Spiti Villages – Key, Kibber and Chicham

Day 5 of Spiti trip

Next day, I was feeling much better though still a little tired. Headache was only mild. With the sun shining brightly, I felt very happy to bask in its warmth. I didn’t dare to eat anything other than simple breakfast. So I had humble aloo paratha. I asked for a cup of coffee and finally, I had some proper coffee. Till now during the trip, all I had was some premix coffee. It felt great to taste some Nescafe in milk 🙂

Here, we met a fellow traveler Varun who threw in a new perspective about AMS. I was talking about previous night’s unpleasant experience with the friendly staff and Varun said that one should NOT drink or eat too much at a time. Small frequent sips of water should be taken to avoid dehydration and in turn, AMS.

After having breakfast and coffee, slowly we got ready to leave and explore villages nearby. “Slowly” because neither of us could do anything fast. Altitude clearly slowed us down. Even simple daily chores felt laborious and made us go out of breath. As a preventive measure, I took half a tablet of diamox.

Key village and Key monastery

The first village we visited was Key. The entrance gate to the village was not just beautiful but also very scenic!

I guess this is how “Gateway to the Himalayas” might look like – Key village entrance

Key monastery

Chicham village and bridge

I had earlier read about the highest ropeway at Chicham village. Now, there is a bridge to this cute small village.

Chicham village and Chicham bridge

Stunning visual, somewhere en route. Look at how puny the village and cell phone tower looks in front of the might Himalayan mountain!

Kibber village

By now, it was lunch time and we headed to Kibber for lunch. We gave lift to two boys who were waiting outside the village. They shooed away Ibex that had strayed into their fields! For those who don’t know, Ibex is a rare specie of wild deer in the Himalayas. It is difficult to sight these.

Kibber village

We stopped at a homestay for lunch. We had sumptuous lunch. Subbu ordered Thenthuk. I, just having dealt with AMS, didn’t feel physically ready to try something new and so ordered the classic Jeera rice and dal. We also had our usual lemon ginger teas. We met a local driver who thinks mountain sickness is myth. I just couldn’t believe what I heard. I tried reasoning with him but realised it was all a waste of my time and efforts.

After having lunch, Subbu noticed that her memory cards were constantly showing an error. So we decided to head back to Kaza to copy the files and format the cards. While heading back, we saw this stunning visual; Spiti river glistening and reflecting the sun light gloriously!

A quick visit to the government hospital at Kaza

We headed back to our rooms, copied the files and formatted the cards. Then, we wanted to visit the hospital to ensure that we were alright. We still felt some fatigue. The doctor checked our blood pressure and oxygen levels. BP was normal and oxygen levels in blood were 92-94; very good. He assured us that we had nothing to worry about. He suggested to take half a tablet of Diamox daily as a preventive measure. As it is a government hospital, the checkup was all free!

Markets of Kaza

We went to The Himalayan Cafe and had some delicious teas and omelette. One fruit tea was simply the best. I bought pair of woollen gloves and a beautiful head cap 🙂

The walk to Sakya Abode from market would take around 10-15min but it is an uphill walk 😦 We were still going out of breath for even small chores. So we decided against walking and wanted to take taxi. Upon enquiry, we got directions to Spiti Taxi Union and got a cab to Sakya Abobe. Spiti Taxi Union also arranges private and shared cabs.

While getting down at hotel, we experienced another instance of selfless hospitality. The driver refused to take money as the distance was too little! Only upon our insistence, he took money.

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