Archive for the ‘India’ Category


Today was the first day of my annual leave. Up to now it’s just been weekend and work-life balance days. Work- life balance feels so removed from where I am, sitting in a roadside store in the remote Himalayan village of Dubling, camping in the owner’s yard. I’m back on the road again.

Today had lots of different elements. Morning rain. An interesting discussion while watching the rain. Technical difficulties. Bad road surface but spectacular views. An unexpected camping experience in Dubling.

My hotel guest mate goes around to schools and puts on an educational performance. An interesting life. He had lots of tips for the road forward.

I’ll cut to the chase, and show some photos from this beautiful road.

The hotel that I was expecting in Dubling wasn’t there. I’d deliberately avoided the village of Pooh to stay in Dubling near the start of tomorrow’s big climb.

The kind shop owner let me pitch my tent in his yard. No longer credit card touring – just lots of human to human contacts.

I asked if there was somewhere to get dinner, and I was told that would be sorted out. A sequence of misunderstandings saw me go to bed when they shut up shop, and eat some biscuits in my tent. Then, when I was almost asleep I was invited to dinner. My hindi is, indeed, not brilliant. The evening was the perfect example of having to go with the flow, and see where out leads you.


I sat on the balcony, breathing in the view of the massive mountains on the opposite side of the valley. In front was the temple village of Kalpa. Slowly, slowly, the shadows of the mountains behind crept up the mountains in front until it faded to darkness.

The weather changed with a thunderstorm at 2am last night. It was cloudy and beautiful weather for climbing up the valley today.

The narrow road was cut out of a vertical cliff in parts. In others it dropped down to run just above the river.

There were lots of hydro electricity plants and lots of military garrisons. Regularly I was passed by one military truck after the next. You can tell this is near the disputed border with China.

The highlight was the climb from the valley to the capital of the district – Reckong Peo, and then up to the temple village of Kalpa. It was a bit of a slog though. Kalpa is over 1000m above the river.

I’m all kitted out for a forey tomorrow across the inner line – the area near the Chinese border.


‘And you switch it on for hot water.’
The hotel manager dangled the electric wire in the bucket of water, plugged the end into the power socket, and flicked the switch. There was a flash from the bucket in the dim, concrete floored room as the manager smiled, the fan creaking rhythmically in the background.

My spare battery sat happily on top of the fan control unit, the plug made taught in the socket with a rubber band. My clothes were sprawled out on the bed. I had decided not to climb the 700m up the side of the valley to the temple. I was hot and tired and I could feel the cramp coming on in my leg. Instead of the climb, I decided on an early night and an early start to bring myself to cooler climes.

I’m glad I did. I had a nice experience watching the shoemaker fixing up the crack in my sandals, and checked out the hot springs. I also had brief success eeking out a few WhatsApp messages at the cyber cafĂ©.

After a breakfast at the happy chef’s restaurant from last night, I had a wonderful decent into the valley – nearly 2000m along a good quality road, not so steep to necessitate braking, with beautiful views.

I even met some other cyclists – Jessica and Thomas from NZ who have just finished the Karokorum Highway.

The valley was beautiful, and the road followed it, slowly rising higher and higher above the brown rushing water.

The road continues upward tomorrow – bringing me closer to the Spiti Valley. Yay!