Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read)

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Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Day 1

So it all started with planning a trip to relax our minds which were tired of living in the Concrete Jungle, Delhi. I and my friend Harshit were planning a trip and until the last moment, we were not even sure where we could go. While discussion we decided and canceled N number of places. We started with Jibhi, Nainital, Pangot, Mumbai, Goa, Leh, Spiti and many other places. At last, we decided to go to Jibhi and relax for 3 days in Mudhouse Hostel which is owned by Rahul Kumar (@theknowntales). We loved their concept. I enquired about the availability of beds in their dorms but unfortunately, they didn't have the beds. But they offered us tents and we were pretty cool with that.

On 25th July 2018 at 4 in the morning, we started our journey from Delhi in my Fiat Punto. After a light breakfast at Jhilmil dhaba in Karnal, we continued driving to Jibhi. When we reached Ambala, out of nowhere I asked Harshit "Hunny Spiti chalega?". And he was up for it. He got excited but there were some concerns which were forcing us to give it a second thought. The primary one was the absence of car tools like Tyre changing tools (Jack and paana), Towing hook, Towing Rope, Tyre Inflator without which I never plan a trip to such places. And the other reason being non-availability of proper clothing (Temperature in Spiti is in minus in some places). But the call of spiti was much more aggressive than these factors and we decided to start driving towards Spiti.

In Fagu, we stopped near an ATM to withdraw some cash. I sent Harshit to withdraw the cash, and in the meanwhile, I started checking the tires. I noticed that the air was very less in driver side front Tyre. As I told earlier we were neither carrying the Tyre changing tools, nor Tyre Inflator. I asked people where was the puncture Wala, and they said that it's very near. I decided to drive uptill there. As I reached the puncture shop, he diagnosed the Tyre and told me that there's a puncture on the side of Tyre and we'll have to put a tube in it, and I asked him to do the same as I didn't have any other options. I paid him Rs.700 for a tube and started driving.

We were planning our first stop at Narkanda but due to a shortage of time, we decided to stay at Negi Ji's Kinnar Kailash Camp in Rakcchham where I stayed around 5 years back on my first visit to Spiti. After crossing Narkanda, I called up Negi Ji and he said that his place was completely booked. That was a sad news for us as I was pretty much excited to have Rajma Chawal at Negi Ji's camp.

We started looking at the Maps. Suddenly Harshit noticed a place named Morang situated slightly before Spello. He remembered that there's his family friend, Baldev Bhaiya, who lives in Moorang and operates a PWD Guest House there. We called him up, and as soon as Harshit told Baldev Bhaiya that we're on our way to Spiti, his excitement level went to next level. He invited us to stay in his guest house and enjoy that day's dinner with him.

So we started driving towards Morang. Passing through some very beautiful and picturesque landscapes and driving around 800 KM on our first day, we finally reached Morang. Moorang is a small village located in the Kinnaur districtof Himachal. To reach there, one has to take a slip road from Powari, situated on the Nako road and drive for around 30KM. Drive from Powari to Moorang was fantastic in dark.

Finally, we reached the PWD guest house and parked our car. The guest house was too scary with no human around it. There was no light in and around the guest house. I and Harshit began thinking about the scary movies we have seen in which the actors go on an expedition and reach their hotels which are scary and only one caretaker is present in it.

We called up Baldev Bhaiya and he shouted "Namastey Hunny" from somewhere down the hill. He walked up to the guest house and was so much Happy to see us that we cannot even describe that feeling in words.

I introduced myself to him by asking him if he remembers me or not. Unfortunately, he didn't identify me, and the reason was obvious, we had never met previously. I knew him as he helped me on my first trip to Spiti when I was stuck in a landslide near Tapri on my way back. He helped us by arranging a shelter for us in his cousin's house. When I told him this, he remembered that incidence and was so happy to see me. I don't know but there's something magical in that person, he's a pure soul with a nature of helping everyone, without any expectations and desires. Meeting him was an honor for me, and a matter of pride also, as I came to know that he's an SDC of Moorang now.

His caretaker had prepared Rajma Chawal, Aloo Matar and soft Chapatis for us. But before that, I expressed my desire to smoke some Hookah. I prepared the hookah and gave the coal to the caretaker to lit it. We walked down the stairs and stood near his Pickup truck and were waiting for the caretaker to bring coal. Suddenly I felt nauseous. I asked both of them to walk inside. As we started walking inside, I felt my energy level going down. As we reached inside the guest house, I asked Harshit to hold the Hookah. After handing over Hookah to him, I got fainted. Harshit had his priorities set, and according to that, instead of holding me, he left me and held Hookah so that it doesn't break. Very delicately and safely he kept Hookah in the floor and started taking my face to wake me up. After some seconds I came to my senses. Both Harshit and Baldev Bhaiya were tensed. Harshit got me some Coke and I drank half pet bottle as I thought it might be due to low sugar level, or maybe due to low oxygen level. Harshit then brought a jug full of water and took some water in his hands and was trying to throw it on my face so that I come into my senses completely. I shouted at him and very calmly said "Bhag Bho**ike" 😜. After hearing that he realized that I was completely fine then. I held my Hookah and ran upstairs to our room and started shouting at Harshit to get me the coal quickly. Then went down and lit the coal on my own and then we started smoking Hookah.  I was lost thinking why the hell did that happen to me. I was worried that I had to drive either further towards Kaza or back to Delhi. Either way, ad to drive as Harshit had never driven on the mountains previously.

After a small session of Hookah, we had our dinner and went to our beds to sleep. Baldev bhaiya asked us to wake up early in the morning as we had to visit some places in Morang and then leave for Kaza also.
With this, the first day of our trip ended.

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Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fagu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fagu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta

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Photo of Fagu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta

Feast at Baldev Bhaiya's Guest House

Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta

PWD Guest House, Moorang

Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta

Slip road towards Morang

Photo of Moorang, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta

Panipat Toll

Photo of Panipat by Garvit Gupta

Parantha at Jhil Mil dhaba, Karnal

Photo of JHILMIL DHABA, Pipli, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India by Garvit Gupta

Kinnaur Welcomes everyone with open arms

Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta

Karchham Dam

Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Shimla by Garvit Gupta
Day 2

With a new morning, there was some new energy. I was full of enthusiasm to drive to Kaza in my Fiat Punto. We had our breakfast with Baldev Bhaiya. We were planning to leave for Kaza directly, avoiding some spots in Moorang. On a call, Baldev Bhaiya told his wife that we're not interested in visiting some of the not so famous tourist spots in Moorang, she requested us to visit a temple in Charang, a place 20 KM ahead of Moorang. After her request, we decided to visit that temple and trust me, we thanked her to suggest us that place. The drive to Charang was completely adventurous and we did off-roading to get there.

Charang is a beautiful little village near the Indo-Tibet border in Kinnaur – the less explored & non-touristy part of Himachal Pradesh in India, with a population of around 90 people. In Charang, there is an ancient 11th-century Charang monastery also called the Rangrik Shungma – the holiest temple of Kinnaur.

From the Charang village, it’s more like a 2km walk on a narrow path along the river up to the monastery. We walked through fields surrounded by harsh rocky mountains, chatting with Baldev Bhaiya.

It’s a gorgeous monastery made of mud, stones, and wood. Once a center of learning & worship, it has some of the oldest Buddhist texts, murals, and Thangka paintings. There's a room with a collection of bone and ivory knives & daggers which thieves used back then.

Two Buddhist nuns take care of the monastery and live there. They greeted us with a cup of tea and some biscuits. Sipping on delicious tea with chocolate biscuits amidst conversations we were wondering how difficult it would be to live in that remote little place tucked deep within the mighty Himalayas cut off from the world, with nothing but the beauty and fury of nature.

After enjoying the beauty of that place we drove back to Moorang and had our lunch. During the meal, I asked Baldev Bhaiya whether the way from Kaza to Manali is open or not. He enquired it from the SDM of Kaza and luckily the route was opened two days back. That was a very good news for me as previously I could never visit even Kunzum Pass due to snow-covered roads. With this, we decided that we'll drive back via Kunzum, Batal, and Manali in my Fiat Punto.

Baldev bhaiya had to go to Kalpa for some urgent meeting, so he got off at Powari and took a bus to Kalpa wishing us luck for our further Journey. We left from Powari for Kaza. We crossed Spello, Nako and reached Giu. Giu is a home to a 600 years old mummy. "Mummy" word is enough to arouse curiosity in a person. the most and surprising thing in that mummy is that it is a 600 years old mummy with no Chemicals or preservatives used to preserve it. It is naturally preserved dead body with teeth and hair still intact.

There are many beliefs about the existence of the mummy. According to the locals, this mummy is of a Lama who died 600 years ago. According to ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police), this mummy was discovered by chance by them during a road work. According to carbon dating, this mummy is from the year 1475. Currently, Himachal government has undertaken the maintenance and security of the Shrine. It is the mummy that pulls the small village of Giu on the globe.

After watching the beauty of this small village we continued the journey to Kaza. It was 6 in the evening and the sky had started becoming darker and darker with time. We had traveled around 15 km towards Kaza and I felt my card running towards the right-hand side which was an indication of a punctured tire. I got nervous due to the same reason that I was not carrying the tools and it was dark and I could not see any car on that road. Stopping on that road was not allowed as it was a shooting stone area. But I had no other option apart from stopping my car. I found a little safer space and got off my car. I saw that the same tire was punctured which was punctured in Shimla.

I started looking for a car from whom I could borrow the tools. A Maruti 800 stopped by. A couple was sitting in the car. I asked him for the help and the best part was the man agreed to help us besides the fact that he was with his wife. We thanked him from the bottom of my heart hearts. He took out his Jack and Pana from his car. Unfortunately, the Pana size required in our car was different. We had no other options apart from waiting there for other cars passing by. The number of cars traveling on that road after the evening is very less which was the scariest part for us. 3 to 5 cars passed by but no one's Pana was matching our requirement.

Then came a Maruti SX4 with 4 bachelors in it with loud music. They were the owners of THE KABILA NATURE CAMP, IN CHANDRA TAL, and they were traveling to Chandra Tal. They tried to open the bolts by putting some papers and sand in the Pana they had but unfortunately, we couldn't succeed. They offered us a ride to a nearby Village named Hurling. It was 8 in the evening. We both sat down and their car and went to Hurling to find the mechanic who could help us out in that dark night.

Mechanic's shop was closed but the security guard of the Army base camp told us the location of that mechanic's house. We walked to that mechanic's house and requested him if he could take us to our car and help us in changing the tire. Initially, he didn't show any interest in that but after are repeated requests he agreed to help us out. We sat down in his car and went back to our car. Within 10 minutes he changed the tire of our car. We thanked him from the core and asked his fees. He asked me to give him Rs.200 only. Immediately I gave him 200 bucks and followed him in our car to his garage to get rest of the tires checked. He checked all the tires and went back to his house. Harshit had gone into the base camp of Army to make a call to Our Parents just to inform them that we are safe. After a while, The Mechanic came out of his house again and give back 100 bucks to said that Rs. 100 is sufficient for that work. I didn't know how to react to that situation as that was something different we can never see in the metros. I requested him to keep the whole amount not as a fee for his work but as a token of happiness and love. After continued requests, he agreed to keep the whole amount.

At 9 p. M. We started our journey to Kaza. At 11 we ultimately reached Kaza safely where PWD guest house was prebooked by Baldev bhaiya. We try to find something to eat in Kaza at 11 in the night but as expected we couldn't find anything. So we ate some chips and some momos which Baldev bhaiya had forcefully got us packed from Moorang.

So with this, we managed to reach Kaza safely after facing a small (which was not that small at that time) issue and day 2 ended.

Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta

Tyre Puncture ????

Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta

Giu

Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta

Kabila NATURE Camp Guys who helped us

Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta

Mummy

Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Nako, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Kinnaur by Garvit Gupta
Day 3

So the third day started with a bang, a bang on the door of our room. I woke up and heard the caretaker saying "Bhaiya chai lelo" (Sir please take tea). I was so sleepy that I ignored him and slept. Harshit woke up and asked me to open the door. Fortunately I'm not a tea person, so I refused because I knew that Harshit won't miss the morning tea 😜. He got up and took the cups of tea. We both got up and got ready by 8:30 AM.

That day we had to start driving for Manali. We left the guest house and sat in the car. Now our first aim was to refuel the diesel tank as it was already on reserve and I knew that we won't get any fuel station till Manali. We went to the fuel station in Kaza and came to know that there's no staff on the station. A driver told us that he was standing since 6:30 AM and since then there was no staff. That was sad news for us. We waited till 10:30 and then the staff came and started refueling all the cars which were standing there. As soon as my turn came, the electric power went off. We waited for another half an hour till the electricity didn't come. After half an hour I got my fuel tank full.

Now my first concern was to get the punctured tire repaired and arrange a Pana to unscrew the tire if needed because there were high chances to get the tire punctured due to the rough road from Losar to Gramphu. I got my tire repaired and started looking for Pana on the local tool shops. After visiting 5 different Punctured walas and a welder too, I got a Pana from the same person I got my tire repaired from. I had to request him to get the Pana from him.

We left for Key Monastery. Near key monastery we had Maggi. For me, trips to hills are not complete without a packet of Maggi. We enjoyed Maggi with a beautiful view of Key Monastery. Then we left for Manali. I was super excited to visit Kunzum pass in my Fiat Punto. After crossing super rough roads, we managed to reach KUNZUM PASS. My excitement and happiness level was at the next level at that time.

Kunzum Pass is one of the highest motorable mountain passes of India, located at an altitude of 4,551m above mean sea level. The Pass is a beautiful mixture of two different landscapes; rugged mountains and massive glaciers of Lahaul and the dry, barren mountains and the turquoise river of Spiti and this mixture is mesmerizing and a paradise for photographers. When tourists reach the Kunzum Pass, they stop at the temple of Goddess Kunzum Devi to pay their respect and seek the blessing to travel through the rugged terrain safely. The tradition is to take a round of the temple in your vehicle. It is believed that this worship at Devi's temple guards from all sorts of mishappening that might take place in the rugged terrain of the Kunzum pass. 

Now it was time to start heading towards Manali. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of that place and the performance of my Fiat Punto in the rugged terrain. I started kissing my car due to the excitement. I didn't have any idea that still the best of adventure is yet to come. The road from Kunzum to Batal was really bad and narrow. Somehow we managed to cross Batal safely. But I knew that worse of roads are yet to come. And the worse was CHOTADHARA. The roads of chotadhara were just like the river beds filled with water and huge Boulders.

I stopped my car near a guest house in Chotadhara to pee. I turned off the engine of the car to give it some rest. I started peeing and Harshit also got off the car to Pee. AS SOON AS HARSHIT KEPT HIS LEFT LEG ON THE ROAD, HE SHOUTED "GARVIT, YE KYA HAI?" (GARVIT, WHAT IS THIS?). I COULD FEEL THE FEAR IN HIS VOICE. I ASKED HIM WHAT IT WAS. HE SAID THAT THERE WAS SOME BLOOD AND SOME HAIR IN THE ROAD WHERE HE HAD STEPPED. THE BLOOD WAS FRESH. That was very creepy. I asked him to ignore that, pee and move. He was scared. We sat back in our car. I turned on the ignition, all the light in the speedometer were lit but my car was not starting. It was not making any noise. That was a very strange thing for me. There was no one around from whom we could ask for some help.

I asked Harshit to go to that Guest House and find someone for help. He refused because he was very scared. Moreover that Guest house also looked very scary. I went inside that Guesthouse but unfortunately, there was no one in it. Then I saw a tourist coming on his bike. I stopped him and asked for some help after telling him about the problem. He was not familiar with cars but he agreed to help us in push-start our car. We push-started our car with his help. On the discussion, he told he was from Pune and was driving alone from there to SPITI. We shared our Instagram usernames. His name was Sushant Patil and his Instagram username was @sushant_1117. He was a real help for us. We waited for the Ford Endeavor guys whom we had overtaken earlier to come so that we have someone around us if we face some problem on our way. When they came, I told them my problem and they agreed to be with us and help us whenever required. We started moving again. As we move further, we saw a steep uphill. I increased the speed to get on that hill. As I moved further, our car jumped on a boulder and the same tire got flattened again which was punctured twice until then. I was highly disappointed at that time. We waited for some time for Endeavor guys to seek their help and borrow Jack from them. As they came, we shared our problem with them, and they all got ready to help us. Two guys from them (Sachin bhaiya and Gaurav bhaiya) came with us to help us out with their jack. They helped us out in changing our tire. During a conversation with Sachin Bhaiya, we came to know that we had some common relatives. They asked not to worry as they were with us. We started driving again.

Road conditions continued to worsen up to Chatru. We didn't have any idea that worse was yet to come. We had the picture of that blood marks and hair which we saw in Chotadhara in our minds. When we were some kilometers before Chatru, some unusual activities started in my car. The headlights started dimming, speakers started making some scary sounds and some messages started displaying in the speedometer. The messages were "ABS FAILURE", "EBD FAILURE" AND "AIRBAGS UNAVAILABLE". I realized that there was some electrical failure in my car and electronic braking system was damaged due to that. I and Harshit both were scared. After a while, the headlights of our car got off automatically. It was 8 in the evening and it was completely dark by then. I stopped by a dhaba named "CHANDRA DHABA" in CHHATRU. Harshit went to dhaba owner, CHANDRA, to inquire if there was some STD nearby. He told him that there's only one Satellite Phone and we had to climb 2km upwards on a hill to go there. Harshit, with a waiter of that dhaba, went up to make a call to our mechanic in Delhi to ask about what can be done and inform our parents that we were safe. I didn't turn off my car so that we don't have to push-start it again.

I waited there for Sachin bhaiya and his gang so that we could inform them and take some suggestions from them too. After a while, they came. I told them the whole scenario, and they said that they'll stay with us in Chhatru and look for a solution in the next morning. We kept waiting there for Harshit. He came tired taking deep breaths and told us that there was only a wire and phone was not there. Chandra bhaiya told us that the owner might have taken the handset and will be back with it at around 10. My main concern at that time was to inform our parents that we were safe as I knew that they might be very worried. I went to my car to turn off the engine as we were going to live there for a night, but when I reached my car, I noticed that the engine was already turned off. I couldn't make out the reason behind that.

We sat with Sachin bhaiya and his gang and started discussing our previous expeditions. A local driver joined us in our conversation. After listening to my problem, he tried his hands on my car to repair it but unfortunately, he couldn't succeed. He told us that its ALTERNATOR might be damaged. Chandra bhaiya installed some camps for use behind his dhaba. At 10, we requested Chandra bhaiya to take us to that satellite Phone so that we could inform our parents. He took us in his Maruti Suzuki Gipsy. We called our parents, and they were very worried. In fact, our fathers were planning to leave for Manali to find us. We made them sure that we are safe and just stuck due to a landslide (As we knew that car breakdown will leave them in tension). I also called a mechanic and he also told that ALTERNATOR might be causing this problem and suggested us to tow the car to Manali.

We came back to dhaba and slept in our camp. At 1 in the night, I felt a sudden temperature drop. Temperature might be around -3 or -4°C. I was shivering. Harshit, being a die-hard fan of Man vs Wild, started asking me to stop shivering as it might cause dehydration🤣. He advised me to move to our car as it might be warmer. We moved to our car and it was much better than that camp. After that,  slept much more peacefully and a day full of adventure and tension passed away.

Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Lahaul And Spiti by Garvit Gupta
Day 4

But as we know, the tension was not yet finished as our car was not starting yet. At 4 in the morning, Harshit started shivering. He wore 2 pairs of socks, and 2 hoodies but was still shivering. He took an empty water bottle and went outside the car. He peed in that bottle and brought it inside the car and used that to take some warmth. I found that very creepy but was very effective according to him.

At 5:30, Sachin Bhaiya came out of his camp. We push-started our car and the engine turned on. I took a 3-4 km drive and it was working fine. His whole gang came out and we resumed our journey. We travelled around 2-3 km, but then the engine turned off. We, with the help of Sachin Bhaiya push-started our car. But I don't think it was our time. After driving  around 300 metres, engine turned off again. I parked the car and started planning with Harshit, Sachin Bhaiya and his team what could be we do. We decided that one out of two has to go with Sachin Bhaiya in their car to find a mechanic. I sat in their Ford Endeavor and started travelling towards Gramphu in search of a mechanic and Harshit was sitting in our car waiting for me to come back.

We travelled up till Gramphu but couldn't see a man on the way. Sachin bhaiya and his team had to take a right towards Leh and Manali was on our left. I was confused what to do, where to go, and how to go. I decided to start travelling towards Leh to find some mechanic. We reached Khoksar but couldn't find any mechanic. Someone told us that we can find some mechanic in Sissu, which was around 20 km ahead. We reached Sissu and saw a mechanic and he was a ready of hope for me at that moment. I told him our situation. But as I told previously, it was not our time, he said that it was an electrical fault, and he was not familiar with it. I asked sachin bhaiya and his gang to resume their trip and thanked them for the help. I didn't even have enough words to thanks them. Just a "Thanks you" seemed like an ant in front of an elephant. After multiple requests, they agreed to leave.
Now, I was standing alone on the Manali Leh highway, trying to ask trucks passing by to help me in carrying my car from Chatru to Manali, but I couldn't find any empty truck. The mechanic called me and told me that he has a friend who is also a mechanic and he can also help in towing my car to Manali. He called his friend and he agreed to help us out in towing our car to Manali in Rs.8000. I had to other options than saying YES to him. He came after 2 hours and I sat in his towing truck and came to our car. He couldn't repair it so we decided to tow.

But the game was not so easy for me. Mechanic asked for the towing hook which we get in tool kit with the car. As I told previously, my tool kit was stoled long time back, so I didn't have the towing hook. We started waiting for the cars to pass by so that we could ask for their towing hook. But unfortunately anyone's towing hook didn't fit in ours. Mechanic tied the rope with engine protection plate and started towing our car. The towing rope broke around 30-35 times from Chatru to Rohtang Pass. At Rohtang Pass, engine protection plate broke and came out. At Rohtang, we again asked for towing hook from many but again there was a size issue.

Then the mechanic tied the rope to Chassis and started again towing our car to Manali. Reaching Manali seemed like we've reached Heaven as I knew we'll get many mechanics over there. We directly parked our car in a famous garage of Manali, Manali Motors. It was 7 in the evening, so they said that they'll repair our car the next day as their electrician had left. He also told us that it might a problem of Alternator. Harshit asked his chachaji, who has a motor parts shop in Kashmere Gate, Delhi, to send an Alternator to Manali. Chachaji gave an alternator to a bus driver who was travelling to Manali. He told us that the bus would reach to Manali next day at 7 in the morning. We called Baldev Bhaiya to help us in booking a hotel in Manali as the place was crowded and hotels were packed. He booked a room for us. We enjoyed a great feast at Mountain View's Noodles Restaurant, situated on the Mall Road. After that we checked into hotel room and slept.

Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Chhatru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Chhatru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Chhatru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Chhatru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Chhatru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Chhatru, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Day 5
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Mandi by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Mandi by Garvit Gupta

Next morning I woke up at 8 and asked harshit to call the bus driver. Bus driver gave us a superb news that he was standing in a traffic jam 250km before Manali and it would take around 4-5 more hours. I don't know why but I was pretty much prepared for that.
We both got dressed up and started waking towards the garage expecting the electrician to be there. We had a small hope that maybe electrician would repair our car. We reached the garage and electrician was not yet there. It was 10AM. Harshit called the bus driver again and he again gave us a news that his bus brokedown and it he had called the mechanic from Chandigarh. It was a shocking news as it proved that we won't get our alternator before 9 in the evening.

While waiting for the Mechanic I called my Mama. He was very upset as I went on that trip without him. We used to travel together before that. He was not expecting that I'll go alone to SPITI ever. I could feel anger in his low voice first time in my life.

It was 1 in the noon and we were still waiting for our last hope, electrician. He was stucked somewhere near Manali in traffic. While waiting, I was randomly calling people to discuss some random shit. I again called my Mama and requested him to stop abusing me. I told him that it was due to his curse that my car was not getting repaired. He felt that maybe it was due to him and told me that now he won't think negative about me and my work will be done now. I disconnected his call and saw the electrician coming inside the garage. It seemed as if it was Mama's curse which was stopping the electrician. He changed his clothes and asked Harshit to turn on the engine but it was same, no response. He touched a wire inside the bonnet and again asked him to turn on the engine and the engine turned on. We were full of joys of springs. Electrician told me that THERE WAS NO MAJOR PROBLEM IN MY CAR, IT WAS ONLY EARTHING WIRE WHICH GOT LOOSENED. I thanked him and paid their bill.

We started driving towards Delhi. On the way, we stopped at Mandi at a garage of Harshit's Chacha's friend who was continuously in touch with us when we were in Manali. He had taken our alternator from the bus driver. He offered us a night stay at his home which was situated in a small village. Even we were excited to stay in a village. He took us to his home. His home was located deep inside the forest and drive up to his home was superb and thrilling. We enjoyed a good dinner at his home. He showed us his farms, his cows and buffaloes. Staying at his home was a great experience. Next morning we left for Delhi.

This was an end to my life's most adventurous trip we will never forget in our life.
In this whole trip, I learnt that never lose hope in any circumstances. At every stage, I was telling Harshit to think of what we'll be doing after a week when we'll be home. I told him that we'll be sharing this experience with everyone and laughing at it. Whatever the situation is, always keep confidence in yourself and you'll cross each and every difficult problem.
Also, never go to such places without proper tools and  Essentials.

I'm so proud of my Fiat Punto after covering this trip without any mechanical problem, and that too after I've driven it more that 1 lac kilometers. Fiat Punto is a superb machine and I really love it.

Day 6
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Fiat Punto Vs Adventure in Spiti (Long story, but a must read) by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
Photo of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Garvit Gupta
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