INDIA in July, 2019 (6)

INDIA in July, 2019 (6)

2019-07-29T12:05:22+00:00July 29th, 2019|Lee & Paul Update|

After Sangla we ride along the river to Rekong Peo to obtain permits for the next province. Lunch is at a wonderful restaurant with fabulous views of the mountains.

Getting used to parking – lunch spot at Rekong Peo
Mountain views from our restaurant table

Then we climb and climb to a fabulous hotel in Kalpa, at just below 3000 metres, where we will spend two nights amongst the apple and pear orchards of this peaceful village. The view is stunning and you feel like you’re sitting in the lap of the mountains with so many visible peaks.

The village of Kalpa
Our hotel – The Shangri-La
Our beautiful hand-crafted room with snow-capped peaks all around us
The clouds constantly change the view from our room

We have a day off to acclimatise once more so some people walk to the next village around an even more precipitous road than we’ve seen before!

Roghi Cliff – an infamous suicide point!

I choose to get dropped off at the “view” and walk back to the village on my own. The road is particularly narrow with no armour guard and a one-kilometre sheer drop to the river and road below. Such is the nature of the Himalayas!

School children in Kalpa
Slate tiles shaped by hand
Women seem to do the heavy lifting
Graeme and Izzy get their shoes fixed!
A weekly town meeting in the village of Kalpa

The village of Kalpa is cute and friendly with a temple, monastery and school. The townspeople are having their community meeting which is very cool, even though I can’t understand a word of it!

A wedding dance in Roghi village

The others catch a wedding ceremony in the next village and get involved in some dancing. We all enjoy the day off as our rooms are so amazing with views of the mountains and attention to detail in every room. The food was exceptional here and I especially enjoy one of the staff, a delightful young man by the name of Shibum. He has taught himself English from movies (particularly Harry Potter which he loves) and the internet.

I fall in love with Shibum – such a beautiful nature

We are advised the road out in the morning will be closed as they will be “blasting” but we can take a 20-kilometre diversion. We head off early as it will take several hours more to ride the diversion – it doesn’t take long to turn into the most challenging road to date! It’s not so good for pillions and I decide it’s beyond my capabilities, so three of us end up in the jeep!

No room on the hair-pin bend for everyone!
The mechanic, Imran, takes my bike over the rest of the diversion

It’s very much a single-lane unsealed minor road with major drop-offs to the valley below. Even being in the jeep is very scary but these drivers are just the best. We finally finish the 20-kilometres of diversion and make it to the checkpoint gate to be ticked off. The road now follows the river again but is full of roadworks and active blasting. At one point we are all lined up waiting to get through an area and a guy is using a jack-hammer directly above me! Brian runs into the back of Kamal’s bike and breaks his clutch lever and side mirror! A little car does a u-turn in front of me and just about runs me into the river! We keep climbing and the scenery becomes more and more spectacular and like a moonscape. This is what we came here for.

Time to chat while they blast and work all around us
The road is not bad here as the scenery becomes more like a moonscape
Heading up the Chayo Pass
Another hour’s wait here while they blast the rock-face

Towards the top of the pass we have to wait for nearly an hour while they blast and work on the road. Our lunch stop is at the top and it’s evident we are close to the Chinese border as the people are starting to change again in looks and the food has a very Chinese flair to it with moo moo, a Chinese dumpling and a cabbage soup with noodles. The road has been quite a mixture on the way up and once we reach the summit and begin the descent it becomes quite pleasurable. 

Cooking our lunch at the top of Chayo Pass
Our first signs of snow from the Chayo Pass
This is what we came for – remote moonscapes and good roads
Riding over Chayo Pass – 3700 metres
Green oasis created from a barren earth
And after you’ve been up – you have to come down – sensational!

We ride along the river with 1000-metre-high banks of scree and the road running through the side of it. The sheerness and size are almost overwhelming and the changing lights of the day make the scenery even more special as we finally make the small village of Tabo.

Posted by Kamal Sharma on Friday, July 12, 2019

24 Comments

  1. Beverley Tidwell July 30, 2019 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    That cliff face ride!

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:50 am - Reply

      The whole country is cliff-face rides!!

  2. Ga July 30, 2019 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Bull, good to hear from you…we were about to send out a search party…

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:51 am - Reply

      Canada looms Ga…will be so good to see yas xxx

  3. Jen Green July 30, 2019 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Wow that scenery in the video is stunning.There would be no return off Roghi Cliff. It is scary just looking at it. I wonder how many landslides occur in a year! I witnessed women doing very heavy lifting work in India – carrying the weight of rocks/cement etc on their heads. Your journey is amazing. XX Jen

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:52 am - Reply

      The men seem to do the cooking a lot, but yes, women are often labourers. Wonder what their necks are like later on…

  4. Sue McDonald July 30, 2019 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Amazing photos and video Lee!! You are very brave!!
    Good to have you safely home!
    Sue.
    xx

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:52 am - Reply

      Thanks Sue…not a ride for the faint-hearted! xxx

  5. Mal July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am - Reply

    The roads look to be a challenge!!
    Spectacular views. Ride safe
    mal

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:53 am - Reply

      Shall do blue!

  6. Vera July 29, 2019 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Amazing!!! Wow!! Speechless!!

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:54 am - Reply

      Hi Vera, sure is. Hard to believe there are 1.4 billion people in this country – they’re sure not up in the Himalayas!!

  7. Jenni July 29, 2019 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    OMG, I’d be walking as well with that drop….😯

    • Lee August 16, 2019 at 8:35 am - Reply

      You know Jen, I kept close to the inside cliff even walking – one kilometre is a long way down!

  8. Diane July 29, 2019 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    What scary roads-you would have got your father up there Paul. He hated going up Mt Victoria in Devonport

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:57 am - Reply

      I reckon he would definitely have hated that road Diane! Hat, he wouldn’t go near it!

  9. Lynne Meredith July 29, 2019 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    A trip I will never forget. Photos give a taste of what we experienced. Great photos.

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:58 am - Reply

      Thanks Lynne, absolutely! And friends for life is an added bonus xxx

  10. Sue Hird July 29, 2019 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Oh my goodness!!! Terrifying roads but amazing scenery, and what a wonderful hotel room.
    Fantastic photos as always and the video was very scary for me!

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 5:59 am - Reply

      Cheers Sue, some scarier video to come!!

  11. BRUCE F NEWEY July 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I have done some crazy stuff in rally cars but I would NOT drive that road! Hope you are having fun it looks amazing.

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 6:00 am - Reply

      Thanks Cuz, the worst part is when a bus or truck comes at you!! Enjoying every moment xx

  12. Ken July 29, 2019 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I like the comment about who should be responsible for the heavy lifting. Enjoy.

    • Lee July 31, 2019 at 6:00 am - Reply

      You would!!

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