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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 5: Journey to Manali

INDIA | Saturday, 10 November 2007 | Views [693]

On the road to Manali

On the road to Manali

Saturday 10th November

I checked out of the hotel and headed for the bus that would take us to Manali. Thankfully, this bus was what they call a 'deluxe', with fewer and more comfortable seats. Before we left, I met a guy called Jeff from Liverpool who was himself on a trip around the world, so it was good to have the company.

Almost as soon as the journey had begun, the roads became decidely bumpy, with more than a few twists and turns thrown in to the mix, leaving me feeling fairly nauseous. I was starting to realise that drivers in India are all the same: determined to get to the destination in as quick a time as possible with little regard for who might be getting thrown about in the back. In fact, I don't know if there is a speed limit in the country while there are no signs and very little sign of police.

I had little sleep the night before and felt a cold coming on, so the nausea compounded the sickness. However, after lunch of another veg thali, the scenery changed from plain old dusty hillsides into an alpine valley with a turquoise coloured river flowing through it. We passed through several small towns and saw people go about their everyday lives: working in their shops, cooking on their stalls, washing their clothes in the river, or just sleeping on the nearest wall.

The river was particularly beautiful, with large boulders helping to create white-water rapids, although at this time of year they are quite low. I was thinking how clean the water looked and wondered whether it would be clean enough to drink. Just as this question crossed my mind, I saw a guy squatting amongst the rocks with his arse on view to the world, poohing into the water - the dirty boy! That pretty much answered my question there and then.

Once in Manali, Jeff and I decided to stick together and we found some decent accommodation for the night and tried some tasty Tibetan food for the first time (there is a large Tibetan community here, exiles who have come across the Himalayas from Tibet).

Unfortunately, my plans to head further north into the mountain regions were scuppered due to the road being closed for the winter months. As I am starting to learn more and more, plans just go out the window and then it's a matter of making new ones.

Tags: planes trains & automobiles


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