Spiti - Three amateurs' ride to the land of the Buddha; of amazing landscape and great people!

supriyfale

RiderByChance
24 May Peo to Nako

We got up early and were ready to leave by 9 AM. We had slept well and were refreshed after a good breakfast.

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Since the next filling station was at Kaza, we had to carry extra fuel. I had carried one empty 2 ltr. coke bottle but forgot to get another last night when we went to market. So, as I and Veena waited at the petrol pump, Sushil went to the market to get a 2 ltr. coke bottle. Since we do not drink cold drinks, we drank little and gave the remaining to the people at the petrol pump. After filling our tanks and the two coke bottles, we left around 10 AM. Shortly afterward we reached a small town of Spillow where we stopped for a hot cup of tea since it had started raining.

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After Spillow, the roads were good in patches and it we could not accelerate much. After a while it started raining heavily and so we stopped at one of the numerous road construction sites to put on our rain gear. The rain continued. The road was continuously climbing, and it was getting windier and colder.

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Just after Puh, another beautiful town on this stretch, we stopped for lunch. It was around 1:30 PM. There were not many restaurants and when we saw a small restaurant on the other side of the road, we decided to stop. It was nice and clean, and the vista opposite was awesome. We ordered mutton soup and some noodles which was good. Later we went across the street to view the river streams were and the adjacent magnificent rock.

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We left the place at 2 o clock. The rain was continuous, and the gradient started to climb. I was feeling numbness on my hands as my gloves were wet. Tabo was looking more and more difficult.

As we continued to climb the rocky terrain and the unpaved roads, our speed became lesser and lesser. The wet mud was making the ride treacherous.

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So, we decided to stop at Nako. Earlier we had planned to skip Nako due to its altitude and cold weather. But now in our condition that seemed a better option.

After climbing numerous bends on unpaved roads, close to Nako we spotted a café. We were wet and tired and wanted to have a hot cup of tea before proceeding. It was around 3:30 PM and Nako was near, so we were not in a hurry now. The café was nice, and we had hot cup of coffee. The owner and his wife were having a friendly banter. In this region men and women behave equally which we got to experience in many places here. We also bought some dry apple slices, grown in their own farm.

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Around 4 PM we entered the Nako town. Since we had to find a room, I started looking for hotel boards as we zig zagged through the town. On one such turn I saw a newly painted house with a home stay sign. I planned to stop and applied brakes. But by the time the bike stopped we were in front of the adjacent house which also had a homestay sign. So, we planned gave it a try. First, no one came out when I called in. I went inside the channel gate to look. Still no one.

I was about to leave and go to the other one when a passerby woman asked me to go up and check. I went up and found a young guy. He said a room was available, yes it will accommodate all three and yes, he will provide a room heater. The deal done, I and Sushil came back to unload our bikes while Veena went to the room. He also offered us a tea in his warm kitchen which we needed badly. Overall it seemed a nice package.

The room was new and clean. After unloading our bikes and dumping the luggage in the room, I went in the kitchen and asked the young man, Rahul, whether I can hang it in the kitchen to dry. He readily agreed and hung it himself. We all then changed our clothes and went to the kitchen to get warmth and have our teas. It was so cozy after a very cold ride, we sat in the kitchen warming ourselves.

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Apart from us, there were a foreign couple and a foreign monk. He was praying. We talked to them for a while and learned that they were from France the monk was from UK. The monk was here for some time and had just been on a long trek. We had a long conversation with him and the couple from France.

The hostess served us dried apricots that they grew in their farms. They were delicious. We were then served hot cups of tea and we continued our conversations.

Since the evening was still on, we went for a walk around the lake. The monk had also told us about a stone which was supposed to be used by the wife of Padmasambhava as a cooking pot. We promised to look.

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The evening was beautiful and as we were now warm with tea it energized us further. We took a stroll around the lake which was small but beautiful. We also located the stone supposedly used by the wife of Padmasambhava which was distinctive with its three holes.

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From the lake we saw a prayer wheel at the top of a hillock and decided to go there. We reached there easily and could see the small and beautiful Nako village. The prayer wheel was huge and the bell rang serenely when a rotation was complete. We spent some time there as the evening passed. When it started to get dark and the chill in the air increased, we descended the hill.

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We reached our home stay and headed straight to the kitchen after washing our hands and feet.
The couple’s friends from Netherlands joined us for dinner. We were to meet them quite often during our trip as they were doing the same places as we were. They had bought a Maruti van and converted it to have two beds so that they can sleep in it. We had seen a similar setup in Manali a few years ago during our ride to Leh.

The dinner was good, and our hostess was a very nice person. She treated us like her family and insisted on more portions. Our stomachs were filled to the brim till the time we washed our hands. Like we have seen many villages, a young teacher, who had stayed with our hosts earlier, came to help them to make dinner.

We had also seen here that both our host and hostess were preparing dinner. While our host rolled rotis our hostess baked them. Later in the evening, they would both go to the fields to water them.

We heard an interesting story from our host about the horse the villagers keep. In the winters the villagers take their horse to forest and leave him there so that he can roam and have his food as there is not enough food for him in the house. Also, they may get sick staying indoors. The villagers bring the horse back in summer. Sometimes however a leopard may kill the horse so a risk of losing him is always there. These villagers live a very difficult life, but they always smile and have a place in their house and heart for strangers.
 
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