I have already published this travel experience @ igniteengineers. As digitravellers is a sister blog site of igniteengineers, I thought of republishing the experience under this site since the post suits the best to this platform.
I forgot to take my identity-card with me. And all the bookings were online. The result was that we had to come back to my room 25kms in opposite direction. Collected my I-card and started from room in a rush at 6:00pm from Greater Noida to catch the bus at 8:26pm at Kashmere Gate ISBT. The horrible evening traffic of Delhi gave an impossible impression to cover 50kms in the next 2 hours. Anyhow we managed to reach ISBT bus stand at 7:45pm.
The next job was to find out the location of the “Himsuta” bus in the stand. Inquiry about the location of the bus at the counters is always an adventurous job . Finally I had to confirm the bus location from a driver of another bus. It was 8:00pm and we had to complete our dinner. We followed the path indicated by the arrow marks towards the food-court. The funny thing was, we discovered the toilets where we were supposed to find the food-court. We asked the sweeper standing over there regarding the food-court. she told, it was there few months back but has been closed. Unfortunately the officials have forgotten to takeout the indicator hoardings . We had to satisfy our stomachs with a manageable grilled sandwich, a hard samosha, and two unpredictable hotdog and burger from an outside stall. Finally some pieces of spicy potato chips forcefully declared the climax of our dinner. This is how we could not half fill our stomach with around 200 bucks.
We boarded the bus to start the journey for thrilling Manali trekking for the next 5 days. The worst part was that no blankets have been provided in the bus and the chilled ambiance of the bus forced us to wear the jackets. Slowly the bus accelerated to higher speed and left behind the lonely road while ripping apart the darkness of night. Trees were running behind outside the bus window while my eyes were getting closed to drag myself into the fairy tale world.
“Chaliye uthiye!! fresh hoke chai pilijiye. Bus yahan pe 15 minutes rukega. Humen Manali pahunchne main aur 4 se 5 ghante lagega.” The helper of the bus opened the door. The fairy tale in my dream had been paused for the next night. I open up my eyes. It was 5:00 am in the morning. The calm music of the side-by river was amazing along with the warm touch of the cool air. We enjoyed the breaking of the darkness. The bus started its up riding once again on the hilly road. The panorama outside was alluring.
The road was bounded by the craved rising rock of mountain at one end and at the other end the falling edge of the mountain was touching the bed of a running river way down at its feet. The gracefulness of the nature’s beauty continued with the 3 km dark tunnel road with dimmed light just before Kullu. The driver of the bus was skilled enough to drive the bus very smoothly on the curvy hilly road. Both the driver and the conductor were very cool and made jokes with their known people on the way from Kullu to manali. We miss these small and warm interactions these days in big cities. Finally we covered around 600 kms from Delhi and the beauty queen Manali welcomed us to its vibrant empire. We came out of the bus at around 10:00 am in the morning.
After a long time I was able to hear the bird sounds at the mid of a town. The morning sun rays were pleasing outside the bus. But the immediate unpleasant thing happened was; the auto driver demanded 100 rupees for the 4 km distance to YHAI Manali (Youth Hostels Association of India). You go to any auto rickshaw, the same amount would be demanded and they say it is the fixed price here in Manali . With no other option we agreed with the 100 rupees deal. The driver pulled the rod to start the auto, we stepped inside the vehicle and the chilling air kissed us as we started moving.
It’s true; Journey always brings plenty of experiences…