Myles Harrington

Posts Tagged ‘Manali’

Zorbing, Bathing and Chilling in Manali

In India on April 25, 2010 at 6:23 am

We’ve been in Manali now for about five days and have managed to build up a massive bill at our guest house. We’ve got to go and check out now and split up the thousands of rupees. That’ll be good fun. Today has the best weather that we have experienced here so it feels a shame to be leaving. There is no rain! Three of us are getting the 7.30pm 12 hour mini bus ride to Dharamshala later today. We bought some special prescription only sleeping pills in Shimla so hopefully they’ll help take the edge off the bumpy ride.

The view from my guest house window in Manali

Yesterday I did some extreme sports like you’re meant to while in Manali. We all went zorbing. I now know why all of the organisers were saying you shouldn’t do it in the rain. It was raining like England when we got out of the taxi and the zorbs were disgustingly dirty with yak shit on the outside and in. It was great fun doing it but I wouldn’t be in any hurry to do it again. It was an expensive 30 seconds but the feeling of weightlessness was cool.

Just before I rolled around in the mud with Axel

They see me rollin' They hatin' Patrollin' they tryin' to catch me ridin. dirty.

After the zorbing, some delicious vegtable pakoras and a few rounds of chai we went to Vashist’s natural hot springs for a lovely soak with the locals inside a man made temple with intricate marble carvings. At first the water was a little too hot to handle with the cold air but it made a nice change to the cold showers i’ve got used to.

Soaking it all up with the locals

I would recommend anyone who likes Amsterdam to come to Manali. The place should be caled Little Amsterdam because there is the same feeling around the town, basically all the locals are drug dealers or saffron dealers (i’ll let you decide who gets better business), and there is the same distinct smell when you go into all of the coffee shops. There are hardly any police here and the weather is identical. Also, the view of the mountains and natural waterfalls is a bit better than the scummy canals.

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Yaking Up a Hill in Worse Weather Than in Britain

In India on April 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

From Shimla we stopped off the beaten track in Mandi. After just one night there we got back on the dirt tracks for the trek to the foot of the Himalayas and we now based in Manali for four or so days.

The garden in the middle of the sunken market in Mandi

Manali is a small hippie town where people some to do extreme sports and get stoned in the Tibetan-esque region of Himachal Pradesh at an elevation of just over 2000 metres.  When we arrived after two bus journeys that cost the same as a single zone 1 tube ride; it was pissing it down. I have never seen so much thunder and lightening as I have in the past three days.  It’s quite beautiful to see the sky lit up constantly with flashes hitting the tops of the snow capped mountains.

On our first full day I couldn’t take it just walking around in a thin cardigan anymore (thanks Tom) so I went on a shopping blow out purchasing a standard backpacker jumper (like the ones they always sell at festivals in the tents that stink of incense), a cosy blanket (for sitting in the cinema with), some purple socks and a cool hat (as modeled in the image below). Then we trekked up a hill to a temple that’s about 500 years old with amazing wood carvings and outside there were a number of tourist trap adventures. You could get your picture taken with a giant rabbit or ride a yak for 100 Rs. How could I resist a yak ride? Up and down the hill and it got boring after 3 seconds. It’s still a nicer ride than camels though.

Taking the bull by the horns

Continuing on my spending spree for the day Minja and I decided it would be a nice after to have an afternoon beer and an expensive and luxurious cheese platter from one of the finest restaurants in Old Manali. The platter featured yak cheese (i love that beast) which was kind of like emmental, some local Himachal cows cheese and some old imported favourites (brie, mozzarella and gorgonzola). In the evening we chilled out at one of the ‘cinemas’ (a large TV in a local’s lounge) and watched a Bob Dylan documentary.

Minja, Me, Victor, Brent and a stray