Dadu Aur Madak
We had planned to go on to the own of Nako, which is just a
few miles from the Tibetan border, but the intel we were getting was
not promising. First of all there is no gas between Rekong Peo and
Kaza--a distance of over 400 kilometers. We definitely had no interest
in going into the Spiti Valley beyond Kaza, because the reports on the
roads were pretty negative, and the terrain was much like Ladakh ,
which we had already seen. Nako was only 120 kilometers, so the 240
round-trip was doable barring any problem, but the hotel we were
at in Kalpa had a tour group from France that was heading there that
would have strained Nako's meager accommodations. We decided to
backtrack, and possibly visit Sarahan on the way out. It was a fateful
decision that brought us to the point in our journey that I mentioned
on the first page.
road through the valley on this portion of the loop crosses back and
forth over the Sutlej River. This plank bridge just below Kalpa had
hundred and hundreds of prayer flags tied to it. Perhaps we should have
is an international consortium with plans to build scores of these
turbines along the rivers here. These shots are of the spillway of the
one near the turnoff to Sangla. There were several more along the river
that were being worked on, and these were our biggest driving concern.
The constant flow of trucks would hammer the gravel into powder, and of
course they would water the roads to keep the dust down. In the low
areas this would turn the road into a muck that was slicker-than-snot.
It was shortly after this spot that the clothesline incident mentioned
on the first page occurred.
we are treated as foreigners.
our plans of going to Sarahan scrapped, as I have mentioned, we
returned to Rampur where I got my hip x-rayed. There had been no doctor
on call, as the orthopedic surgeon was in Shimla at a conference, but
we met a doctor in the parking lot who said they would be back the next
day. I'd just like to say a word here about the people who grouse about
immigrants getting medical treatment in our country. On the first day
we went into the emergency room. They took two x-rays. My bill for that
was 50 Rupees each, or a total of $2.50 for both. When we asked them to
call us a cab to take us to a hotel, they promptly backed an ambulance
up to the door and drove us to the far end of town to the hotel of our
choice. They then drove Karen back to the hospital so she could get the
second bike. For this they charged us the exorbitant fee of 150 Rupees
or $3.75--almost double what a cab would have cost. On the following
day we went in to see the orthopedic guy to have him look at my hip and
read the x-rays. There was a sea of people around his door, but because
we were foreigners they ushered us to the front of the line. Nobody
complained. We ended up getting charged the same thing Indians pay for
that service. Nothing. When I had the motorcycle accident in Arizona,
ambulance ride cost me $486.00. I wasn't hurt as bad as I was this
time. We were moving to California, and the guy who "read" my x-rays
then waited 4 months to send his $280.00 bill to the wrong address
causing a screw-up on my credit history that took me a year-and-a-half
to straighten out. If you really need to bitch about something, bitch
about the system that perpetrates that kind of thing on all of us.
advised to stay off the leg for a week, but Rampur is not the place you
want to hang around. After a couple of days we took a walk down the
road a bit to get some exercise, and to make an offering to the Monkey
God. I figured it doesn't hurt to touch all the bases.