Published: December 30th 2008July 25th 2007
After exciting drive, first stop was Manali...
Manali is actually quite agreeable place. This is one of the locations which is popular among indian turists during hot monsoon summer. Its cooler than in the plains of India, and the effect of the monsoon is smaller and more pleasant. As a starting point for indian Himalaya and a gateway for Ladakh this is also popular with foreigners. Some also come just to be in touch with buddist religion, and some are actually quite "spiritually high"... hmmmm.... literally...
So, you can do here lots of stuff... One can go rafting in summer and skiing in winter (yes, they do also have a ski lift). But majority of people actually go to the spectacular Rohtang pass over Manali, to the snow point (and yes, snow is something extraordinary for indians). Rohtang pass is nothing much to see in the summer. It is covered with clouds and mist, and there is completely no view in summer. But people borrow fur jackets and go to the top, to do some horse or yak trekkings... well, its what tourists do... but i find it a bit silly doing in terrible mist and hold... and its
maybe just me...
As much I have enjoyed Manali and its trouts, it was time to move towards Delhi. Although, i could have stayed here for ages, as climate is very agreeable (ok, when coming from Ladakh, its hot and humid). I payed a last visit to the tibetan restaurant (and it was goood), i got some new books for a bus trip and a bus ticket for Volvo sleeper. Well... Volvo... don't know why they are calling it Volvo, as this was certainly not a Volvo bus, but OK. It had beds, and I got a single bed. It was a bit on India size (eg. small for me), but ok, i was able to sleep well. And road wasn't too bad. I just started my iPod and read the book.
It was interesting to observe the habits of the drivers. After a few kilometres on the road, they stopped by one of the roadside temples. They all jumped out (from busdriver to conducters) and they went to pray one for the road. Actually, the feeling afterwards was much better :))
The feeling that we are coming to the monsoon territory was only visible by the
first toilet stop early in the morning. Rain was just pouring down. Delhi was cloudy in the morning, and later it started to pour down also there. And its interesting to observe, how it starts with one raindrop and ends with complete downpour. Road immediately transforms from dirty road to a puddle, almost to a river. And sometimes you don't have a real choice. You have to step into the water to get somewhere... Unfortunately, when the water goes away, all that is left is dirt and mud on the road... oh welll...
And... as i had one day extra, it was time for other classic Delhi destinations.
- Connaught place (browsing after all the possible kitch)
- Dilli Haat (souvenirs)
- India Gate
- Bangla Sahib Gurdwara (i love it, don't know why, but its a peaceful retreat Delhi)
- the khaos of Paharganj... which was in the evening one big mixture of mud, tourists and cows...
Actually... it was a long, stresful and hot day. In any case, I really enjoy Delhi and all its chaos... gotta be back here soon...
There are more photos below