North by Northeast ‘15 – Chitkul To Sungri’

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Chitkul – Chaura – Daran Ghati – Sungri

Distance this period: 232.30 km Total Distance: 3155.19 km

Chitkul – 0 km

Chaura – 100.90 km

Daran Ghati– 56.0 km

Sungri – 75.40 km

Plan was to stay in Chitkul for a longer duration and relax, but I felt kind of odd there so left next day. Breakfast at Sangla, Tea, piranha, Jalebi & kept Bananas for the ride. Urni climb took some time, lunch at Tapri, a nice dadi chawal. Jyori was the target, asked one guy about staying option there. Turned out to be a nice guy, offered me to stay at his place. Had a nice bath, his family was away so just both of us. His cousins cook food for us. He was on leave from his unit J&K rifles. Opened a bottle, rest I have no idea when I slept.

Total KM – 100.90 km

Total expense – 160/- rs.

Approx time – 8.04 hrs.

Army-mans cousin helped me pack my stuff, it was a nice stay. At Jeori took left turn and climbed all the way up to Gharat. Apples everywhere. From Gharat it was a flat ride. Mashnu was messy so was the left turn from there. Real bad kacha road, slush and jungle, on top of it there was no human soul around. I was scared like hell. It was a 12 kms of scary ride all the way up to the top. Tea shop at the top and a HPPWD rest house. Caretaker was there at the tea shop, drunk. I asked if I can camp there inside the rest house perimeter, he says no. So booked a room, bath followed by tea. He tells me it was built in 1913 by British, re-newd recently. Rice meat for the night, lots of stories, his Arunachal trip for a marriage, his encounter with a bear and langoor hunting. The rest house is lovely, in between jungles.

Total KM – 56.0 km

Total expense – 400/- rs.

Approx time – 6.00 hrs.

HPPWD stay was awesome, had the leftover meat in the morning with parantha. Started the journey downhill, real bad loose stones for 4 kms. Hit bottom at the river bridge, Taklech. market, had chowmin, Just after the bridge took left turn. right goes to Rampur. Uphill starts, some curves are quite steep. At top jungle starts, flat riding to Bahli. Lunch, waited for PWD rest house caretaker, but bad luck! no rooms. worthless 2 hours of wait. Withdrawn some cash from SBI ATM, and started towards Sungri around 6pm. Again scared of bear attack peddled hard. Asked The caretaker at Sungri PWD rest house if I can camp. A suspicious guy, but offered me room, ordered food. At night some other fellow came and slept in the same room. Nice view from the rest house. Britishers surely had a good taste.

Total KM – 75.40 km

Total expense – 455/- rs.

Approx time – 7.30 hrs.


Some marvelous job cutting the rock.


Road


Then this iconic cut, selfie to banti hai


After a long long time charm of home & home cooked food.


Place called Gharat at the top. Left goes to Sarahan. I took right turn


Ride at the top was great, view of valley, bad road but worth riding


Through that jungle, scary ride. A bear attack any time!!


Was so happy to see some building and hope of finding some company and rest


The rest house, bike and the caretaker


A tough and challenging ride


The views were fantastic tough

North by Northeast ‘14 – Hurling To Chitkul’

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Hurling HPPWD – Pooh – Sangla – Chitkul

Distance this period: 237.68 km Total Distance: 2439.77 km

Pooh – 86.69 km
Sangla – 92.80 km
Chitkul – 24.40 km

Missed the route towards Gue, the mummy place. its 8 kms off the main road. Had tea samosa jalebi at Sumdo. Sumdo is the place where foreigners need to show ILP, can get it from Kaza. I just registered myself. Sumdo is just an army transit place no staying option. Here you cross the Spiti river, now it was flowing on my left side. Road widening work in progress. Easy climb of 13 kms before Nako. Lunch. Lovely downhill till the bridge where Spiti river meets ugly mighty Sutlej river. Namgia, you can take a turn towards ShipkiLa, doors to the China Land. thought of going up but heavy headwind + late. Made it to Pooh by 7 pm. 3 kms up from main road, found a hotel (Om Hotel).

Total KM – 86.69 km
Total expense – 400/- rs.
Approx time – 9.30 hrs.

Now that I was in lowland and going pretty much downhill. Good road mixed with some bad stretches. After Spillow, by the roadside saw a workers camp, made me kind of sick seeing the work condition. At Akpa police check point (ILP check point) again needed to show I was indian, not a foreigner. Moved on, lunch at Pawai, nice rajma rice. Then there’s a cut to Recong Peo, I kept straight. Karcham Dam. Took left turn towards Chitkul. 13 km brutal climb to Sangla, some really good gradient. 4 km before Sangla is Kuppa, saw some guest houses. Baspa is the name of river that I was following now. Found a hotel in Sangla for rs. 300/-

Total KM – 92.80 km
Total expense – 610/- rs.
Approx time – 9.11 hrs.

Started as late at 11 a.m. had nice tea pakora at Rakcham, a lovely charming place filled with greenery all around. Then there’s a ITBP check point at Mastarang, 8 km before Chitkul. Saw a sign of last indian dhaba there, although there is being build beyond Chitkul, 21 kms to Dumpti, very close to the China border, a worker tells me. I booked a room at Chitkul.

Total KM – 24.40 km
Total expense – 600/- rs.
Approx time – 3.50 hrs.

Life inside a tent.
Following the river, a bumpy road
One wrong step and you go swimming in furious current
Sumdo, an army canteen
Tea, Samosa Jalebi… Sumdo
Some snacks time on the road
Some snacks time on the road
A place of faith, worship and hope.
A quite place of faith, and hope
Road sign. Flood has ruined the road going alongside the river, so is the climb
Some show offs
The road.... speechless efforts. headwind was so strong
Road was lovely, so heavy was the wind
Thumb rule on the road.. wherever you see water, clean yourself.. filled yourself.. pack some for the day
Thumb rule of the road.. you see water, freshen yourself and stock up
Dangerous road..
Some marvelous job on the road
Sangla Valley
Sangla Valley
Jungle all the way...
Jungle all the way
Chitkul.. Thought of staying here for a longer duration, but didn't feel much.
Chitkul Finally, Thought of some rest days