Reliving my childhood in the lap of mountains: Sharbani Garg
From Solo to Social: My Unforgettable Group Adventure in Spiti –
I’ve been an adventurous traveller and have gone on numerous solo trips. However, this time, I decided to try something different – a group solo adventure. Excited and curious, I joined a group of like-minded explorers with WanderOn, not knowing what the journey had in store for me.
From the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised by the incredible camaraderie among the group. The fellow travellers had positive energy and great vibes, making the journey more enjoyable. Everyone shared their travel stories, laughed together, and formed lasting friendships.
Little did I know that the weather had other plans, and the itinerary had to be adjusted due to unforeseen conditions. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The new route led us to hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path, awe-inspiring destinations.
A Journey to Remember: My 5 Nights/6 Days Summer Spiti
Convinced by Instagram, I decided to travel with WanderOn, a travel community which offers excellent Spiti Tour Packages. To begin with, I researched about every other travel company but I booked it with this company as I found it to be cost-effective and community-based.
Like-minded travellers were mostly in the same batches and the idea of travel was also clearly communicated. They had fixed plans and experienced captains.
Journeying Through the Himalayan Range
Trip Duration – 5 Nights/6 Days
Day 1: Delhi to Manali
Day 2: Manali to Kaza via Atal Tunnel and Kunzum pass
Day 3: Visit Dhankar Monestry and Pin Valley, followed by a stay at Kaza
Day 4: Kaza to Chandratal
Day 5: stay at kaza, kaza to Manali
Day 6: Manali to Delhi
Rugged Landscape: Experiencing the Surreal Beauty
I love mountains, but my preference has always been the greener side of the city. Spiti has the most beautiful range of mountains, but I never wanted to explore this place because of its rugged terrain and unfavourable weather conditions. I thought my health would always come in between having fun and exploring.
But choosing to travel with WanderOn was a wise decision. They already knew about the difficulties people face due to weather adversities and gave us medicines every morning so that our bodies adjust well to altitude sickness.
My excitement grew with every passing mile. The winding roads led to the magnificent Atal Tunnel, a marvel connecting Manali to the other side of the mighty Himalayas. Emerging from the tunnel, I found myself in the picturesque town of Kalpa. Nestled amidst the grandeur of the Kinnaur district, Kalpa welcomed me with open arms.
The air was crisp, bringing a sense of tranquillity that instantly captivated my soul. I found solace in the mix of calm and adventure. The charming wooden houses, apple orchards, and the majestic presence of Kinner Kailash in the backdrop created a sense of serenity I had never experienced before.
Wandering through the narrow lanes, I stumbled upon a local café. Intrigued by the aroma of freshly brewed tea, I stepped inside. The café exuded warmth, both from the crackling fire in the hearth and the genuine smiles of the locals. Engaging in conversations with the friendly people, I cherished their rich cultural heritage, ancient myths, and legends that had been passed down through generations.
We played many games throughout the journey. That was the best ice-breaking thing to do, and I think I relived my childhood on this beautiful trip.
A Mesmerising Painting- Suraj Tal
The deep blue waters mirrored the surrounding peaks, creating an ethereal reflection that seemed to merge heaven and earth. The traveller stood in silence, their heart filled with reverence for the sheer magnificence of this natural wonder. They couldn’t help but be humbled by the sheer grandeur of nature’s creations.
Sitting by the shores, I witnessed the sun casting its golden rays upon the lake’s surface. The shimmering water sparkled like a million diamonds, reflecting the beauty of the sky above.
The cool breeze carried the aroma of the food, enhancing the flavours and creating a delightful culinary experience. It was a moment of pure bliss, relishing good food and breathtaking views.
In the distance, we spotted a group of playful marmots scurrying about. The adorable creatures entertained us with their antics, hopping from rock to rock and chirping gleefully. We couldn’t help but smile, feeling a sense of childlike joy in their presence.
As the day drew close, the traveller witnessed a mesmerising sunset over Suraj Tal. The sky transformed into a canvas of vibrant oranges, pinks, and purples, creating a spectacle that seemed straight out of a painting. We marvelled at nature’s artistry, capturing the moment with their camera, hoping to preserve the memory forever.
My Rendition of the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Experience
The delicious food touched my soul in the enchanting land of Spiti, where the cold winds whispered secrets and the mountains stood tall and majestic. As I savoured the delicacies of Spiti, each bite felt like a warm embrace.
The Thukpa, with its fragrant broth and comforting noodles, warmed me from the inside out. It was a bowl of pure happiness, a soothing elixir for my body and spirit in the chilly mountain weather.
The Momos were like pockets of joy with their tender dough and flavorful fillings. The skill and love poured into their creation were evident in every bite.
But it wasn’t just the food itself that made this experience unforgettable; it was the atmosphere that surrounded it. In the midst of the snowy landscape, we gathered around warm camps, sharing stories and laughter. The cold weather seemed to fade into insignificance as we huddled together, savouring the delicious meals that felt like a taste of home.
The aroma of spices mingled with the crisp mountain air, creating an inviting and comforting ambience. It was a time of connection, of forging bonds with fellow travellers and locals alike. As we shared meals, we shared not just food but also the joy of being alive, of embracing the beauty of the moment. The camps were so comfortable and kept us warm all night. I slept like a baby and woke up afresh.
In those moments, I realised that travelling is the most beautiful part of life. It was nourishment for the soul. It brought people together, transcending language and cultural barriers. It reminded me of the simple pleasures in life.
Most Beautiful Part of the Trip
Key Gompa Trek:
The rugged terrain has a lot to offer only if we dare to discover its bounties. Our cool captains, Rahul and Shehzan took us on an offbeat trek. There was nobody else except our group on the radar of 2 km. We could easily hear the birds chirping, the insects’ noise, and the winds beneath.
We trekked for like 15-20 minutes walking amidst the jungle and the hilly mountains, witnessing the wildflowers blooming all around. It was getting scarier as we were not able to see anything beyond a point. But as the captains told us we are approaching an end we started getting excited about what it could be. And I don’t doubt it when I say it was all worth it.
We got to see the view of the whole Spiti Valley from that point. It was a surreal experience, which I never thought I could experience with an open eye. The 360-degree view of the 3 Budha statue towards our left was so an exceptional experience.
I cannot stop smiling when I talk about it. To be honest, I was getting a little pissed with changing itineraries due to unforeseen weather but towards the end, I don’t hold any regrets or grudges for choosing WanderOn and Spiti Valley.
From One Traveller To Another: Some Tips For Visiting Spiti
- Be prepared for altitude sickness, Do not forget to keep your medications
- Community travel is an experience to cherish, make the most of it.
- Don’t miss out on hogging different local food
- Be prepared for unexpected weather