Manali - a Traveller's Paradise
Manali Travel Blog› entry 29 of 36 › view all entries
The bus journey was pretty painful, relieved by some sleeping tablets, which are so cheap out here and essential for the long journeys endured. To arrive in Manali was heaven, a wonderful town very reminiscent of the Alps, except the monkeys do the yodelling! We had been recommended the Veer guesthouse, and it did not disappoint, a chalet style building with good verandas, decent and clean. The climate was a more than comfortable mid-20's, such a relief to find that your water was not boiling within 15 minutes of purchasing it.
Manali is incredibly relaxing by day, with the odd long walk, loads of cards and some first-rate food. Fantastic views of the mountains are at every turn, the locals are friendly and a lot more laid-back than in many other parts of India, particularly the big towns. The evenings were generally spent watching football with a quiet beer or two. We searched for the parties, and one was scheduled but the organisers refused to pay the police baksheesh of 40,000 rupees (about 500 quid).
We gave the hot baths at Vashist a visit, around 2 kms away, wickedly hot springs but eventually I managed to achieve full immersion. We also took a picnic up to a spot nearby as a final farewell meal, as the M's were off to Jaipur, Tom, Ian, Eve and Soph to Leh, Jesse back to his Buddhist monastery at Dehra Dun where he was teaching English to little kids. Jesse really was a boy-wonder, typically Australian looking (tall and blond), an expert on the cello, surfer extroadinaire, well educated and knew the answer to all questions Indian, and still only 19 - no wonder he copped it big time on many an occaision, all in good jest of course. I should also note his full name - Jesse Ray Cameron Martin - the boy just oozes class!
And I, well I had a date in Kolkata to keep, my parents would be flying out to see me for a week and we would be heading up to Darjeeling. I was really looking forward to seeing them after several months away from home, and the luxury that they would afford would also be a nice respite from the budget travel I was maintaining. Just a nightmarish 36 hour journey to get there, hopefully I'd be in time for the Portugal match.