Monday, September 28, 2009

spellbound in spiti! - rohtang to chotta dhara

much of the conversation over that fab jap dinner was planning our trip, esp the drive to spiti...the plan was to stop over either at batal, which is almost halfway or at chotta dhara, just before batal. the choice was between a basic pwd guest house at chotta d or shacking up at a dhabba in your sleeping bag@batal! gramphu comes 85km from manali - the junction where one road turns southeast towards spiti n the other continues up to ladakh. we stopped here for a hearty meal of deep fried aloo parathas! hardly 14kms into the lahaul valley and the greenery has all but disappeared...no tall deodhars n other evergreen pines...just a few scrubs n v little grass.the air feels colder n the sun drier...the road is almost non existant, just a mud n gravel path that forces our qualis to15kmph at the fastest...but there's no hurrying about, no 8.09 fast to catch...it is amazing how everything here slows you down to sanity...we're moving now beyond the central himalayan range to the greater himalayan range...the pwd guest house at chotta dhara appeared out of nowhere...3huts dwarfed deep into the valley. of course, we didn't have prior permission or booking but hardly anyone ventures into these parts n of course, there's room for us...it must've been around 5pm when we got here...in time for chai n sunset!

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