Manali, North of Delhi, is a city surrounded by green mountains. The air is cool and the scenery is impressive.
It is 6:00 p.m., we finish loading the taxi, with the help of Arun, our amazing driver from the Guest House. Everyone is excited to leave the heat and bustle of Delhi. The car gently moves away from the city, and, gazing at the landscapes we imagine Manali. Arun gives us the pleasure of putting French music on his car radio. The night begins to fall and everyone starts getting tired and fells asleep. After several hours of travel, Arun stops the car on a rest area with an Indian restaurant where we have dinner.
We hit the road again and later we wake up on a black road. We have arrived at Arun’s, who kindly invited us to meet his family and see his village. He introduces us one by one to the members of his family, then gives us, a chai, as a born and bred Indian! We go to bed early because tomorrow we have to get up early. The day has dawned and we discover the landscape surrounding Arun‘s house . There is no noise, only the melody of wildlife and the beauty of the flora. The family is already awake, and invites us to have a shower before breakfast. This is not the same comfort as in our daily life, but it is enough. It is time to take the Indian breakfast, generously offered by Arun and his family. We are preparing for departure, and take one last photo together before leaving.
Here we go to Manali, accompanied by Arun‘s son who hoped to accompany us. After a few hours away in the mountains, we finally arrive in Manali. We arrive and find the Sunshine Guest House, which is far better than what we had imagined. It has been run by a family for several years, and is well maintained. The staff is very welcoming and friendly. The house looks down on a garden and a badminton court, the view is incredible of the mountains. We get the keys of our modest suite, and we are astonished and delighted to discover that it consists in 3 large bedrooms, a living room and a bathroom. We all are very tired, thus we enjoy the scenery around a meal in the Guest House restaurant.
The next morning we plan our day while taking our breakfast. We decide to visit the Hadimba temple accompanied by a staff member of the Guest House. Short walk later, we have arrived at the temple. The templegoers run to the stands to food distribution to have a portion of it. We decide to visit the area until the agitation goes down. Just next door there is a small fair, with the possibility of a turn of the wheel which offers a breathtaking view on the mountains.
We return to the temple entrance and enter inside. It’s not big, but very quiet and religious. After finishing, we notice a wooden park next to the temple and we decide to walk there. Here is a very relaxing stroll! We go through the Guest House and pick up towels to test the hot baths. They are located in a temple, which is located in the town of Vashisht, a little higher than Manali. Once there, we enter the temple, women on one side and men on the other. There are not many people having a bath. We touch the water and realize that it is very hot. Instead of swimming, we just dip our feet in the water.
Once completed, we decide to have dinner on the roof top restaurant “Big Fish” which offers fresh and delicious food. The view of the mountains is beautiful, and this is probably the restaurant with the best view! We order, then we meet a man, Nilesh, who is the manager of this restaurant. We talk and he explains us that it is possible to climb the mountains to admire a waterfall. Each of us is excited to see the scenery as well as the waterfall. So we schedule this activity for the day.
It is 9:00, we take a quick breakfast and we leave for Vashisht. Nilesh welcomes us, and we start our improvised “mini trek” in the mountains. The roads are steep, it is a little difficult at first, and then each of us gets used and climbs the green mountains where the air is fresh. Here we are, after a long walk to the waterfall. The view of the waterfall and the town of Manali and its surroundings is amazing. Nilesh explains that this is a sacred place, and invites us to go through a passage under the waterfall. We all are delighted with this proposal. Once under the waterfall, the air is much cooler, and we’re soaked by waterfall’s splashings . It’s pretty much impressive. After enjoying this magical place, we take the road to the restaurant where we have lunch Nilesh. This time we can see the top of the snowy mountains which were hidden by clouds yesterday. We thank Nilesh who accompanied us on this adventure.
Before leaving from Vashisht we buy a souvenir for our incredible driver who is waiting for us to leave. It is 5:00 p.m., we take the road to Delhi. After the journey, we are very grateful to Arun, because without him the trip would not have been the same. We offer her the gift that really pleases him, then we leave for new adventures.