Day 26 (Vashisht)

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July 30th 2011
Published: August 3rd 2011
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Got up pretty late today and arranged to meet up with Damien.

We met up, planning to go to explore Old Manali. I realised i needed money so we decided to stop in Manali town. We found an ATM and i stuck in my card, rejected. We went to another one, also rejected. After the third rejection i decided to do what i had done in McLeod Ganj and found a Western Union place where I can make withdraws off my card.

Damien had come to find walking boots and as we had been going from ATM to ATM we had been stopping to look in the shops. By the time i had my money he had decided that Manali was not a great place to find walking boots and so he decided to keep his own. He also decided no to come to Old Manali so we jumped in separate rickshaws and i headed up to Old Manali.

Old Manali is a town made up of one road that climbs the side of the valley with shops, cafe's and restaurants lining the road. I had arranged to meet Steve and Keenen at their hotel and the rickshaw driver seemed to know where he was going. that is until we reached to top of old Manali and i realised he had just been driving up in the hope of seeing it. After 5 minutes of rapid Hindi to the people around he turned the rickshaw around and went all the way to the bottom then continuing for another minute. Turns out the taxi driver who had taken us to his hotel when we arrived had also picked up these guys and they were staying where Jamie and her baby decided to stay. After a steep climb up some stone steps i found them in their room. We had a look around Old Manali and we were thinking about going on a trek so we stopped at an outdoor adventure office. It was run by french staff and they had a 2 day package that included a day of climbing and canyoning/gorge walking and a day where we would para-glide and go zorbing. We liked the look of it but before we signed up we went around a few other activity organisers to see if the package would save us any money. Most didn't offer more than paragliding and zorbing and the package (which cost 3600 rups (50 pounds)) seemed like a good price. Steve wanted to do it too but he decided not to go and to use the time to finish the few university papers he had to do. We went to get some breakfast in The Lazy Dog Lounge and then Keenen and i got a rickshaw back to Vashisht. We stopped off at the Vashisht branch of the adventure center and booked the package for the next day.

After booking we headed to the Rainbow Cafe for lunch and ran into an American guy and his friends who I had talked to briefly at the toilet stop on the bus ride from McLeod. We joined them for lunch and chatted for a while before we decided to leave. Two of the others were heading to old Manali too. when we arrived in Old Manali we exchanged numbers and Keenen and i headed back to the Hotel. We played chess for a while and then decided to grab a quick dinner before we headed out into town. The quick dinner was not so quick, after about half an hour we asked if it was nearly ready, he told us that it would be ready in half an hour. We played another game of chess before it arrived. Around this time Steve and Caitlyn arrived at the hotel and told us they were gonna go into town for dinner.

After we finished dinner we headed down the narrow steps and then up the hill. Steve had told us they were in Little Italy. We went to meet them in the small restaurant and we stayed in their for a few hours before Caitlyn decided to leave, she had planned on leaving the next morning but was considering staying another night but she said goodbye anyway just in case. Soon after this we all left and i got an overpriced rickshaw ride back to Vashisht.

Now its pretty late so i'm off to sleep.


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