The bus rocks, swings and creaks like a ship in .... interesting weather .Some hours has gone by since leaving Kalpa luxuriously in afront seat of a Manali jeep. A ride that also came with good company and conversation from France.
The first glimpse of Spiti is a weather worn chorten , protected not only by by a crudely hammered multi colored tin roof from the BRO but also for some reason encircled by barbed wire.
Signs of life seems even sparser than when crossing in to Ladakh. Even the happy-go-lucky semi military sign painting squad from the BRO seems a bit taken by the environment : none of the usual streams of motherly advice , jokes and puns ("Darling , I want you , but not so fast" ) that I've come to take for granted from Ladakh. Just one single , sombre , litterary allusion : " Live and let live " , painted on a sharply descending rock curve.
A Buddhist cave adorned with prayer flags on the other side of the Sutlej river , with seeming impossible access, shoots by. Some khyang at a flat , narrow strip along the riverbed.
This time I've given up all attempts of poping out of the window and and holding on to my camera , let alone operating it. I,m hemmed in between two Kinnauri ladies one who switches to my window seat to dry retch out of the window.
On the other side sits a gelong and three nuns from Hango monastery. The nuns fret , in a nice way , with their one piece of finery : Himalchali hats with with dried white petals that catches the light like blades of fiber optics.
Afte the checkpost at Jangi ( where I technically becmes an illegal : " shall not resort to any photography, carry any maps not approved by the Defence Ministry. or or immaginaries.. " ) there is suddenly no one standing , and only two people in the two seats rows. A depp breathing spree ensues , which is dampened by the arrivall of new passengers and sacks at .
The road dips and bends ( " Horn Please " has been replaced by " It is an offence not to sound the horn at .. ") ; skirts precipices and shoots i to rock galleries in the usual way.
The canyons are different though : giant patterns of contrasting stone materials suddenly frozen , on smooth sides .Gargantuan coffeee and cream , and later licorice , Jackson Pollockses.
In a magic moment the bus descends steeply in to a sumdo :one canyon to the right , with a near perfect sugar cone reaching up to the golden evening light and the road cutting in to a rock gallery after crossing a Bailey bridge thick with prayer flags.
Didn't get the shot , but got apples instead , and a sense of sharing , from ne of the sacks on the floor instead.