I was really excited today as I was about to reach Manali and from there, Leh is 475 kilometers and I would be cycling on the most sought after adventurous route by riders from all over the world as they throng in Manali to go to Leh or vice-versa on their bullets and other high end bikes. I came across beautiful apple orchards after Kullu on my way. Although apples were not there on trees but the trees were giving the environment a beautiful look which was quite mesmerizing.
Some 20 kilometers before Manali, road was broken but this too was adding on to the ambience with snow peaks rising above far acting as a good backdrop to the scenery.
I realized that from oceans & seas to the snow clad peaks, I have really cycled too far. There were too many buses going to Manali side as the season was just starting. I was to stay at my college’s friend home. Although she was in Chandigarh at that time but her elder brother was there with whom I had been in touch on facebook for so long and he is really a talented guy. He is a photographer and an upcoming film maker. He has traveled around whole of Himachal Pradesh and made a travel series which is about to get release on internet in July. I watched the promo of it and it was just too awesome, not less than any international standard travel program.
When I reached Manali, I met him and found him quite an interesting person to talk to. Same day, we went to Jogini waterfall and for reaching there, one needs to hike a little but the view from there was really tantalizing and it will make you forget the exhaustive climb. The waterfall also makes too many rainbows at its base. It started raining after sometime and we took shed in a cave nearby where we burnt wood for fire and ate momos which we got packed.
I have to wait here in Manali till Manali to Leh highway gets opened. I talked to an officer in BRO (Border Roads Organisation) who is a friend of mine and lucky for me, he is posted in Manali at the moment. He told that Rohtang Pass has been opened but other passes like Baralacha La & Taglang La will take a little more time to get opened. Work is in progress and these passes received heavier snowfall this year.
Whole route is likely to get opened by last week of May. So, I am planning to goto Spiti and Kinnaur districts in Himachal Pradesh as suggested by the guy I am staying with. He says that I will not find such beautiful locations anywhere in the world and they are quite pristine and untouched right now. I too read about them a year back and wanted to go there. So, now is the perfect time that I can visit those places and by the time I get back, Manali to Leh route will also get opened for public.