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It doesn't seem possible that we will be leaving India tomorrow after 7 brilliant weeks here. For the last 10 days we have travelled from Ladakh southwards towards Delhi so we can fly on to Kathmandu and our next stage of our adventure.
When we finished our trek in the Zanskar Valley, we were greeted with the news that there was a bus strike so we would struggle to get away to Manali, our next destination. We eventually managed to get a shared taxi ...
It's 45 degrees, 50 percent humidity, there is nothing like a fan or air conditioning on this bus, the only window is next to our bed and it’s not a small window. It is the whole side of our sleeper cabin, if you open it fully and then rolled to the side you would fall out into the road. I have never seen anything like it in my life. It is insane to travel with the window open but it is so hot that you actually have no choice but to open the damn thing.
... passengers off another bus, on to the plane. Words spoken in Indian, by the gentleman making up us 3, as to why we were not allowed on board while those who had got off the bus with us were allowed to get on, were met with the lovely head wagging gesture and no explanation! Our only consolation was that we could hug the wheels and stop the plane from leaving! Eventually words were exchanged and we found, that we weren't allowed on the ...
... the middle of the Himalayan mountain chain.
The next day we drove a couple miles on a very perilous road to reach a village called Malana. After driving for the whole afternoon we found out that no road led to this village and had to walk 8km to get to it. The walk was probably one of the hardest things I had to do throughout the trip, as the sun set, we had to hike through the mountains on a tiny path with nothing more than ...
... and we walked in without a fuss. After an amazingly good (and cheap!) meal, during which we again posed for a fair amount of pictures with our host, he took us to walk along the huge man-made lake. It was beautiful and peaceful, with Indian families enjoying their own picnic lunches, couples making eyes at each other under trees, and children enjoying the afternoon in swan-shaped paddle boats. It was a side of India that we had not yet seen.