alone. I saw green fields all around me. I remembered it is Kerala. I was more than happy, as most of Kerala has never ending green and sun has just started to come up. Blissed once again and I started to pedal little quicker, enjoying the route thoroughly.

I reached around 8.15 am to the control (seven hours late), where organizers have taken a resort for the riders.

Ride ended and began :

When I reached there, Mohan and Silvester are getting prepared to ride ahead. I was utterly confused as I was neither in a position to ride nor sleep. I took my time to decide. Before anything, I got refreshed with a hot water bath. Ravindra,( one of the organizer )asked me why I was not sleeping. I said I’m not sure. He then said that I wanted to ride and not rest, also he has narrated his past experiences and encouraged me to finish the route. Ramesh once again offered, homemade tamarind rice. I took some of the essentials and being not sure, where I will end up I even took a spare dress from the drop bag, left all wet clothes in drop bag again and went ahead at 11.30 am. I wanted to ride atleast till ooty.

Blissed again :

As soon as I started from Kalpetta to Gudalur, I noticed the beauty of tea fields spread across on both sides of roads. Every turn offered a beautiful view. It is a rolling terrain once again. My quads cried every time I climbed. I was riding very slowly and halting too frequently. I slept in many bus shelters. The beauty and tea fields on both sides were never ending. They were the only relief in this ride.

After sometime, Tamilnadu border board welcomed me. I was overjoyed once again to cross state border on bicycle. The terrain turned much more beautiful now. Even though it is mostly downhill till Gudalur, I struggled to ride. At a point before Pandalur, my body gave up completely and I couldn’t pedal any further. That was a sad moment, but I had to call off the ride.

I hiked up in a auto till Gudalur and got onto Mysore bus.Sadly it was more downhill ride as soon as the auto started. Luckily, the bus was empty. Conductor has noticed my sleep deprived eyes and asked me to sleep in three seater side. I woke up only when the bus reached Mysore.

I got a place to sleep in dormitory and I relaxed with a little pain of ending the ride this way.

To Bangalore and Beyond :

I have decided to ride till Bangalore next day. I started at 10.30 am after a relaxing hot water bath and my favourite set dosa breakfast. The ride was easy as the route was rolling down towards Bangalore. I was very happy to pass through many sugar cane fields and beautiful towns. I had many cucumbers on the way and enjoyed ride looking at beautiful wooden toys at Chennapattana. My plan was to reach Bangalore, before it gets dark. There was big traffic jam before Wonder la, which slowed me down. I reached Kengeri at 6 pm and was sad to know that bicycles were not allowed on NISE road. I used google map and rode along Dr Vishnu Vardhan road, which ends at Banshankari. I knew the route from there till silk board and reached the accommodation I took at beginning, which marked end of a beautiful bliss.

Next morning, I was eager to meet finishers and talk with them. I went to end point and joined organizers in welcoming them. Chiddu, reached first followed by Opendro and rest of six. It was a joyful occasion, even being there is bliss. After every brevet, I feel that I should never ride again, but seeing such moments will make me inspire and be back on saddle right away. I spoke with most of them and learnt many new things.

I started to Chennai in a Volvo right way and was back in the routine business, with my mind and heart lost somewhere in between Madikeri and Gudalur. I was not sure if it is the feeling that I have not completed or the beauty of places but it was just bliss and nothing else in my mind.

Signing off-

For map check out : http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10555502

Route :
Bangalore – Nelamangala –– Hassan – Belur – Belagodu – Balupet – Shanivarsanthe – Somwarpet – Madikeri – Murnad – Virajpet – Iritty – Periya – Mananthavadi – Panamaram – Kalpetta

– Meppadi – Gudalur – Naduvattam – Ooty – Doddabetta – Kotagiri – Metupalayam – Avinashi – Salem – Yercaud – tirupattur – Jolarpet – Yelagiri – Jolarpet – Tirupattur – Barghur – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Bangalore

Day 12/13- 8th July – Losar – Kunzum pass – Batal

Day-12: Losar-Kunzum Pass – Batal
Distance : 33 Kms.
Ascent till Kunzum La and 11km steep descent till Batal ( Worst riding conditions and heavy head,cross winds)

In Losar, I was asked to enter details at the police check post as I’m travelling alone. I started pedalling after  that. Today is the big day the in whole trip as I will be climbing a mountain pass, all by myself, one of the reasons I came for this trip.

Water ways have a different meaning in Himalayas

 It is not very tough but a long climb to Kunzum. The grasslands and flowers has taken away my sadness that I couldn’t make it to valley of flowers this year. I was getting more and more closer to Snow peaks.The biggest mountain peak is palying hide and seek with me by hiding it self in clouds not giving me a chance to capture it. I’m not sure if it is altitude sickness, but there is some trouble in my breathing and got headache.I couldn’t pedal with ease because of that.

I stopped every now and then, drank lot of water. People in passing by vehicles used to throw a look of surprise at me and some were generous enough to stop and advice ” Dheere chalana,paani peena”. ( Ride slow, drink water)

The Climb to Kunzum begins
Mile stone !

Peak at Kunzum top, seen from two kilometers to reach

After lot of pedalling I saw a temple,surrounded by flags. I thought it is Kunzum top, but no it is not. I started moving again. The road appeared plain further , yet tough to pedal. After an eternity passed and infinite pedalling, I could see Kunzum top and made there finally.

I pedalled all the way  4,590 m or 15,060 ft high.

Though I’m on one of the highest passes, the surrounding mountains made me feel that I’m on a low land. I was very happy that I have reached Kunzum. After giving up at 19kms on first day, I never thought that I will make it so far ! Another moment of pride for me.

Temple at Kunzum Top

The flags around were waving  severely due to winds. As per the custom, I made completed a loop around the kunzum temple.  After looking at all peaks around me once again, I have started for Batal.

The winds are blowing severely and this is the one of the worst ride ever. The path is filled with sharp stones and boulders and it is a downhill ! It has completely pissed me off. The winds were pushing off the ridge and traffic if also little high. To add more challenge, there are ice blocks and small water pools as they were melting.

The loops were never ending, and I had no clue when Batal will show up. I now figured out how high I have climbed 🙂 After sometime when I have lost all my patience, Batal showed up.

Apart from a dhaba and a PWD guest house nothing else is there. One should definitely experience the stay at Batal. You get to sleep in a stone house or in a bunker. Chacha Chachi Dhaba is the only source of food there. A search in internet will reveal greatness of the elderly couple serving so many tourists. I enjoyed their hospitality very much. Almost every vehicle passing through that route will stop there.

After having food and refreshed, I looked for a vehicle that will go to Chandra taal Lake, I couldn’t find any.I was in no mood to pedal in such heavy head and cross winds . I waited some more time but, I was not lucky to have a visit to Chandrataal this time.

I walked around. There are only snow peaks around and every peak is beautiful.

The couple I met at water crossing before Losar was also here. Two guys from Delhi who were touring on a KTM duke were staying here from the day before. We all started chatting and it went non stop for few hours. Severe winds forced us to go inside dhaba.I was surprised how the stone structures were able to with stand such heavy winds.

The guys from Delhi are professionally DJ and VJ . They shared their experiences and it went on till the ghost stories and scary routes in Delhi. After dinner we all dispersed.

During dinner, every one speculated about the stream crossings ahead and especially the Pagal nala , in which is very and deep with a flow enough push a van into the river ! So the couple and both guys planned to start early in the morning to avoid heavy flow.

The talk about streams brought a little phobia inside me and I wanted to leave as early as possible. So even I thought to leave early, leaving the Chandertaal behind. A sad decision, yet I had to make.

It is pitch dark inside the tent and I have put on light music and went to sleep. The experiences I had today were not so beautiful as they motivated me to get out of spiti soon !

for

I should not forget to mention about the costs at Batal. The price of the stine hut per day is rs 100. Two meals, a yummy fried rice, a tomato soup, many tea, and eight roasted bread cost just 300 rs.

A date with Rain : The sweet suffering of 400 kms

It is very confusing to choose a beginning this time, as I have experienced too many things in a short span of 60hours, but for the story to unfold I have to begin somewhere and here it goes….

Mumbaiii :
Initially, my plan was to ride in Delhi on 25 th of this month. In Delhi there is a guaranteed accommodation for me and also I have little knowledge of the place. The riders there didn’t show much enthusiasm in registration and I didn’t want to take any chance about the SR ride, so I have chosen Mumbai for riding the 400.

Going to Mumbai is always an exciting thought. I only saw it in movies, (especially mani ratnam and Rgv) and being the economic capital of India, I wanted to visit it at least once and it is really surprising that it happened this way.

I was excited about lot of things before going. It was the SR ride, accommodation? How to relax after the event? What if something happens to derailleur during transport? too many what if’s and how’s?

I have posted about stay in facebook, after speaking with Anil Uchil ( Ride coordinator ).He then connected me with Ammar Miyyaji from Nashik, who is also coming for the same event. It was a great relief, as Ammar took all the pain to look for an accommodation.

After being relieved with the stay problem, the next concern is packing bike for the flight. To get it box packed? Or to dismantle and bubble wrap it? Being concerned about weight, I avoided box packing. I have dismantled bike, covered all edges and important parts with foam sheet, (I got from bicycle shop) and then covered whole set up with bubble wrap. Boy, it was a tough job.

I have packed everything that is necessary on Thursday and was all set to go.
To Airport and beyond :

Left office early on friday. I was very skeptical about the way I have packed, as I faced problems last time, when I carried bike to spiti in the flight. To my surprise, within 20 minutes, I have checked in and even the security check is completed. Killing three hours of time is not an easy task!

The aeroplane flew through the clouds making it the most beautiful flight for me till date and landed in Mumbai very soon.

Ammar has sent me the hotel address and I have reached there sooner than expected. Ammar was also accompanied by Yamini, a national level cyclist from Nashik, Maharashtra. I was very happy to know about female participation in racing arena. After fixing bikes, we three set out for a small ride , as they both need to get some essentials for the ride. I was shocked to see that Ammar is riding a MTB with 2.35” tires. A rare sight in a 400 brevet. I may never dare to do so.

Mumbai welcomed me with a small and continuous drizzle, a trailer of a full length movie later. Since it was the first day after Ganesh Chaturdhi, all the roads were being echoed with the sounds of drums, cheers and dances of people. In a way, festive season is the best time to get flavour of any place. I enjoyed the chaos completely.
We had dinner as soon we came back. Myself and Ammar have different views on randonnuering and we debated about them during dinner and also about many other things. It was great to meet cyclists from different parts of the country and know their perspectives.
We managed to get only 3-4 hours of sleep. It had a very bad effect on me during the ride. We got ready on time as planned, but nature has other plans to delay us. The drizzle during night has turned into a big rain. We waited for few minutes to see, if it reduces but it only increased minute by minute.  The clock went past the start time 6am, and after twenty minutes we set out in the pouring rain.
The ride :

After finishing the formalities at start point, it is a 30-35 minutes delayed start for three of us, Being a average paced rider, I was little worried about the delay. Since the brevet has more to do with mind than physical strength, I tried to maintain a positive attitude and rode ahead.
After 8Kms, we three had tea and from then things started to change. Ammar disappeared right away. Being rolling terrain, I managed catch some speed in down hills to make up the lost time. I removed mudguards long ago, and for saving weight I even removed my rear rack, so all mud was being thrown on my back. There were dogs at many places and some even chased. I was more worried about them in return leg as it will be darker at that time.
Soon, I crossed some riders and was relieved that I was maintaining a good pace. As soon we crossed city, it was all hills, rivers, villages and flyovers. I was surrounded by lush green all around. If it is not a rainy day, I would have maintained the slowest possible pace to enjoy the scenery, sad that it is all invisible, due to rain.
 I was having toffees, homemade sweets and bananas on the way. Usually, without breakfast or food I will not be able to ride beyond 70 kms. I wanted to break that in this ride and pushed myself till the 101.5 km mark, the first control point after crossing Charoti. It took 4.5 hours for me to reach there and was my fastest hundred till date. It is five hours officially, though. Ammar was already leaving by the time, I arrived at the control.
I had curd rice, got some packed and went ahead. I rode with a good pace from here. As my speed increased rain also choose to increase and it rained Godzillas and dinosaurs from now.
Crossing borders on bicycle is always fun. I used to be amazed when I used to cross district borders in Tamilnadu, but crossing state borders on a national highway is a different fun altogether, that too amongst heavy trucks and large tolls. At Bhilad,I entered into Gujrat. I had mixed feelings again, happy that I was in a new state on my bicycle and sad that i couldn’t even enjoy the food there.
The suffering :

After 160kms, I started to feel the fatigue, sleeplessness and my stops became more frequent. At a point where I couldn’t ride any further, I stopped at a small food joint. The pav(bread) there is very soft and I had some plain ,then with tea and finally few vadapav.I started after a power nap and went ahead. Now I started seeing many riders coming back. I wondered that even though I’m maintaining a pace above my average, what speeds they would have been maintaining to come back already !
I crossed many good restaurants, subways and even a MC’d and thought, if I could maintain the same speed, I can have a lavish lunch while returning. I reached Chikli around 4.30pm. Again this is my fastest two hundred till date being completed in 10 hours (10.5 officially). Stopping at food joint is a mistake I made, as I couldn’t have a proper lunch and now I’m half hungry. I have decided to ride in a hope to eat at any restaurant on the way.
Life suddenly became upside down now. As soon as I have taken U trun, and when godzillas and dinosaurs are continuing to fall, the cruel head winds added up! They were so heavy that pedalling became very tough and maintaining average speed became a dream! I became very restless and sleepy within 10kms of ride. I stopped at the first dhaba I saw, ordered a dahi and chawal (curd rice ). Slept for a while, refreshed, stretched and was back on saddle again.
I didn’t have a good experience riding longer distances with sandals, so I have chosen to ride with shoes. With the rain never stopping, I have tried all the experiments I can to prevent water from making my socks wet, but all in vain. In the dhaba, I wore a new pair of socks, covered them each one with polythene and wrapped it tightly with tape.
More suffering :

I used to stop for every two, three kilometres. Ride became very tough, and when a uphill shows up, I was more pissed off than ever. I wondered, why am I riding in such worst conditions when I could have been happily laying down on my bed ! I lost motivation, I lost interest and I thought of quitting. Since I began the ride, I hardly saw any passenger vehicle movement, which means going back is a tough job. Damn!!
I’m losing all the time I have saved. I rode for few more kilometres till I have 178 kilometres to be covered in 13.5 hours. 13,5 hours is the time required to complete a 200 Brevet and I have a gain of 22 kms. A psychological advantage! I rode for few more kilometres with happiness. Anil Uchil used to cheer up in the middle, calling my name. It was an encouraging gesture.
The frequent stops continued to grow more and more. The heavy rain is having zero effect on my sleeplessness. The average is falling below than it is necessary and I have no other option only to ride. Whenever I felt sleepier, I used to stop at any shop that had cement flooring and used to lie down for five minutes. All the while, I thought I was completely left behind, but in some places where I’m taking rest children or people used to shout that cyclists are passing by. I used to get relieved that I can catch someone.
While coming towards Chikli, the flyovers were fun and means for gaining lost speed. In the return all the happiness was sucked away by the headwinds and flyovers turned out to be big hurdles. Taking service roads below the flyovers meant, bad roads, dogs and dark paths, which left no way to escape the pain.
I came across Bhilad once again, but this time I was completely sad and despair in hope to reach the finish point somehow. Sleeplessness grew worse and I used to stand aside on the road and sleep on bike itself under the merciless showers! At Bhilad, check post when I was stand sleeping, a guard came near me, to check if I was alright. He told me that he saw a few cyclists in a restaurant few metres ahead. My joy was uncontrollable and I raced there. The blinking rear red rights are a welcoming sign and I was greatly relieved to find a shelter and even see some fellow riders.
I had a long break there sleeping, stretching, and then eating. I set out after feeling comfortable. It was around 40 odd kilometres to Charoti from here, where organisers have taken a hotel for riders to rest and around 140 Kms to finish. The gradient of the road in return is somehow very different. It appears flat or steep and yet we have to pedal strongly. I got more tired.
At Charoti, there was some downhill section and due to speed, I couldn’t see the resting point. I realised that I have missed the resting point after riding 10kms or so! Water in my sipper and bottle were almost emptied. At a point where I couldn’t ride any further, I saw a hotel and stopped there. It was around 2 am then. Saddle sore began to show up here, adding more to my miseries. I have changed to fresh clothes there. I have removed the polythene, I tied around my legs at Dhaba to see my feet were completely beyond recognition! I had the curd rice I got packed in morning and slept for 15-20 minutes.
Suffering continues :

When I started back, I had to cover 80kms in 5.5 hours. It seemed reasonable, yet undoable because of headwind and rain. I thought I was refreshed but, few minutes onto the saddle it was very tiring again. I had to stop at many places, stand sleep and even wash my face in middle of pouring rain .When the sleep is uncontrollable; I had tea from a road side shop after which, I have vomited! I could take only water. Even dry fruits appeared heavy to eat.
It dawned soon and I even saw another rider fighting the odds, We followed each other. I was still feeling sleepy and rain is falling continuously. My front derailleur stopped functioning properly, and I couldn’t shift to granny wheel (smallest chain ring, which makes climbs easier). At a section, where road was climbing, we both had to get down and walk!
The rain and time never became restless and they were constantly running with great enthusiasm, unlike us who are wearing down, every moment! The final one hour is a thriller with exactly 22kms to reach the finish point. A 18 year old young randonnuer, joined with me now. When we were 10 kms and 35 minutes away from finish, he got a flat in front wheel! I couldn’t help him much in that condition and I rode ahead. Even the city roads were not flat and we had to struggle for reaching the end point.
Finally, we reached the end point at Oberoi mall, where Anil Uchil welcomed us with a big smile on his face. We handed over ATM slips and brevt cards to him. The young rider who got flat made it in time, on his road bike. Even many other riders made it in nick of time.

I removed shoes, all rain protection and sat on steps of a flag post and looked at sky! The rain drops falling on my cheeks and lips were so smooth now. It was an endless romance. My mind was absolutely silent and relaxed amidst the chaos of Mumbai. I was in a deep thought, not sure about what I’m thinking but, I was happy, very happy. I have then realized that the ride is finished and I became a super randonnuer. At that moment, I forgot everything that happened and the pain I had to go through.
It was an immense pleasure. A lazy bum like me, riding 1800 kms in heat, cold, rain, dust is something uncommon and I wondered what a sport can make!
Post suffering :

It was sad to know that Yamini had to quit at 360kms and happy to know that Ammar finished within 25 hours. I caught up some rest/sleep in Ammar’s car. We soon went to pick up Yamini and then I departed to airport.
I couldn’t wear shoes and I’m walking barefoot. Rain stopped for a while now. I have packed my bicycle under a tree at parking area. When I was about to finish things properly, it showered again and I had to run for a shade, which is airport !
I couldn’t help noticing too many stares at a barefooted guy, wearing track pant and tshirt with a bicycle on his trolley. Even though it is too early, the airlines, did allow me to check in looking at my condition. It was shower of stares inside, as I was carrying my shoes in hand. It was a weird experience bidding adieu to Mumbai.
I slept as soon as, the flight took off and when I woke up suddenly in the middle, water is flowing on the windows. I was shocked and asked the passenger beside me, if it was a emergency landing? He said we are in Chennai.
Rain followed me all the way to Chennai !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day-10:Tabo-Kaza : 06-July : My cycling trip to Himalayas

Day-10:Tabo-Kaza
Distance : 47 Kms
Undulating stretch with gradual climbs in between.Desert riding conditions.

I felt very tired and didn’t feel like waking up,but Kaza is calling me. So I got up ,refreshed and started to pedal.

 I only had a sandwich , packed one and started the ride. Shabu and team just left. I’m not feeling so energetic like I feel everyday. Just after 7-8 kms I ate the sandwich I brought and took Avomine, as I thought the height is beginning to have its take on me. 
While taking rest, two random cars stopped by and both of them said they are watching me from few days and expressed their surprise that I made it so far. Avomine and these comments helped a little and I started pedalling again. I didn’t dare to climb Dhankar owing to the the height and skipped it. 
There were not many villages in between and no food options either. So I had to move ahead bearing the heat. I came across Shabu and team in between who were on their way back from Dhankar. 

In Schiling I had couple of cups tea. It filled some energy in me. Enjoying the company of Spiti river, I slowly headed towards Kaza. The landscape is amusing .The sand structures are another wonder in this beautiful Spiti. They were present till Kaza. The views of snow hills just before entering the town is beautiful. Being head quarters of Spiti, I thought Kaza will be bigger, like Recong peo, but is also a small town. but Kaza is really the gateway to beauties of spiti.

I went inside the town, took a room as soon as possible and collapsed on bed for an hour. I could barely move my body. I some how gathered energy and refreshed and went out to have some food. I had snacks in a punjabi sweet stall. 
I have asked mobile of a person and called Mahesh. He told they are waiting for me and asked me to come near petrol bunk. I was so thankful to Mahesh, Sarath and his wife for providing me this memorable ride. It was such a bliss to be go to Hikkim and Komic.

My Father works in postal department, which lured me to definitely visit Hikkim. The ride is so nice and smooth in Scorpio. I enjoyed that luxury thoroughly after cycling for ten days ! 

We saw herds of sheep en route Hikkim. In Hikkim we posted letters to ourselves and friends. We went to Komic later. My language and words are not enough to describe that beautiful landscape.
A series of snow capped mountains lined up in perfect order ahead. A grass land of lush green behind ! I was so overjoyed looking at the beauty nature has provided.

We started back early as it is getting dark. We spotted a Spitian fox on the way, which is too shy and ran away very quickly. 

After coming down,I had food. Brought fruits, dry fruits and carrots for next day. After coming to room I went to sleep instantly with the lush greenlands of komic rolling in front of my eyes.