If you have not got the generic story of the Gyan Summary of our trip, you better read this first!
If you are not privileged to listen to my long blabbers, you might as well test your patience by reading this story further. For others, you have no choice guys! Friendship, remember?
It was the moment of 'Non-Conformance' when my Sister-In-Law warned me saying 'Somethings can go for a toss if I join a well planned trip'.I being a very punctual person, ridiculed the statement thinking I would manage to push every one and every thing on time and stick to the plan. I was wrong. Let me start from 'The Starting'.
The random question to me by my bro buddy about visiting Spiti this year was answered by a big 'NO' around one and a half months back. This was followed by 'Why NO?, Let us go yaar' by my Sister in Law. One by one names were clubbed together to form a group of people visiting the valley with their complex demographics and different personality traits! The planning was done by Nomad and the co-ordination was done by Bro-buddy and Mr.ISB. ( If you think MBA and Operations together can create that 'Perfect Plan' you are wrong here!! *Spoiler*!)
Now we were Seven!
1. Yours truly
2. Mr.ISB : Who seems to be more popular than yours truly thanks to his powerful silence and sixers
3. Sister-In-Law: Who by law is a sister, otherwise an in house friend
4. Bro-Buddy: The one encouraged many kids to go for higher studies and get married without implementing any of those acts
5. Friend N: A significant contributor to Wisdom collected in the trip
6. Friend K: Sister of N by balancing her open expressions by her very own introvert nature
7. Aunty: Mother of N & K who believed in her fitness more than any of us!
Days passed and tickets were booked. Funds were transferred and leaves got approved using several methods from 'Saam Daam Dand Bhed' techniques. The only thing left in me was the consciousness that screamed out loud - 'I am really going to be on Himalayas after more than a decade',which appeared at 5 pm on the day before the trip. I am precise when I say 5 pm because it is the time when I re-look at my to-do list in the office!! Any how I managed to finish the list partially and create a list of tasks to finish before leaving for the airport, the next day. Things were in full control till I entered my room to pack the bag,after returning from the office. I saw a big black mouse jumping on the table (!) which postponed the bag packing activity to the next morning! It called for my super efficient packing skill developed by my history of relocation within/out of the city.We (me and SIL) had kept some more tasks for the last hour as well. A serious problem occurred when we failed to book a cab for the airport drop due to the taxi driver's strike. I recalled 'The warning by SIL' the very moment.
With the help of mom & dad we both reached Mumbai airport from where we were suppose to fly to Delhi. We killed more time than a couple of hours there doing nothing, thanks to the Air Traffic Control who managed to delay the departure of the flight by 1.5 hours. By the time we started from Mumbai, I guess Mr.ISB was already waiting for us on the Delhi Airport. Other members from Delhi reached the bus station from where we had to board a bus to Manali. The so called practical 'Planning' of both guys could not manage to bring us to the bus station on time & so friends, we missed the bus while others started off with the journey! After pulling luggage like a real sport, rushing in all the directions a person can find, changing Metros - we three (Me, SIL and Mr.ISB) found ourselves on the last row of that heavily engineered bus which did nothing but raised my doubts about the design of the Suspension it had after a few hours.
When the universe wants you to sit on the other row than the last, you get a helpful bus conductor. So while Mr.ISB decided to accompany the foreigner neighbor as a translator and keep the conductor sane, I accompanied my Sister In Law who was more than ready to sleep for twelve hours in that scary bus. Talk about dreams. God played the dice and we were tortured by the movie 'All Is Well' for three hours which did not let us sleep at all. I do not blame Abhishek Bachchan as he could make one uncle in the bus snore so loud that the jealousy surfaced out from every one around him - or I would like to believe so, to console myself that I was not alone!
With some sleepy chatting sessions and a lot of confusion regarding the name of the station where we had to get down ( Pretty cool confusion - Patharcool, Pattharikundi or Patharikulh)
our bus we managed to over take the bus with our friends on board. (A note for Bro-Buddy!) It was my first time in Manali and the only thing I could feel cool breeze, smell of fresh fruits and observe a monk in smarty sneakers! Poof!
While waiting for our friends, we met our super matured and helpful driver for the tour - Let's call him Mr.T. Two awesome Aloo Paratha and a failed attempt to feel fresh, our friends arrived and now we were a gang which started for the guest house to dress up/freshen up to look like humans before our embark to Spiti. I would also like to mention that while reaching the guest house, I managed to start our conversation with a lot of bashing designed for Bro buddy and Mr.ISB who had planned the super tight schedule which failed to accommodate any buffer resulted by traffic situations at the Mumbai Airport and Delhi Metro.
The Manali guest house which was owned by Nomadic, where we met him for the first time, provided all basic necessities to fill our stomach and freshen up along with a beautiful view from the lovely terrace garden. Just when warnings by SIL had started to fade away in my mind, we got to know that there was a strike (one more!) which can make us come back from the Rohtang Pass itself. Then we can only dream about going to the next destination 'Sisu'! Phew. We decided to take the plunge!
Discussing about the strike situations and a bit of nervousness for the second longest travel track for the journey, we started off for Spiti!
I know the above photo is not that great, especially if you are talking about 'Spiti' let me hop to the moment when we had yummy 'Maggie' (?!?!!?!?), Rajma Chawal, Kadhi and Momos on the way! Talk about tasty yet simple local food ( Some people did not like it, but I did it!) and cozy Dhabas. This was just a starting!
We crossed 'Rohtang Pass' which is 3978 mt above sea level and one of the highest passes in India, without suffering any bottlenecks resulted from the strike. This pass gave us some hints about what was in store for us in Spiti!
The above photo is of Beas Kund which is a small temple with a small shallow well full of Sulfuric water, a cure for most of the skin problems. Not for people like me who are allergic to Sulfa!
After going down hill after passing Rohtang pass, we climbed to Kunzum Pass which is 4590 ft above sea level!
In case of Spiti, it is true, " The journey to the goal in life is more beautiful than the goal itself!"
After hogging on some Uncle Chips, Dairy milk Silks and biscuits, trying to make the Aux port work so that our journey can be musical and chatting with our driver Mr.T for six more hours, we reached our first ever destination Sisu.
Snow laden mountain peaks peeping from the balcony of the sky and bone shivering wind hugging all around- The first feel of Spiti it was!
By the time we reached our guest house, we were shaken off by the intensity of the wind. Super warm blankets in the room obviously were welcomed with open arms! The love for blanket which actually created silly idea of sewing a gown out of the same wool for the dinner, made it a bit difficult for me to step out for the dinner. Too many of such 'lovely' thoughts provoked a headache which led us to go the 'Boys room' and settle there once again inside the blanket to watch TV while boys decided to do some random stuff.
The 'Papi Pet' finally won over all random acts and we attacked on the most yummiest Aloo sabji, tandoori roti, Paneer sabji with tangy achar. Some of us decided to digest food with a session of walk in the cold while some like me decided to hug that same blanket again
dreaming fearing the head-bath I was to take next morning.
Next day,the MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE to live in Spiti was waiting for us! Stay tuned, if you have stayed till this line! :D