North by Northeast ‘12 – Grampo to Chandra Taal’

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Grampo campsite – Chhota Dara – Chandra Taal

Distance this period: 70.24 km Total Distance: 2510.01 km

Grampo – 0 km
Chhota Dara – 36.01 km
Chandra Taal Camp – 34.23 km
Chandra Taal Camp – 0 km (rest day)

Now that I have officially entered the Spiti part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Saying good bye to the comfirt of food and company was hard, started as late as 11 am. The guy made a farewell early lunch, shared some pics together, he took my hat and said he need one. As a gesture to his hospitality, gifted the hat to him and left.

As soon I took left turn from Rohtang road, I knew that this is not going to be a joy ride. The road is national highway and in such a bad shape that I could only cover 36 kms at the sunset. Chhatru is the first place where you get something to eat. Had just tea here and moved on. I should have known that reaching Batal for dinner was next to impossible on such road. Made it to Chhota Dara, saw HP PWD rest house but no one was there. Found a campsite nearby and camped.
Total KM – 36.01 kms
Total expense – 30/-

Next day, bad road continued. Batal was about 18 kms from here, nice kadi-rice lunch at the famous uncle-aunty’s place. Aunty welcomed me saying you have come from such a nice road, smile exchanged. Newspaper clips and articles of their brevity were posted all over. Loved the Kadi-rice. Then crossed the bridge and at some 2 kms there’s a cut to Chandra Taal. Narrow road, needed too much concentration on heavy wind. Camping not allowed near the lake. Campsite is some 2 kms below the lake, you can take your vehicle nearby lake, still need to walk about 10 min to reach the lake from motorable road. Rode back to the campsite and camped.
Total KM – 34.23 kms
Total expense – 200/-

Took a forced rest day, sick day, stomachache, loose-motion, headache, no food.
Total KM- 0
Total expense – 0/-

Grampo campsite with the Nepali guy
It was a beautiful stay
Green pea. Far from Nepal, his home he came here to earn fat. This is what he told me – every year during season which lasts about 6-7 months, the landowners lease-out these lands to such farmers. They provide all the equipments, all you have to do prepare the field, grow seeds, keep tight vigilance, cut and selling will be taken care by the landowner. You get your share. He aims to earn some 2-3 lakhs INR from this field, unless it snows.
Now this is going to be a normal routine till the time I am in Spiti valley
Go figure out the road and ride. Met and saw so many bikers with punctured tire or group of bikers trying to fix their bikes.
Madness is so much fun. isn’t it. This was the longest water crossing today, took some 20 min to cross this chilly water. In between saw a car, ladies standing in a stone away from water, guys fixing the punctured tire. They looked amazed to see me. Crazy
Chhota dara HP PWD rest house but I camped just below this stone, quietly.
This is national highway, can you believe? you dont even call it a road, let alone national highway.
Batal. It has good food points, a HP PWD rest house. Buses stop here to have lunch.
Diversion to Chandra Taal. its about 20 kms from here
Chandra Taal campsite below. This road leads to Chandra Taal.
First glimpse of the LAKE
I tried to look closely, if I could see any jalpari to come out and say hi to me!
Then sat there for like eternity, pleaded to the Jalparis to come out but no. they were to shy to come out I guess, or unhappy to see all the tourists invading their privacy.
Other side of the lake looked like this. anyone scaled those peaks? no idea.
I belive this is Chenab river. In full glory.
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5 thoughts on “North by Northeast ‘12 – Grampo to Chandra Taal’

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