Carving the bikers' trail through Spiti and Kinnaur in Himalayas || NH-22 point to point - by Sumit Sond
Day 4: Surprisingly, I woke up at 5am. Pushed myself out of the sleeping bag into my shoes & out I was. The sunrise, colour of the sky, snow covered mountains. But the joy didn’t last for long & soon I found myself back into the sleeping bag. Waking up again at 8, just to find out that our new friends had left the town at 7. and we like ever, the lazy ones were still dead asleep. Starting the ride at 9 we did not know what to expect from the roads ahead. And what had started as a very slow ride from between the army base Pooh, gave way to the bestest of the tarmac we have ever come across. Soon after the army area ends, comes the meeting point of the mighty Satluj & Spiti river. It was after the confluence where we finally bid goodbye to satluj & continue our journey ahead with Spiti river. The left turn from the confluence gave way to an entirely new landscape, vegetation was gone, mountains now were very dry, tarmac was mesmerising. Ride from here till nako was a luxury. It was on this very patch that we came across one of the best landscapes of the ride. Dry mountains on all four sides, spiti flowing deep down in the valley & a very small patch of green in a Village called Ka.
Reunion, Finding our friends from last night in Nako.
It’s odd but true, we like being isolated or at least I do. But for some reason, meeting my city people in my isolation, coming across vehicles registration plates starting from CH (Chandigarh) HR-03 (Panchukla) always gives me joy of another level.
Finally, we sat together soaking sun, with snow covered mountains to look at, A small lake next to the site. Talking our hearts, finding connections & it was at this time when Harpreet Veerji, shared a thought which still remains with us and will always do. In the most casual of his ways he expressed himself saying,”At one time of the year, six of us are here, leaving our jobs and families behind. Riding through the goods and the bads. Just for the love of motorcycling & mountains. It is times like these which prove that motorbikes will connect us and a lot more in the most isolated of the places known to us. And I will always cherish the fact that we met & got a chance to sit and share our experiences with each other.”
Jawa Yezdi Club Chandigarh members: Harpreet Shergill, Harsh Daliwal, Harry Singh & Parminder Chahal, can never thank you enough for being a part of our journey.
Soon after the Club riders left for chandigarh, both myself and Amit found ourselves a place to stay. & went out exploring the little village, Again meeting interesting people & children. It was here as we say Amit met his long lost kids. (*just to say.) On one of the random walks we came across two guys, who just like us found peace around the remote corner of the lake. Bumping into them yet again, Bullets were the converstation starter. After some time of talking to each other they carried on with their way & both of us on ours, later did we realize that the small conversation lead to some real good friendship.
3 Hours by the lake. Amit Slept in peace, me did nothing. Just sat experiencing silence in natures lap. Now, we the people from so called big cities aren’t really big at our hearts. How often would you be stuck in a situation, where you have money just to fulfill the basics, No spare money to buy even a suvenior for your own self. Bank accounts at such times won’t really matter because there are no ATM’s in the town. & it’s right then when a shopkeeper from the isolated town offers you to take stuff from the shop. You don’t have the money. No issues, on your way back you can use an ATM at Pooh & leave the money at the hotel you stayed in the last night.
At that very moment you ask the fellow, Do you offer such deals to everyone who comes to you with empty pockets & he with a smile on his face says,’ Sir aap mere 2300rs se kitna ameer ho jaogey aur me kitna gareeb, sab aapki imaandari ki baat hai’ (Sir, This 2300 will neither make you rich nor make me poor, It’s all about your honesty)
*Words of wisdom.
So, not only did the guy let us buy stuff worth 800rs from his shop but also lent us 1500 in cash.
“Dorjee” will always remind us, how honest and pure at heart we should be.
After roaming around, coming back to the guest house we bump into those two guys again, who invited us for dinner in the sarkari guest house.
Making more friends. Anushree, Jugal, Saurin, Vineet & our little love ARIANA. The evening meant laughs, conversations, chilly winds, home like food, struggling to keep the fire burning at the bonfire, little ariana’s smile. & we called it a day.
Yes, Nako had turned out to be our final destination. Today was the day to start back. Having the gang there to flagoff our journey back. Felt no less than a blessing to leave the town with smiles in our rear view mirrors. At all times we were reminding each other to be safe on the road. But as they say, when you’re sad your ride can cheer you up. But when you’re happy the ride becomes blissfull. Cruising back towards the banks of spiti river was both quick and fun.
Reaching Pooh we made sure to leave Dorjee’s money at the hotel. We had planned to touch Rampur that night, making it a good 220 Km run. Reaching Peo by lunch we felt that now we were back in our area, still in kinnaur yet for some reason now after been there so many times it just does’nt feel that far.
As we hit Rampur, we know that the incredible adventure was coming to an end. To our surprise the last day of the ride offered a lot more than expected. A 250km ride, this time leaving the national highway to the state highway (kufri-chail-sadhupul-kandaghat). Meeting our parents in Chail. We were headed home they were heading to the mountains.
A good 12 hour ride with a pit stop, to spend time with family followed by an awesome ride from Chail till chandigarh. Touching base at 10pm Nh-22 point to point had finally come to an end.
All our rides via chandigarh, start from delhi & end in chandigarh. Last bit from Chd to Delhi comes out of sheer disagreement from the fact that we now head back to our mundane lives. 1300km, 6 days on the road with your best friend, best travel partner, the one who knows how to control your horses of excitement, or just to say your elder brother. All had come to an end.
Summing up the journey.
Encounter with our own selves. (Har din khud se ladd kar khayalo se ulajh kar gum sa jata hun mein)
But here I was all by myself, riding 10 hours a day no one to talk to. Finally came a point when I could say to myself (Yaha jo aaya hun Sulajh sa paya hun).
When your conversations & dialogues with the outside world come to a pause, Starts a dialogue with the own self. A conversation leading to arguments,disagreements and shouting. All while being on those two wheels. All this gives you a way to come at peace with the self.
For hours long every day you would sit & listen to yourself & every breath you take. Feel every single thump coming out of your metal stallion & being in sync with your ride, being one. And then comes a state of meditation. A state of bliss. True happiness.
“The journey was fun, It always is” Aditya bhardwaj.
This time yet again the journey itself became the destination.
Lessons from the road: Life & ride both are about phases, bad roads would lead to good ones followed by no roads, roadblocks (landslides) eventually giving a way to the best of the tarmacs.
Lessons taught by the road are not the ones you would have learnt in your text books.