A Tale of ‘Un-expectations’: Dixita’s Spiti Valley Trip with Thrillophilia

A Tale of ‘Un-expectations’: Dixita’s Spiti Valley Trip with Thrillophilia

We all do realise often, that we never focus much on the tidbits in the kitchen, but those are the elements that add that extra touch of crunch and flavour to the meals. For example, peanuts, or our favourite namkeens.

So, coming to the point, like the last 4 years, this year I went to Spiti, AGAIN. This time, I realised the importance of these tidbits, with small tricks and treats that transformed my trip.

After shuffling through several tour operators, both regional and corporate, this year I decided to undertake this trip with Thrillophilia. Since I heard a lot of good reviews of their Spiti itinerary, I was quite interested to see how the trip unfolded.

The booking process was, as usual, all online and hassle-free. But what I liked the most was their suggestion about visiting Spiti in March. I never toured this destination this month, so I thought why not give it a try?

And so I did, after convincing two of my other friends to come with me. The departure day was close, so we had to pack up our bags within a matter of a week!

The Arrival

They say you can hear the call of the mountains, waiting to welcome you in their embrace. And there we were, standing in Delhi ISBT taking our first step to answer that call. I was travelling with two of my friends on a group tour to Spiti. This place is my respite, and it was my 5th time visiting this destination. So more than excited, I was looking forward to what new experience I could have there.

After reaching Shimla, we met Sachin Sharma, our tour leader. He introduced us to the rest of the group with whom we would be travelling, and then we boarded the bus to Chitkul.

The road to Spiti is unimaginably beautiful, crossing frozen rivers, expansive meadows with sky-high mountains in the backdrop, and through dramatic landscapes. On the way we got to interact with some of our fellow group members in Hindustan ka Akhri Dhaba, and by the time we reached our destination, we had bonded over some soul-soothing tea and bowls of maggi.

Then came the first surprise- our stay in Chitkul. It was better than I expected. It was a cottage stay, with wooden floors and windows overlooking the breathtaking sight of the snow-covered mountains which we could not see in the dark of the night. But the next morning we woke up to the promised sight. The mountains seemed familiar to me, and to them, perhaps I seemed familiar too!

So, starting the day with a wide grin on my face, we set out for our next destination.

Unexpected Twists Lead To surprising turns!

All was fine until we reached Nako monastery and our group dispersed. We had to wait a good 2 hours for all of them to return, and that caused some issues. Our tour leader tried to manage the situation as it was getting heated at the moment, and one of the travellers started misbehaving with him as well.

Amazingly, Sachin handled the circumstances with a cool mind and resolved the issues. It is rare to see tour leaders with such good management skills and a calm mind. Anyway, the rest of them passed well, however, the next challenge arrived the very next morning.

One of my friends suddenly started sweating, and it got so severe that we had to call for medical help. Thankfully, the tour operators had proper medical kits with inhalers and oxygen cylinders to help her. After she calmed down, they gave her a Diamox and asked her to rest for the day.

We had to leave for Kaza that day, and the bus was about to leave. We had a talk with Sachin as we would need more time. I felt relieved and was surprised for the second time on this trip when he confirmed that we could hire a separate car to Kaza as my friend could not travel on a bus.

Around The Corner, There Goes The Mountain!

The third surprise came when we reached Kaza. I can proudly say that this homestay is one of the best I have ever stayed in. The third surprise came the moment I opened the bathroom door of our room- this place had hot water running from the taps! The geyser facility here was completely unexpected.

The fourth and fifth surprise came with our visit to Kalpa and Sangla in the next two days, both of them had fantastic stays arranged by Thrillophilia. The homestay in Kalpa was LITERALLY in the middle of two mountains, overlooking a vast valley. And from Sangla homestay, we could see Devbhoomi Peak and Rangza Peak clearly from our windows.

It was surreal. I never imagined myself standing on the edge of two mountains together, staring at the majestic views of grand white Himalayan Peaks, appearing as if all the Gandalfs of the world had assembled in one place.

Appreciation Because, Well deserved!

Thrillophilia’s travel arrangement, especially in Spiti, totally changed my perspective of travelling with a private company. The experience was so to-the-ground with authentic food and insights about local culture (thanks to Sachin again for giving us the tidbits about culinary practices, the regional plants, and the livelihood of the people here). The communication between the coordinators was on-point. There was no delay in meals or transfers, and we even covered some monasteries that fell en route but were not on the itinerary.

Sachin is a very knowledgeable person who not only enhanced our travel experience but also taught us a lot about Spiti and its culture, something I couldn't learn from my last 4 trips. He loved this destination and even the locals knew him by name. The drivers we had on the trip were punctual, cooperative, and very understandable.

P.S - Surprises, however small they are, can significantly affect your travel experience.

Making the yarn comes before stitching blankets: Thank you Thrillophilia for teaching this lesson in such a beautiful way.