Spiti Valley Ride (Kalpa-Nako-Sumdo) – Vol#3

Hindustan Tibbet Highay

Once again a new day, a new ride with a new group to some new destinations. Rest of the Spiti’s journey is totally off-road and dusty where bumpy ride is complementary 😉 There are numerous turns and twists in the journey which add more thrills to the ride, scenes are amazing and flowing Sutlej in the valley makes it more stunning. It is all deserted region which seems a beautiful post apocalypse realm where greenery and trees are hardly seen, it’s all dried and treeless hills.

At regular destinations there are villages and towns where one can halt and refresh. These villages located in the valley or on hillocks look really extra ordinary in these devastated lands. It is something irregular landscapes which make you believe that it not only exists in Hollywood movies, it’s the reality also. There are few sections which are totally isolated with no signs of greenery and humans, but still it is beyond magical attractions.

Route: Reckong Peo–> Kalpa–> Pooh–> Khab–> Nako–> Chango–> Sumdo (125 Kms)

Hotels Info: PWD Guest house is the only option in Sumdo, therefore reach early as much you can to avail it. Avoid reaching late as you may end up staying overnight outside.

To check my previous day journey updates, click here (Spiti Valley Ride (Kinnaur-Sangla-Chitkul) – Vol#2)

Here is my pictography…..

Day 4: It was fourth day and now we were group of five people, we woke early, prepared ourselves and started our bike to head for Kalpa. Kalpa is the top most itinerary of this region and just three kms from Reckong Peo therefore we thought not to miss it. Journey to top is very steep therefore we had to accelerate little extra to match up the regular pickups. From the top we experienced early morning run rays on the mount Kinnaur Kailash range.



Sun rays on our bikes.


Pristine morning in Kalpa.


First picture depicts Kalpa and second Kalpa Monastery. A beautiful video below describing this place.


Entire Kalpa is an orchard farming where travelers can see lush apples everywhere and almost every time. Plucking is strictly prohibited but one can ask from owners. When we asked they entertained us by giving some, a big thanks to them. Apples were very juicy and delicious than what we taste in cities, it was all high quality which are exported out of India.



Heading towards Spiti we got one more musketeer, ‘Vimal Rawat’ from Delhi. He was also alone and that too in an Esteem Car. He told me that his Bullet’s crank was damaged before Spiti tour therefore he only left with Car option. We decided to ride together and he became our group’s sixth member.



Turns and twist of the roads.



Group decided to have ‘Brunch’(mixture of breakfast and lunch) at ‘Bittu Dhaba’ near Akpa. It was surrounded by many weird hills and hillock houses. I don’t know who lives there or these were just temporary to be used only in emergencies.



Tumbling Sutlej, a surreal view near ‘Spello’.



Riders in action.


A dangerous road under the hills, it was full of ventures riding on Hindustan Tibbet Highway.


The amazing beauty of deserted and devastated land, its extreme isolation.


Weird and extra ordinary beauties of Himachal.


Moving further we reached a place where road was under construction and we were told to take a diversion under the bridge. Diversion road was more like a hell, full of mud, soil, rocks, pebbles, gravels and river sands. The worst part of this track was, if bike stuck or stopped then at least three people need to pull it out. We took the challenge and Lokesh crossed it successfully on full throttle. He parked the bike and came in the mid to push if anybody stuck in between, I was the next one to go, I accelerated and crossed it. Vimal already cleared it before we reached this point.

Rahul and Devesh stuck in between, Lokesh helped them out. Last was the Dev on ‘Desert Storm’, I thought I will frame it when he will be crossing, I was ready with my camera but the way he crossed it everyone was stunned. He came with full pace like Hulk mode is on, by seeing his action I forgot to click the picture. We all were looking each other with surprise what he did, he came tumbling with ‘Vroom Vroom’ throttle speed causing dust everywhere.


Once again we find ourselves on the highway and reached the last check point of Kinnaur district. We quickly entered our details and moved.



Electrifying road which thrill the nerves.


Reached at a small waterfall on the way, Dev preferred taking a natural bath.



Grouping photo.


Back on dangerous highway.


Tumbling Sutlej creating magical landscapes.



I let my fellow riders to move ahead as I wanted to do some ride in isolation. I halted here and enjoyed sometime in isolation.


After riding in isolation I found them waiting as one JCB was clearing the way. Landslide is very common on these tracks, be careful while riding if you have planned Spiti tour.


A ride through the venture hills.


At regular intervals we saw many small villages located on the hills surrounded by terrace farming, they all looked splendid.


After riding several kilometers we found beautiful tarmac serpentine roads, therefore we created our riding video here. Check it below.



Some more spectacular landscaped villages.



Further few kilometers of ride put us onto a place which looked if three huge rocky mountains have been placed which surrounds a small bridge. It was one of the magnificent scenes of the tour.



Few yards further just before the bridge we found a signboard which was greeting ‘Welcome to Lahaul & Spiti’. We congratulated each other that we are now entering Spiti Valley. We added one more feather on our cap, it was a pride moment of achieving a new milestone.



Vimal clicked this beautiful moment.



This gateway for Spiti is also called ‘Khab’, it is the confluence of Spiti and Sutlej. We stayed there for some time to enjoy the atmosphere and beauty of the confluence.


Towards Nako

Entered in Spiti on more adventurous roads, it looked riding into a cave. Riding here was like beating your heartbeats.



After crossing the cave when we looked back, were surprised to see that we were riding on really a very dangerous road.



Vimal climbing in his Esteem.



Steep, narrow and complex roads. It was all fun climbing it. Check the below video of this road.


Reaching heights..

Some more twist and turns.


We found a very different kind of milestone where ‘Kazigs End’ was written on one side and ‘Kazigs Start’ on the other side. It means a region related to Spiti Valley’s main city Kaza representing its boundary.


Further riding we reached on top of the pass which connects Spiti. The top was decorated with lot of Buddhist praying flags. We parked our bikes and enjoyed the beauty.


Rock Climbing

We tried some rock climbing fun on the top.


Left the top behind and moved ahead following signboards.



It is the same road from where we drove and reached on top.


Reached Nako village.



We down trek few yards through the trees and reached Nako Lake.



Nako Lake, it is a small beautiful lake which was looking more charming at evening rays.


Some more pictures of the lake. Check lake’s beautiful video below.



Group photo.


Wild mules.


Tashi Delek Restaurant where we had evening snacks and tea.


Nako Village

Nako village and its fields. Check the below video of this place.


Towards Sumdo, now the down sail started. Our halting destination was Sumdo which was thirty kilometers from here and it was almost evening therefore we preferred continuous ride. It was one of the thrilling rides as we were quickly doing the down sail and sun was going low. After an hour we reached ‘Chango’ and from there it was all dark and still we had nine kilometers left for Sumdo.

Just before couple of kilometers before Sumdo we found vehicles returning and instructing not to proceed as it’s a huge landslide ahead. Rocks were continuously coming down. We got frightened as it was already dark and we don’t know where to stay. We decided to stop and find some hotel rooms or home stays. We banged few doors but no one was ready to accommodate us.

We returned to Chango and found hotels were full already. I and Rahul moved to a nearing village and found a villager who got ready to accommodate us in Chango. In the mean time Dev and Devesh found shelter in Chango’s police check post. They stayed there and we in a home stay. Vimal was lucky as he was able to cross before landslide. Next day he told his horrifying story how he crossed and reached Sumdo. We had dinner and slept. Follow my next blog for further journey updates (Spiti Valley Ride (Gue-Dhankhar-Mud) – Vol#4)

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