This June, June 2016, I was desperately waiting for "Roads to open"...Roads of my dream, Roads to Spiti Valley...and Roads to my fifth solo trip.
I needed to plan things first, so first thing first. I booked my train tickets from Pune to Chandigarh one month in advance and a return ticket too.
I was thinking of to come up with the best reason to give in office for two weeks leave. But finally I told the truth. It worked and I got two weeks leave. I had to save some money for this long trip.
There were so many things I had to do in advance before I start my journey. Most difficult one was to tell my parents that I was again going on a solo trip. Believe me, for me that is the only difficult part of traveling. I called my father and told him, I am going to Himalayas. But this time for my surprise he didn't argue with me and said keep calling Everyday.
Shopping? No I didn't buy anything for this trip. And made sure I am traveling light and with ALL medicines and sweater and thermal wear.
10.06.16 Day 1
I started my journey on 10th June from Pune. I took early morning Sinhgad Express to reach Mumbai. From there I got in Paschim Express, at 11.35am. It was crazy hot and humid in Mumbai. I hardly have slept one hour the early night. So without wasting time and getting irritated by the weather I crashed. I actually didn't do anything than eating and sleeping in this train journey. Train tickets cost me Rs.800 from Pune to Chandigarh.
11.06.16 Day 2
When I got up, my train had reached near Delhi. Around 4 pm, I got down in Chandigarh. Chandigarh was as hot as Mumbai. I took local bus to reach to sector 43. And seriously I had no plans for today. I just went on to the inquiry office in the bus stop and asked for the bus to Sangla. It was around 5 pm. I was told that there is no direct bus to Sangla. I had to take Reckon Peo bus till Karcham and then another bus to Sangla from there. The bus will be at 6 pm. I thought why to waste a night in Chandigarh lets take the bus. I pre booked the ticket and luckily got the window sit. It cost me Rs. 520. Bus started sharp at 6 pm. Soon my bus left Chandigarh. After one hour of journey I could see so many hotels and restaurants on both sides of the road and lighting everywhere and heavy traffic. It was like Diwali celebration. After some time I slept and didnt know when Shimla passed.
12.06.16 Day 3
I was in half sleep when I heard some noise. I had no idea where I was. I was tired because of long train journey and had totally forgotten that I was traveling in a bus towards Himalayas. I woke up to the noise and looked out of the window. It was about to dawn. There was a flock of sheep in the road and my bus could not go further. I was enjoying watching those sheep running. Few of them started walking on the mountain. My gaze followed those sheep and suddenly realized that those sheep were climbing on Himalayas. I jumped on my sit with joy and extremely happy to realize that I was actually seeing Himalayas. It was Bhavanagar. Where I first saw Himalaya. I could not stop myself smiling and stare at those mountain peaks continuously. After few minutes flock went on one side of road and my bus got some space to move.
I was traveling with Himalayas in one side and the river and valley in other side. I got down at Karcham early in morning around 6 am.
I waited for couple of hours for next bus which took me to Sangla. Finding place to stay was not difficult. I checked in the Baspa Guest House which is at the entry of the village. They charged me Rs. 300 for a day for basic but cozy room without attached toilet bathroom.
It was more than 48 hours I was traveling but there was no hint of tiredness on my face when I reached Sangla. I was feeling super energetic to see Baspa valley. Every minute I was thanking myself for taking this trip.
I freshen up within no time. My guest house had a nice restaurant where I had tea and Aloo Paratha.
I was on Kamru fort within next one hour. It was 20 minutes walk and 15 minutes hiking from my guest house. I was taking as many pictures as I could. I wanted to capture every inch of Himalaya in my camera. I had a feeling that my camera is not justifying the view of Himalaya. Himalaya is something you have to witness with your own eyes and feel it. No camera justifies the beauty and hugeness of Himalaya.
On the way to the fort, I saw this lady busy in spinning wool. I had an urge to talk to her. I smiled and she replied with a smile. I started talking to her and asked her randomly, "Are you happy in your life?" She smiles again said, "I dont know. But I keep myself busy in spinning wool all the time. I earn some money by selling it in market." I think she was happy.
Kamru fort is a piece of old wooden architecture. I loved the view of Sangla valley and Kinnaur Kailas from there.
You have to wear a kinnauri cap before you enter in the fort. There is a temple inside the fort.
After spending an hour in the fort I walked down the valley. I was always amazed to see the pictures of colorful prayer flags.
I had always wished to see them flying with the wind in real. They look beautiful. Everything around the Himalayas is beautiful and tempting. I was falling more and more in love with mountains within only few hours.
Sangla was cold in evening. I spent my evening in talking with local people and trying to know more about their culture and enjoy a cup of tea. A big mug of tea actually.
This blog was originally published on 'Backpacking in Kinnaur and Spiti Valley'