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What To Expect From Spiti Valley In Winter?
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You have to be a highly adventurous soul to visit Spiti Valley during winters because the cold weather plays havoc with even the most robust people. Even if you are a peace-loving traveler, this valley gets creepily peaceful at some places. You can reach here only in your car or by a local taxi; your only companions on the road are government vehicles, fuel trucks, and ambulances. The temperature in Spiti dips to -20 degrees Celsius and even lower, which means you have to buy tremendously warm clothes to protect yourself. Don’t ever pull yourself hard if your wet hands get stuck with a metal; you need to pour hot water on your hands to detach the skin, which may tear the skin otherwise.
No hotels are open in Spiti Valley during winters because most hotel staff comes from other regions; they flee the region because they cannot stay in the challenging weather for months. You will only get to stay with the local villagers, who are very hospitable and warm people. The villagers already lead a tough life in Spiti during winters. They don’t want their guests to freeze, so they will do every possible thing to keep you warm and well-fed. However, you must inform your arrival in advance so that they can prepare for your accommodation. It is unkind to ask for discount in Spiti thinking that it must be an off-season for tourists. They barely manage to meet the expenses for their guest’s needs, thus you must never ask for discounts.
Since water freezes in the drainage system and toilets in cold weather, you cannot expect your regular methods of relieving yourself. Dry toilets are where have to poop. A dry toilet is constructed on the first floor of a building where your poop goes through a hole into the ground floor, which is full of compost. You need to flush using dry compost, which makes sure that the dry toilet does not smell at all.
Water from the hand pumps is the only way to have drinking water. Therefore, you must not expect water for food and drinking, let alone for bathing and using toilets.
Most roads in Spiti Valley and the roads leading to the place are covered in thick snow, and the patches of black snow are also visible at places. Drive slowly on these roads and never apply brakes suddenly or make instant moves. Try to rent a car with sturdy wheels; you can also rent an SUV. Have more weight in the car to increase traction.
You will not find a highly skilled mechanic in Spiti Valley to repair major issues in your car. That is why; it is better to get your car serviced properly and gear it up for cold weather. Winter grade oils for engine and coolant are useful for your car. Anti-freeze or anti-gel are also a great idea to use. Don’t forget to keep a towing cable and a jumper cable in the boot. Keep a spare tire in perfect condition to let you escape from the situation of a puncture.
Food outlets are scarce on the roads in Spiti Valley, which is why you must stuff your car with plenty food that can last up to a week at least. Landslides are a common occurrence in snowy mountains; you must be prepared for the worst case scenario in any place during winters.
Spiti is a place full of adventure, but you should also be prepared for the worst. Make the most of your time in Spiti Valley by interacting with the locals.
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