"Are you sure about riding to Keylong after visiting Chandratal?", asked a fellow rider at Losar, where we met for breakfast after beginning our ride from Kaza. I smiled and nodded my head. "You are too ambitious", blurted his friend. I smiled again. I bade good bye and rode on tough roads with a light drizzle to Kunzum pass, Chandratal and further to Batal.
On reaching Batal, I stopped for a late lunch at the only dhaba there. When I mentioned with a smile that the roads were terrible, the dhaba owner smirked and said, "The road you travelled at least had a track, there is no road from here on." The smile disappeared and I stared at the road ahead.
The drizzle continued and from then on it was a four hour ride through one of the most secluded and grueling stretches between Spiti and Lahaul. The magnificent barren landscapes were enchanting with mountains in the backdrop and clouds hovering. The gruesome ride was over riverbeds, through deadly stream crossings and mud tracks amidst boulders. Apart from the tiny settlement at Chatru, the whole route was devoid of people, except for the odd vehicle that passed by. Amidst all this, I couldn't help admiring the breathtaking landscapes. The final hour of the ride was led by the high beam of my bike. I couldn't complete my ambitious ride, but managed to reach Gramphoo, where the road from Kaza touches the Manali- Leh Highway. I ended the day's ride at Khoksar, 45 Kms before Keylong. This was without a doubt the most adventurous ride I have ever undertaken and was quite relieved when I reached the highway in the midst of darkness.
Below are a few images of the landscapes and a couple of videos from the ride.