Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Magical Manali!

After the looooooong drive from Leh we woke up in a strange guesthouse and were ready to find something better. Once we walked out we realised that the lane-way that was so freaky the night before was absolutely beautiful and full of local houses and barns with cows, yaks, pigs and chickens. We also noticed that there was a really nice guesthouse right in this quaint lane-way. It looked amazing so we didn't think we'd be able to afford it but it actually ended up being within our budget. The room was so bright and had huge windows with views of the forested mountains and waterfalls nearby.
We also had a huge balcony with beautiful wood furniture where we could relax and enjoy the cool mountain air. It really was the perfect place to stay, it was surrounded by old farm houses with people tending to their farms.

One of the many farm animals near our guesthouse.

Jason walking...I really loved this area!

...and again.

During the day a net would be put up around the farms for the locals to play.


Hard at work.

Charlie, the beautiful dog owned by the family that runs the guesthouse.

Charlie chilling.
After settling in we decided to venture out and take a look around Manali. It is a really beautiful town. There are two main areas of Manali, old and new Manali. Old Manali is where most backpackers stay while new Manali is where many Indian tourists stay.

Beautiful old Manali.
We really enjoyed our time in Manali and ended up staying 5 days there, relaxing, listening to some live music, eating delicious food and wandering around. Jason bought a beautiful chess board so we also spent a lot of time on our balcony watching the misty rain cover the mountains while playing chess.
Jason hanging out on our beautiful balcony.

I really can't say much about Manali because we really did just relax there and ate a ton! It was a lovely mountain town that is situated on a river. There are the friendliest stray dogs everywhere and we also spent some time sitting on the footpaths cuddling with them.
It was love at first sight for these two.

If there was any way possible Jason would have brought this guy home with us!

They were so sweet and friendly.

One day Jason decided to do some paragliding and he had an amazing time. the weather was really nice and he had to ride a horse up to the take off area high above the town. His photos are beautiful, I spent that morning having a long breakfast and enjoying some me time.
Jasons photos from his paragliding trip.

Beautiful views!

My manly man on his horse.

He took this photo while paragliding...I'm a little jealous that I didn't join!

He then met me for brunch afterwards.

...and again.

Our time in Manali was so wonderful and it gave us the rest and relaxation we needed before heading back in to the hot Indian summer down south. Initially our plan was to travel from here to McLeod Ganj and then down to Delhi but this journey would take some backtracking and a long time on buses and we were quite sick of buses at this point so we decided to go down south towards Delhi. After reading our Lonely Planet I saw that there was an interesting city about halfway between Manali and Delhi so we decided to take a couple of days to explore Chandigarh.


Tiger Eye Guesthouse:

This was probably one of our favourite guesthouses of our entire trip, the staff, rooms, food and dog were all exceptional!

Our favourite restaurant:

I don't normally post about restaurants here but I just have to tell you all about this amazing little spot that we practically lived in while in Manali.

Drifters Cafe:

It was a beautiful little place that had a ton of games for you to play, they had scones and cakes, wonderful breakfasts and even better lunches and dinners. You usually had to get there early for dinner as it would fill up fast. They also had some live music. A little bit more expensive than other places but well worth it!

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