|The bus was not to full so we all managed to have two seats each to spread out as much as you can on two bus seats, achieved a little sleep before pulling into Manali at 0530. Again like with everywhere else the touts were waiting, infact they were jumping banging on the windows of the bus as we entered the bus stand, I just pulled the curtain across.
Jumped off the bus and was immediately hit with what can only be described as Cold. Finally it was cold, cold enough to see you breath, it was not thick enough to block out the touts but was a good little fog. I was supposed to leave Manali and go to a little town called Vashisht but in the confusion of avoiding the hotel touts and rickshaw drivers I found myself wandering up a road heading somewhere but nowhere in particular. I kept walking and saw a sign for 'Old Manali' so thought I would head there instead of Vashisht, there was a little guest house that sounded quite nice.
Manali (elevation 2,050m)is at the Northern end of the Kulu valley. It was first discovered by travelers in the 1960's and has since become abit of a tourist resort. Old Manali is about 2km from New Manali and is more relaxed catering more for travelers than holiday makers. The scenery is mainly alpine and mountains, we are in Himachal Pradesh.
Half way up the hill a guy stopped in a car and offered me a lift, it was getting steep so accepted. I was aiming for Rockway Cottage that was located off the road by about 400m along a path. I actually ended up at Rocktop Cottage where the owner 'Pappi' was having a sweep out. He showed me a room which looked okay. I checked in and went for a snooze with the sound of the river flowing past the window.
Awoke about mid day and Pappi said the people who booked one of the other rooms have cancelled and did I want to move. The room was practically the same but had a little balcony and views up the valley to a snow topped mountain, I moved.