So it's another day - 21st July'18 Saturday and the clouds come down to greet everyone. It actually looked to be a Good Morning. Have slept for not more than 4 - 5 hrs but now these picturesque views won't let me sleep and it would be a disrespect to them if I try to sleep.
The bus has stopped at bhuntar & the conducter actually forgot to tell me that, which I told him to do in the beginning of the trip but because I could recognize the handpump at bhuntar , so the journey went ahead and I boarded the local bus to kasol from there. It actually costs you 50 bucks and 1hour to reach kasol from bhuntar. The bus conducter was even generous enough to tell me that buses are available for Bir from Mandi so I need to find that also but later.
And a quick nap made me ready to snap a few pieces of the world again. When I travelled in 2016 to kasol in order to trekk kheerganga with my office colleagues, we got the Evergreen cafe (one of the best cafes as I have heard, I will able to comment on the food only after I eat) closed as the bus from Delhi reaches early and the cafes do not open that soon and Evergreen opens even later than 10am. So here till I wait for the menu let me tell you that it's not only the rains (though it's open sky till now ) in the month of July but even right now I can feel hot not humid temperature sitting in the outside area and you won't prefer to sit inside a restaurant/cafe when you are excited to visit the mountains. Finally I order a spanish breakfast and got a peaceful seat outside too. And you see people around rolling , writing, interacting , most importantly chilling .. somebody cursed the fact that it was not raining & it drizzles as I write this. See it's a live experience from Kasol on 21st July'18.
So I even got this room at a home stay, a private room with private bathroom for ₹700 and it's actually not listed on any of the booking portals due to their registration issue but decent enough place to stay for a night. It's a very little bit of trek (right behind the moon dance cafe) to reach this homestay.
So my breakfast is here and rest of my journey after that. Good food or may be the hungry stomach likes everything (kidding). And you can chill atleast half of the day but I preferred to walk down in the drizzle and walk till Manikaran gurudwara.
It's a 4km long road to manikaran and it took me 45mins to cover it. But when i travelled by road I could see those places which we miss when we drive, off course it is advisable to drive only but then adventure isn't in doing conventional stuff. At 2.45pm when I reached manikaran gurudwara, I could see the same water flowing which was becoming mamoth in the route earlier, now became even stronger and what is manikaran famous for - the hot spring water. And there while washing my face with the sacred water, I saw this sign which said excessive bathing in the spring can cause dizziness. This message made it clear as to what happened to me when I last came to kasol to trekk kheerganga and slept in the hot spring up there in the heaven 'Kheerganga'.
After the prasad, darshan and few pictures with the flags over and around the gurudwara I boarded the bus to kasol chowk which took ₹5 and not only that, the conducter gave me some advise - "how can you find paragliding in this time of the year". To confirm that I again added something to my long list of mistakes, I called Bir paragliding office and they said it's no where available in Bir Billing similar to what happens to river rafting in Kullu and Rishikesh.
Now Bir is planned in future, if not this time atleast now I know that I have to do it in September because that's the season in near future. So as we should all do (#Preaching), do what is needed at that moment - think about the future - but give preference to present , I started moving towards next in list Chalal.
Chalal is not far from kasol chowk, just take the left lane next to the shop in front of the wine shop at kasol chowk and get on the Kasol-Chalal bridge.Trekk for around 2-2.5 kms to reach Chalal but the best part is that the mesmerising sound of the river that surrounds whole of Kasol is here next to you after you cross the bridge. Rasol is also on this way , there's a hike going up in the starting after crossing the bridge. I even read that atleast till 2016 Chalal was the rave party place and you don't have big hoardings calling you for the parties but tou might bump in while crossing the woods. See a live telecast of even what I learn. Chalal trekk is pretty comfortable and straight and the companion is something we all are finding if we head to the mountains. I some how agree to the fact that because of what culture kasol has, families must be relecuntant to visit this place and plus more than the culture it is the base camp for amazing trekks to small but not that small villages.
However, we need to agree on this also that like roads made to tosh (off course to provide comfort to the travellers , guest and to bring more tourism to kasol, tosh) will takeover something authentic from the true friends of these mountains. But, I got to interact with a few people who work as coolie for guest houses and others in places like Chalal and Rasol and they told it's earning ₹100 for one round of travelling with neccesaties / luggage from kasol market to chalal / rasol. So the roads might get respite to the villagers in Grahan and other surrounding kasol. After all Change is the only constant. Just sharing my thoughts.
While I gained some knowledge in my mind regarding paragliding in order to remove Bir from my ""planned"" trip, I had a good chicken cheese grilled sandwich at Moon Dance cafe. It is too one of the tried places from my last trip and now they have better toilets too, it is right there at jasol chowk , two three shops after the wine shop and the German bakery is also here.
Tripped back to the home stay as you tend to get a bit wet and muddy after the trekk. And plus the stay was nearby.
Evening - 8pm - my home stay's care taker other than asking if I need "stuff", he told me to visit Rainbow cafe, this is on the way you walk towards the kasol chalal bridge. This is totaly the one you find in metropolitans - cocktails, live music and food is the queen in kasol (the nature here is the king). So good place to hangout in the night to chill. Though chilling at peaceful cafes or may be at your stay would also not be a bad thing rather good. For your info- This place is expensive and that reminds me to tell you that the food is expensive here at kasol cafes as a sandwich is ₹300 and Oreo shake is ₹200 and that's a bit more as per me for mountains.
And listen it's actually difficult to make people understand in Kasol that you don't smoke or at least you don't want to.
Cafes to visit here in KASOL-