"I have not been everywhere, but it's on my list."
Is there a better time to make travel plans than the beginning of a new year? And, is there a better resolution than promising to take yourself to at least one new place to lose and find yourself at the same time? If I had to answer those two questions, my answer would be "No".
It was January 2016, and I was frantically going through travel blogs and websites to pick the places of my interest and make necessary bookings. I found some exciting options like Goechala in Sikkim, Roopkund in Uttarakhand, but they seemed to be moderate-difficult and I wasn't sure whether I was physically fit enough to go for one of those. Then I happened to find details of Beas Kund, a trek to the point of origin of river Beas. It was an easy-moderate, 4 day trek and suited me well. "Back to the Himalayas", I told myself excitedly.
Day 1: I reached Delhi by noon, roamed around a bit, met a couple of friends and rushed to catch an overnight bus to Manali. Rest of the group members (all unknown to me) were supposed to meet me at our home-stay in Manali. Usually trek leaders create a whatsapp group, including all the members, at least one day before the trek. That way it gets easier to communicate and know the group members who you are going to stay with for the next few days. I was in the bus to Manali when I started to get worried because no one from the group had contacted me yet. We halted at Ambala for dinner and I decided to call the organizers to inquire whether the trek was cancelled. I was almost prepared for a bad news and started making alternate plans to travel around Manali. Thankfully, everything was just fine and the organizers had already arranged a pick-up for me from the bus stand at Manali.
Day 2: The bus reached Manali at around 10:30 am. Two other group members had already arrived by a different bus and were waiting for me. We introduced ourselves formally, not knowing that by evening we will be sitting by the street, having a cup of chai, cracking jokes and laughing crazily. Our organizers had booked for us a home-stay in Burwa, a village around 6 kms from Manali. The three of us were a bit tired after the bumpy, overnight drive from Delhi to Manali and wondered whether we should take some rest instead of exploring the village. But then decided against wasting precious time in staying indoors. We had a quick breakfast and decided to roam around the village. After loitering around for a while we came back and met the rest of the group members that included a chirpy, enthusiastic bunch of school kids who were on a vacation after their board examinations. With them joining us, there was a sudden increase in the overall excitement level of the group. :)