19.9.2011 Rampur – Chitkul (the last village of India – walking distance to Tibet)
Let’s get up at 7:00 and have breakfast at 08:00, I’m told. Well, I got up in time, but cannot find anyone in the breakfast room. The guys must have partied a bit longer, I think. Anyway, I go ahead with breakfast.
As I’m always curious, I check the kitchen first:
Eventually, the rest of the gang gets into gears. The group will split up: 6 of them will go back straight to Manali. The others decide to do the entire “Spiti Valley circle” and cross the Rothang Pass back to Manali. A photo shooting prior to departure is a must:
I’m asked if I’d like to join the “brave group”, Raphael, Guy and Einav, which I’m happy to, as they go my route. Somehow we get lost right at the beginning of the convey, but meet at the next “Indian Oil” gas-station again. There, a local Enfield rider tells me about a temple nearby, which we must not miss. We decided to go up there, visit the temple and have lunch.
Guy, Einav and Raphael:
As I always look for “High-Speed” or “Power” quality petrol (which is btw max. 93 Octan), I haven’t filled up in Rampur. As the “remaining distance” on my dashboard goes down quickly, I start to get nervous. There hasn’t been any gas station for quite some time. At the crossing up to Chitkal, I leave the group to search for petrol. I know that I won’t make it up to Chitkul and back. Neither my GPS nor the map or local people can tell me the location for the next gas station, so I’m getting nervous. Luckily I find one some 14 km further down the road.
Needless to say, there wasn’t any of the premium quality petrol I was hoping for. However, a full tank is always satisfying. It’s already getting dark as I leave the gas station. I’ll need to go all the way back and from the crossing it’s about 40 km to Chitkul. This will be my first ride offroad in the dark. A bit scary, but fortunately I have auxiliary lights, which proof to be working great. This is also a great situation for some tests with my P.O.V HD camera, which worked great!
On the way up I find Nadav, who we met at the temple. He looks a bit exhausted! No wonder, his Enfield has a headlight comparable to a candle. I drive behind him to light up his way.
Once arrived, we are welcomed by the rest of the group, who are happy that we made it in the dark. We have dinner at the guesthouse and a great time sharing stories.