Day 4 of Spiti trip
The two tiny angels, Shering and her elder sister, go to their school by 8:45am. Their mother and aunt head out to their farms by 8am. So we were told to get up early and be ready to have breakfast by 7am. You can read about our Nako stay here.
We got up early. The views around were simply breathtaking! By the time we came to down to their home, Shering and her sister were ready in their school uniform 🙂 We had hot delicious aloo momos with yummy tomato mint chutney for breakfast and had namkeen chai. By now, Subbu was fine. Her headache was gone. So we thought to visit the Nako lake and Nako monastery. We requested mother if she would let Shering accompany us. We promised we would drop her and her sister at school by 8:45am. Thus, we set off to see Nako with this angel as our tiny guide!
We walked around the small village and went to the Nako lake. The lake looked very placid and serene 🙂 We took some pictures with our adorable little guide. We got back to their home and it was time for us to drop the sisters at their school. Upon Nariendar’s suggestion, we gave Rs 1000 to the sisters as our small token.
We then headed to Nako monastery. A monk there showed us around the monastery. Photography is prohibited inside the monastery.
Nako village with Himalayan peaks behind
Stunning views during our walk around the village!
Serene Nako lake
From Nako, we headed to Giu monastery that is known for its mummy. This mummy is more 500 years old and was found by the ITBP workers. The mummy is believed to be of a monk who died in an avalanche.
There is a stall that serves delicious piping hot maggi. Me and Subbu settled down to have ginger lemon tea and maggi while appreciating the Himalayan views :). Here, we met some bikers who rode all the way from Gujarat and Punjab. We all had a good conversation with the stall owner, who is an engineer!
After the delicious quick meal, we walked around the Giu village. It is a small and very beautiful village. There are some tiny streams of clear water.
Mountains around the Giu village
Views en route Tabo
By the time we were nearing Tabo, I was feeling tired and got mild headache. I dismissed it as travel fatigue. Earlier during the day, Subbu had warned me against physically tiring myself as it could cause mountain sickness. Since the headache was mild, I didn’t attribute it to AMS.
We reached Tabo. I liked the village that came before Tabo. A monk at the Tabo monastery showed us around. I came out quickly as I was feeling tired and sat down. I took some pictures.
I bought some flavoured milk outside the monastery and to my surprise, I didn’t even have enough energy to open the bottle. The shop owner helped me open the bottle and I gulped it all down in one go. I realised that something was definitely wrong with me. I still didn’t attribute it to AMS. Stupid me! You can read more about AMS here.
By late afternoon, we reached Kaza. I was having headache and feeling weird. We were looking for accommodation. We looked at couple of home stays and Subbu liked none of them. Rest all were full. While navigating near petrol bunk, I saw “Sakya Abode” sign board. I immediately remembered reading excellent reviews about this place on TripAdvisor. So we went in and asked if accommodation was available. Luckily, there was availability 🙂
We checked the available room. Subbu instantly loved it! She checked the washroom. She is very finicky and she liked the washroom as it was spotless. Without much thought, we booked a room for a room. With all these days of constant travel and lugging our bags around everyday, we just wanted to “settle” at a place. So with Kaza as base, we wanted to visit villages nearby. We asked the guy at reception to check availability and extend the stay to 3 nights.
Mountain sickness 😦
We kept our luggage in rooms and freshened up a bit. We went to the restaurant to have some ginger lemon mint tea. By now, my head was throbbing. It felt very very uncomfortable. I couldn’t understand if it was because of dehydration, journey fatigue or altitude. I thought some rest could help. Subbu was also tired. So we went back to room and tried sleeping till it is time for dinner. Subbu slept well but I couldn’t. By 10:30pm, I got up. I tried waking up Subbu but she was in deep sleep. I thought I would get her a simple toast. I didn’t want us to sleep on an empty stomach at such altitude.
I left her sleeping in the room and went to restaurant to have some lemon tea and get a toast or aloo paratha. My head was throbbing and hurting badly. I felt it could be dehydration and gulped down a huge glass of water. A big mistake! I took half a tablet of dart (for headache) and diamox (for mountain sickness) and went back to room with a toast. Somewhere here, hotel staff noticed that I looked sick and told me it could be AMS. He said almost 60% of tourists to Kaza experience AMS. He advised me to take ample rest. I don’t even remember who that noble person was. By then, I was feeling too terrible to notice anyone or anything.
Within 15 minutes of reaching the room, I was feeling very nauseous. I puked off all the water and a bite of toast I just had. Finally, it dawned that all this discomfort since afternoon was AMS!
A golden rule when traveling in mountains: Attribute any physical discomfort to AMS first. Treat for AMS first and rule it out before you treat for anything else. Read about AMS here.