Let me share with you some more pictures and stories from an epic Himalayan Motorcycle Expedition I have participated in in August of this year. This post is obscenely long, but I want to show you everything (!). If I divide posts even more, you will be reading about Himalaya till our next expedition. I hope you’ll enjoy this part of the story as much as I am enjoying going through all of my memories again and again and …
Day 4, Tabo to Kaza ( 70km )
We’ve been quite lucky with the weather so far. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t raining at all, but it mostly happened overnight. Unfortunately, in Himalaya that doesn’t mean you can avoid trouble … Our fourth day was supposed to start early, since we had over 150km to drive. Instead we’ve woken up to news that a massive landslide, caused by heavy rains, blocked THE ONLY road and we have no choice but wait until it gets cleared. What to do?
Therefore, we did our already traditional morning yoga session and went for a walk to explore a nearby monastery (pretty much the only thing we could do or see around).
After few hours of not doing much, organising our bags and bikes, we ate lunch at our guesthouse and decided to give it a try. We knew the road has not yet been cleared, but we hoped it will happen any time soon and we wanted to be the first ones to pass.
We passed huge line of cars queuing before the landslide (one of advantages of being a motorcyclist) and we parked in a first row waiting for a miracle… Some of us even decided to help with clearing the road and grabbed shovels themselves. So impatient… hahaha
The miracle has finally happened after three more hours of us looking hopelessly on machines and people clearing the way. It was already 3pm and we knew we wouldn’t manage to reach our final destination before dark. Therefore, decision has been made. We will skip few points from our itinerary, but still visit Key Monastery and stay overnight in the nearby town of Kaza.
Luckily at this time of the year finding a place to stay that could accommodate 14 people wasn’t too hard. At this stage of our trip we’ve already left high expectations towards accommodation behind and were grateful for having a roof above our heads and a warm meal. And since this time we even got a bucket of hot water per room, I would be a sinner if I complained… LOL
On our way to Kaza I experienced my first fall (ouch!). Luckily nothing serious happened, nor to me or the bike. I simply took the downward turn too fast and my rear wheel slid on a wet surface causing me fall and bike turning 180*.
I wasn’t the first one and unfortunately not the last one to crash during our trip… luckily we only ended up with few bruises and minor wears and tears on the bikes, with few lessons to learn and some stories to tell. And it seams we were the “boring” group, as some of riders we have met on the way lost their companions due to broken bones or seriously damaged bikes. Riding a bike is not a joke and riding it in Himalaya requires some extra caution!
Just before we could enjoy our last warm shower (!), we had to refuel the bikes. Refuelling itself is an experience in Himalaya. Specially in a more remote areas. No rules, no queuing, no receipts, the bigger the group (or a car), the faster you get ‘served’. And you have to make sure you pay attention to counter, as it doesn’t get reset. I’m actually not sure I even knew how much one litre cost, I just paid what I was told … (sic!)
A bit of local experience before going to sleep. Pakora and Samosas – my favorite!!!
NOTE: never ever have an idea of checking how does a kitchen look, better not to know, believe me! I’m sure the fact that Indian food is super spicy is not only because they like it that way, you know that hot spices kill germs, right?! Hahaha
Day 5, Gaza to Sissu ( 130km )
We had to leave very early that day (we were ready to go at 7am) and adjust our route a little bit. Even though there were not too many kilometres ahead of us, it was a very long day. It was one of the most extreme days too! Little did we know, that most of the time we will be driving along the cliffs (it was a challenge for those with fear of heights), on a rough and rocky roads and through many rivers that often chose a road for their bed.
We have finally reached the proper and most beautiful part of Spiti Valley (it was worth waiting for the permits to cross the border of that magnificent area the other day!)
I loved (almost) every minute of this day! We left the heat behind and I could finally breathe fresh and frosty at times air. The views were SPECTACULAR! We crossed our first high pass – Kunzumla Pass ( 4590m ), and visited a small lake – Chader Tal ( 4300m ) located in a very remote area, full of 180* turns, cliffs and gorgeous scenery. Flowers, greenery, snowy mountain tops, animals… that’s exactly what I needed and really wanted to see.
But you know what? Let me just shut up and show you…
New trending make up style! Hahaha
By the end of the day I was overwhelmed by everything that has happened and all I have seen. I was so happy that even a massive headache caused by wind, dust and having totally soaked shoes after crossing all the rivers couldn’t spoil my mood. A perfect Masala Tea was a cherry on top of the perfect cake which that day has been!
I have been also extremely satisfied with how well the bike is doing, how comfortable it is and that it doesn’t cause me any trouble. And not only me. All the girls say the same. Royal Enfield… I think I love you!