After coming back from Solang Valley, we played some group Games. One of which was Maggi Making Completion!
We were divided in 3 teams. The team to make it Fastest and The Tastiest won.
We had to do something creative with Maggi with the limited things we had there. Some added Onions to the tadka while some added a Chilly and Garlic flavor. My teammate had Mayonese that her Mom had given her to eat with her Theplas! #gujju. So we used it for decorating along with Kurkure and Chips which added a very crispy touch. I can go on an on about this as 1. Its about Maggi💗 and 2. It was a dream-come-true activity to Make Maggi with a group of friends on a Mountain!
But you remember I mentioned that ordering those Brownies was a big mistake?! That’s because my stomach had been upset after we returned. Due to the strike, the crowd was much less than normal, so the brownies I got must have been stale, or I guess so. Even though Maggi is my favorite food and I got to make it on a Mountain, I could eat just 2 spoons of it..
Next day we were supposed to go to the Bhrigu Lake. But to get there, half way has to be covered by Taxi. But as all Taxi drivers were on strike, they took us to one other place where we could play in the Snow.
When we just started walking, someone told us the news that Maggi had been banned in India! (Remember the Maggi ban of 2015?) This was a heartbreaking news.
All this while I was not feeling my 100%. My stomach was still upset. And as the sun rose overhead, I felt weaker. There was one other girl who was much more ill than me. At one point she got nauseous and vomited. So the camp leaders arranged for a car to take her and her bestfriend back to the camp. I also decided to go back with them.
We returned and took rest. I felt really fit by the evening. There were 2 lovely dogs at this camp. The fierce female was named Laila. The other one was not actually Majnu but he did behave like one😄, so we spent some time playing with our Laila-Majnu!
We also played Sattodiyu after everyone returned.
My friends told me about the fun they had playing in the snow. Apparently it was quite a difficult trek. Very narrow and slippery paths had too be crossed. I was already regretting my decision of not making it. I told myself that I had acted much weaker that day and that the main attraction of coming to Manali was to get to play with snow and I did not do it! I hate it when I get sick on trips! One overpriced brownie costed me my first appointment with Snow and probably my Last one with Maggie!I regret that decision till date but I also know that I had to listen to my body in that moment.. If there is anything positive about it, I would say that it gives me a reason to visit Manali again!😅
There are reasons to visit Manali in every Season! With perfect weather in Summers and Springs, it plays host to Trekkers. In monsoon, everyone headed to Ladakh and Spiti passes through it. And Winters, they bring out the best of Manali. It is most appropriate for Skiing in winters.
That was the last day of the Camp. The Camp fire that night was the most special. After the singing, dancing and joking like everynight, we took contact information of the friends we had made there. The camp fire is incomplete without a mug of Hot Chocolate! Drinking the warm chocolaty milk in the cold of the night under the stars, was an absolutely delightful experience!
One of the most vivid memories of the trip was this: Every night, after the lights-off Kenny would shout “Goodnight Baju Wali Tent” to our neighbours and then they would reply back the same way😂. Kenny had the Energy, Naughtiness and innocence, perfect balanced in a way, that she had won everyone’s heart at the camp. On this trip, she taught me that there is a lot more fun in singing songs in a Besura manner rather than singing it the way it is supposed to be sung!
Return Journey in Train:
This time the whole Desert part was covered at night. So weather was not a problem. But there was another, more serious, problem this time.
This time the booking of seats was such that all our camp participants were divided among many Boggies. In our dabba, our group of 7 was the only compartment related to the camp. All others were strangers. The camp leader gave us many tips- keep most precious luggage on Upper berths with you while you sleep; most responsible ones should take the lowest berth; do not keep phone on charging near windows when the train has stopped and many more. The camp leaders kept coming from time to time and made sure everything was okay. Above everything, they made us trust ourselves and reassured that nothing bad would happen and in any trouble, they would be just one call away.
The one thing you miss the Most while you are on the Mountains is Pizza. And we were Surprised by a treat of pizza for dinner on the Train! (Most memorable Pizza I have had!)
So,from taking care of our Luggage, our seats and dealing with Vendors and beggars, there were many Challenges but that has what has made it very comfortable for me to travel alone in trains today.
“Its always the same with Mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you Belong to them. There is no escape.”
– Ruskin Bond.
Links to the previous blogs in this series:
Planning for Trek:
My other Travel Blog:
So, when are you going to Manali?! Plan it as soon as the Lockdown ends! And when you do, don’t forget to bring Cherries for me!😉
Thank you for reading!