Day 2 — Chandigarh — Manali
Chandigarh is a crowded and highly polluted city. We were all looking forward to going to Manali for the fresh air and cool weather. We departed at 0900 hours from the hotel and took the same old route to Manali. We passed familiar landmarks en route and the journey seemed to be a lot shorter than the previous time. I don’t know when it started, but I do get motion sickness on such rides now. It must be because I stopped playing computer games. Because of this, I sat in the second row.
Our driver from before! Yong Siang’s best buddy
Lunch stop with Wi-Fi. Unsurprising that everyone’s looking down
We arrived at Manali at about 2030 hours. Rumour has it that we were staying at a luxury hotel in Manali. The reason we could get the hotel was because it is currently off-peak in Manali. The hotels have excess capacity and thus it is in their advantage to have us as the rooms were going to be empty anyway!
In the previous trip, we took a wrong turn and drove to a relatively luxurious hotel. We were wondering if THAT was the hotel we were staying at. It would be great if we could stay there. True enough, we arrived at Manu All Aya, that hotel, and we were all pleasantly surprised. The locals know it as Ambassador hotel because the Ambassador group owns it.
The steps look like they go down doesn’t it?
We left our bags at the lobby and went upstairs to an open-air terrace and had a sumptuous buffet spread for dinner. The cool dry evening air made Al Fresco dining very enjoyable. It’s going to be hard to leave this place if it was that luxurious!
Al Fresco Dining
Short briefing on tomorrow’s schedule
During dinner, we were treated to a performance of locals playing traditional instruments and dancing to the tune. The hotel guests joined in as well and it was quite a boisterous night! After dinner, we asked for some Wi-Fi so we can connect with our loved ones and it was disappointing that they charged INR 100 for 24 hours. It’s a luxurious hotel, shouldn’t it be complimentary?
We went back to our rooms after that, washed up, and slept. The beds were very comfortable. With such a good ambience, fresh air, warm beds, delicious food, it’s truly going to be hard to leave for the mountains. But we have to, and we will.
Comfortable rooms for 2 nights!