Visting GUE village and Moanstery and Meeting the ITBP guys
So after surviving the night at sumdo , tough task next day was the morning rituals Bathrooms are closed in higher parts of himachal in winters due to pipe blockage and fear of them bursting if anyone opens the taps.so you have to go outside in open to do the thing.I had already experienced it last night but going out in the morning with all the GREF ITBP persons in sight seemed a bit awkward.So i tried finding the bathrooms that the GREF personals use.While walking around the GREF camp i saw their kitchen and as i was unable to find the bathroom i thought i should i ask them instead.I went to the kitchen and suddenly 4-5 persons there saluted me and said RAM RAM SIR and i was like “Oh phencho yeh kya hua” and then i remembered i was wearing a monkey cap , jungle shoes and a olive jacket like the ITBP guys do and told them that i was looking for the bathroom.They gave the directions and i came out with a smile on my face.
next task was to start the bulls parked outside.last night was the first time the bulls were parked outside under minus temprature.it must have been around -5 or -7 i guess.I washed my hands and some drops of water fell on my bag.when i shifted them inside after 20 minutes or so minutes i saw the drops had changed to ice.So i was expecting a bit of work in starting the machines in the morning.Me and sumit were the first ones to try and as sumit is one experienced biker , with his tips the bulls started without any major effort.Started packing our bags and other stuff and just as we were about to leave we noticed that Yudi was still struggling with his bike and the struggle continued for another half an hour before sumit checked it to find that the bike was not going to start soon due to oil in spark plugs and carb.he cleaned one spark plug and carb but the other one we couldnt open as we needed to open the whole tank system for that.Some mechanics from GREF too tried but couldnt so we decided to leave the bike there and yudi will now ride as pillon with deepinder paaji.
So we talked to GREF guys and left the bike there at the RH and started our journey towards tabo.Sumit and Anik had a talk with the person at RH and he had told them about the mummified monk at GUE village which was some 12 kms from sumdo.So at the diversion they asked others about the same.I wasnt not in favor as we were already behind schedule but agreed as everyone wanted to see it.Took the diversion and started our journey towards gue.Roads or i must say the path towards gue was worst.Landslide , melting snow , black ice , slush etc etc.but somewhow crossing all we reached GUE and now the task was to find the person who has the key to the monastery.While the gang was looking for the person i went ahead to check the road which leads to the monastery.the main road was blocked due to snowfall so i took another road which took me to an ITBP camp.I enquired about the monastery and the person there was also from Jammu and he told me that there was a road all the upto monastery but it was blocked due to snow.He permitted us to park our bike inside the ITBP camp.Other too came with the boy who had the keys.Other ITBP guys too joined in and the JAAN PEHCHAAN started as most of them were from punjab too.They were happy to see us as less people come to this part of spiti and none in the conditions we went there.We started the 50 mt climb towards monastery but it was enough to make us struggle to breathe.Less oxygen , cold climate and steep climb.What else could one expect.
Somehow reached the monastery and saw another ITBP bunker there.Talked to guys there and they told us that the mountain in front of us has a passage that leads to china border.So they have to keep an eye on it.And one of them joked about there conditions too saying “yahan aisi jagah itni thand main baithe hai akele.Na hi tourist aate hain aur na saale chinese aap log aaye milke acha laga.”
After visting the monastery we came back to the camp and were about to start the bikes when we saw a few ITBP men coming with chairs in their hands.The told us to sit down for a while and when we did the surprise started.First came pack of juice.we were served 2-3 glasses each and then other eatables followed.These guys living under such extreme conditions far from their families still giving us food from their ration gave us the feeling no words can explain.In return we had nothing to give them but a few moments of smile and joy.Anik and yudi did a dance performance and later the whole gang joined in.The smiles on their faces were our trophies that day.After spending an hour their we started our journey back and reached hurling at about 1:30 .Ate lunch there and we were at tabo around 3 PM.
I had been there but this time of the year tabo looked like a deserted place.We went to the monastery and parked our bikes there.Sumit went in the village to look for Rajinder uncles house while rest of us sat outside monastery.Sumit found the house and we took off our luggage and went to the house.Rajinder uncle was still in chandigarh but his wife was there in tabo as she was the village head .we were supposed to be at tabo last night but we couldnt and as such they were worried about us .we were at fault here as we didnt informed them about it.we were served tea which was the thing we needed the most at that time.it was cold there too as expected and there were signs of snowfall there as the streets were blocked there too.Rajinder uncle owns hotels as tabo and rangrik but due to winters they were closed and we were glad that they were as we got a chance to live in their house and experience their culture.we sat in a room that had a chimney type thing in centre.it was used for cooking purpose and kept the whole room warm too.After 2 days of staying at rest houses in cold we were at a home and it felt amazing.Aunty was joined by her friend who worked at the tabo branch of SBI and boy what a lady she was.Joking around and telling stories and trying to speak punjabi and all.
In the meantime Aunty had arranged hot water for us and we all took bath after 2 days.There was bathroom there but as expected it was locked too but good news was we didnt have to go in open as they had dry bathroom there.the concept is simple , there is a small room full of mud and a hole in it.you do the thing , pick some mud with the spade and throw it over your waste and that it.looked a bit awkward but still better than doing it under open sky.
Dinner was prepared too.Good thing about the villages in upper parts is that the people there are the nicest you will meet.They are friendly , helpful with no greed.We thought it would be a tough task for aunty to manage food for 7 people but we didnt knew that there were already a few women there in the kitchen to help her as if one person’s guest are whole village’s guest.We were served food and it felt amazing eating home cooked food after eating kaam chalau daal chawal for 2 days.we were given two rooms with one having heater and other the same chimney that was in main room.That night we slept good as we had good food and now warm rooms.