My Experiences of Recong Peo and Kalpa.

Recong peo is a small transit town on the way to Spiti and Kinnaur. I happened to stay there twice on my way to Spiti ( Himachal Pradesh). First time I went there in September 2019 from Shimla by bus and reached in the evening. I only watched the beautiful Kinnaur Kailash peak from my hotel window. Next day in the early morning I set out for Kaza. Next time I went there in 2020 March at noon time starting early morning from Shimla by news paper jeep from old bus stand. It dropped me at the market. I went to the bus stand by a local bus.

All hotels were mostly closed due to Corona and March is not proper season for Spiti trip. I went to a hotel at the bus stand and had lunch with rajma chawl. I asked the boy, who was serving food, that I needed an accommodation to stay at night. He was a bit hesitant because the rooms were not cleaned properly as there was no tourist. I agreed to wait for cleaning. He cleaned the room and bathroom, changed pillow covers and then I settled there. He took only Rs 500 from me. The owner was away to Shimla.

The water was so cold that I started sneezing as soon as I washed my face. He said that they had solar heater but as it was not functional, he could give me hot water next morning. It was 4/5 degree temperature then at noon time. In the afternoon I went to the market place taking a short cut behind the bus stand, I bought some extra vitamin tablets for myself to protect from cold and Corona. The taxi stand was full of empty taxis. Next morning I went to Nako and had to return to Kalpa spending one night at Nako as Spiti hotels declared closure due to Corona Pandemic. I came back again in the afternoon to Recong Peo by Kaza -Peo morning bus and caught a local bus to reach Kalpa.

When the local bus dropped me at Kalpa bus stand in the afternoon I saw no one in the road. All hotels were closed. I saw an old lady working in their cowshed, collecting cow-dung for making fuel. I tried to draw her attention but either she was deaf or she did not understand my language, she kept on muttering something that I could not hear. I felt puzzled and started walking slowly towards the market. I saw a traveler bus full of tourists. I asked them where they were going to stay, but they were also in search of a hotel. Suddenly I saw 2/3 people in a balcony of a building. I proceeded towards it, it was a hotel, named Hotel Destination. I went up and asked for a room and got one. Those tourists in the traveler bus also came there later. They had ladies and kids with them. They were a group of 13/14 people including kids.

In the evening I was informed by one of my Himachali Facebook friend that Himachal Pradesh hotels were going to close for tourists from the day after the next day for unknown period. I called my son and arranged my return flight ticket for the day after the next day. At night there was light snow fall. In the morning when I woke up there was fresh snow all over which started melting with the rise of sun. Next day early morning I visited the local temples and monastery. Narayan Nagini temple was built up of wood and its carvings were unique. After breakfast I went to the bus stand to catch the bus for Recong Peo. There was a bus for Shimla at 11 AM. The group of people that came by traveler bus they remained there. Their leader informed me that they would continue their journey to Manali and then Amritsar and would not give up the tour in any case. He was looking very confident. I reached Shimla in the evening and spent the night in the same hotel where I stayed previously. They gave me a warm welcome. I reached Kolkata on 21March evening. I still remember that group and wonder when they did manage to come back and how?

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