By Adda

Mountain biking: Phagupul - Aut (base camp)

The ride today was quite relaxed and short. The objective was to reach the base camp before noon and declare the trip a success. But we had other things to worry about. We had 1.5 more days to kill in the hills and we all wanted to make the best out of them. After having a celebration lunch and completing the regular formalities at the base camp, we checked out of the hostel and headed towards Manali, where we were going to spend rest of the time. Ride to Manali was quite interesting. The bus took a non-conventional route through the beautiful villages, valleys and the view of snow-capped peaks at a distance. A bunch of school kids boarded the bus. It was afternoon and probably they were all going back home. The gang was mostly girls, barring just a few. Soon, I could sense some adolescent flirting going around among them. Stolen glances were exchanged, smiles were passed and proximity increased (you can always blame it on the over-crowded bus). A few of them were more adventurous than the others. It was all happening in front of my eyes and I couldn't help but smile at the whole episode. It reminded me of all the silly things we used to do in school to attract attention of the opposite sex. Glad that some of the good things in life are still alive :)
We booked a dormitory 8kms from Manali to keep ourselves away from the regular hustle-bustle of the tourist spot. The view from the hotel was particularly good. Right in front of our dorm, there was a small garden, overlooking snow-capped mountains at a distance. Strolling through the village streets, we reached a small temple, beautifully built on green meadows on the slope of the hill. It was evening time and the neighbourhood of the temple was brimming with activity. Little ones playing cricket on the lush green hill slopes, teenager and young lads sweating it out in the volleyball court in a nearby school and the real lazy bums enjoying a game of gamble just next to the temple. It was a sight to watch.


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