I was impatient to reach the Kulu valley but the driver of the bus from Delhi was in no hurry. He took his time to clear the traffic in the suburbs of Delhi, he kept waving to friends and acquaintances, halted for a kadak chai that was served to him behind the wheels. By the time we left behind the hustle of the city it was late night and I went to sleep sighing at the hours that we were away from the mountains.
As the early rays of the sun fell on my face, I woke up with a very brief feeling of disorientation. But it took me just a second to get aligned to the rush of water under my feet and the breeze from the valley beneath. I had wanted to remain awake to welcome the Beas river and the mountains, but they had stolen in on me.
It was another five hours of climbing the hills to reach Manali. The driver who drove us through the plains was no more behind the wheels. A sardar brooding in his silence and concentration took us through the winding paths to Manali.
Only when I got off the bus I realised how stiff my joints had become after fifteen hours of travel. But I had to regale fast to days of trekking and driving around the valley and the mountains.
The guys had this after a hot bath
while I had hot and spicy thukpa soup.