We drove to kalpa. It was supposed to be a good place to stay. But we were late.
We did come across a travellers’ den in Kalpa, The kinds i loved but it failed to impress Rishi. Nonetheless we found a decent place to rest our bones, we also found some company. this group of three guys, two among them expats and the indian was douchebag. One of them wanted to stay in Kibber for a long time and the other was just travelling across india. It was decent evening company to catch dinner with.
I started to hate this destination hoping, i wanted to get a tent, so that we camp when we want where we want. the hotel owner at kalpa wanted me to buy his tent and i spent a good morning listening to all the places the tent had been to. I will get the picture printed on a cloth and make a flag out of each one of them to be stitched to the tent, i thought. The buddhist flags were doing their magic i guess.
The drive from kalpa to sangla was beautiful laced with apple bushes on both sides of the lane and the destination, sangla, even better. We saw this old monk walking on the road with a load on his back. one step after the other, he just kept on walking at a small pace. He must at least be 5 hrs away from his destination. He had such calm face we did not feel like disturbing him. He just walked at a small pace.
Rishi found his own faith i guess. He found a Naga Baba covered with ashes, head to toe, sitting in a samadhi on the side of the road. He stopped the car even before i noticed. What the heck, lets chill with some burnt divine spirit this time. Baba was so much impressed with Rishi, more with his name. They had a bond i must say. That had its own platinum moment worth Rs. 2000.
We also gave lift to a fauji who wanted to reach his base. He did not smoke, we shared fruits. he told us about the military in the area and i remembered Sangla was the last settlement before the Indo-China Border.
Quite a social journey. It was like god was giving us our last chance to be with humans. Soon enough we would not have many to see.
We had an amazingly lazy morning with amazing fresh food cooked at the guest house in Raksham. I had a job interview to negotiate before i went off the grid. Sangla was out last stop before we really took the plunge into the Himalayan desert of spiti. It never rained beyond Sangla.
Sangla is one heaven on earth. I walked halfway from Raksham to sangla. Beautiful valley with white stones and red flowers. This will be what Kasol was 3 years back, and i am going to come here often.
The car refused to start after we crossed a nala on the way to raksham. I was starting to feel things are going to be different.
But we have to go.