JUL 25,2012 - AUG 04,2012 (11 DAYS)
The road from Manali to Spiti and Kinor is probably one of the most beautiful and diversified roads I've seen in my travels so far. Within a few days you get to see Mountains, rivers, desert and green forests. While some parts of the road are not for the faint hearted. this was definitely a good one, especially if you haven't got the chance to visit Leh and Ladakh before.
We started our trip to the Spiti and Kinor vallies from Manali and headed out in a jeep to Kaza which is the main city in Spiti valley. The ride was long and hard (~10 hours) but the views were amazing.
The first few hours are dedicated to crossing the KardungLa which is one of the most beautiful and terrifying we ever had to go through. The Death Road in Bolivia seemed peanuts next to some of the moments there. The greeen lushes around you and the mountains all around are just beautiful. Once you cross the crossing you are in
The crossing into Spiti valley is amazing and its definetely worth making a stop in the Stupa on top of it for some amazing views and picture opportunities
We did a 3 day trek from Kaza to the villages around it . The trek was nice and really allowed us to get to know the villages and people of the Spiti valley. The walk wasn't hard, between 4-6 hours of walk every day with just one relatively small crossing on the second day. To organize it we got some guidance from the nice people in Ecoshpere who are helping the people of the valley's villages to organize the homestays in which you sleep thourghout the trek.
Watch out fot the weather and make sure you are accustomed to the heights as the trek starts at 4200m and just goes higher.
Otherwise you are in for a treat of local life and mountain views.
To be honest, the best thing about Kaza is the German bakery and even that is just OK. We stayed at a couple of the hotels/rooms near the bus station and in the city. Bring your own sheets and don't expect much.