I had read about Lahaul and Spiti  in a book अरे यायावर रहेगा याद  (Arey Yayavar Rahega Yaad ) a long time back . Though I don’t remember much details now, but visiting the place became a ‘thing to do before I die’ for me. I love trekking in mountains, but never had the opportunity to do so  in way that I like. So when a chance came up to visit the place on a solo trekking trip, I dropped everything else for this .

The place is remote, rugged and not easy to travel compared to most other tourist destinations. So it took some preparation, physical as well as material. One needs good stamina for trekking specially at that altitude of 4000m +.  Just lifting weights and beefing up muscles is not the solution. I could write something on this but I’m hardly an expert and this blog is not the place for this topic either. Choosing luggage, tools etc was another area where I had very little experience in. I browsed a lot of websites, asked a lot of silly questions but managed to gather a list which could help me survive the trip. I picked up a 70 litres rucksack, sleeping bag, multi-tool  from Delhi and bought  propane stove, tent,  mat, ready to eat meals, etc from Manali. This was in addition to the  other stuff that one carries like clothes, first-aid kit, high energy snacks etc.

 

          I reached Manali on 15th August via a Volvo bus. Now I’m thinking of avoiding these buses operated by private operators as they are generally in poor condition, seats are mismanaged and the staff is rude and stupid.  Even that bus ride was late by 2-3 hours and reached Manali by 11:30 am. Continue reading

This is last post in this series of posts describing my visit Mcleodganj. Other posts are on this link.

Day 5 was supposed to be the last day of my stay in Mcleodganj, but I had to stay one day extra as all the bus tickets had been sold out.  Although I wasn’t exactly annoyed,  I had no idea about what to do with all the spare time either. I had seen and done almost everything that I wanted. Only thing left was a complete trek to snow line via Triund, but it needed much more time than I had. So I decided to just wander around.

 For breakfast I entered one small eatery run by a lone Tibetan woman and ordered Tibetan butter tea and an exotic sounding dish called Then Thuk . It was a kind of noodle soup, with noodles being of thick flat type. The shop was small and had place for seating only 5-7 people, but as with most Tibetan run places in Mcleodganj, it was very clean and the owner friendly and helpful. Continue reading

This is 6th post in this series of posts describing my visit  Mcleodganj. Other posts are on this link.

The day begun with An joining  me for a breakfast of parantha, omelette and  tea in a small eating joint. She wanted to sample only Indian food that day. Parantha was too salty for my taste and tea too sugary for her. Most foreigners don’t like the sweet milky concoction which passes for tea in India.  Tibetan tea is mostly a mixture of herbs in boiling water or they drink salty butter tea.   Start wasn’t good enough but we had  a lot of time to sample food from other places.   Our plan for the day was a trek to that waterfall in Dharmkot. It isn’t even mentioned in most tourist guides but whatever I had inferred, it promised to be one of the best places to visit. I had thought about seeing it twice in previous two days but it had proven elusive.  I know, elusive isn’t the right word for something stationary, but still… Continue reading

Other posts in this series of posts are on this link.

On day three I got out of hotel room and walked in market for a while before entering a cafe for breakfast.  Took the road to Dharmkot again and met the same man I had asked for directions in lower Dharmkot village previous day. He had come this far just to get some work done in a bank.    He gave some more tips regarding shortcuts and paths.

Easier part of the trek

Easier part of the trek

 

I found another trail and took it which led to a canine breeding compound full of menacing looking dogs. A pair which looked like Pitbull was in a steel wire enclosure. They didn’t seem very happy to see me and and I hurried on my way. Continue reading

This is my 4th post in the series of posts describing my visit to McLeodganj. First 3 parts are in this link.

Way to Dharmkot

Way to Dharmkot

After lunch of momos, I took the road to Dharmkot. It’s a steep climb for quite a distance as you may observe in the picture. After walking for a while, I  left the road and took a less traveled trail which passed through heavily wooded area.   Massive Deodar trees formed such a dense canopy that no sunlight reached the ground below. The place not only looked good but smelled great too. Fresh fragrant air 🙂

After some time I met a Tibetan man walking and asked him for directions. He guided me to point where trail ended on a bend on main road to Dharmkot. He owned a small shop there. Walking on main road was not as serene but at least it had some great views. After walking for more than 90 minutes, I reached a point, where 3 paths diverged.Continue reading