So after staying in Kalpa for two days, we started our journey towards Tabo on 20th June. For that, we had to go down to Reckong Peo and from there we had to take the road going towards Tabo. However, before that, we had a very important work to do. We got to know that no network works up in Tabo and Kaza until you reach Manali. The only calling network that works is of BSNL. There is no data connection what so ever! In other words, the internet doesn’t work there even if you are using a BSNL sim card. So basically, you can just call or send some text messages from up there.
Thinking that we’d be cut off from our family and friends for 5 days, we decided to get a BSNL sim card from one of our friend’s help. This was just to keep them informed about our whereabouts and to use it in any case of emergency. The sim card was new and needed activation, therefore, we had to go to Reckong Peo and get it activated. After that was done we needed the car’s fuel tank to be full because there won’t be any fuel station before Kaza. Both the facilities are available at Reckong Peo and you would also want to pick up some more food and emergency supplies from here just to be safe! Always pack for emergencies!
Finally, we hit the road towards Tabo and just like we heard, it wasn’t a good one. From here the terrain was completely rocky! Not the usual hilly one that we had seen until Kalpa. There was a lot of construction work going on and a 12 km stretch of this road was the most dangerous one. This stretch was prone to shooting stones and landslides! Huge rocks and stones were kind of hanging over our head and just one trigger could bring them down. So you need to be really careful while driving here and keep an eye on any movement that happens above. Basically be aware and vigilant! If you see any stones rolling down stop and look and make sure it’s okay to move and then go. I couldn’t click any pictures of this stretch so you might want to see the video. I have covered this treacherous road in that.
The entire stretch or even more than that was all “Kachha Road”! Actually, there was no road at all. There were so much gravel and dust and rocks and stones piled up on the sides. Some parts were broad but some were really narrow and had ditches filled with water coming from the streams above. If you watch the video you will understand. It was treacherous! Our car had to slow down a little and that increased our travel time a little bit more. We found a lot of water streams and falls on our way! It was really interesting and some of the spots were really beautiful! But the road was painful 🙁 There were only a few short patches of the newly constructed smooth roads.
At many places, the roads were carved in the mountain in such a way that it felt sort of a tunnel. So a major portion of the mountain was above us and we were driving underneath that with of course the other side open. Watch the video to get an idea of what I am trying to explain here. We also encountered a few more “one vehicle at a time” bridges. Driving on them was truly adventurous! Some of them made a lot of noise that can actually make you worry a little.
We found a notice board stating “NH – 05, You traveling on the world’s more treacherous road”! Can anything be more adventurous than this? 😀 Anyway, after a few hours, we reached the Check Post of Akpa. From here the Inner Line begins and you need to show the permits. Now, since we were tourists driving our personal car, we didn’t have to show any permit but we had to give our details to be entered in their records. They took the name of the person driving, the car number, the number of people traveling in that car and the phone number. This is done on a precautionary basis and to keep a track of how many tourists entered in this area and when. If they get lost or something happens to them the border security will track them. Also, if they don’t exit the region the security people will know because the same details are taken while you exit from Kaza.
From the here on the series of the good and bad road continued and most importantly we could see the landscape changing now! The mountains were barren and less vegetative, not much rocky but pretty smooth and of different colors! It was a beautiful sight! Soon after that, we reached Spillo where took a short halt for a tea and moved on again. After a few kilometers, we found the very famous point of the region. The confluence of rivers Spiti and Satluj at Namgia in Kinnaur district. This was a beautiful sight! Satluj was bigger and fierce and Spiti was smaller and less loud. The colors of both the rivers were totally different. Satluj had a dirty dusty kind of color and Spiti had a fresh whitish- green color.
Finally, after a couple of hours, we had a very good road while we were at Hangrang Valley we crossed another interesting point. There was a bridge that connected two mountains and on the other side, the road was literally carved inside it. You can see the picture it looked so amazing from a distance and driving through it was equally amazing! After crossing that, we could see how the landscape was gradually changing and the mountains were even more barren and we could get a little feel of getting closer to Spiti Valley. The view was getting more and more gorgeous with the distance we covered. While we crossed Pooh, the road was bad again but the view was stunning outside!! I really didn’t mind the roads much because I was busy looking at the beautiful sight outside!
We were en route Nako, which is another famous spot. It’s famous for its lake there. The lake’s name goes with the village “Nako Lake”. Now even before we reached there, we spotted a small Dhaba-restaurant and took a lunch halt. The food options available here were Daal-Chawal, Maggi and Thukpa. I opted for Daal-Chawal, but what I got was Rajma-Chawal with Aaloo-Gobhi Sabzi! Now that was a surprise, they call it Daal-Chawal. Having said that, it was really yummy!! I loved it a lot!!
We reached Nako after having our lunch and I trekked down the village to find the lake. After a couple of kilometers, I finally reached the lake and I must say it was a stunning view!! The lake is in the heart of the mountain surrounded by a gorgeous backdrop of snow-peaked mountains and the beautiful village! The water was clear and cold. It wasn’t too big, but big enough for a mountain to have a lake on! After enjoying for a few minutes there, I returned to my car and started for Tabo again.
The view gets even more gorgeous after leaving from Nako and the roads were very good too! All newly constructed and smooth ones! We had a pretty comfortable drive for a few kilometers! After crossing Chango, we met the River Spiti and were driving alongside it for a pretty long time. Almost half of the journey towards Tabo had good roads which were newly constructed especially from Hangrang Valley. There were a few bad patches as well that was under construction and had a lot of gravel and stones. But it wasn’t as bad as I expected.
After a few more kilometers, we finally started closing in towards Tabo. We could see beautiful huge snow-peaked mountains along with the brown barren mountains typical of Spiti Valley. It was a cloudy day and the view was stunning!! It was our sheer luck that we saw Tabo from a distance in such a divine way that we could have never imagined. Tabo is in a flat land area or a valley and it is surrounded by different kinds of mountains. If you look at the picture below, the green patch in the valley is Tabo and the sunlight is coming straight down on it through a hole in the clouds big enough to cover that particular area! It was such an incredible sight!!
Finally, after crossing a couple of small villages, we reached Tabo. It is a very small and very peaceful village with the most ancient monasteries and the beautiful sights to look at! We checked in to the hotel “Maitreya Regency” that we booked with the help of “Dhaniram Negi”. The hotel was absolutely new and was inaugurated on 12th May 2017. The room was fantastic! Way better than what I expected to get. The facilities were great and so was the service. I will cover the second day in Tabo in my next post as clearly, this has gone too long. 🙂
Route Taken – Kalpa – Reckong Peo – Ribba – Pooh – Nako – Chango – Sumdo – Lapcha – Tabo
Total Distance Covered – 149 kms
The vlog of this part is attached below and is also uploaded on my Youtube channel “RougePouts”. I really hope you like this post as well as the video. Please do not forget to like, subscribe and share! Have a wonderful day! B-Bye!