This would be the right moment to point out that we would have never come to the Spiti Valley if it hadn’t been for a friend of ours, Sachin, who put us in touch with his friends who run an organisation here called Ecosphere (check them out at http://www.spitiecosphere.com). Neither of us had heard of Spiti, and everyone (even people in Manali, which is really not that far) goes on about how remote and difficult to reach it is, that it might have put us off if he hadn’t told us that we MUST go there.
If not for the spectacular view and the monastery, Kaza would be like any old dusty bus town, with most of the old houses disappearing to make way for shabby concrete constructions – mostly guest houses and restaurants to cater to the tourists that come here from Manali when the Kunzum Pass opens. Since we’re a little early for the ‘season’, most of the restaurants are still closed, with just one or two open and serving the very basic stuff.
Every place we’ve been to so far in Himachal has been all uphills and downhills, but I stopped huffing and puffing after a day or two of the hills. But after three days in Spiti, we’re still not used to it –because of the low oxygen in the air, your lungs feel like they’re going to implode after every five minute walk on the slightest slope. So we’re constantly on the lookout for lifts to wherever we’re going. As a result, I went on my very first tractor ride (Iswar claims he’s been on one before) up to the monastery (which is barely a twenty minute walk and takes as long on the tractor because of the bad roads).
The monastery was closed when we got up there, but the exciting thing is that we will be in Spiti for Buddha Jayanti, on the 17th, when there is a big mela here at the monastery and people from all over Spiti come to celebrate. So we’ll be back then. That’s anushka playing around with her camera and trying to match the colours of her camera to the Nikons.
This is me attempting to walk down to the river. The slope is much more treacherous than it looks in the picture, I promise.
Kaza is filled with these black birds that look like crows but have golden beaks, so Iswar spent a good part of one morning trying to get a picture of one. The other lovely thing that we’ve seen everywhere we’ve been in Himachal are sparrows. I’ve gotten so used to the chirp of sparrows constantly in the background that I will really miss it when we get back to Madras.
This apparently is the highest petrol bunk in asia. Well it says it is so I guess its true.
That’s how anushka looks in the morning here thanks to how dry the air is. Or maybe it was the tractor ride
Finally this is a photo of the house we are staying in, that’s anushka on her bicycle
And finally finally here is the competition for today, the person with the funniest caption/explanation for whats happening here, for this photo wins a special Yay!!