Published: June 26th 2010
June 26th 2010
sorry not much update, but i have been quite stationary. still in manali, staying in the area known as old manali which is very nice and the road is very steep.
monica has gone home now, and i am going to stay around for a while here, because i have already got to know several people, other travellers and local people and so it's really nice to hang around.
i have already been here a week and a half, which is longest i have stayed on one place since amarpurkashi, so it feels a bit weird! i only now have four weeks till my visa expires and haven't booked anything out of india, so i suppose i will have to start thinking about soon. but at the moment i am so relaxed and taking each day aty a time and it is great!
i have been doing yoga, and going for some amazing walks.
i made friends with a guy who is from india, assam, but also packed in his job to come backpacking. he met up with a family living amongst their apple, pear and apricot orchards perched on the side of the mountain and took me to meet them. as he speaks hindi it was handy! they made us food and chai and the children then escorted us further on a walk around the area. as i was struggling along rocky slippy narrow paths the kids are running and jumping about like mountain goats! so are the mountain goats!
i also did paragliding! (tandem) very indian style. you might expect at home some sort of procedure, some instructions, explanation of what will happen etc. we did have to sign a form. i asked the guy whether i should read it.... "no read, no problem".
we were then basically strapped into the kit and to the pilot and told "when i say run, you must run".
honestly, it was not at all scary and so easy. you hardly have to run at all, as the paraglider(?) takes the air so quickly you leave the ground after two steps. also, two guys actually get hold of the straps and pretty much throw you off the mountain anyway so it can't really go wrong.
it was amazing. totally worth the almost vomit-inducing constant switchback ride up the mountain in the back of the open air jeep. it wasn't comfy, but i can't complain as at least i had a seat, the pilots were sitting on the kits on the roof of the jeep. then there was a 30minutes almost vertical hike to reach the spot for flying. maybe it wasn't that bad but actually i did all this after only 3 hours sleep as it was very early and the previous night had been a really good drumming / jam session....