Airports and Black Coffees
When you are eagerly waiting on a day to come, the countdown just never seems to end. Something like this happened on the 4th of May 2019. It was the day to board a flight to delhi and make my way up to the north.
However, lets back up a little bit to the 3rd of May, I had just got home from work in the morning, barely tired and more excited for the next day, I remember telling myself to get some sleep, but hardly does that ever work. I just spent a couple of hours on whatsapp with my girlfriend instead.
Here's where I bring in Kash, my girlfriend and accomplice on this expedition to the north.
Work on the 3rd was a total drag and I must have stared at the clock a million times for sure. But the thing about time is that it passes by, sometimes so slow you get annoyed with it and sometimes so fast that you wish you had more.
Anyway work was eventually done, I took the train home that day to reach earlier than normal because the lazy me had to still pack his bags. Packing took longer than i thought it would, because I was busy contemplating on what to carry and what not to...obviously.
With heavy discussion and a fun excited conversation with Kash over the phone my bags were finally ready, and i took a quick nap for about three hours.
Surprisingly i slept well, usually it's very difficult to sleep the previous day of a trip and this was actually the very same day. But on the other hand we were both tired so the little sleep we got kind off helped.
I'll skip straight to the airport now because nothing interesting happened on the way, apart from me taking a couple of rickshaws, a train and then an Ola to finally reach the airport. The climate was showing no mercy at all, it was so hot it felt easily like 40-50 degrees.
We both decided to reach a bit early because it's better to hang out in the terminal than to miss a flight. The check-in was pretty quick and we got our desired window seat, or I should say Kash got her desired seat. We almost got robbed of our seats by this young bloke and what looked like his elderly mother. So yeah!!
Time at the airport lounge was amazing, I mean good coffee great company and fun conversations, what more could I ask for.
The flight was at 5:45 pm and we reached delhi by around 8:30 pm, it was pretty smooth with only a little turbulence so, not that exciting. Yes, I am a bit crazy and i fancy turbulence on an aircraft.
Anyway till now the only arrangements we made were flights to delhi and a 11:45 pm Bus from Delhi to Bhuntar. We left the rest to improv and thought we'll stitch up an itenary on the road. Getting to the bus stand in Delhi was going to be difficult I thought, but the metro was a real saviour.
We took a shuttle from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 which houses the Aerocity Metro station and caught the Metro Express line a.k.a. Red Line to New Delhi Station, hopped on the Yellow Line to VishwaVidhyalay, got mobbed by a fleet of autorickshaw guys and finally made our way to Majnu ka Tila which was where our bus was. Now this all seems alot of hassle but it all panned out pretty well and saved us alot of time too, delhi traffic is too crazy during these hours so the metro felt like the wiser decision.
Now don't want to sound judgemental here but delhi never feels welcoming to me, it was my third time here and I just wanted to get going with my journey.
Around the expected time the bus arrived, it was a Volvo not as bad as we expected it to be apart from the legspace aspect. Now being a 6'1" dude legspace is always a concern so I couldn't complain much. We got bottles of water on board and we carried some snacks and munchies of our own. Everything else was going well, little did we know that things could get wierd and crazy.
The Bhuntar Bus Fiasco
Sleep through the night journey was the plan, so that we could start fresh in the morning from Bhuntar. We tucked our bags away plugged in earphones and started chilling to some playlists Kash and me created. Soon we were both all comfy and cool, eyes were shutting and it was time to go to bed. Now I take a while to fall asleep compared to Kash, who can fall asleep during an earthquake standing up too.
It must have been a few hours into the journey where i feel something splash on the floor. My eyes open and now a curios me is trying to figure out what happened.
I had my shoes off and my feet were on the leg rest in front. I woke up Kash because something seemed fishy, we both started behaving like detectives. All we had to do was take off the earphones and our nightmares came true, the woman sitting behind us had motion sickness I guess and started puking. To top that off the woman went back to sleep which got me pissed, she and her husband did not find it important to inform us, and puke was trickling down under our seats, luckily I woke up in time. Kash spoke to the bus guys and got us different seats, after that the journey was ppretty normal and we had alot of fun. The bus did make some stops for restrooms and breakfast on the way, and they were all better than expected. It was already a long journey on paper, and it got delayed even more. We ended up reaching Bhuntar almost by noon.
Hungry us, as soon as we hopped out of the bus I started eyeing out for restaurants to eat and found one just around the corner. I don't remember the name of that restaurant but the food was delicious. The owner even guided us to the local bus depot for our next destination.
Backup a bit to the Bhuntar bus ride, we had ample amount of time to decide which direction we wanted to head in. Shreya a friend who I had only talked to over the phone a couple of times stays in Tosh, which is a village in Parvati valley. After speaking to her, the plan was to go to Tosh.
However, I did not get any sleep on the bus courtesy leg-space crunch which meant I was totally drained out. Even Kash for that matter of fact was a bit tired, I mean we were in a bus for more than twelve long hours. So rather than beating ourselves up more we decided to travel halfway to Tosh from Bhuntar and call it a night.
With the advice given by the restaurant owner we took a shortcut between these few shops which were kinda underground and came out to a bus stand. Our next stop was now Manikaran.
The Roller Coaster Bus Ride
Manikaran a small town on the river Parvati is famous for its Hot springs and pilgrim centers and is around 35 kms from Bhuntar. Now google maps says it takes 1 hour 25 mins by road, never trust google maps when you in Himachal. The mountain roads are full of twists and narrow turns, it took us more than 2 hours.
It was the local state bus which got packed by the time we left, we managed to score seats though. The Bus was not air-conditioned which means the windows were open and on dusty roads you don't want windows open. The bus screamed loudly every time the driver hit the brakes. Even the engine was grunting all the time. It had these metal doors which would bang with a loud thud each time someone got in or out, despite of a sign that read "please close door gently".
Have you ever been in a Rally car, No you said. Well just board one of these buses. The ghats are insane and really technical, one wrong move and your down the mountain. Because of the roads being narrow if 2 or more buses end up at a hairpin turn, the entire road gets clogged up and that's exactly what happened to us. We were literally in the same spot for more than 30 mins and kept moving a few feet every few minutes after that. It took so long that at one point the driver got so annoyed he made his way out of it and just stepped on the gas, taking turns like a boss. We literally saw him talk on the phone with one hand and steer with the other. Not the safest way to drive a bus load of people on the mountain. But your'e reading this now, which means we survived. And all this costed us what, about Rs.67 per person and a mouth full of dust.
Temperatures were dropping now as the sun was setting, went to buy a bottle of water and got some advice free of cost. He guided us to go inside the market to find cheaper accommodation near the Gurudwara.
We passed this beautiful bridge which had the river flowing beneath it, prayer flags all around the bridge flattering in the wind and huge majestic mountains in the backdrop.
Manikaran has a small market and majority of the crowd here are sikhs. Walking around the market we hear a sardarji pitch to us a place to stay, he said "River View Rooms - 500 Rupees - Hot bath".
All Kash heard was Hot Bath, and she was like let's check it out. I insisted to go a bit further down, but Kash convinced me and we ended up going back to the sardarji. The room was very basic on the banks of the river, I can't deny the view was fantastic. The price also was very reasonable just Rs.500 a night. And of-course hot water bath was the highlight. Funny thing was the bathroom had a huge window that anyone could see in which was totally weird but sardarji fixed it immediately. He communicated in only two statements, "Haan ji" and "Koi dikkat Nahi", but super kind and friendly.
The hotel had a restaurant we could order food from and the menu was hilarious. Obviously English must not be their first language so spelling mistakes are always present. However one line which read, "I give you fresh food, you give me order 30 mins ago." just made our day.
Even the cafe next door where we had been twice for some Veg burgers and fries was very hospitable and kind. And food was delicious too.
That night we slept well and woke up to an amazing morning with a beautiful view.
Took a Shower, Packed our bags, checked out and made our way to the main road for the next roller coaster bus ride to Barshaini.
This bus was supposed to be there by 9:30 am and it was 8:45 am now. We had time to kill, the hospitality never stopped even with the roadside vendors, I picked up a redbull and afew bottles of water and gave him a 200 rupee note. Since we had time to kill we thought of crossing the road and exploring the forests ahead. Just as i walked across the shopkeeper called out to me to return my change that i had forgotten to take. It's a small gesture but it was nice of him to be so upfront and genuine.
It was a small mountain with tall pine trees and big rocks you could sit on, in front was a panaromic view of entire manikaran. And since the sun was not out yet, it felt colder than it should have.
We stopped mid way to take a few pictures and did not go too far up so that we could keep an eye on the road for our bus. A sadhu baba and another random guy also climbed the same hill and went a little higher than us and were smoking up a nice chillum. We were also having a nice conversation and some pictures turned out real nice on that spot.
Time flew by quickly and we boarded the bus to Barshaini. This ride was quicker than yesterday's amd more scenic too as we were going higher up into the mountains.
Now a little backstory neither me nor kash have ever seen snow in real life. And on our bus journey to bhuntar we caught a glimpse of a huge snowcapped mountain but didn't see it again.
That gave me hope, ofcourse I was not going to enjoy a snowfall in the first week of may but even the view of snow on the mountain peaks was comforting enough.
So on this bus ride to Barshaini, those snow clad mountains kept getting closer and closer and I've never felt so delighted looking at a mountain before. The rivers were crystal clear cold breeze in the air and lush green trees everywhere. I was in heaven.
Barshaini was the last stop from where a right down the valley went to Kalga-Pulga, a straight pass would take you to Kheerganga and a left would get you up to Tosh.
So Left we took.
From Barshaini it was a good 3 kilometer hike approximately to the village. We had no deadline so kpet our own pace. Before killing ourselves with exhaustion, breakfast is something we enjoyed there. Right at the end of all the small shops and businesses we found a cafe with an amazing view of Parvati valley and its mighty mountains. The place was nice and breezy, chilly was more like the term I'd prefer. It had a washroom as well to freshen up whoch was good consodering the amount of dirt we sniffed and swallowed on our way here.
We had a simple breakfast of Aloo Pranthas and plain maggi and obviously some black coffee. With our tummy's happy we set foot to towards the village. We were approached by a friendly face as soon as we got to the end of the road that went up, he was a local and asked us where we were heading.
He then offered a few services of his own that he apparently did for a living like Transportation cabs to the city, Group treks to kheerganga, camping options and not to forget weed. Yes, after all the sale pitches he even offered to sell my a T of hash which he claimed was fresh from the nearby mountains. I'll be honest it smelled fucking amazing but I could not gage its potency. Also I'm more of a weed person and herbs are generally my thing. So I passed the offer, he still gave his number incase I changed my mind. So now I have a phone number of a peddlar too apart from just memories in Barshaini. Great! I guess.
Moving on we started to walk the trail and it had hardly been about 10 minutes of walking that we stopped at just stared at this landscape to our right, it was just perfect with the river water in this bright turquoise shade just glistening under the sun and lucious green pastures where you could see all sorts of cattle grazing in the distant and the snowy mountains standing tall around it. Kash clicked some amazing pictures of me here, ofcourse I took some pictures of her too, but the one's she took actually turned out to be better than mine. Can't lie. But hey it isn't a competition right?
The sun was getting to us now and with 60 litre backpacks it was not so easy to do this trail. Being Kash's first trek she did pretty amazing, at one point she just got too exhausted and even I was feeling the pinch by now.
She noticed a black SUV approaching and instantly just stood on the road and asked for a lift. And what luck, the car actually stopped. It was a black Scorpio with four Haryanvi dudes travelling from Haryana to Kheerganga.
We asked if they could drop us till the village and they agreed. The car was cramped up and bags were everywhere, I somehow squeezed in the back and Kash got the window seat.
These guys were just bored and set out on a roadtrip to Kheerganga, how cool is that? Stereotypically they looked like a bunch of goons maybe, but they were actually nice and dropped us till the end of the road. We made small conversations on the way, and they even offered to share their drugs with me. I felt obliged but I still passed the offer.
Upon reaching the village, I get a call from Vicky. You remember Shreya from a while ago, Vicky is her boyfriend who also lives in Tosh and was on his way to receive us.
He gave us directions and we started following the path, now they were based another kilometer or two from the village. We caught another quick snack of coffee and maggi at this place called Jasmeet Dhaba which was being renovated into a new cafe. The Man and his wife running the place were very kind and sweet and happened to know shreya and vicky too, well it's a small village so evryone knows everyone I guess. A few other friendly faces from bombay also knew where we were heading and helped us eith directions.
The village is obviously on a hill so its a lot of ups and downs and had narrow muddy roads. Mules keep going back and forth with goods as no vehicles can be used there. Some parts were even mucky and full of cattle droppings, so one has to be careful taking a step. Speaking of steps we reached this flight of stone stairs that was mucky, wet and slippery and to make it more difficult mules kept hurrying down them stairs.
After crossing that we met Vicky and from there it was mostly downhill, still not any easier though. To our right was a dam which created a man-made waterfall I guess which was famous for a circular rainbow I was told and later saw too but just in pictures. Was not able to witness it firsthand, but theres always another time. Right before us was a huge mountain peak called Kutla where alot of treks happen, we reached the bottom of our trail crossed a small stream which gets very aggressive in the monsoons actually, and finally arrived at Shreya's and Vicky's property. Which they proudly call Bija Farms.
Fat joints and Creepy Crawlies
Bija farms is this half an acre of land in Tosh valley. They built a house of stones and wood to keep warm in winters since temperatures drop as low as -20 Degrees Celsius. Snowfall is so bad at times that they have about 7 feet of it. A kitchen sits outside which has these transparent panels which I believe was for natural light and across it was a tandoor room which was personally my favourite. It had this tandoor a.k.a. furnace in the center with a chimney to the roof and you can burn wood and the entire place gets nice and warm, the plus side is you can even cook on it.
It had mattresses all around the furnace and alot of artwork, posters and books took place on the walls. It was a nice homely feel and sent out good vibes.They even grow their own vegetables.
As soon as I reached the property I hugged shreya and met her for the first time. She and Vicky both were very welcoming of me and Kash.
We dumped our bags and sat on the lawn to catch our breath, we had made quite a few stops on the way too. Another human popped out of the tandoor room named Alden. He said hello and straight up offered me a fat joint of probably the best hash I've ever smoked. I remember saying, "wow, that's very welcoming" and chuckled.
Alden was also from bombay who made a decision to leave the city life and start something new here. The trio are trying to out up something sort of a camp site, where outsiders can come and stay, cook, learn, chill do some outdoor activities and so on. It's still a work in progress and Alden was the guy handling their PR. All in all a good project by the looks of it.
We were short on days so could afford to spend only one night in Tosh. The climate and the place was just incredible. So peaceful and a gang of cute little mutts were running around the place.
My favourite was this pup with mountain fur called Yakuza. He was too adorable and so were the others.
In the evening Kash and I took a walk in their backyard with two cups of black coffee and had one of the best and most organic conversations on the entire trip. And this happened twice that day and it was very magical. We even visited this joint called "The Stoned Cafe" which had a nice prehistoric theme to it and it blended well in the landscape it sat in.
Temps were dropping fast and it was starting to get dark now.
Due to the change in altitude Kash was not feeling too well. I mean we were at an elevation of 7900 feet. even my apetite sort of changed there.
We were all having a conversation and having a good time. Kash then decided to take an early nap.
Electricity is very tricky there, and there was a powercut for almost five days. Now the weather was more than pleasant to sleep without electricity, but that meant no lights too. She was a bit paranoid to sleep alone, but found the guts to do it anyway and used my phone to listen to some music to divert her mind. We were running really low on charge by now, so both phones were on flight mode conserving battery for the next day.
I got done too in a while and proceeded to catch some shuteye and join Kash in bed. The room was really cozy with a nice thick mattress on the floor and some thick blankets amd quilts to keep warm. And a slow burning candle sat in the shelves on the wall.
It was really cold now, 3 degrees to be precise. I was all tucked in and ready to pass out when my attention turned towards the wall in front of me. There was something slowly crawling, my heart literally stopped for a second. Part of me said to forget it and go back to bed, but the curious me couldn't. I had to know what it was, so I searched my battery drained phone and turned on the flashlight. I kid you not, I've never seen a spider this big in my life in person. It was the size of my palm and I'm a tall dude with big hands. It was slowly crawling upwards, in midst all this investigation of mine Kash eventually woke up too. Now she wears contact lenses and was obviously not wearing it while sleeping. I had to tell her what I saw, and she started freaking out too. I'm sure she did not even see it that well and was probably sleeping quite comfortably all this while that I wasn't around. I immediately got out of bed and silently went to the door on the right, trying to make as little noise as possible. In my mind, in no way did I want to startle that spider.
I called out to Shreya who luckily was still awake, and told her about our new friend in the room.
She chuckled and got a glass and a saucer and like a badass caught the guy and left him in the bushes. Just as I caught a sigh of rellief and went to shut the door, I caught another terrifying sight of another spider of the same size atleast if not bigger just above my head in the cracks of the celing. "Shreya" I shouted again "Get back here!" I said, to which she replied "another one?" And made her way back to our room with her homemade spidy-trap.
Two big guys down and slowly few more popped out from the cracks of the ceiling and the walls. Maybe the spiders that were caught gave them a signal or what I don't know. But the hunt ended with Shreya and Vicky both catching a total of 5 big spiders and the motherload appeared then which was a 5 inch long thick milipede that looked something like a creature you would see in a sci-fi movie. Ok maybe I'm exaggeratting a blittle bit here, but it sure looked scary and unlike the spiders this guy was quick, even Vicky couldn't catch him and he slipped into the cracks.
By this point Kash was traumatized, and sleep deprived too. Now to be fair we were staying in the middle of a god damn valley, so these creatures were actually in their natural habitat, we were the intruders in reality.
Anyway I don't know about Kash but I was too chicken to sleep there knowing that the milipede is still somewhere hiding.
Thankfully Vicky and Shreya were both very kind to let us sleep in the Tandoor room instead. I jumped at that option with no hesitation at all. We packed our bags and left it there and took our phones with us and to the Tandoor we proceeded.
I'm sure I mentioned before that the Tandoor room had plenty if mattresses and blankets too. We both git nice and cozy there and luckily there were no signs of any creepy crawlies there.
We all were chatting while shreya, vicky and alden were having dinner. A joint was being passed around at all times and then came time for dessert, freaking Gulab Jamuns and damn tasty ones too. I was on one hell of a high that night. After a while we called it a night. Kash had trouble sleeping that day, because the altitude and sudden climate change got to her. But by morning things looked much better. I woke up ti the mighty sniw mountains in front of me, glistening under the sun. It was magnificent.
The pups also woke up early and were run ing around the property.
Shreya gave us some good hot black coffee while she was preparing breakfast. Kash had a few Protein bars in her bag which had oats, pumpkin seeds, raisins and all that good stuff. After having those we were good for a while, and were roaming around the place as it was really pleasant to walk in the morning. Breakfast was ready we were just short on bread and poor Vicky had to go all the way across the river and up the hill to the village to just get that. That's the village stuggle for real. It makes us appreciate the priveleges we have. Breakfast was more like brunch by now, and Shreya cooked a dish called Shakshuka which is an Israeli dish made of eggs and fresh vegetables. It was delicious, better than I expected.
That was all our time in Bija Farms in Tosh and we had to bid goodbye to our new friends in the mountains. They had been nothing but incredible hosts, if only I had more days to my vacation.
On the contrary though I now have multiple reasons to come back here. And plus by then their entire setup should be completed and open for business.
So we threw our backpacks over our shoulders and set foot to decend Tosh. A cute little pup followed us and kept us company till we got to the river bridge. From there it was a tiring ascend to the village, all that walking got me hungry and I noticed a German bakery, I ordered a Banana Apple pie and Kash went for a Nutella chocolate pie with nuts. Both were really good and rich in flavour. We continued making our way through the village, and stopped at Jasmeet Dhaba once again. Yes the same dhaba that we stopped on our way, this was Kash's idea to have maggi there. I had no complaints. After a maggi run, we finally reached the end of the village and knowing that we would be exhausted if we walked back down. We met "Steve Aoki", a cabbie, who offered to drop us to Barshaini for 300bucks. It was not a bad deal, plus the guy looked exactly like Steve Aoki so we dumped our bags and ourselves in the back of this beaten up Tata Safari. He got us down the mountain in a jiffy and dropped us at the start of Barshaini.
We then walked about 10 minutes to the exact same restaurant we ate breakfast the day prior. Freshened up, grabbed a bite and charged up our devices with a little to juice to atleast get us till Kasol. I guess in all this hussle I lost my favourite beanie somewhere. Oh well, now I have a story to tell though.
By now you must have guessed it, our next stop was Kasol. And the bus left at 4:30pm from Barshaini. We wandered and waited like nomads till the bus finally arrived. There was alot more people than I expected, but luckily I did manage to secure two seats for us.
"Shanti Brother Shanti"
The bus journey was another roller coaster ride full of dusty roads again, we were tired by now and I started to develop a bit of a cold. So the both of us took small naps in between the drive, the bus stopped once in Manikaran where we picked up a bottle of water and then straight non-stop to Kasol.
The bus got us directly to the center of the market, which was bustling with street vendors.
There were art shops, handicrafts, bakery's and what not. It felt like a hippie hub to be honest and the vibes were fantastic.
It felt so laidback and peaceful yet chaotic. Since we were tired and dirty like two homeless people we thought it would be best to first find a hotel. So that's what we went on a hunt for, we took the market lane. There was just one ATM in the whole of Kasol and that too of a bank I had never heard off and that was in this lane. Shops selling bongs and chillams, kurtas to harem pants, bags, accessories everything was available one after the other. Out of all the places we had been till now, Kasol was the most popualted and had alot of foreign tourists too.
We went strolling by these shops and came acriss a hotel to our left. Before we could actually alproach the reception we overheard the guy giving out the price of the rooms they had. He quoted around 2000 rupees which was not bad, but being Kasol we wanted to check around first.
Bang opposite that hotel was another one called 'Hotel Cafe Turquoise'.
It had a bit of commotion already as a few others were also checking in. We inquired the price and he politely replied, "First take a look at the room and then we'll talk about the price". Fair enough right??
I left the room making decision to Kash, becuase if she liked it then I would surely love it and she happily agreed to do so. Infact it was her idea to go check the room while I guarded the bags. I actually did not mind waiting down though, I was super exhausted.
She came down with a big Smile and "OK lets check in quickly" written all over her face.
It was now time to talk money and we could not believe the price quoted which was just 1200 bucks a night, which was very reasonable to me and Kash was even more surprised because she actually saw the room too. We booked 2 nights because we wanted to just relax the last few days our vacation.
So we made our way up 4 flight of stairs and I was highly impressed as soon as I entered the hotel room. It was spacious with a nice big fluffy bed and cozy blankets. It had a wardrobe, a tv, a dressing table, a coffee table and a huge balcony.
The bath and toilet was also really neat and spacious. And all the furniture had this nice teak wood texture theme to it, even the curtains for that matter of fact. It was more than worth the price and plus we had room service too.
Speaking of room service they had the best chicken burgers and the strongest of black coffees ever. Even the food was very cheap and tasty.
We took a bath, got all fresh and finally started looking like civilized humans. We decided to take a stroll of the city at night, it was nice and cold almost 13°-15°c. Now Kasol offers quite a few cuisines like Israeli and Tibetian dishes.
So momos had to be tried and I was not disappointed. We took a quick walk and decided to order dinner from room service and call it a day.
The next day we were all fresh and energetic, since it was sunny during day time we decided to saty in till noon to avoid getting tanned and went out directly for lunch. On our mission to explore new places to eat ww found this Cafe called Sunshine which looked very hip and vibrant with its Bob Marley theme and orayer flags all around the place.
By now we were hungry so I ordered some Israeli delicacies and Kash went for something in Fish. We also had chicken momos as starters with some fresh lime sodas while our food was being prepared. The best part of such cafes are that the food is always fresh.
We liked this Cafe so much that we ended going there thrice. The staff was also really nice and welcoming. This Nepali guy from Kathmandu was always smiling and addressed me as '"brother".
The third time we were there we went to have some desserts. Kash was craving a Nutella cheese pancake and I was digging through the menu to find something unique. I cam across a dish called "Real Hot Chocolate" for some 250 or 300 rupees. I thought to myself this is a bit overpriced for a hot chocolate so I asked "brother" about it and he said that I must try it. So I ordered one.
It was this thick hot chocolate almost the consistency of cream in this small tea cup. It was rich in taste too. Half way through the chocolate I started feeling a bit funny and light headed. And Kash also noticed this and started laughing at me. I felt something funny and very euphoric, i called the waiter and asked him what's in this and all he said was "Shanti Brother Shanti". I then realised that the hit chocolate had a bit of hash oil in it. I was basically getting high of it.
Well I should have known, Kasol is famous for its hash availability and consumption. I mean everyone in the city is high and all with a laidback attitude.
I even pondered more on the thought of Marijuana edibles and asked the waiter if he had hash brownies. They didn't have brownies, but this chocolate momo made of milkybar chapati with hash oil in it. I ordered one to take away. We went back to our room and I tried that momo, it was not the best tasting one because I could get a strong marijuana taste. But it got me high, it took a while but I probably got the best sleep of all the seven days of my vacation. Even Kash tried waking me up a couple of times but I was stoned to bed.
Next day we had to check out by 12 noon, but the problem was we had to get to delhi and the only buses from kasol to delhi were at night. So I spoke to the hotel guy and got us an extension for another few hours. It was a good decision to do that even Kash would agree on this.
By 4 in the evening we were all packed and ready to leave, our bus was not until 7:40pm, so we decided to eat out and do a bit of sightseeing till then.
The hotel guy was kind enough to let us leave our bags there while we roamed about. We had lunch, which was a pretty late lunch but we were hungry so who cares about the time.
There was this nice garden just 5 minutes away, we had been there the previous day too but did not have much time so we went back in took some nice pictures and had a nice leisure walk and talk.
After that we made our way behind the garden to this bridge thatbwent over the river to other side of the mountain. We walked alongside the banks of the river and got down on these big rocks and sat there. It was an amazing view, the sun was setting and the cold river water was gushing majestically. Temperatures also started to drop as it got darker.
It was time for us to collect our bags from the hotel and go to our pickup point which was about 10 minutes walking. We reached well before time and were standing opposite this Lucky Restaurant. It was almost time and no sign of the bus, we could not even track it on the app. The given time went by and still no sign of the bus, we were now worried a bit, so Kash called 'MakemyTrip' and tried to get an update on the same, we somehow managed to get the driver's phone number. Turns out the bus was delayed due to traffic and would not reach us till 9pm. Luckily Lucky Restaurant was still open, we had a quick snack and waited there as long as we could till the time they had to shut. Before baording the bus I wanted to make sure our bladders were empty to have a pleasant drive, however the toilets were not less than a set from a hooror flick. It was up the hill through stone steps and in an abandoned building with no lights and no one in sight and trees all around. Kash was petrified here, we got done with our business and went back diwn to the road. Finally we saw other people also gathering up for the same bus and finally it arrived.
"Kyu Mood Nai Banre?"
This was a Mercedes Benz Multi Axle bus, it was more spacious had more leg room and was really very comfortable. I actually managed to sleep on this bus so did Kash. She can actually sleep anywhere so nevermind her.
The bus journey was quick and nothing interesting happened, it ahd it's regular washroom stops and we were sleeping most of the journey. Now the bus was air conditioned so it was nice and cool inside.
However delhi was bloody hot, 41°c to out it down in numbers. As soon as we got off the bus it was scorching and irritating, we did not know where to go or what to do as our flight to mumbai was at night.
Autorickshaw and taxi guys started irritating us and git the best of Kash. She was super annoyed and pissed couldn't blame her it was hot as fuck and then these annoying drivers were not helping the situation. Delhi already started giving creepy vibes just 5 minutes in.
We took a cab to Cannaught Place for 300 Rupees and he kept selling us places to eat and lodges to stay, he just never knew when to shut up. The only good thing about that ride was the air conditioning.
We aksed him to drop us at a McDonald's across the road, he took us even further and dropped us at another McDonald's. To our luck it was closed, we walked back to the first one which was also closed. And the heat was now getting to us.
We finally walked another 5 minutes and found a Subway to eat. It did not have a washroom so we were still all sweaty and dirty.
After not knowing what to do the rest if the day, we decided to go to the Airport and chill there itself. So an Uber was booked and on our way we were to the Airport. It took about 40 minutes to get there.
Now normally Airport personell don't allow you in the Terminal untill 6 hours before the flight. In iur case it was well over 12 hours, but he looked at us and let us in. Pheww!!
Air conditioning again.
Once in the Terminal we both almost took a bath there. Brushed our teeth, I even shaved and we both had a change of clothes and got all fresh and comfy.
We had to now just kill time, we charged our devices and were watching youtube videos. Costa's was the only outlet available to us because all the other food outlets were on the other side which were only accesible after check in. And we could not check in till a long time from now.
So like always we ordered some black coffees something to eat maybe even a cheese cake. All this while Kash was a bit annoyed but she was getting back to herself again. She gets kinda cute when shes annoyed to be honest, but don't tell her that.
Time somehow went by and I tried to get our boarding passes and it worked although it wasn't time yet. We took advantage if this and checked our baggage. And rushed to the food court, there were a lot more options available now including KFC our favourite.
After a good meal we still had plenty of time to kill so we decided to check what else this terminal had to offer. We found another lounge area with a piano placed in one corner and a few food outlets.
It looked so ordinary, but this place became one of the most cherished place on this entire trip. Now we both feel that it would had been better if we actually had more time. The trip was coming to an end and we we had closer than ever. The conversations we had there were nothing but priceless. We had one last hotdog each of us and boarded the flight.
This probably must have been the most emotional flight for me and for her too. Two hours later we landed in Mumbai, tired but still not ready to believe that the vacation had actually ended.
We got an Ola to my place and I dropped Kash on the way from where she took a rikshaw to her place. I slept on the way and called Kash the first thing after reaching home.
This vacation was probably the best one I've had, maybe it was the place but I feel it was more to do with the company I had.
To more trips like this soon......