Motorcycle Raid To The Spiti Circuit 14N/15D

Day 01: New Delhi – Kalka – Shimla (By Train/Car)

You shall be joining the tour by boarding a train at the New Delhi Railway Station or another convenient location informed to you (if you haven’t purchased a Meet & Greet ).  This early morning air-conditioned express train will bring you to Kalka, at the footsteps of the Himalayas, in about 4 hours.  Breakfast is served in the train & is inclusive in the fare.  From Kalka a 3 hour road journey in an AC Car will bring you to the erstwhile “summer capital” of India.
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Day 02: Shimla (short familiarisation ride – 50 KM)

Today you’ll meet your Royal Enfield Motorcycle, your ride for the next several days.  After an exhaustive briefing by your ride leader you’ll be taking a short ride in an effort to know your bike better and to get familiar with its controls and riding conditions in India.  The rest of the day is free for leisure or sight-seeing.   The evening can be spent taking a stroll on The Mall, soaking-in the charm of Shimla & its surrounds and visiting the Christ Church on the Ridge.
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Day 03: Shimla – Narkanda (70 KM)

After breakfast it’s time to kickoff your motorcycle tour.  Today’s ride is comparatively short but challenging nonetheless.  You’ll be leaving Shimla and riding up the Hindustan-Tibet Highway (NH-22) to Narkanda, situated at 2720 M amidst dense “deodar” forest.

Day 04: Narkanda – Sangla (165 KM)

Riding further on the NH-22 you’ll continue towards Kinnaur.  Riding along the fierce Sutlej river flowing angrily in the gorges below you’ll reach Karchham.  At this turning point, a road continues towards Spiti and another turns towards the Baspa Valley and on to the beautifull village of Sangla.  This is another 18 km stretch of narrow winding road with hair-raising gorges & cliffs high above the Baspa river gushing below.  Accommodation is in comfortable tented camps at a beautiful setting at the banks of the river.
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Day 05: Sangla  (Return trip to Chitkul – 44 KM)

After enjoying a quite morning in the lap of Sangla valley you’ll saddle-up once again, for a short ride to Chitkul, another quaint village in the Baspa Valley.  Chitkul is the last village on this road towards border with Tibet (China) and offers great views of snow clad peaks of the Kinnaur region.  After spending a little time here you’ll return to Sangla in time for lunch.  The evening is at your disposal to take a walk along the Baspa river or just enjoy the view & the setting from the camp.
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Day 06: Sangla – Kalpa (55 KM)

Again backtracking to the NH-22 at Karchham you’ll continue on the road towards Recong Peo, nestled 7 km above which is the village of Kalpa.  You’ll most likely be spending this day absorbing the stunning views of the “Kinner Kailash” and reminiscing the past few days after you left Shimla.  Or perhaps, taking walks around this lovely village & its apple orchards.  We, on the other hand, will be busy arranging your Inner-line permits (which are required by “foreign visitors” for visiting the areas ahead) and giving the motorcycles a thorough check-up for the journey ahead.  You’ll be heading further up the NH-22 tomorrow and soon enter a region devoid of certain amenities (cell phone networks & provision stores, among other things) so its your last chance to make long distance phone calls & stack-up on toiletries & whatnot.

Day 07: Kalpa – Nako Lake (120 KM)

As you ride further up the Hindustan-Tibet highway, the mountain landscape starts to change from green to rocky & barren.  Still riding along the Sutlej you’ll reach Spello where your permits will be checked at a Police check-post.  Another 35 km ride will bring you to Khab, a small village at the confluence of the Spiti & Sutlej rivers.  Leaving Sutlej, from this point on you’ll be riding along the Spiti river to reach Nako, a village situated near the small but beautiful Nako lake (3660 M).  This is first of the many high altitude lakes visited by you on this tour.  The location of this village is remote & infrastructure is basic.  Accommodation here, is in comfortable tented camps.
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Day 08: Nako – Tabo – Kaza (115 KM)

Today’s ride will take you further up into higher mountains (& across the infamous “Maling Nala”, your first major water crossing) and down to Chango where you’ll enter Spiti Valley.  Your first destination is Tabo where you visit the historic monastery.  After having a look at the 1000 year old monastery, a 47 km ride along the Spiti river brings you to Kaza.

Day 09: Kaza

Kaza is the head-quarters of the Spiti sub-division and you’ll be staying here for two consecutive nights.  You’ll be able to use facilities like Internet & long distance phone calls again, “luxuries” you left behind at Kalpa.  You’ll also be visiting the Key Gompa and Komic village (4275 M), considered to be one of the highest villages in Asia, on your motorcycle.

Day 10: Kaza – Chandra Tal (100 KM)

Continuing up the Spiti Valley & further into higher Himalayas, today you’ll arrive at the second High Altitude Lake on your tour.  After crossing a high pass (Kunzum La, 4550 M) and a couple of streams (glacier melts) you’ll reach a pasture land 4 KM short of the beautiful & desolate lake of Chandra Taal (Vehicles are not allowed beyond this point & camping is no longer permitted near the lake shore). Here, the accommodation will be at a “make-shift” camp-site in “dome” tent (sleeps two each).  Sleeping bags will be provided.  Dinner & breakfast will be basic “camping meals”.  Call of nature will have to be answered in a small toilet tents or “in the open”, as per your preference.
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Day 11: Chandra Taal – Manali (140 KM)

After breakfast, you’ll say goodbye to the “Moon Lake” and  head down into the Lahaul Valley, along the Chandra, a river originating from a glacier near Baralacha La.  The road (or the lack of it) from Chandra Taal all the way to Gramphu (where it meets the popular Manali-Leh “highway”) offers some of the most thrilling riding experience you’ll have on this tour.  This stretch of the journey has several big & small water crossings challenging enough to test your grit & determination.  After Gramphu  you leave the Chandra river behind as you ride up to Rohtang La (3978 M).  The scenery starts to turn a lot greener as you head down the Rohtang pass to the town of Manali.  Situated along the banks of River Beas at the northern end of the Kullu valley, Manali is a popular tourist destination attracting thousands of Indian tourists in the summers who want to beat the heat of the plains.

Day 12: Manali

Another day for relaxation, exploration or contemplation depending on your inclination.

Day 13: Manali – Shoja (110 KM)

Heading south from Manali, along the banks of the Beas, today’s ride takes you through some beautiful scenery.  Riding down the Kullu valley past Naggar, you’ll leave behind the Beas and turn south-east towards Banjar at  Aut.  From here, a 38 kilometer long path lined with apple orchards leads you to your destination, a small hamlet called Shoja, right on the edge of “The Great Himalayan National Park”.

Day 14: Shoja – Shimla (155 KM)
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You’ll saddle-up yet again and for the last time on this tour for your journey to Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh &  the erstwhile “summer capital” of India.

Day 15: Shimla – New Delhi (By Car/Train)

It’s time to say your good-bye’s to fellow travelers & the Himalayas.  You’ll be taking a 3 hour Car/MUV ride down the Shivalik range to its footsteps at Kalka from where an Express Train will take you to New Delhi (in about another 4 hours) which shall be the “end” of your tour.  Dinner is served in the train & is inclusive in the fare.  If you’ve purchased a “Farewell”  you’ll be transferred to the hotel where your accommodation has been arranged.

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