This post started as “#ME & #Laddakh” but developed itself rather like “#ME & #Manali” and I had to change the title as well
It can never have a perfect start or end or enough of words when I write of #Laddakh because everything fall short for the #Laddakh. I run out of all tangible thing as I am flooded with………..this post would continue later…for now please keep on reading about #Manali
It started long back when I visited first ever time to Manali and when you are in #Manali you see every day some of groups leaving for Leh and some of them coming back. People talking about which mountain pass is open or not. There are road signs indicating just that. Whole atmosphere is like a transit camp, which is full of life and anticipation. Like any other transit camps, there are unofficially defined zones for everything. Everything one might want to do to have fun and enjoyment, cafes, hostels, smoke zones, #hash-zones , grass/weed zones, some might like to argue that whole Manali is that only however it is largely divided in terms of type of people populating and hanging about that place e.g. Old Manali is den of foreign nationals and famously second home to Israeli people who come after their military service.
But I did not see any of it.
When I first visited #Manali, it was through the eyes of a cycling expedition and my exposure to real #Manali was as limited as it could be, however, I felt I needed to come back. As Soon As Possible.
First time ever, I was cycling in #Manali and visited all the places one supposed to be visited like #Hidimba Temple, #Manu Temple, #Vashishth #HotSpring, #Naggar Castle etc. and the highlight of whole time was not these place but the routes to go there which we covered by cycling.
Every day was marked with scenic beauty of #pine and air filled with fragrance of mountain flora and fauna. Body filled with strain of #cycling and #heart filled with #joy. It was a different experience and I did not know about it. I did not know I was not looking at Manali with a tourist point of view but a cyclist view.
In later years, I went Manali for different purposes and got chance explore the place from different angles and god it was fun every way I tried but most of all it was a relief from summer heat of northern Indian plains in lap of #Himalayas. While one can feel the transit every day. Transit because #Leh felt like home later and by road Manali to Leh highway is the one of three way to reach Leh.
Manali became and hopefully be my favourite transit camp. More about Manali some other day!