You make such unusual friendships, and passing connections. Connections which are so deep. But so transient because you are moving along different ways. She was beautiful. She who looked straight into my eyes. No pretense. If I hadn't had an insistent honking from my own vehicle, I'd have stayed back there. Now I wish I had. But that's just my over-emotional childish thought. On a journey, you never get held back. Never get attached. Never stay back. That's for a different kind of living. I will just cherish the memory, and live on. We're probably, most probably, never going to see each other ever again. Ever. We don't know names, we're just two people who bonded for a half hour on a 14 hour journey. This is life on the road. Inshallah, we'll meet again.
Day 8: Kaza - Losar - Kunzum La - Batal - Rohtang La - ManaliIts an early start to the day if you are taking the morning bus to Manali. If you thought the Spello Pooh route was bad, this is not a route at all. Its as though the bus is going on the river bed. Good luck if you get the back seat. At dawn the bus reaches Losar which is small village near Kunzum pass. The bus then goes up to the Kunzum La to take two turns as religious faith and comes down to Batal. It can get really cold at Kunzum La and be prepared if you want to get down here to go to Chandratal. Safer option and mostly used it to get down at Batal. There is PWD guest house and the famous Chacha-Chachi dhaba run by two locals here where you can get food and shelter. Chandratal is 14 kms from here and there are many camping options available there for 500 per day. Temperatures at Chandratal can drop really low and camping by the lake is not allowed any more. One can stop by for a day and visit Chandratal and stay at Batal to the catch the next day bus to Manali around 8 am. The road ahead from Batal is no good till quite some distance but the thrill of the ride and of course the the jerks keep you well awake. As you cross Rohtag and head down to Manali, the road starts to get better and it starts getting hotter.Points to noteApproximate budget - An 8 day trip with public transport, dorm stays and local food can be as low as Rs 6500.Bus fares in Himachal are typically 1.5 times the kms travelled.If you are traveling in September, you will find orchards laden with famous Kinnaur apples. Buy them or get them free from the locals. They are more than happy to share.For more travel stories, you can visit my blog here.
The Kaza - Manali highway is in extreme conditions , so it takes around 4 hours to reach Kunzum Pass. From Kunzum Pass its a 8 km downhill trek to Chandrataal, but its not so downhill. There are places where you need climb steep slopes too,trails are extremely rocky , there are narrow trails through the edges of cliff and there are patches with no trails. It will take around 3-4 hrs with rests in between. There are beautiful green meadows , small streams which add enigma to this small trek.