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Old 1st October 2008, 11:23   #61
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Beautiful. I am loss for words. Appreciate your effort buddy and you got a nice eye for details. Small things which are usually lost when one looks at the big picture. From the past few days your thread is the one giving me some company.
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Old 1st October 2008, 11:27   #62
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Oooh - how i wish i were not at my desk right now. Also- will remember to take a better camera, and pick up some tips from you You've captured the feel of the place really really well. Great eye for the right details.
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Old 1st October 2008, 13:31   #63
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The road heading back from Chitkul. Wish I could stay there for a week.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00554.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00555.jpg


A board giving the approx altitudes and distances of the local hotspots.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00556.jpg


A local marriage procession. It was an extremely simple affair with some local music playing. Note the locals in their best dressed attire for the occasion. How much simpler does it get.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00557.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00558.jpg


The road towards Nako.
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Note the scenery changing. From green mountains to a more stones and rocks. All these roads are maintained by BRO(Border Roads Organization)
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00565.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00566.jpg
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Note what sign says.
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And look what follows. Look closely at the road surface. The road is cracked from the centre downwards. No saying when it will breakoff and slide into the river below. Things like these keep the traveller hooked to each and everything around. While we admire the presence of overwhelming mountains with deep gorges, there is no saying when we may become part of that history.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00573.jpg

More roads in the mountains.
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00576.jpg
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00570.jpg  

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Old 1st October 2008, 15:59   #64
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Oh Man, This part of the country is so beautiful.
Fantastic pics. Some pics just resemble Italy , I mean the road below the rocks n caves.
Thanks for sharing the pics
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Old 1st October 2008, 18:49   #65
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From here the scenery completely changes into a more desert like landscape.
This bridge in the following photos, was also specially inspiring in one of the travelogue photos i had seen prior to doing this trip. We spent 20 mins there. The feeling around this place is unique. You are completely surrounded by mountains in very close proximity to the road. There are 2 rivers(if I can call them so) joining together here. The rock cut roads. The sound of the crystal clear waters gushing. There are NO people anywhere closeby. Its a completely nice different feeling.(At loss of the right words here)
Closely looking at the rocks gives an impression that this probably was one mountain that seems torn apart in some kind of prehistoric geological shift. Atleast thats how it looked to me. Anyways, enjoy!

The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00581.jpg
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The bridge followed by the rock cut road... The feeling is just superb. Feels like you are part of a real movie and you are just a spectator on a movie set - natures set!
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00591.jpg
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The road thereon is just dangerous and trecherous to say the least.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00605.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00606.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00607.jpg
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The roads then open up to a splendid mountain range with a spectacular view as you climb towards Nako.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00610.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00611.jpg

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 1st October 2008 at 18:52.
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Old 1st October 2008, 19:08   #66
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Thats "Khab" - at the confluence of the Spiti and the Sutlej. Its a little beyond this that the dammed Parechu was threatening the flooding of Himachal a few years ago. This place, and the entire stretch beyond this, is totally jaw dropping. I'm just awaiting the rest of the pics and story - you're captured it - to keep repeating myself - in a very breathtakingly real way.
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Old 1st October 2008, 19:22   #67
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I have nothing to say about these pictures. There were just mountains, towering over other mountains, like a web. As we climbed higher we could look at the gorge getting more and more trecherous. The water had turned from off white to blueish. The air was getting thinner and I could find myself breathing harder. It was just a continuous climb, climb, climb.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00615.jpg
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Then we reached this small village. Not a soul was visible. Absolutely nobody. Most houses seemed locked and the place seemed deserted as if struck by some health outbreak. No one, absolutely no one.
Just this mother & calf donkey grazing. I stop to take a few pics and then we proceed.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00630.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00631.jpg
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Then lo behold... dad shouts.. STOP STOP. I stood on the brakes. Before I ask him what happened, this is what I see. But again these apples were better than the ones dad got at Narkanda and Kalpa. That reminds me. I havent included any pics of Kalpa in this travelogue. Its a smaller version of Shimla, with very less tourists. Its extremely beautiful but not for my travelogue.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00634.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00636.jpg

Then a short while later a local jeep passes by. Doesnt stop in the village.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00637.jpg

The view of the village from far. All apple trees everywhere.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00639.jpg

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 1st October 2008 at 19:26.
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Old 1st October 2008, 20:16   #68
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We continued driving towards Nako. The view is enchanting. My pictures do not do the least justice to the beauty of these mountains. You have to go there and see and feel it for yourself.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00643.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00645.jpg


These are two villages. The higher one in the picture is the lower one where dad stopped for apples. The village in the foreground is a higher village.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00646.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00647.jpg


We stopped for tea at Nako top, right next to the helipad. The chaiwala was from UP. The chai too was great. I was too busy admiring the view from the top and forgot to shoot his home cum tea stall. One helluva home with a view. It had become CHILLY.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00649.jpg


The helipad used occassionally by the military.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00650.jpg


The view of Nako village from a distance. If you go to Nako, the chaiwalla at the helipad offers better chai, a better chill(the wind was chilling) and has a better view than from having tea in the fancy semi restaurant in Nako.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00651.jpg


No pics of the monastery, but this is the Nako lake.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00653.jpg


After Nako, we proceeded to Tabo via MALING.
Maling is a story in itself.
The chaiwala at Nako told us that Maling was shut for 10 days and just opened last evening. He added that the local sumo had to return early in the morning because they had not cleared the path enough for a car to pass and rocks were still falling.
There was no turning back for us so we proceeded to Maling. Upon reaching Maling we found workers on the location with some army personnel supervising the clearing operation. One army jawan said that just 30 mins ago they had managed to clear the stretch enouch so a car could pass. We were asked not to get out of the car till we reached the next bend as rocks were still falling intermittently. We could see pebbles shooting across.
Imagine, those guys working in the same place with a tin on their head. Could not get many pics since there wsnt any time and we had to clear it asap.

Trust me when I say that the road available was only 1ft more than the track width of the Safari, that too after I had the Safari tilted sideways on the mountain side to my right. It was approx a 100+ meters stretch. I could hear all the workers clapping(very unusual). I was the first vehicle to pass after they opened. I stopped ahead and as if he knew what i was thinking, dad handed a full box of 24 Snickers to me. I stepped out and waved to one of the road worker . He approached and I handed him the box and asked him to distribute one each to each of the men and whatever remains as extra for the women. His smile was worth capturing. His face brown with dust and mud and that sparkle in his eyes cannot be forgotten. I saw him distribute the Snickers and everyone started munching immediately oblivious to the place where they were standing(ground zero). I happily jumped in and saw dad smiling.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00655.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00656.jpg

Suddenly out of nowhere, 6 girls come out of nowhere. They requested to be dropped to Chango(i gues I got the name right). They had gone to Pooh to study & give their Teachers training course exams. Last night they had arrived at Nako. The sumo dropped them At Maling in the morning since it could go no further. I asked them to jump in. All six managed to squeeze into the backseat, since the rear dicky was scattered with luggage. On the way they gave us some apricots. Not the dried variety, these were fresh off the tree from Nako(i guess). The best apricots we had ever eaten. The women spoke about life in the hills. It was enlightening. People here walk more in a month that what we walk in our entire lives.

Some more scenery.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00659.jpg


We passed Chango and encountered some animal traffic - donkeys, leaders of the troupe followed by hardy sheep and mountain goats.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00660.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00661.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00662.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00663.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00664.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00652.jpg  


Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 1st October 2008 at 20:22.
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Old 1st October 2008, 20:35   #69
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Out of the world, breath taking pictures!!! This thread keeps me glued to it.
Eagerly waiting for more.
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Old 1st October 2008, 22:46   #70
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Mate,
This is turning out much better and better by each post of yours! Way to go.

Lovely picture and wonderful narration!

It was really wonderful of you to have distributed those chocolates. Such small actions will leave a ever lasting impression in their minds! Hats off to you!!!
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Old 1st October 2008, 23:12   #71
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fantastic pics. Keep them coming. I am getting new ideas for my next trip

really liked the goats. what stylish manes..
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Old 2nd October 2008, 08:20   #72
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The beautiful scenery continues as we head towards Tabo. Not much to say about this. Just enjoyed the silence and the view with the cool breeze blowing through.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00666.jpg


Another village lined with apple trees on both sides.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00668.jpg


Loved this section where the river winds through the mountains.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00670.jpg
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00672.jpg
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00680.jpg

Whichever way you look, ahead of behind, you look with awe!
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00681.jpg
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00683.jpg


Thats Tabo up ahead.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00684.jpg

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 2nd October 2008 at 08:25.
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Old 2nd October 2008, 08:53   #73
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Beautiful,Amazing-Running short of words
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Old 2nd October 2008, 09:18   #74
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Default Tabo - another story.

We arrived at Tabo sometime late afternoon and very hungry. Most places seemed closed. We found one open restaurant and they had nothing much to eat. So we ordered a Thupa. I had Thupa in Chitkul and that was good. Its like a clear soup with noodles and either mutton for nonveg and lots of veggies thrown in the veg. BUt this one here was so bad, that our hungry desperate stomaches couldnt take it. So we quietly paid them and gave all of it to the dog waiting outside, who lapped it up. In fact the dog came and sat there the moment we ordered, probably knowing his fate and our own. Then he started wagging as soon as the food came from the kitchen. I guess we werent the first ones to do that.
As we walked out we bumped in a Sardarji. He told us that he has a small dhaba a little ahead - Anjali dhaba. He lived there and said we would get good Indian food. Ok off we shot to Anjali dhaba.
45 minutes we walked out of there most satisfied with the meal since we hit the mountains many days ago. Completely simple HOMEMADE food. Chapati, dal, rice, sabzi, pickle. It was simple but extremely tasty. Dad was so happy that he made a small donation for little Anjali who was running around, in and out of the kitchen.
Then we headed to see the monastery.
There were only 7 tourists in Tabo when we got there. Thats the figure I got from the man at the entrance. A lot of tourists headed there, couldnt make it beyond Nako, due to the landslide at Maling. These 7 firang tourists had come from Manali.

This is the signboard at the entrance moving ahead of Tabo towards Manali.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00685.jpg


And this one is where we came from. The distances dont seem much from Shimla, but you need a full week if you want to see the places along the way nicely enough.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00687.jpg


The entrance to Tabo village.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00686.jpg


Inside the old monastery compound. They were renovating the old monastery so I could not get any pics in there.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00689.jpg
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00691.jpg


The new monastery.
The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00692.jpg
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The Spiti Loop > done differently - 7900kms-dsc00697.jpg
As we left Tabo village, the road was dug up and we stopped to let an oncoming Jeep pass. 3 people asked if they could be dropped up ahead at the next village. One old lady, a man and a woman. We nodded and they jumped in with a "box of apples". I heard ample conversations about apples thereafter. We dropped the old woman a few kms later. Then this other woman also got off at this village below. She offered to pay which we refused. So she asked us to wait. Got us some fresh superb apples from her garden and some almost 1/2 kg of dried apricotsn needless to say, better than the best quality we get in Mumbai. The man continued with us till Kaza. We was a cloth merchant, who purchased from Kullu and sold to the villages in the mountains.
Although it is not usually safe to give a ride/lift to strangers, I found these people living in the mountains quite straightforward, trustworthy and helpful.
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Old 2nd October 2008, 09:31   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locomotive View Post
fantastic pics. Keep them coming. I am getting new ideas for my next trip

really liked the goats. what stylish manes..
This is a good idea for your next trip. But i would not recommend taking an SX4 beyond Lossar upto Gramphoo. There are NO ROADS there. Just a path through mountains and river beds, full of stones. Add to that no phone network either. the traffic is very sparse, maybe one or 2 trucks a day. There are frequent landslides and small stones and rocks falling every now and then, and there are no signboards to warn us either.

Those goats are mountain goats. They have the best 4 leg drive in the business. They can literally go vertically up a steep slope like no other animal i have seen. They also seem to have a Brain, that switches to attack mode ever so often.
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