VAEGABOND - Spiti Valley in the Himalaya - bike tour north India
It is just incredible! Last month we completed our yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, now we're on our bikes again and are exploring the wonderful high mountains of the Himalaya in India. Until now we could keep up our morning routine almost daily: getting up, drinking 2 glasses of water to stimulate the metabolism, around 45min of yoga and following that, doing Pranayama which is breathing exercises. Since we started doing that we've been starting so much more relaxed and with so much more energy into the day – and that's exactly what we need! Because since we left the region Uttar Pradesh, a new adventure. waited for us every day! India is huge. India is diverse. India is everything. We've already seen manorial, beautifully designed buildings and temple in Rajasthan. We slept under the star sky in the desert. We dove deep into the busy and colorful drive of Mumbai and Dehli. We jumped from booth to booth and and tried the many different delicacies. We enjoyed the beautiful beaches and had the feeling of vacation for the first time after travelling by bike for 4 years in Goa. Now, we're in the region Himachal Pradesh, where we admire the incredible and bizzare mountain landscape of the Himalaya. Our route (download of all our GPX data is possible here) next led us over Reckog Peo. The region is famous for tasty apples, because they grow especially well in the mild climate. What was rather bad for us, was that it was hard to find a place for our tents. On the left side of the street, there were steep mountains and fenced in military ground, on the right side, the torrential river. We asked, if we could build up our tent in the garden of a house und were invited to just sleep in the house and to rest there for a few days. We were really happy about the offer of our host, that had just retired. During this time we organized ourselves a permission, so we could cycle through the next door military ground and took a detour to Kalpa. In this picturesque village you can find traitional wood houses and terrace shaped ochards. The small place had something very rustical, original and gave off the vibe of deep peace. On the way back to our host, we got him a local, vers good sweet, that is made from smahed cashews as a thank you. We said goodbye to our host, that had given us two self self-squeezed applejuice as a refreshment and went on towards the high mountains. In the beginning we were lucky and the streets were well-built. That would change soon though. In the evenings, we build up our tents in villages in mostly not yet completed houses, that already had a roof though. For the owners and habitants it was probably just as thrilling as for us. Soon we reached a picturesque place, that was perfect for camping. Next to the course of river, there was a big area full of shady trees. The center of the village was a two minute walk away, that had a working water pump, that even delivered halfway drinkable water. Although we had no service or electricity to work for miles around, but that turned out to be just right for us, so that we could stay two undisturbed nights. The landscapes around us got more spectacular with every curve. A spectacular rocky landscape with peaks covered in snow presented itself before us. We arrived in Spiti Valley. The Spiti Vally, also known as the "middle land of the Himalaya", amazes with its breathtaking landscape and the deep rooting tibetan culture. This is because of its majestic mountain peaks, the picturesque monasteries and the untouched nature. After that, is when the slope and the off bike fun really started. We said goodbye to the paved ways and had no idea, what really awaited us. Perfect terrain for our Velotraum bikes with wide tires! The gravel from the beginning changed to a path, that was barely wider than a car and covered in rocks as big as our heads. The weather was getting worse now and up in over 4.551m on the Kunzum La Pass it would get really cold and rain in the night. Following this, the hollows in the so-called roads filled up with freezing cold mountain water. Cycling through it, was impossible with that rocky ground, that was barely even visible. So we took off our shoes, rolled our pants over our knees and grit our teeth. This kind of puddles got more and more common and reached up to Melli's knees. We weren't the only one who had to fight through these conditions. Countless cars got stuck in the middle of the water or because of the rocks. And also bikers got stuck one after another with their biker suit and got dripping wet from head to toe. We've now let the Spiti Valley and its terrible roads behind us and need a couple of days for a break from this thrilling offroad adventure! As fantastic as the view was, after the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, it demanded another hard sacrifice. Herpes, a sunburn, tired limbs and a little emaciated, we did find a quiet and pretty spot in Jipsa, to recover from the stress and to work. The shower was long overdue after 2 weeks and lucky as we are, there's even a washing machine here. The clothes did three full laps, that's how dirty it was. Now we're trying to catch up with the work from the past weeks, looking at all our crazy material from the last stage, sorting out, producing new videos, and articles. Unfortunately, there's barely any internet connection again. Dani spent the past 2 hours, adjusting the smartphone perfectly on the 4th floor (almost on the roof) millimeter for millimeter, so that atleast the tiniest bit of signal reaches us and we can send these lines and pictures out to y'all.
In a few days, we'll throw ourselves in the next adventure already – we're going to Ladakh. Which road exactly we'll choose, is something we're currently still figuring out. You can already look foward to it!
Best wishes from the north of India
Melli & Dani
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