An Even Longer Journey

We climbed up to the Rohtang Pass, just before Manali. The desert was left behind in pleasant hop-growing terraced country above Lelong. So the days of driving into dry high passes were over. A heavy mist hung over the entire mountain and soon a continuous monsoon downpour was upon us. The Indians love coming up to see the pass as one can view the remains of snow even in summer.

Given that for much of the pass the road is nothing more than a narrow winding track perhaps unsurprisingly there was a vast traffic jam of jeeps, lorries and buses trying to squeeze past not only each other but around the various obstacles which littered the road. We finally arrived in Manali to stay in a seedy hotel, but as I was so exhausted after the twelve hour drive I didn’t even notice nature of the surroundings.

This was the first day that there had been no time to visit a mosque or a temple and I felt it.