Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Hills have Ice

"Arey yaar iss saal New Year Goa mein hi manayenge" was the consensus on 20th December, so we finally executed the plan..... and it was a trip to Manali in March end.

You must have guessed it by now that it is a travel blog yet again. Summarizing it even further, this is the 6 day experience of our trip to Manali-Solang-Dharamshala-Maclodganj.


We booked a tempo-traveler for the whole trip. The 14 seater vehicle served as a second home for us for the following 6 days. However the driver we got stuck with wasn't that easy to go down the throat. The right description would be the character Nana Patekar played in Taxi No. 9-2-11, the man was a live version of that irritating frustrated character. Even though we managed to find out a fun way to deal with him, he deserved a special acknowledgment in this blog.

The Satan - Mr. Tiwari
Day 1

The plan was to leave Delhi by 1 PM atmost and we left by 6 PM (Trust me, still good enough). The energy level were soaring high at this time. After couple of "Baby Doll", "Saree Ke Fall Sa", "Gandi Baat", "London Thumkada", "Palat" and "Chaar Botal Vodka" we started settling.

The journey went smooth for some hours but then came the whirlpool of roads. Soon the excitement was overshadowed by the sour clouds of expected vomiting and nausea. The joyful ambiance was soon replaced by the scene of a epidemic hit village, where few healthy were taking care of others.  The night went by with vomiting & tea breaks.

Day 2

After the suffering (English wala Suffering) of day one we were in Manali. The worn out spirits were once again rejuvenated after seeing the snow covered mountains and the aesthetic beauty of the place. The first thing we did was finding a nice hotel and getting ready after the crazy last night. It was a lazy day and we could only get out of our room in the late afternoon. We went shopping and visited some nearby temples and stuff.
Night in Manali
Day 3

The third day and undoubtedly the most eventful day started early for us. After setting a target of starting the journey to Solang by 7 AM we could only manage to get rolling by 10. (For those of you who are not familiar with Solang stop for a while and Google the place for some images) The idea was to play in the snow for whole day long. Being from Delhi we weren't equipped for the harsh weather that the snow would offer, so we rented a full proof winter gear for everyone.

After a 20 minute tipsy drive we were there .. yes, ON THE SNOW ! Most of us were experiencing Snow for the first time (Excluding the Freezer's Snow) so the excitement was quite justified. The snowball fights started in no time and soon the friendship turned into playful rivalry. The time went by at Bolt's pace and we realized its been 3 long hours since we were doing the snow war.

Playing in the snow

Just then some Parachutes at a distance caught our eye and came an instant suggestion, " Chalo Paragliding karenge". The idea was fascinating but could only muster up 5 people out of the total 12. The setup was scary, the majestic mountains all around and jumping from almost clouds onto the ground was sending chills down everybody's spine. Chanting the overused "Darr Ke Aaage Jeet Hai" slogan we went ahead.

The jumping spot was on around 30K Feet.we had to use a rope-way for half the distance and walk on thin slippery ice for the rest half. After around 30 minutes of struggle we reached the starting point. As the instructor was tying the parachute on me I asked, "Any Instructions?". "Run .. Keep Running and Jump" he said in a monotonous tone.

So I ran .. and soon I was a bird ! The most amazing feeling a human can ever get , TO FLY ! (the 2nd most technically ;), you know the first one) The view from above was just heavenly, the hills .. the snow .. the tall tress .. all were looking small to us. The beauty and ambiance kidnapped the fear for a while. It was the 5 minutes of ultimate freedom.

View from the top

Now we were done with all the adventure activities the local business people were offering, so now we created our own adventure. We climbed a snow covered mountain that must be of the height of a 8 to 10 story building and started sliding off it .. Trust me, I had never experienced so much of fun and excitement even on a ride of an amusement park. *Would soon upload a video of it*

After spending almost 12 hours in the cold harsh snow we decided to head back to hotel as the temperature was dipping ruthlessly. We had ice in our boots, gloves and thanks to the pranks I had some in my private parts too.

"Chalo tumhe aaj uss hotel le chalta hoon jahan main rukta hoon" said the Satan driver of ours. We were all a bit skeptical, "Yaar jahan ye rukta hai wahan !" but we decided to not reject him on the face and said "Ha chalo dekhte hai".

After around 30 minutes of his horrifying driving we were in front of the hotel *The grandest and best hotel we stayed in the entire trip* Huge rooms, Changing room, Lavish bathrooms with bath tubs, a mammoth LCD on the wall and what not ! The India vs Australia match was an icing on the cake. Watching the match, eating snacks, playing bluff and uno the time flew away and it was around 2 am again.
*FYI - We just slept for 15 hours in the entire trip*

Day 4

I have no clue what happened this day ! No wasn't a dope effect but this day ended pretty quickly. We kept travelling, stopped at the places that were looking nice, captured a zillion photographs and again started travelling.

The day ended at 10 PM when we reached our hotel in Dharamshala.

The balcony of the hotel

Wait .. just the Day ended, the Night was young. As soon as the clock struck midnight, April Fool's Day began. We had to pull out a prank, I don't have the scope the express it in details but the bottomline is we were pretty successful in scaring the shit out of one of us *Taking his name would get me in trouble*, Special thanks to Varsha and her talent of looking like a ghost when needed.

Day 5

This day was the best in terms of action. We went many places. Firstly it was the waterfall of Mclodganj. Heavy vehicles were not allowed to go till the spot so we had to walk 3 KMs .. sounds draining but the aesthetics were dominant enough to not make us feel tired.

The water was freezing but still we went inside and had fun for a good one hour.

Chilled waterfall

Next we went for a spiritual shower in the nearby Buddhist temple and also got the previlage to see Dalai Lama (Haina, Vivek ?). The peace at the temple was amazing and we finally got to rotate those cylindrical pipes, feels good.

Next on our itinerary was the most beautiful cricket stadium of India and definitely one of the best in the world. We had some problems at first but after liaising with the guard, he let us in.

The day was nearing an end .. we stopped at places that attracted us. And after a while the sad declaration came by, "Chalo abb Back to Delhi". The words went like a bullet through her hearts *Even Sanket couldn't stop this by his hand*.

It was late at night, we were evaluating the trip and getting sad by the fact that "Kal se saala sab boring". Even the Peppy item numbers were replaced by sad senti songs *Special mention to Madari - Vishal Dadlani ft. Clinton Cejero*. We were scheduled to reach Delhi by 8 AM.

Day 6

This day was supposed to be the shortest .. but wait, God had different plans. At 5 AM we hear a thumping noise and the Amitabh Bacchan voice of the tempo-traveller was replaced by the meek voice of Tusshar Kapoor. The vehicle got borke down in the middle of the highway.

One hour passed .. Another one gone .. Yet another one ran past us but there was no sign of maintenance. We all were getting desperate and restless at the start. But after a while we accepted our fate and were relieved *Found a washroom at nearby Petrol Pump*. Everyone was still upset but one of us was excited for reasons not to be told in public.

En-route Delhi

Finally, the vehicle was up and running at around 12 PM. We were still 160 KMs away from Delhi. We had a last lunch together and then finally sat in again for the actual last leg of the trip. We were all home by 6 PM.


The 6 days went past us like 6 hours but breaks should be like that only. We were all caught in the daily madness and rush of Delhi, spending time together with friends at a place like that is really one should do once every year. If you haven't ..

Pack your Bags .. Ask me for Logistics !

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