EXPERIENCE SPITI VALLEY BY CYCLING
NATURE OF TRIP : Cycling
LOCATION: Manali, Spiti valley
MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: Kunzumla (4551m)
GRADE: Moderate +
This is a true ‘Soul Journey.’ Spiti & Lahaul with its stark arid landscapes presents a picture one gets to see very rarely in one’s lifetime. Visual delights aside, you ride in a region soaked in unique culture and history and which opens up only for a few months every year. Along the trip, as you ride through the wonderful vistas of the high altitude Hindustan-Tibet Road you come across small settlements with ancient monasteries, chortens, mani walls, fluttering flags, prayer wheels & Buddhist monks, leaving an image which is sure to last a lifetime.
Spiti is surrounded by ranges of the Greater Himalaya in a semi circular arc, separating it from Lahaul on the west, Kullu to the south and Kinnaur to the southwest. These ranges prevent the moisture laden monsoons from reaching the region, thus creating in Spiti, a bleak and arid landscape in common with Ladakh and Tibet.
Lacking vegetative growth, the exposed terrain is a geologist’s paradise. It records every geological age from the Pre-Cambrian to the recent, in pristine formations This is a challenging trip and requires one to cycle in a high altitude area. You will set out on your bikes from Tabo, in Spiti valley and from there on move along the fairly straight road. Next few days you will ride through several settlements and monasteries before pedaling to the district headquarters at Kaza. From Kaza we ride through monasteries and villages close by and go exploring the interiors of the valley. Having explored the Spiti valley we set our eyes on the Lahaul valley and ride all the way to the stunning Moon lake (Chandratal). We will camp here for a night and next day ride towards Chattru and finish the ride. We drive back to manali in our cabs.
Most of the times we will be riding on mostly empty roads, a luxury in India! There will be support vehicles with the riders and you will have the flexibility to decide which stretch to ride and what stretch to plant yourself in the support vehicle. You can also get partners who are looking at minimal riding or no riding.
DAY ONE Manali
Arrive in Manali. Check into the hotel. Early afternoon we step out and go for an acclimatization ride towards Naggar and back. Evening is reserved for a brief orientation session about the ride. O/N HPTDC Kunzum/Log Huts/Johnson Lodge
DAY TWO Overland Manali to Tabo (8 hours 253kms)
After an early breakfast we board the cabs and depart for Spiti valley, reaching Tabo by early evening. O/N Tiger Den or similar
TABO – DHANKAR (3400m) Cycle/34 kms/5-6 hrs
After breakfast we will set out on our bikes and ride along the Spiti river till Sichling. From here we will pedal towards Dhankar Monastery. This spectacular Gompa is built on a 300m high spur and overlooks the confluence of Spiti & Pin rivers. After lunch we hike for one hour to visit the high altitude Dhankar Lake. O/N Dhankar Guest House
DHANKAR – KAZA (3600m) Cycle/52 kms/7-8 hrs
After an early breakfast we start our ride today, visiting Lallung and taking the trail which brings us to Attargu, near the confluence of the Pin and Spiti rivers. From here onwards it’s a level ride to Kaza. O/N Delek House.
KAZA – KYE MONASTERY – KIBBER – GETE – TASHIGANG – KIBBER – KAZA Cycle/54 kms 6-7 hrs
Today is a challenging ride visiting the highest inhabited village in the world, Kibber perched at 4300m, and further the plateau lands of Gete and Tashigang. First up a fairly straight and downhill ride to the base of Kye monastery from where the 10kms climb to Kibber begins. After Kibber it’s a mountain biker’s delight to be riding to Gete and Tashigang where we get fantastic views of the Kanamo peak and the Shilla gorge. Ride back to Kaza, a thrilling downhill. O/N Delek House or similar
KAZA – LANGZA – KOMIC – DEMUL – LIDANG – KAZA Cycle/62 kms 7-8 hrs
Another day of a challenging ride, first up the 18kms uphill to the village of Langza 4100m, under the shadow of Chau Chau Kal Nilda (the highest peak in Spiti). Geologists say this was once the Tethys sea, a million years ago, hence you will be surprised by the presence of fossils between Langza and Komic, our next pitstop 7kms from Langza. After our lunch in Komic, we ride into Snow leopard country towards Demul (10kms) and from there a mix of downhill and uphill through some crazy switchbacks brings us on the main road from where Kaza is another 12 kms. O/N Delek House or similar
KAZA – HANSE – LOSAR (4079m) Cycle/52 kms/7-8 hrs
We finally bid adieu to Kaza today and continue our journey further into Spiti valley. Its straight stretches of roads today, and mountain after mountain through some stunning gorges, pea fields and gurgling streams as we reach Losar at the base of the Kunzum pass. O/N Guest House
LOSAR – TAKCHA – KUNZUM PASS – CHANDRATAL LAKE (4270M) Cycle/38 kms/5-6 hrs
We start after breakfast, towards Takcha (6kms 4120m) the base of the Kunzum pass which is another 12kms, perched at 4551m. From the pass we get stunning views of the Bara Shigri glacier, The Chandrabhaga range, Pir Panjals and the Greater Himalayas. Zip down the pass for 8kms to reach the T junction from where the road leads to Chandratal lake. We check into the camp just before the lake and later ride to the lake which is 2kms from the camp.
CHANDRATAL LAKE – BATAL – CHOTTA DHARRA – CHATTRU (3700m) Cycle/45kms/ 5-6 hrs
Our last day of riding as we pedal up towards the T junction we took yesterday 12kms, and from zip down to Batal for a refreshing black tea. We are greeted by the River Chandra, flowing from the Chandratal lake and it is this river whose course we will follow for most of the day. The Chandra valley is a geologists paradise, the coming together of three Himalayan ranges – The Pir Panjals, The Dhauladhars and the greater Himalayas. All of the ride today is on offroad, uphills and downhills through streams and narrow passages with spectacular views of glaciers and precipices. We finish the ride at Chattru.
CHATTRU – GRAMPHOO – ROHTANG PASS – MARHI – MANALI Cycle 81 kms (7-8hours)
Today is a tough day, first the climb to Gramphoo (17kms) and then the tough climb to Rohtang pass (13kms) From the top it’s a breezy downhill of 52 kms to Manali. O/N HPTDC
COST OF THE TRIP
Double Occupancy: Rs. 42,600/- Per Person
Single Occupancy: Rs. 52,600/- Per Person
Cycle Rental : Rs. 10,000/-
TRANSPORT OPTIONS (Delhi – Manali – Delhi)
For travel from Delhi to Manali and back one can choose between air & road. There are lots of Public Transport like Volvos, Deluxe and ordinary buses plying between Delhi/Chandigarh and Manali. Bhuntar airport (near Manali) is connected to Delhi but there aren’t too many flights and at times there are chances of flights getting cancelled due to bad weather so check with the airlines before booking. For departure from Leh you can choose to fly out or take a tempo traveler back to manali. We can arrange transportation for you on actuals.
Temperatures and climate vary according to the altitude. The summer days are warm with brilliant blue skies (max 20°C. min 5°C), but the weather in mountainous areas can be very unpredictable. Come prepared for chilly evenings and a small possibility of rain. Early morning starts and descents at altitude require good quality weather gear.
ABOUT OUR CYCLING TRIPS
In line with our philosophy of giving our clients an up, close & personal experience we Endeavour to make our clients ride the best possible routes in a specific region and give them the true local flavor. Unlike a lot of other companies who prescribe to the totally ‘rough it out’ way of running their trips we don’t mind admitting that we like our clients to be cycling with some bit of comfort. We as a company believe that tasty/nutritious food, great campsite and a comfortable bed at the end of the day is very essential to an outdoors trip
A Typical Day: We like to start early, so our clients are normally up by about 6:30 a.m. You will be woken up with bed tea and get a bowl of hot water to wash up. After a sumptuous breakfast you will set out on the day’s ride by about 8:00 a.m. normal day you will ride for about 6-7 hours to reach the campsite. En route you will have packed lunch. You will be at the campsite around 3:00 p.m. This gives you enough time to relax, take pictures, arrange your luggage and enjoy cups of tea/coffee. You will get an evening snack which is followed by dinner at about 7:30 p.m. Clients normally spend some time together in the mess tent or outside chatting up before retiring for the day at around 9:00 p.m. We have the support vehicles with us so on any stretch if one is not feeling up to it one can hitch a ride in the vehicle.
Accommodation: At Manali you will stay in very good quality A grade hotels. You will have the option to upgrade if required. All accommodation is mentioned in the itinerary.
Meals: Our kitchen team travels with the clients and dishes out hot and tasty meals. We normally provide an early breakfast after which clients are given their packed lunch. Once at the campsite clients are given evening snacks, unlimited tea/coffee, soup followed by a sumptuous dinner. Our cuisine is a mix of Indian, Chinese, Continental & local. All meals are generally vegetarian and non vegetarian. A typical day’s meal would look like
Breakfast: Porridge/Poha/Upma, Toast/Paranthas with butter, Peanut butter, Cheese, Jam, Eggs, Banana, Tea/Coffee/Hot chocolate
Packed Lunch: Indian bread with vegetables, Sandwich, Apple, Juice, Chocolate,pasta,burgers etc.
Evening Snack: Tea/Coffee with cookies & Indian fries.
Dinner: For non vegetarians we try to serve a non vegetarian preparation everyday, A typical dinner includes Dal, Vegetables, Rice, Salad, Soya, Indian bread. The menu is cyclic and we ensure the dine out is an experience which resonates.
Cost does not Include
Payment terms & conditions
50% payment to be made in advance at the time of booking the trip. The rest upon arrival at the start destination.
Payment to be made by Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD in favour of Being Out There payable at SHIMLA. The details are | A/C Name – Being Out There, Bank – Himachal Pradesh Gramin Bank, A/C # 89432100000134, IFS CODE – PUNB0HPGB04.
Payment for this trip can be adjusted against any future trips, if you have to cancel.
More than 30 days: Full refund (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)
21-30 days: 75% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)
14-21 days: 50% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.)
Less than 14 days: No refund
MINIMUM REQUIREMENT FOR THE TRIP TO RUN
The EXPERIENCE SPITI BY CYCLING ride is an expedition in itself and requires huge logistics. To make it sustainable and at the same time maintain our service and hospitality standards, we require that a minimum of 8 people are participating. If that is not happening we will either refund you the full amount or urge you to join the next trip or any other trip we organize. The refund will take about 15 business days.
Please note that Riders must bring their own mountain (all terrain) cycles. The roads generally are not suitable for bikes fitted with road tyres (slicks), even though some sections are in reasonably good condition. There will be sections higher up that will be in poor condition due to snow/slush from the winter months, possible landslip, and use of the road by heavy vehicles at times. Hybrid bikes with ‘chunky’ mountain tyres are most suitable. Riders should also bring a range of spare parts which may include; chain links or chains, spare tyres and pump, at least 4 spare tubes and puncture repair kit, cables, pedals and a good tool kit.
Though there would be a mechanic accompanying us carrying a good repair kit and spares but it is still necessary for everyone to bring some spares; this also ensures you have parts that will fit your bike. There will be a staff member to assist with running repairs when we are biking and at our overnight stops should problems be more complicated. As a general rule, less complex or high tech bikes are easier to fix and obtain parts for if necessary. If you plan to buy a new bike before the trip, make sure you are completely familiar with it prior to departing. You should fit at least 2 one litre water bottles to your bike. Water will be available from the back up vehicle.
For riders unfamiliar with our Himalayan organization you will be very well catered for. Our cycling expedition takes us into remote regions where there are no villages and no hotels. Therefore during the cycling expedition we will be camping. We will select camps away from the road where you will sleep in comfortable two person tents and be looked after by our crew who will come with us. They will prepare all meals including your early morning cup of tea. All you have to do is pack your gear into your kitbag. During the day you will be accompanied by a support vehicle which is at your disposal should you not wish to cycle. Your other entire luggage will go into the Luggage van accompanying us.