Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Road to Peo

The drive to Rekong Peo was fun and beautiful. Connie and I took a small car instead of riding the bus. The first place we went said it was 5000Rs for a taxi to Peo, which seemed ridiculous, so we went somewhere else. They asked for 3500 (~$75), which seemed much more reasonable, so we went with that. A nice middle aged guy met us at 7am the next morning and we loaded our things in the car and were off. Rekong Peo is 236 kilometers from Shimla, which took about 8 or 9 hours. It’s the last town listed on the street sign below.

I didn’t really take many pictures of Shimla. It was a hill town in the foothills of the Himalayas. The mountains were all dusty blue and green and clustered with buildings until we were a ways out of the city.
The road was well paved at this point. It zig zaged up and down a bit, but mostly followed a ridge along the side of the mountains. This area was an agriculturally heavy area, with tons of apple orchards. Many of the orchards had covered their trees with some sort of netting or tarp, so that the side of the mountain at times looked like a quilt.

Our driver stopped randomly on the side of the road and said something about fresh local special fruit. We looked over and lo and behold there was a cherry stand. The cherries seemed overpriced to me and guy at the stand must have been a friend of the driver, but we had a long road ahead of us and heck, this was supposed to be a vacation darn it! So we bought a kilo and spent the next couple of hours with the windows down, spitting pits out and tossing the stems every few minutes.
I got my first view of the mighty Sutleg river. The road follows the river the whole way through Kinnaur and up into Spiti, running along side the winding valley the river had carved into the mountains. At some point in Spiti (or Kinnaur, not really sure actually) the Sutleg heads off west toward Tibet and the road picks up along the Spiti River, which runs to Kaza (where I am now). A smaller river runs along the Pin Valley and empties out into the Spiti River.

The Sutlej River

The crazy roads carved into the mountainside.

Road sign to Peo

A neat bridge covered in prayer flags

View of the snow covered mountains near Peo

This is the city of Peo from a distance.

This is the view from my hotel room.

Okay so I didn’t finish this blog post, but I stayed one night in Peo and then took another taxi to Kaza, and then another taxi to the Pin Valley to the Dechen Choling monastery. I’m back in Kaza right now for a couple of days to see the Dalai Lama, hence the internet access.

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