After another icy night, I crawled out of the tent the next morning. The whole landscape was covered with fresh snow and the next storm was already underway. Thus, I had no choice but to cycle back to Kaza. In a single day I cycled all the way back and arrived totally settled there in the evening.
I made a fatal mistake: I was too tired to cook and therefore decided to eat in the hostel. The Indians have no idea about hygiene. I suddenly realized that when I ran to the bathroom in the middle of the night and carried all the food back up.
Finally, it took another 8 days until I had recovered to some extent (antibiotics thank!). So I had some time to explore the area and make plans.
Kaza is the real capital in the Spiti Valley. This is also a good place to refresh your supplies. The internet did not work here most of the time, and many lodging and restaurants are still closed at this time of the year.
It was not easy for me to make a decision about my onward journey. The Kunzum La Pass would remain closed until the end of May. I would not have minded waiting a few weeks here. However, my India visa expired soon. So only the retreat left me.
The staff from the hostel in Kaza advised me to make a detour to Langza, Hikkim, Komic and the Pin Valley. The drive from Kaza (3'650 m above sea level) to Langza (4'410 m above sea level) got off to a good start. Although the village is only 14km away, I needed half a day for the route.
Langza has a rather large Buddha statue overlooking the valley, with Chau Chau Kang Nilda (6,303 m above sea level) in the background.
The road to Hikkim was for the most part a single marsh. Just before Komic (4'520 m above sea level) it got a bit better and I did not have to push Dusty (my bike) through the morass. Shortly before Komic, I put up my tent totally exhausted.
Although I only managed 23km that day, I was completely exhausted. At night, temperatures dropped to -10 ° C. My sleeping bag can not stand such conditions. Luckily I had enough clothes not to freeze during the night.
The next day I visited the Tangyud monastery, which is located above the village and probably dates from the 14th century. It was badly damaged during an 1972 earthquake. In winter just 4 monks live here. One of them led me through the whole area. Supposedly, this is one of the highest, year-round inhabited places in Asia.
The road to Demul was unfortunately still impassable. So I drove back to Kaza and from there towards Pin Valley. Right at the entrance to the valley, where the Pin and Spiti rivers flow together, the first thunderstorm front came to me.
So I soon set up my tent near the Pin River. Here you can camp undisturbed everywhere and the people leave you alone. It was just this silence and loneliness that I missed so much!
After another cold night, I reached the village of Gulling the next morning. About 3km outside on a hill is the Kungri Monastery. It is considered the center of the Tantric School of Buddhism and was founded in 1330.
Everywhere in the monastery was still snow spread. The monks allowed me to visit the 2 oldest parts of the complex (from the 14th century). Especially the murals I found very nice.
The same day I went back to the Spiti Valley and rested in Tabo in the guesthouse of the monastery for 2 days. If you drive the same route twice, you sometimes discover things you have not noticed before.
The climb up to Nako was really hard. The last time I came through here, a rock fall had swept the street away. Now she was already repaired. Here I enjoyed the last quiet night.
Already in the Kinnaur region I was caught up again by the Indian everyday life. I did not miss the traffic, the congested streets, the honking concerts, the crowds of people, the mountains of garbage and above all the tropical heat. After only a few hours, I wished myself back to the Spiti Valley.
This time I decided to cycle on the main road via Shimla to Rishikesh. What was a mistake in my opinion. Especially the many trucks and buses did not make the trip pleasant. Every day I saw serious accidents, which did not surprise me in the Indian driving style.
In addition, I usually had great difficulty finding a campground. I tried to avoid Indian accommodations as much as possible because of the many negative experiences. After 9 days I reached Rishikesh, where I recovered for a few days and finally enjoyed a real shower again.
From Rishikesh I drove back to the Nepalese border in 2 days, thankfully escaping the Indian traffic. Cycling in India is enormously dangerous in my view and I would not recommend it.
The people of India I found to be very friendly and helpful. However, I did not realize a few things at all. Especially the mountains of garbage and the whole mess were a bit too much for my taste and the constant "Can I take a Selfie with you?" - Questions got on my nerves.
The trip to the Spiti Valley, on the other hand, was definitely a highlight from which I will drag all my life. The lifestyle of the people mixed with the beautiful mountain landscape have fascinated me deeply. So far, I've only been able to find a few places on this planet that are so unique in my travels. Hopefully this region can preserve its culture and traditions.
A German motorcyclist described the Spiti valley very well in Nepal: "It is the most beautiful place in India because it is not like India". I can only agree with this statement.