Day 2: Chandigarh to Manali
This was the longest day in terms of the enormous distance, but things began looking mellow as the temperature went down a few notches. Winding roads and fresh cool breeze soon began to greet us. I couldn’t believe the snow-topped mountain’s partial view from the trees. It was more than just picturesque. For, it was almost mystical. I started experimenting with my camera lens right then. (You can check out some at http://picasaweb.google.com/avinash.a.rajput/Ladakh?authkey=Gv1sRgCMjbz4ON7qjJ_wE&feat=email#)
I could see marijuana plants everywhere upon touching the outskirts of Manali: a reminder of prints in Bob Marley t-shirts. After reaching the hotel, we shopped for some thermal wear. I made a point to meet a friend who I had graduated with. He was a local guy and took me around the 'Maal' market. He introduced me to his friend and told him that the bikers were heading for Ladakh. His friend responds, ‘Oh my God. Ladakh? All I can do for them is pray that the journey is safe. God bless all of you’.
His statements were whirling in my head. What he had said scared and somehow challenged me too.