Spectacular Spiti

The Spiti valley lies close to the Tibetan border following the Tibetan Hindustan Highway. It  is an amazing landscape in its strange starkness. Scree slopes, narrow gorges, raw rock and the raging Sutlej River below in a desert like dry environment that is emphasised by the brilliant green of the sporadic pea and apple orchard culitivated slopes. Little tibetan style villages and ageing buddhist monastries cling to cliffs. Its been incredibly hot, the dazzling light and the high-ish altitudes of 3000- 4700m make for challenging conditions not to mention the rough roads.

Munchkin at Kalpa village monastry
Munchkin at Kalpa village monastry
Typical roadside snack - Rs20, thats R3.50!
Typical roadside snack - Rs20, thats R3.50!
Just gotto love the Indian Road signs, here another from BRO (Boarder Roads Organisation)
Just gotto love the Indian Road signs, here another from BRO (Boarder Roads Organisation)
The States of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir have both banned the plastic bag and the great thing is that since this law was passed last year, it is virtually impossible to find any plastic bags. So what does everyone use? Newspapers and magazines recycled into paper bags.
The States of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir have both banned the plastic bag and the great thing is that since this law was passed last year, it is virtually impossible to find any plastic bags. So what does everyone use? Newspapers and magazines recycled into paper bags.
Little Nako girls
Little Nako girls
1400m acsent to Nako at 3550m
1400m acsent to Nako at 3550m
Leaving Nako
Leaving Nako
More zigs and zags
More zigs and zags

 

Cool dogs in Tabo ( I think these may be Chandra's offspring, Cass!)
Cool dogs in Tabo ( I think these may be Chandra's offspring, Cass!)
Views from Dhankar monastry
Views from Dhankar monastry
Dhankar Monastery sits precariously on an eroded alluvial buttress above the Spiti river
Dhankar Monastery sits precariously on an eroded alluvial buttress above the Spiti river

 

Fresh sweet peas have been the perfect snack along the way
Fresh sweet peas have been the perfect snack along the way
Fodder collection for animals during the winter is one of the main activities for Spitians during the summer, Pin valley.
Fodder collection for animals during the winter is one of the main activities for Spitians during the summer, Pin valley.
Pea picker, Pin Valley
Pea picker, Pin Valley
Little girl at Dhankar Monastry
Little girl at Dhankar Monastry
Carlos on the way to Tashigang village (4 houses) sans panniers. Some of the highest villages in the world are found on the Spitain high pastures (notably Komik)
Carlos on the way to Tashigang village (4 houses) sans panniers. Some of the highest villages in the world are found on the Spitain high pastures (notably Komik)
On the way to Tahsigang - high altitude Spitian Plateau
On the way to Tahsigang - high altitude Spitian Plateau

 

We stayed in Teshi Norzung's house in Komik. She looked after us well, feeding us homemade curd, tsampa (barley flower), homegrown veg. and plenty of chai and yak butter tea.
We stayed in Teshi Norzung's house in Komik. She looked after us well, feeding us homemade curd, tsampa (barley flower), homegrown veg. and plenty of chai and yak butter tea.
Komik girl
Komik girl

 

Beautiful late afternoon light in Komik village (4600m), Spiti
Beautiful late afternoon light in Komik village (4600m), Spiti
An incredible descent from the high pastures of Komik and Demel village, Spiti
An incredible descent from the high pastures of Komik and Demel village, Spiti

Bridget Ringdahl

Pedaling has been natural to me since the tender age of three. Cycling is practical, fun, it gets you to the corner café, across countries, continents, keeps you fit and is by far the most efficient and environmentally friendly transport option around, being virtually carbon neutral.

I live in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal which is great cycling country, within 10 minutes I can be bouncing along some of the finest single tracks in the province.

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2 thoughts on “Spectacular Spiti
  • adrienne

    Enjoying reading about your amazing adventure. Thanks for sharing it with us. All well on SPCA front - no final decision yet on Little Spring animals. Regards Adrienne

  • sue b

    Fantastic pix of fantastic views, B. Thank you.

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