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Old 21st July 2016, 21:57   #1
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Default Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!

Confused aren't we?

For those with limited patience, let me summarize - I rode to Spiti end march (Holi) 2016. The ride was fairly manic - 3 days going out and only two days in the return. My chariot, the CBR250R, isn't designed for the shattered surface in Kinnaur and Spiti. But adrenaline got the better of me. I blitzed through it, only to land up with severe carpal tunnel syndrome (grade 5 of 6), which has barely reduced in 3.5 months of physio therapy, and only went away after six months.

The reason was simple. Bone jarring ride on a sports bike that put too much pressure on my wrists through cold terrain = carpal tunnel. Of course, being a career consultant with ~18 years of internet addiction must have been a contributing factor. But, let's get back to the ride in question.

There isn't much to write about the trip - it was a four year old itch (Spiti Sortie (8-11 Mar 2012)) resulting from a snowed out Spiti ride, waiting to be scratched. I had to do Spiti. And as soon as the weather permitted. Think of it like a truck driver, or a pilgrim. Someone who covers the distance because that is all they are meant to do. I could not stop and smell the roses.

I don't think I have anything new or poetic by way of narration for the route, so let me simply share the photographs, and annotate them with comments.

Last edited by phamilyman : 2nd April 2017 at 12:56.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 12:52   #2
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Default Re: Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!

So now one year has exactly passed, so out of sheer shame, I must atleast post ALL the images, and annotate them where possible.

It still stays in AL for a while till the annotations are done.

The first view of snow, shortly after Theog and on my way to Narkanda
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There's a bunch of really cute extortionists who will either color you or need 20-30 bucks for their sweets!
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Getting a photo clicked with the bike, under the world famous Kinnaur rock overhang.
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Rode a bit ahead of Wangtu, only to find the road totally blocked.
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The scale of the landslide and the repair works undertaken by the BRO. It was truly scary.
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Good morning from Puh.
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I stayed at Om Hotel and Restaurant, and partied with Tenzing, the owner and his local friends. Truly a very nice chap. One unfortunate anecdote he said - "Once in a major city in South India, an elderly gent stood up and offered his seat to me and said -Which country? I said India and thanked him for the seat". Jokes aside, we all need to be more inclusive of our brethren who may look different from the average lot, esp those from the Spiti / Ladakh / North East.

Another thing he said - Honey Singh DVDs are one of the biggest contraband export from India to China at Puh. Those mountains in the above image overlook China.
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Contact details
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The scenery I rode through. Amazing clicks at every turn.
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Somewhere in the Kazigs (Spiti's Gata loops)
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CBR: "Hey mountain, you may be big and towering, but I'll get to the top of you, meter by meter, inch by inch. Just you wait!"
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Black ice at Malling top.
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Just after Malling, looking back at the terrain.
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Panorama from Nako.
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Fascinating wind worn rocks.
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These are not mountains, but piles of rubble. Scary.
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Contact details of a few guest houses in Tabo.
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Where I stayed. More pictures from the place later.
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Another vista from the roadside. Don't you just love the snow in the distance?
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A high altitude plain of sorts that you come across, about 20km or so before Kaza. The river is meandering here and the flood plain is quite wide.
Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!-img_6168.jpg

Last edited by phamilyman : 2nd April 2017 at 13:15.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 13:30   #3
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Default Re: Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!

Frozen waterfall just before Kaza. I couldnt go near it because it needed a mini trek and I was really out of time.
Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!-img_6171.jpg

The opposite side of the river bank has a beautiful set of snowed out mountains. Panorama just before Kaza
Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!-img_6189.jpg

Kaza town
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Wind-eroded rocks. I saw two sets of them. Do we have anyone who can explain exactly how they are formed into these unique shapes, over millenia?
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A local taxi driver said, by going around this mini shrine one way, and coming on the other, you're supposed to do a mini parikrama. Is that correct, or are they merely ornamental road dividers?
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Namsay guest house. Ideal for unfussy travelers. Do give my regards to the owner, Dr Suresh (tell him the CBR rider from Gurgaon with tingling hands says hi!)
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Spiti-an gargoyle?
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Chorten at the Tabo monastery
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The kind of roads I flew over at 50-60 kph if not more
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The begining of the snowed out malling nullah! This is the same place which had black ice in the above post.
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This was totally snowed out. I literally crawled through this place an inch at a time, but without any drama! I was literally a bundle of nerves, so no photos in that section.
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These are conveyors called Spain by the locals. They transport people and goods in these baskets, across the river. Would YOU like to take a ride in one? (NOT for the faint hearted!)
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On my way back, I ran into this BRO camp just after Sumdo, where there was a bunch of curious kids. They loved the bike, and I loved being able to give them a smile, even if for a few minutes!
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On my way back near Wangtu, there was more landslides to deal with. See that rock next to the bus? It fell down exactly at the location where I had clicked my panorama shot three days prior.
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How big was the rock? You decide. The poor bus had to struggle hard to pass it.
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After that it was the standard run into Delhi, and the usual mayhem. Except by now, my hands were becoming progressively useless and incapable of riding for any extended duration.
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I saw this all-in-one jugaad sugarcane juice cum roadworthy (lol) vehicle and just had to click a few photos.
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That's it from my side. Hope it gave everyone a glimpse of Spiti in March, and encourages folks to visit it more, especially in this March end / April time frame. All photos are from my iPhone 6. Only post processing = cropping, resizing and auto color correction for mountain photos where there was a distinct shadow.

Last edited by phamilyman : 2nd April 2017 at 13:56.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 09:20   #4
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Note from Support: Thread moved to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 3rd April 2017 at 09:20. Reason: Bump
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Old 3rd April 2017, 19:09   #5
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Default Re: Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!

Nice crisp travelogue.
Just curious, how did the opening post end up being on July 2016?

On a side note, how would you rate touring on a CBR 250, in general?
How does it compare to a TB350/500?

Do you think that a TB or a Classic could have been better, up in the Hills?
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Old 3rd April 2017, 23:14   #6
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Default Re: Rode to Spiti in March to find peace, got Carpal Tunnel instead!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Nice crisp travelogue.
Just curious, how did the opening post end up being on July 2016?

On a side note, how would you rate touring on a CBR 250, in general?
How does it compare to a TB350/500?

Do you think that a TB or a Classic could have been better, up in the Hills?
1. July was when I could use a computer consistently (almost 4 months).
2. Touring is fantastic. I think the suspension is perfect. The only flaw was the posture. I have since corrected (CBR250 conversion: Clip-on to pipe-style handlebar) it and am really really happy with multiple small rides under my belt. Other than the carpal tunnel, I was pretty happy with the bike - it is really quick and I was able to maintain good speeds and cover good distance too (Tabo to Fagu in a day across a frozen Malling!). Only a couple of Duke and R15 were faster in the whole ride.

I cannot compare it to a TB simply because those bikes are neither as fun (for me), nor were they ever in the consideration set. I wanted a high speed appliance, the Honda was that. I was not interested in an Enfield - I don't trust the brand.
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