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Old 9th May 2007, 04:49   #1
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Default Advice needed for Spiti Itinerary

Hi every one, I will be going to Spiti in the first/second week of June along with a few friends and we will be doing this trip on our motorcycles.

I am looking for suggestions to what all places are worth seeing, both on road and off it. For now here is the initially itinerary I have in mind:

Day 1: Delhi - Kinnaur: stay in the first good hotel we find after entering Kinnaur
Day 2: Need help
Day 3: Need help
Day 4: Need help
Day 5: Need help
Day 6: Reach Chandratal and camp there for the night
Day 7: Reach Manali
Day 8: Manali - Delhi

We donít have any problem with doing off road riding to reach beautiful vantage points and remote villages; in fact we are looking forward to it. But trekking is some thing we normally avoid but can do if the vistas are worth it.

Suggestions, advice, criticisms are always welcomed
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Old 9th May 2007, 05:59   #2
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day 1 - stopover either at sarahan(easy)/recong peo(or better-kalpa) - u might also be able to push to to Sangla Valley on the other side.
Or u could split this into 2 - stopover at Sarahan/Kalpa, and ride around see Recong Peo, Sangla etc and head back towards the NH on day 2
Day 2/3 - ride upto Nako - if u're not in a hurry, stay there (u have lotsa time)
Day 3/4 - Tabo
Day 4/5 - Kibber (near Kaza) - as u leave Tabo visit Dhankar, and just before Kibber stp at Ki Gompa
Day 5/6 - trek around kibber etc Or skip this in case u spend one extra day earlier.
Day 6 - take it real easy and u'll get to Kunzom - there's a route to Chadratal on the descent iirc - didnt take that tho. Could camp overnight, or try heading to Batal/Chattru/Chotta Darra - camping mostly, thos there's a few dhabas which let u sleeover near the stove
Day 7 - Manali

I dunno where Koumik is - thats the highest village connected by a motorable road now, not kibber, so u get local info and inlcude that.

After Rampur Bushahr, imdly after the petrol pump, there's a road to ur right headed up steeply that takes you towards Sarahan through a longer route through major apple country. Of course, u may have already travelled too long from Delhi the same day o try all this.

There's also the Pin valley national park which I could not take the diversion to for lack of time. Dunno about acco etc but you should manage. There's always camping.

Have fun. Wish I could join.

Last edited by zenx : 9th May 2007 at 06:00.
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Old 9th May 2007, 11:52   #3
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Yogesh, Am I reading it wrong or have you actually typed Day 1 - Kinnaur ???? Is Day starting from Delhi .... how long do you plan to ride ?? And what exactly do you mean by Kinnaur ... coz thats a district .

Cheers
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Old 9th May 2007, 12:56   #4
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Zenx I have been to Sarahan last year and even though I liked it, I don’t plan to stay there on this trip since I want to devote this trip to Spiti. First day at Kalpa or Sangla does sound interesting, I guess this would depend on how much ground we can cover on the first day.

Rest of your suggestions also look good, can you please tell me where exactly is diversion to Pin Valley national park since I have heard this name quite a bit and would definitely like to visit it.

Khaadu75 on the first day we plan to reach Kinnaur district at least, where we stay would depend on how far we can go before the night fall. We are planning to start from Delhi at 2-4am to avoid the summer temperature. As for how much time we can ride, well on the first day any thing between 14-18 hours would be fine for us.
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Old 9th May 2007, 13:22   #5
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I may have a fuzzy memory on this, but I think its off the road between Tabo and Kaza. Tabo - Kaza is only a couple of hours ride, but the Dhankar detour and Pin valley option could stretch it to even 2 days if u're so inclined.

I've been dreaming of travelling over a couple of months around those parts, and explore .....

Update: found a link which holds out some hope and ideas:

60Kph - Rides
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Old 9th May 2007, 13:36   #6
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You are right Sameer, Pin valley is in between Kaza and Tabo. Distance between Kaza and Tabo is about 65 to 70 Km. Pin valley comes in between. The roads in Pin arent too bad either.
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Old 9th May 2007, 15:30   #7
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Hmmm...
My type of topic once again

I will try my best to help you as per my ride last yr to spiti. I will consider here that you are going with 2-3 experienced guys and hence ride speeds will be high

Last yr my thing was like this :

Day 1: Delhi-Shimla
Day 2: Shimla-Peo
Day 3: Peo-Tabo
Day 4: Tabo-Manali
Day 5: Manali-Delhi

Yeah we rushed a lot, but you have 8 days, which should make things easier. Day 1 is the day one can easily push a lot. I would say:

Day 1:
Leave Delhi by 4am, cross Shimla by 12noon. Rampur, another 140kms on a mix of good and bad roads should be done by 4pm. Roads are good till around Bhawa, another 54kms/1.5 hrs. By the time you hit the bad stretch, you will be quite tired. Road is very bad, landslids, slush, dam and hydro elec power station construction etc. Peo is just 48kms from Bhawa, and you should be in Peo by around 7pm.
Peo is at 7557 feet, stay at hotel fairyland, in the morning you will be blown away by the view you will get in front of the hotel.

Day 2 : Just for kicks, ride up to Kalpa (9800 feet) thru the shorter 7km road. You will love it. Hit NH22 back at Powari, around 14kms from Kalpa. You should be back at NH22 by 9am or so. Roads now are hell, mix of bad and very bad and sometimes good. The malling nullah is now history and the road takes you to Nako lake (12500feet). The road to Nako is awesome, surface is grippy and smooth. But after Nako (as per last yr), all hell! You will come across lot of check posts, and a strange mix of bad and excellent roads. At Sumdo (10659feet), you will leave NH22 and take the state highway to Tabo (10,065 feet). Stay at the Tabo monastry guest house. DIstance for the day will be 185kms (Peo-Kalpa-Peo-Nh22-Tabo)

Day 3
Get up, explore the monastry area next to the guest house. Leave by 10-11am, you will be riding next to the spiti river. 27kms from Tabo, take a left over the bridge to Pin Valley via Attargo, Guling, Mamik. You may want to visit the 600 yr old Kungri Gompa (11616 feet). By 3pm or so, Head back to the highway and hit Kaza (Tabo-Kugri-Kaza will be around 90kms).

day 4
Fill up at the worlds highest location elec fuel pump at head to Kibber (13876), Ki monastry etc, be back in Kaza by 11am. Take supplies from the market and later by noon, head to Losar (13460feet) for the night stop. Kaza to Losar, you will never forget the ride! Total kms for the day : app 95

Day 5
From 13460 feet at Losar, you reach 15020 feet at Kunzum pass in 19kms. There is a small temple there, dont forget to visit it. Climb the gradual hills around and be awarded with mind blowing views. Later, ride to Chandra tal lake (around 11kms from Kunzum, near Batal, road cuts for Chandra Tal lake at 14100 feet). It will take some time to ride to and back from the lake. Make
Chhatru you night stop. App kms for the day : 65kms

Day 6
Chhatru to Manali via Rohtang

Day 7
Manali to Delhi
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Old 9th May 2007, 17:24   #8
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Thats a v good plan! Day 2 is a little tough tho. I'd stay back at Nako. Isn't Kibber a better overnighter than Lhosar ? Tho its all so pretty it doesnt really matter - as long as you stay in Kaza for as brief a time as possible.
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Old 9th May 2007, 20:28   #9
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Yogesh, I feel that you need to have a flexible plan specially when u riding with others as you don't know if the others are as comfortable on those roads as maybe urself .

Ask Bunny about his Day1 ride on the trip last year .... you never know who gets a bit overexcited when he shudn't be !!

Simla - Rampur is a stretch of good road , Bunny -- which stretch wud you term as bad ??

Cheers
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Old 9th May 2007, 22:37   #10
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zenx : Actually then on Day 2, total kms for the day will be just 124kms, plus Nako doesnt have as good accomodation as Tabo.
As for night 4, again the motive was to gain some ground and hence losar. they could even camp at Losar.

Khaadu : yeah, on the spiti ride last yr, a guy crashed badly and thats why we made shimla the night stop. Yogesh does know about him i believe. Shimla-Rampur is good except for 10-15km stretch after narkanda, which doesnt have potholes but isnt smooth. After thats it is awesome but becomes bad after Bhawa if i m not wrong
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Old 9th May 2007, 23:20   #11
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One tip I can give here.
I have travelled a lot to himachal (Manali, Dharamshala, Shimla side, Dhalhousie etc., etc.,) and I have found that the most bang for the buck are the HP tourism hotels.
For 600 a night you get a room thats leagues ahead of expensive 1500/night or even 2000/night private hotel rooms(esp in peak season)

Thats the reason their guest houses and hotels are always full.
The smart way is to book a week in advance or 10 days in advance from the office on Janpath(Chanderlok building).
They supposedly have online booking but it never works.
Anyways if you want to check out tariff etc., and list of all hotels at all places
HPTDC, Home Page

For example at Kaza, the spiti has a double bed room hotel for 800rs
HPTDC - Online Hotels Reservation System
Bon Voyage

Last edited by tsk1979 : 9th May 2007 at 23:22.
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Old 9th May 2007, 23:33   #12
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yep i second that. i have stayed at HPTDC hotels at Rohru,Rampur and Kalpa and rest houses at Rohru, theog and Chaupal. But the prices are higher, not always 600. i remember uptil 30th march there was a discount varyin from 20-40% dependin on location. but in peak season, at places like manali/shimla, room rates can be as high as 2000 bucks. see HPTDC - Online Hotels Reservation System to check availability and rates.

But i also think that in bike groups, stayin at other small places (like the tabo monastry and old manali hotels in this case) can be far more fun and rewardin
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Old 10th May 2007, 05:24   #13
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Yes, and cheaper - the average was some 200 a day for acco, and I'm including Leh! A little bit of roughing it out just fits in with the terrain, and after those long tiring days all you care about is some bed and a warrrrm razaai.
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Old 10th May 2007, 07:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenx View Post
I may have a fuzzy memory on this, but I think its off the road between Tabo and Kaza. Tabo - Kaza is only a couple of hours ride, but the Dhankar detour and Pin valley option could stretch it to even 2 days if u're so inclined.

I've been dreaming of travelling over a couple of months around those parts, and explore .....

Update: found a link which holds out some hope and ideas:

60Kph - Rides
Zenx thanks for the link, yeah I have been dreaming about that kind of ride for ages. A month or more in Ladakh followed by couple of months spend wandering in Himachal, but I guess I will be kicked out of my home if I do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways View Post
You are right Sameer, Pin valley is in between Kaza and Tabo. Distance between Kaza and Tabo is about 65 to 70 Km. Pin valley comes in between. The roads in Pin arent too bad either.
Thats bad, btw is it worth spending a full day in Pin Valley exploring and photographing places?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyPunia View Post
Hmmm...
My type of topic once again

I will try my best to help you as per my ride last yr to spiti. I will consider here that you are going with 2-3 experienced guys and hence ride speeds will be high

Last yr my thing was like this :

Day 1: Delhi-Shimla
Day 2: Shimla-Peo
Day 3: Peo-Tabo
Day 4: Tabo-Manali
Day 5: Manali-Delhi

Yeah we rushed a lot, but you have 8 days, which should make things easier. Day 1 is the day one can easily push a lot. I would say:

Day 1:
Leave Delhi by 4am, cross Shimla by 12noon. Rampur, another 140kms on a mix of good and bad roads should be done by 4pm. Roads are good till around Bhawa, another 54kms/1.5 hrs. By the time you hit the bad stretch, you will be quite tired. Road is very bad, landslids, slush, dam and hydro elec power station construction etc. Peo is just 48kms from Bhawa, and you should be in Peo by around 7pm.
Peo is at 7557 feet, stay at hotel fairyland, in the morning you will be blown away by the view you will get in front of the hotel.

Day 2 : Just for kicks, ride up to Kalpa (9800 feet) thru the shorter 7km road. You will love it. Hit NH22 back at Powari, around 14kms from Kalpa. You should be back at NH22 by 9am or so. Roads now are hell, mix of bad and very bad and sometimes good. The malling nullah is now history and the road takes you to Nako lake (12500feet). The road to Nako is awesome, surface is grippy and smooth. But after Nako (as per last yr), all hell! You will come across lot of check posts, and a strange mix of bad and excellent roads. At Sumdo (10659feet), you will leave NH22 and take the state highway to Tabo (10,065 feet). Stay at the Tabo monastry guest house. DIstance for the day will be 185kms (Peo-Kalpa-Peo-Nh22-Tabo)

Day 3
Get up, explore the monastry area next to the guest house. Leave by 10-11am, you will be riding next to the spiti river. 27kms from Tabo, take a left over the bridge to Pin Valley via Attargo, Guling, Mamik. You may want to visit the 600 yr old Kungri Gompa (11616 feet). By 3pm or so, Head back to the highway and hit Kaza (Tabo-Kugri-Kaza will be around 90kms).

day 4
Fill up at the worlds highest location elec fuel pump at head to Kibber (13876), Ki monastry etc, be back in Kaza by 11am. Take supplies from the market and later by noon, head to Losar (13460feet) for the night stop. Kaza to Losar, you will never forget the ride! Total kms for the day : app 95

Day 5
From 13460 feet at Losar, you reach 15020 feet at Kunzum pass in 19kms. There is a small temple there, dont forget to visit it. Climb the gradual hills around and be awarded with mind blowing views. Later, ride to Chandra tal lake (around 11kms from Kunzum, near Batal, road cuts for Chandra Tal lake at 14100 feet). It will take some time to ride to and back from the lake. Make
Chhatru you night stop. App kms for the day : 65kms

Day 6
Chhatru to Manali via Rohtang

Day 7
Manali to Delhi
Thanks Bunny, that looks like a really good plan
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Old 10th May 2007, 07:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khaadu75 View Post
Yogesh, I feel that you need to have a flexible plan specially when u riding with others as you don't know if the others are as comfortable on those roads as maybe urself .

Ask Bunny about his Day1 ride on the trip last year .... you never know who gets a bit overexcited when he shudn't be !!

Simla - Rampur is a stretch of good road , Bunny -- which stretch wud you term as bad ??

Cheers
Khaadu we make plans just for reference, though most of the time we do stick to it, but we are not hell bent on sticking to it. Also at this point almost all of the guys who have confirmed for this trip have done Ladakh once and have done fair bit of touring in Himachal and Uttaranchal. But we do take precautions and usually keep an eye on each other to make sure no one is pushing himself too much.

As for what happened on HX-3 (or was it 4? ) all I can say **** happens, when you get on the road there are bound to be accidents. We have all gone through it, all one can do is try their best to avoid it by riding a bit defensively and within limits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyPunia View Post
Khaadu : yeah, on the spiti ride last yr, a guy crashed badly and thats why we made shimla the night stop. Yogesh does know about him i believe. Shimla-Rampur is good except for 10-15km stretch after narkanda, which doesnt have potholes but isnt smooth. After thats it is awesome but becomes bad after Bhawa if i m not wrong
Yeah the road are really good till Bhawa. I had gone a little further than Bhawa in April 2006, even if its bad now it ok by me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
One tip I can give here.
I have travelled a lot to himachal (Manali, Dharamshala, Shimla side, Dhalhousie etc., etc.,) and I have found that the most bang for the buck are the HP tourism hotels.
For 600 a night you get a room thats leagues ahead of expensive 1500/night or even 2000/night private hotel rooms(esp in peak season)

Thats the reason their guest houses and hotels are always full.
The smart way is to book a week in advance or 10 days in advance from the office on Janpath(Chanderlok building).
They supposedly have online booking but it never works.
Anyways if you want to check out tariff etc., and list of all hotels at all places
HPTDC, Home Page

For example at Kaza, the spiti has a double bed room hotel for 800rs
HPTDC - Online Hotels Reservation System
Bon Voyage
600 bucks a night is luxury by our standards, we are more of Rs. 150-250 for a double bedroom shared by 3 guys kind of people .
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