posted on Friday, September 04, 2009

Manali first day


Transfer day today. I took the night bus from Dharamsala to Manali and met a german guy called Michael who is also traveling onto Ladakh. We were met at 5am by a battering monsoon rain, a definetely cooler temperature and enterprising PC, hotel owner, travel agent as well as hindu priest of the local temple... His CV at first seemed a bit too good to be believed but after his offer to organise our night stay, bus ride to Leh and a hot coffee at 5am we were quickly sold! After a late rest the lure of the hot spa was too much to resist so Michael and me headed up to Vashisht, the tiny backpackers villagge a few kilometres up the mountain. This hot spa was not up to a japanese onsen cleanliness standard but it was still such an amazing place. Set right inside the walls of the local hindu temple and with scolding hot water gashing out. So hot in fact that at first I was wondering if I would ever be able to dip in further than my feet! Soon though the body adjusted to that heat and as it also started raining and felt pretty cold it was just wonderful and after one hour it was difficult to get out, so warm and relaxing it was. After a light dinner we returned to Manaslu Guest house where PC told us we were not going to go to Ladakh tomorrow as it had snowed heavily on the roads up the mountains. So it will be another day spent in Manali and who knows if the weather is still bad I am sure another onsen trip! Life could be so much worse...