Day 16 — Training Camp — Manali
We spent a day in Training Camp to clean up our equipment before returning it to the local guides. It was convenient that all the snow melted and we had access to a river to wash our ice axes, mountain boots and some clothing. It was a busy day trying to dry everything before we set off for Manali.
The NUS mountaineers are arriving today! They would be taking our place on this camp site. We waited for them to come up so that we could use the horses that accompanied them to bring down some of our equipment. When they arrived, we met Yong Siang’s brother and we spent an awkward few minutes introducing ourselves to them. It was a shame that we didn’t get to properly talk to them and make new friends.
Yi Qian’s “succulent” lips
The walk down was surprisingly interesting. As we walked down, it felt as though it was a totally different place from what we saw when we came up. It was the season for local outdoor lovers to come to the mountain and the foot of the mountain was literally filled with tents. Compared to the lifeless snow field when we were climbing up, summer has officially arrived with life and greenery bustling all around.
A whole new world
With our backs facing the mountain, we walk back to town as champions
We took a comfortable pace down to Manali while our minds were filled with excitement and anticipation to a warm shower and soft bed. The walk was long but it was nothing that we couldn’t manage. In no time, we reached the village and took a jeep ride all the way back to our hotel. Initially we wanted to camp in Manali — Yes you heard me right. CAMP. It was a crazy idea that easily died down due to practical considerations. In the end we found a hotel that could accommodate us. It was the peak season in Manali and locals travel all the way up to escape the heat that we know India for. We had a good dinner and hot shower. Needless to say, all of us slept more than well.
We got shocked by how much we could eat
Only dish we managed to take photo of
We have come to appreciate the little things in life a lot more after returning from the mountains. I know this feeling will not last long as once we are in comfort, we will start to take things for granted. However, I guess some appreciation is better than nothing. Can’t wait to go back to Singapore and have some food that is not Dal, Butter Chicken nor Naan.