Day 14 Chandertal to Chatru (50 km) 3560mOur way is along the rapid Chandra River through the dry mountain dessert with high snow-covered mountains on both sides. Nice view of Shigri Glacier, a mountainous mass of solid ice, more than a kilometre wide and extending over a distance of ten kilometres, overnight in camp.
Chhatru is The first stop you will encounter enroute to Kaza from Gramphu.  Road from Gramphu to Kaza is total an Off-Road (Approx 150ms). Chhatru is nothing but totally an isolated place along the Spiti River. There are 2 Dhabas where one can stay in Camps/Tents for overnight.
Chatru - We stopped here for Lunch (Limited options - Curry Rice, Rajma Rice, Instant Noodles, Eggs and Tea) Batal - Famous for Chacha Chachi Dhaba (another option for Lunch if reached early).
The wind was cold and the temperature was hovering around 5-6°C. After a lot of waiting, a local chap came and helped us out and we ended up helping him as his vehicle too was stuck downhill. It is the mutual helping tendency and the friendly people that got us out of that mess. The route from Koksar to Batal via Gramphu and Chhatru was the most challenging terrain with some phenomenal views that we encountered in the trip. You also see the Chenab river by your side in this route. It was quite a task to reach the other side without any incidents, that too after driving three hours in the night in the isolated terrain. Our speed was less than 15kmph for most of the part and it took roughly six hours for us to cover 63km Koksar-Batal route on the NH505! We were relieved when we saw a faint light in the dead of the night, which was Tenzin camp run by Tashi, the caretaker. The rum, camp fire and the hot food prepared by the Tashi and his guys was the perfect end to a tiring day.
Chatru was a relief for us travellers after the taxing ordeal, the huts were packed at this point with a mixed crowd, waiting for their food to arrive. A simple dal chaval seemed like heaven! And then the driver says,"Don't worry guys!We have crossed all the hurdles.The journey is gonna be fun ahead and we three muskeeters wrapped in the blanket of excitement that Woah!We are enroute Chandrataal, completely unaware of what lay ahead.Just some kilometers away from Chatru,we encountered a river crossing named as "The Pagal Naala" by the localites. Well!It was indeed a Pagal Naala. With strong water currents coming from one side flowing into the ever so ferocious Beas on the other,there is a hump in the water crossing where the cabs usually get stuck. So!It was customary for ours to get stuck as well. With the dripping temperatures and the cold waters,our cab got stuck in the middle of nowhere,we no aid as far as you can see. So the driver and I,tried really to push the car ,whereas the girls started to panic standing on a rock in the rains.We were just hoping if we could see just some vehicle around ,we may ask for help.And we have the saviours, the Himachal Police, or the guardians as we may say. But to our sheer disappointment those guys left without giving in much aid.And like us some other travellers also got stuck at the "Paagal Naala" in this "Paagal Weather".So,our driver routed us to a guest house which was at a kilometer distance from the water crossing. Drenched in the mad rains,we made our way to the guest house and our driver reached out to the owner for help. With the rains getting intense and high probability of landslides around,we just got a sigh of relief in the guest house where the owner helped us with some tea and snacks.Luckily,the driver managed to get the cab soon with the owner's help and we decided to continue with the journey.As it was getting dark and Thor,our one favorite Avenger was in a playful mood,we thought that it is better to pit stop somewhere at night and we'll resume journey to Kaza the next morning.So,the driver took us to Tenzing's tents located just at the Kaza border.At an altitude of 13000ft about sea level,panic stricken,completely drenched in the rain,shivering because of the cold and in an area of zero network connectivity, all we were looking for was a safe sanctuary for the night. Needless but I must stay that in case you ever get stuck at Kaza border or just simply feel like spending the night around Kaza,Tenzing's tent is the place!!!It was just not the tents that were extremely well built, or teh picturesqueness that the place offers(that you would definitely not notice in a situation like this), but it is the host,Tenzing himself that makes it feel like a homestay.The guy comforted us with quilts and coffee and asked us to sit around the bonfire . Need of the hour! We did exactly as he said , but he was one amazing host that we could have got. He served us the now-not- so-secret elixir of survival,the Old Monk indeed, that we were little apprehensive first on taking from him, but gradually, he bought us all at so much ease that we actually got relaxed mentally and physically. Post that we had dinner and went off to sleep and with the rains subsiding, we expected it to be a bright sunny day the next morning.