It’s been some time that I’ve written a travelogue or for that matter anything. My recent tour of Manali, Delhi and Agra provided a beautiful opportunity for me to wake up the writer in me.
A week’s worth of travel and sight seeing and eating whatever is available actually made me crave for home made food. So much so that as soon as I came in I hogged the first thing that I was able to prepare.
As usual, I digress. Let me get straight to the beginning of the trip. Travel to Delhi and then to Manali.
Day 1, Delhi, Manali.
We had planned well in advance for the trip, so the flight tickets were booked to and from Delhi. On 27th evening we boarded the Flight to Delhi. Then sat in the AC bus to the inter state bus stand to catch the pre-booked HRTC Volvo to Manali. We later learnt that it was a big mistake to book the government bus. We left the bus stand at 8:45. The bus kept stopping everywhere and we reached our destination only at 11 am the next day. Landed at our hotel very tired and cranky.
Day 2, Manali.
Thankfully we had the hotel cab pick us up from the bus stop.
We had booked Sarthak Resorts in Manali (Naggar road). We had been there after our wedding (2+ yrs back) and liked it so much we booked it again. It is not too expensive and suits our taste as well as pockets pretty nicely. We had a valley view room so we could see the snow capped mountains through the huge window.
Most of the first day went in taking rest and in the evening we went to the Manali market. It got very cold in the evening (which we had not anticipated) and it was drizzling too. We did some window shopping and ate chats for dinner.
Day 3, Snow point, Solang Valley.
As the previous time, this time too we booked cab from the hotel for our day trips. The snow point is a point upto which civilians/tourists are allowed on the Rohtang pass road. I was very hopeful to see Rohtang pass but it was closed. The driver informed us that it might open in late May or early June this year. It differs every year and depends upon snowfall.
So we reach somewhere higher than Gulaba (which was our snow point last time) but there wasn’t much fresh snow. Whatever snow was present was pretty dirty due to too many tourists walking over it. As it had rained the previous evenings there was slush everywhere. My in-laws managed to enjoy a lot, but as I had seen better and fresher snow I was disappointed and moreover damn scared to walk on the ice. We also had to walk a long way and trek up the hill a little, as there were too many parked vehicles and our cab couldn’t go any further than a point.
SIL, her son and FIL opted to ride the horses up the hill. But my MIL put a brave face and walked with us and she trekked up the hill too. So obviously we had to walk back the same distance. There was and is nothing much to see in Solang valley except for the paragliding which didn’t interest us(me and husband) as we had done para-sailing here in Bangalore. So we decided to get back to the hotel and take rest. On the way we stopped at Kothi at the same restaurant where we had been last time for lunch. I still remember the distinctive and very tasty dum aloo that I had eaten in 2009. This time too it was delicious but due to the crowd I couldn’t enjoy much. But unfortunately I don’t remember the name.
Day 4, Manali local sightseeing, back to Delhi.
We had planned to do local sightseeing for half a day and leave for Delhi. We covered Vasisht (don’t ever fall for the Chingu trap*), Manu temple, Hadimba temple and Tibetian monastry near the market.
Later we caught the HRTC bus back to Delhi from the bus stand in the Market. We reached Delhi next morning.
Now is time for some pictures.
To be continued …