It was 4 AM in the morning when I caught the bus to Recong Peo in Kinnaur from Solan. Sizzling cold as it was in Solan, Spiti in winters was beyond my imagination and so it was. What, you want to go in February? Almost everyone had opened their mouth wide as I told of my plans of making it to Spiti valley in winters.
However, the morning bus that passed by my house daily was my motivation and I wanted to make it someday and so it was. The day had come and I was off to Recong Peo, my stopover during the night. The bus passed through Narkanda, Rampur, Bhaba Nagar and then to Tapri.
The Culture and Altitude Change
The culture and altitude changes as we make up to the high mountains. The only disturbing factor was the innumerable hydro electric power projects which has made life difficult for people in Kinnaur. Arriving as 8 PM in Recong Peo, I headed to the Hotel Nirvana at Khwangi in hope of finding some Nirvana! What I got was a sumptuous plate full of Rice and Gobhi, my favorite vegetable, a sort of Nirvana for me.
The ride to Spiti in winters
Spiti in Winters is very different and difficult too. The bus service to Spiti valley in winters is erratic too as weather does not permit it to be operated on daily basis.I must be lucky as the Himachal Road transport Corporation bus was operational and running on that February morning. The breakfast was at Spillow, the usual stopover on the way to Kaza. The dabha owners have got so used to dishing out Aaloo paranthas that they can come up with one in a minute as they did that morning for me. Food usually tastes good on an empty stomach and so it did for me.
The confluence of Spiti at Khab and the morning ray of light at Nako were some other memorable and worth listing happenings on the way to Spiti in winters. On the edge of river, you will find some fine white coloured houses with Tibetan flags elegantly lined alongside. A picture perfect photo something which if you click at the lucky moment could fetch you millions of dollars too!
An Alien Land or is it!
Well, when you do the Spiti trip in winters, you could find yourself in an alien land too. The bus in which I was travelling had all local people with none speaking Hindi. The driver and conductor were the only exception but they too seemed mingling with the local culture for they had been driving on this route since long. The Bollywood music blaring through the speakers in the bus was a real delight as the song “Husn Paharahon ka” came up at the most apt moment when the first ray of light stuck by forehead.
As I arrived in Kaza on an adventure trail of Spiti in winters, the nail biting cold took over.It was time to head to Sakya Homestay and its apt location near Bus Stand made things easy for me. The Bodh family that runs it is too warm and welcoming and I finally felt at home with a victorious feeling of having been made it to the Spiti valley in winters.