[ Old Manali, India]
The weather in Nepal was getting hot, with the Monsoon rains still delaying their appearance. The 90-day Visa I picked up on arrival was due to end on June 19th, and so I said Goodbye to the local crew and grabbed the grueling 30-hour direct bus from Pokhara to New Delhi. And then, because I’m a travel-masochist, I immediately hopped the next available bus from Delhi to Manali—another 12-hour beatdown.
My pay-off? Arrive during a day-long rainstorm in chilly, 7°C mountain weather, at about 8am in the morning.
Rainy days are good news for the tuk-tuk drivers (otherwise everyone just walks up the hill and saves their money), and I handed over my rupees happily—arriving just after 9am at my usual guesthouse, the Yak & Yeti. Same proprietors as last year, and within 20 minutes I was set up in a long-stay, low-cost room and ready to get to work.
Work. As in the reason I’m here and/or the entire focus of my pre-Africa life. Prepping for that trip has proven a monumental task, and since arriving here a week ago, I’ve spent precious little time outside my room or away from my desk. But that’s OK, right? A couple months’ worth of tedious effort—creating fundraising and informational documents for theAfrica trip.
To that end, at least, I have been focused and successful. I think of it as a bit of boredom now in exchange for two years of uninterrupted, abject physical and mental suffering, emotional distress, and an infinite amount of dopamine- and endorphin-overload; a joyful, mind-expanding, unforgettable adventure.
Seems a fair trade, right?
Nonetheless, I have managed to click a few images over the past couple of days. The photos below are from yesterday afternoon (warm & muggy, crowded, overrun) and early this morning (cold, rainy, deserted, delightful). All images are from a hundred-meter stretch of road descending from Yak & Yeti to the Beas River Bridge, which marks the beginning of Old Manali.