29-01-2017, 1600 hours, Mane Dhank, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India:
As we saw the two vehicles (with the pilgrims returning to Kaza) approach us through the snow on the road, our hope that the road was being cleared by a bulldozer shattered in front of our eyes. On reaching us, the travellers told us that the road was not being cleared today and that they had also managed to reach here all on their own.
We have to go back to Kaza now, and to turn the car around and get it moving again, the travellers are now helping us with their shovels. Also, as we have more man power now, we will be able to push the car more effectively. For turning the vehicle around, an entire patch of snow had to be cleared first, after which a local cab driver got into our car, and using his experience of driving in such conditions, turned the car around with a lot of effort by everyone.
We are finally back on the patch which had been cleared of the snow by the HPPWD personnel and Mr. Sanjay Mehta is back on the driving seat as we head back to Kaza. One of the major difficulties faced by the people of Spiti during the winters had shown us what it really means to be cut off from the rest of India, where all that one can depend on is yourself and the people with and around you.