Spiti Expedition – Final Leap – Kalpa to Delhi via Shimla (610 KM)
Once again we signed off previous day in anticipation of what next is in store for us and we were delighted by the amazing sight of entire Kinner Kailash Range in front of us. It was scenic and mystical. We adored the beauty of the place and got rejuvenated for the last phase of our journey. This was the last major halt of our journey as post that we would only take an overnight technical halt. We were feeling nostalgic as day by day our adventurous road trip was coming towards its end. We had set a target of either Narkanda or Shimla for our overnight halt. For the next two days plan was simple to follow the below route to reach our destination:
Kalpa – Rampur Bushahr – Theog – Shimla – Chandigarh – Ambala – Delhi
We had an exhilarating morning at Kalpa with beautiful view of Kinner Kailash Mountain ranges. We were mesmerised by the scenic beauty, surrounding apple orchards and enchanting view of the Kinner Kailash. The mystical feeling was omnipresent and we spent beautiful time in the vicinity. It was so attractive that we were pulled by its magnificence. After breakfast we started our journey at 12:00 p.m. with trip meter at 2750 KM. We cautiously passed through narrow and winding roads of Kalpa. It was a descent of almost 22 KM towards NH22. Since the treacherous part of highway has already been covered we were comfortable with our onward journey. After driving for few KM on highway we faced a small road blockage due to clearance of debris from highway caused by landslide previous evening due to heavy rains. The highway remained closed for overnight. The landslide had covered quite a large area of highway and it reminded us of the uncertainties that one lives through while travelling through these terrain. We travelled on NH22 alongside Sutlej River and took few halts to imbibe the bounty of nature and reached Rampur @ 5:00 p.m. thereby covering 115 KMs.
All set to conquer the last leap of the journey
Winding & narrow roads through chilgoza forest
Tricolour at Reckong Peo amidst beautiful backdrop
Landslide affected area on NH22
Once again we saw a drastic change in topography and it was getting more greener – a contrast from barren mountains of Spiti. The road conditions were better with few rough patches in between. Weather was also playing hide and seek with us with rains as well as hailstorms in between broad sunlight. We haven’t seen such kind of hailstorm earlier. The size of ice was like that of a marble. It was a difficult phase for our bikers as they were directly exposed to the impact of falling ice. After a small break with hailstorm we continued our onward journey. After crossing Rampur we started looking for stay options. Initially we thought of taking a halt at Narkanda but given the time that we had, we decided to move ahead. We finalised LR Homestay at Theog (30 KM ahead of Narkanda) for our overnight stay. It turned out to be an epic last overnight halt of this sojourn. This homestay was like a mansion parched on hill top with a very steep make shift road with hairpin bends. It needed some serious driving skills to reach the place. We reached our destination @ 8:30 p.m. and had covered 219 KMs during the day. After dinner we signed off for the day.
Rainbow formation due to water droplets at Sutlej River
Collection of Ice post hailstorm
An epic gateway
Sunset and its vivid colours
Once again we woke up with a beautiful view of valley and felt like all our effort to reach this place was worth it. Throughout our Spiti sojourn we had an awesome stay at every place with best view of that location. We were ready for the last leg of our journey. After breakfast we started our journey at 9:55 a.m. with trip meter at 2969 KM. Within an hour we reached Shimla but after that it was the most annoying phase of our entire journey with traffic jams and chaos. After Shimla, it almost took us 4 hours to reach Chandigarh. We crossed Chandigarh @ 4:15 p.m. thereby covering 131 KMs during the day. We moved ahead and reached Ambala @ 5 p.m. where we took a snacks break and continued our journey.
LR Homestay on hill top
View of valley from homestay
We drove through steep cemented road from highway to reach LR Homestay
Temple near homestay
Time for the victory lap
A random halt in between
Finally, we reached Delhi @ 10 p.m. thereby covering a distance of 391 KMs from Shimla. Overall, we had covered 3360 KMs starting from Mumbai. A trip that will remain embedded forever in our heart till eternity and has given the impetus to plan for more exciting road trips ahead. Cheers to the team for successful completion of an adventurous road trip. We will meet again for another exhilarating trip. Till then enjoy reading & exploring!