Day 2 — Chandigarh — Manali
We left Chandigarh first thing in the morning for Manali. Manali is a town located further north of Chandigarh at an altitude of 2050m.
Loaded and ready to go
As we started to move further north, we encountered more rural surroundings, and occasionally places with no road. Despite the bumpiness and the incessant horning, the road to Manali was an amazingly beautiful one. We followed a picturesque river valley flanked by two mountain ridges on both sides into Kullu, which was a town on the way to Manali.
Even though the road that we were travelling on was obviously bidirectional, in many places the road could only fit one car. Our drivers were extremely experienced and brave though, often coming within millimetres of another car. I think drivers in India are much better drivers than the ones in Singapore… They’d have to be.
We stopped for lunch along the way. The first restaurant we stopped at was really crowded. There was about a half an hour wait before we could even order our food. The consensus was to not waste time as we wanted to get to Manali fast, so we drove off and looked for another vegetarian restaurant. As with most trips, we try and avoid meat at untrusted restaurants to reduce our risk of getting food poisoning. We found one shortly and naturally, we ordered paneer. Lots of it.
We finally reached Manali after a gruelling but scenic 9 hour drive. Manali is a bustling town surrounded by seriously impressive scenery. Even though it is relatively inaccessible, there are shops there that sell almost anything you can think of. There was even an Asian restaurant called “Chopsticks” and we had the hotpot there for dinner.
Manali town centre
Just a typical hotpot in India
We stayed at Mayflower Hotel for that night. It was a small but cosy establishment – perfect for us.
We will come to miss this place soon.