This was supposed to be a trip were I'd turning 26 and be unemployed, but then there is something else in store I guess, does landing a job a couple of hours before the trip makes things different? I am still sticking to the original intended duration of 20 days, though unplanned.
Bus - No Bus:
I had impulsively booked my bus online the last night, A 10PM private volvo to Manali. I reached the boarding point half an hour before scheduled departure, and see the bus with my operators name there, I get on to it and take my seat until minutes later the conductor asks me for a ticket. I show him the text, and he says the bus I am sitting in is for Shimla, and guides me to the bus standing behind. I ask the conductor about the bus and he says, " This will go to Manali but this isn't your bus, a french man ( assuming from his accent ) shouts " This was supposed to leave at 7:30, it's 9:45, still no sign of leaving ", I get down from the bus and call on the helpline number for the operator, the call finally goes through after 15 minutes of trying, and he tells me that the bus will arrive at 10:30 PM ",
I start calling the bus driver at 10:45 again, he says the bus isn't coming, please get on to another bus ( Which was already standing there for the last hour). The bus finally leaves at midnight, after a 15 hour journey with a couple of stops at shadiest and expensive as fuck dhabas, I finally reach Manali to find a 4 kilometre long traffic jam.
My place of stay is a 3 week old Hostel started by an enthusiastic Gujarati guy, with a lot of handmade Jugaad to give the place a rustic hilly feel. The garden has trees where apple and peaches grow, situated in a corner with mountains on the three sides and Manali on one.
I had to walk 4 kilometre with a lot of stairs and single trails on the way, via the villages on the sides.
Next two days would be spent in Relaxation and in planning for the route ahead, do suggest places to go from here!
In Picture a 360 degree view from the hostel rooftop.