Sethan looked cute and dreamy from the customary and conventional Manali. I lifted my rucksack and carried my parka jacket in hand, as I cannot really walk wearing heavy layers on me. It was a brief, bit-slippery 20-minute walk downhill towards Hamta valley which was the igloo site. And there was what I got to see after that. It was another world altogether!! I checked out one of the igloos from inside and oh my God, it was so cute! And absolutely no compromise in the warmth they had provided with respect to the bedding arrangements. Over the ice platform, there was a waterproof sheet, on that animal skin, a warm sleeping bag lined with fleece inside and on the top a thick soft blanket to cover yourself. Besides that, there was a switch for light at night. The toilets were constructed outside inside zippable tents.
Outside the igloo, there was a main dining hall for guests to dine inside and warm themselves with the local 'tandoor' which almost every house in Manali has. Decorated with fairy lights and a Christmas tree, I only used that space for drying my socks which had got wet with snow. I was made to learn skiing for a bit, at which I failed miserably. The shoes and the entire ski equipment was just so uncomfortable to first wear and then walk with it. That's just my personal sentiment, else there were kids around doing a great job with skiing. I SUCKED bigtime!!!!
I spent most of my time in clicking photographs of the mesmerisimg scenery around, waiting for the sun to shine on the snow plains, interacting with the crew and other visitors the entire day and simply relish the serenity the place boasted of! It was like being at the sets of 'Game of Thrones'!
With endless supplies of tea, coffee, maggi and two great meals- Rajma rice, curry in lunch and chicken curry rice with paneer sabzi and piping hot chapatis at night, was no less than a gastronomic therapy amidst so much cold around! I retired in my igloo peacefully and slept like a baby inside.