Batal is supposed to be a village but you can walk the stretch of it in a single breath. It only has a few dhabas, a rest house, a public hand pump, and a common toilet with no running water. It was honestly the best thing I had ever seen in my life! My privileged city self was so fascinated by the way the people lived here. I of course went in to Chacha Chachi Chandra Dhaba, perhaps the most famous thing Spiti has to offer, at least to the bikers. It’s a small little blue dhaba run by an ageing couple for the past 45 years, who call themselves Chacha Chachi.
The village is situated on a river bank and makes for a great photo op. Much to our surprise, there’s no proper sleeping arrangement here. We teamed up with a couple from Malta and rented a small ‘room’ of sorts from Chacha Cachi for 200 rupees per person for the night. The room is built entirely of stones and has a tin sheet for a door. the floor has a raised cemented platform and we were given thin mattresses and quilts to sleep in. The cold windy night, coupled with the slight hit of AMS I was slowly getting turned out to be a very difficult night for me.
Pro tip: To ward off the possibility of AMS entirely, start with a dosage of Diamox two days before hitting the high altitude. The pill also works as an SOS medication for AMS, but is not as effective.