UNKNOWN HIMALAYA – THE VALLEYS OF SPITI AND PANGI

Ladakh is the most famous region in the Indian Himalayas. But we know of other valleys, which, although not as commonly known and certainly less visited than Ladakh are equally beautiful, and perhaps even more interesting than Ladakh… Check them out for yourself. We want to take you into the valleys of Lahaul, Spiti and Pangi. Seldom visited trails. We will not get bored. Something could tumble, something could fall apart from the slopes, streams could spill over the highway. The track will narrow and the canyons be deep. This is not an adventure for those who are taking their first steps on a motorbike. We guarantee the most beautiful views and spelled by alpha capital A – this event combines the most challenging sectors of the state of Himachal Pradesh. We will be going through several high, perhaps snow-covered passes, we will also ride on rock ledges suspended high above the rivers. We do not forget, however, of “something for the spirit”: We will visit some Buddhist monasteries and we will look up Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama. We are familiar with this region very well, we provide proven motorcycles, mechanical and medical care. Also, good company. Departure is of an offroad character.

wyprawy motocyklowe kirgistan
  • Start/finish: Leh
  • Nearest airport: Leh
  • Date of start: 1.07.2018
  • Date of finish: 12.07.2018
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Difficulty level: 8/10
  • Attractions: nature, passes, Himalayas, buddhist monasteries including Dharamsala, the Dalaylama’s seat, Indian temples, a route off the beaten track.
  • Day One: – Manali – Banjar – We move south in order to get to the west. The Himalayas have their own rules and it is not so easy to drive through the mountains. It is going to take us four days to get to places which are several dozen kilometers in a straight line from Manali. Well, this it will be the right time to get acquainted with your motorcycle and the rules prevailing on Indian roads. The first day in India will certainly be memorable.
    Accommodation in a guesthouse.
  • Day Two: – Banjar – Kalpa – That day we will go through the Valley of Kinnaur. The traffic is going to be far less intensive, the road leads to China, but the border crossing has been closed for ages. It will be a few sharp bends and tracks high above the river. Around us is the jungle and monkeys running across our paths. The order of the day is to use horns on curves. Slowly we leave the Indian world and enter the Buddhist one.
    Accommodation in a guesthouse.
  • Day Three: – Kalpa – Nako – Tabo – We go up the valley of the Spiti River. After several kilometres we get to the thoroughly Buddhist world. Tabo is at 3,200 metres altitude. The local monastery belongs to those favoured by the Dalai Lama, he is a frequent visitor here.
    Night in a guesthouse.
  • Day Four: – Tabo – Komic – Kiber – Key – Kaza – Losar – Up and up. We get to Komic, the highest village in India – more than 4,200 metres above sea level. Nearby Kiber is located much lower. We will also drop by the monastery at Key. Beautifully situated on the summit it provides magnificent view of the entire valley.
    Night in a guesthouse.
  • Day Five: – Losar – Chander tal – Batal – Keylong – On this day we will cross the Konzua pass and get onto the main highway Leh – Manali. Itr is just two hour from our start at Manali. After a few days we will hit asphalt again, which we are going to enjoy for the next 150 kilometres.
    Night in a guesthouse.
  • Day Six: – Keylong – Udaipur – After refuelling at Tandi we will move westwards along the Chenab River. Mile after mile the traffic will be lighter and the views better.
    Night in a guesthouse.
  • Day Seven: – Udaipur – Killar – And here the real ride begins. Not too many miles, but that is the quality that counts… Slope on the right, edge on the left. Almost no traffic but whenever a lorry appears there will be thrills… Almost nobody here speaks English. They will be surprised you are not communicative in Hindi. On this day you are probably going to take the greatest number of photos.
    Night in a guesthouse.
  • Day Eight: – Killar – Garh – If you thought that nothing could be better than yesterday, today you may revise your view. The Sach Pass awaits us, not the highest – “only” a little more than 4,000 metres, but what metres… It is the capricious pass that even the monsoon reaches. Expect fog, clouds, rain and abyss. This is the track that separates the men and the boys.
    Night in a guesthouse.
  • Day Nine: – Garh – Chamba – Going down from the desert of the Himalayas into the green. The jungle. Everything around buzzes and ticks. The views are still beautiful, but very different from the countryside we have seen before. It rains, water is in charge here – hopefully the tracks will be passable.
    Night in a hotel.
  • Day Ten: – Chamba – Dharamsala – Curves, curves, curves… Asphalt all the way, the speed less than extreme. But the traffic increases.
    Night in a hotel.
  • Day Eleven: – Dharamsala – Bir Biling – Dharamsala is where the Tibetan government in exile resides and worth a stop. In the morning we will explore the town. We do not promise that the Dalai Lama will be in place, but usually here is the easiest place to meet him. Dharmsala is also a great place to buy souvenirs from the trip.
    Night in a hotel.
  • Day Twelve: – Bir Biling – Manali – Seemingly not far away, but… The traffic is intense and one has to be careful on the Himalayan tracks. Drivers here believe in reincarnation… Tarmac only, but the views…

Price includes:

  • – care of a guide and good company
  • – all accommodation, meals and beverages like water and tea, except lunches at Leh
  • – hire and daily maintenance of the Royal Enfield 500 cc
  • – support car in which tools, additional fuel and your luggage will be carried
  • – border passes
  • – access tickets to all sights en route
  • – oxygen bottles and basic medication
  • – motorbike insurance

Price does not cover:

  • – flight to and from Leh (we suggest a connection via Delhi)
  • – cost of fuel
  • – travel insurance
  • – cost of bike repairs in case a driver is at fault

“The Himalayan ‘Where Eagles Dare’ is really two-in-one. Half of the event is happening in ‘Martian’ circumstances, another half – in forested mountains! All this seasoned by the offroad, and the school of survival in the Indian traffic. If you add to that the excellent organization – we received the trek of a lifetime”.

Jacek Śmigaj

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