Near Tabo, Himachal Pradesh, India, 17 January 2017, 2245 hours:
It’s snowing again and at a few places the drive slowed to a crawl since ice had set on the road, leading to a bit of skidding. Sanju is a rockstar far as I am concerned – he’s been driving for 14 hours already today (and he had done 10 hours yesterday).
It is cold outside but bearable since it is snowing. I am still in two layers plus a wind-cheater. Inside the car, the heater is keeping us warm. Abhishek and Abhinav say that it will stay bearable till the clouds are shrouding the envioroment because the clouds trap whatever ambient heat is there in the vicinity. Apparently, the real feel of the cold will hit us when the weather clears up and the clouds disperse.
We have no choice but to keep going since Tabo will not have anything open – all summer-tourist destinations close for winter and the hotels – most of which are usually run by or for outsiders – are shut. Homestays with locals are the only option and they are as good as the local life experience. We have food and warm beds waiting for us in Kaza at a homestay, but we are at least two and a half hours away.
I wonder if we will have to spend the night in the car, under a snowfall…