Reaching Manali_ E-01 Manali Memoir

On 22nd May, 2015, the Journey starts from Ahmedabad with an amazing bunch of people at Anala Outdoors. In this article I talk about the most memorable train ride to Pathankot, the fun and the challenging aspects of it, and then the entry to the Valley of the Gods that Manali is!
Ahmedabad to Pathankot:

I was going with my Friend, her Cousins and my Cousin and her Friends!
Apparently, I and my friend Kenny were the eldest ones in this group. So we were bombarded with a lot of Instructions and Responsibilities regarding safety of ourselves and our Luggage.
As we got to the platform at Ahmedabad Railway station, we met our Camp Leaders and other people on the Camp.
The train was scheduled around 11 am.
Very excited for the Fun waiting for us!
“Oh! It’s my First Trek! And now it Begins!!”
Despite all the excitement, Waving Bye to Parents is always Difficult. And suddenly, minutes before the Departure, you suddenly become aware that this is the first Long distance journey without Parents. “Will I be able to enjoy?”, “What if something gets lost?”, “Will I be able to mix with the group?” such thoughts start flooding the mind.
But that day, I was too excited to let any of these bother me. As we left the station, there was an Awkward Silence in the compartment. A few attempts at initiating a talk and soon we were laughing and mocking at each other’s Accent 😅!
At this I realize that it was the first time that I was traveling with my friend without it being a School Picnic. And as we were meeting people from different regions, their accents seemed Interesting.
Our Camp Leaders were so Chherful! In seconds, they made us forget our homes. First they came to check that everyone had comfortably gotten their seats. During that small interaction too, they pumped up everyone’s mood!

The whole Boggie was reserved for Participants from our Camp. So we could move around to other compartments. Introduction conversations began everywhere and it was all very Comforting!

It was around a 27 hrs Journey to Pathankot! And as most of the Path went through the Desert of Rajasthan, it was unbearably Hot! That must have been the day I purchased the Maximum number of Water Bottles!
Water seemed to be doing no effect on the thirst! In the initial hours, we had Cold Water, but soon that was over..

But what was making it bearable were the Games that we were Playing throughout!
We played all the usual “Train Games”, starting from Antakshari and Dumb Charades, to Playing Cards. A lot of Variety in that too. And then some even exhibit Magic with the cards!
In the afternoon, I went up and read my book (ofcourse a Sudha Murty book) for a while- journeys are incomplete without that😅!
Oh did I forget to mention about the fights for Window seats?! When Luscious green fields of Punjab are what you can see through the window, aren’t such fights bound to happen?!But,from fighting to sit first on the Window seat to fixing turns and then honestly giving the seat up once our turn was over- we Matured up! And even after all this our Kenny Madam chose the Foldable dining table as her Asana😂..On the way, came many interesting Stations! They were Interesting particularly for the Famous Food they served! Lipsmaking Rabri at Abu Road station is a Must have! Then comes Jodhpur and Bikaner and Bhatinda! How can you not get down, unnecessarily, at Bhatinda if you are a Jab We Met Fan?!😄 (even if it is 7 in the morning, you get down just for the sake of it and get back in a minute).
We reached Pathankot Cantt at around 3 o’ clock. It was the First Cantt I had seen and all the army trains loaded with Tanks on them- was amazing! The idea that this whole city consisted mostly of Armymen as its residents was amusing!
We slept at a hotel in Pathankot for the rest of the night. When we took a bath with the Cold water in the morning, it was like the Best Feeling Ever after that long, hot Journey!
But our camp leader laughed and said, “After this, you are gonna get even colder water and you would all be denying to bath with it😄!”

Pathankot to Manali:

The bus Journey from Pathankot to Manali was the most scenic!  As you come closer to the Mountains, the Beauty increases. Ofcourse we slept half the way. But for the part I was awake, the song Hum Jo Chalne Lage, Chalne Lage Hai ye raste- kept playing in my JabWeMetCrazyHead. The whirling roads running parallel to the Beas river leave you admiring the beauty of its Blue! View of the colorful hill Houses of Kullu made me want to get down and just sit and stare at that.
For better view of the Mountains, sit on the right side of the bus😉. Honestly, it does get a bit scary when you look down as the bus turns but that’s the Thrill!
We reached Manali and got down at a Dhaba on the mainroad. While we had our Breakfast-with-the-view-of-the-mountains there, our luggage was transferred to a smaller Tempo and taken to the camp. 

Across the road, into the Greens, is an Apple Orchard where we would be living for the next few days!! To reach there, you cross 2 wooden bridges over a stream gushing with full velocity and your Heart also tries to Pick up its velocity as you walk over it the First time! A few more steps on rocks and grass and you land Finally at the Campsite.More description of the Campsite and Orientation to Manali in the Next Blog!

I hope you enjoyed the Journey till here! There were many ‘Firsts’ in this one and that is why, it is special..If you haven’t read the blog about how I prepared for this trek, you can read it here:

Thanks for Reading! See you in Manali in the Next Blog!


3 thoughts on “Reaching Manali_ E-01 Manali Memoir”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s