Please don’t kill me for the title! But to be honest, all the blogs and notes that I have read that talks about people’s experiences and trips in/to Leh-Ladakh has such fancy words… This was my 3rd trip to Leh-Ladakh and I don’t think any of those big, fancy words is able to justify what one feels! So, instead of browsing through the dictionary to come up with a better and bigger word, I have decided to call that feeling as ordinary. At times, just an ordinary feeling is what you need… The way one gets up early just to take a walk around the town…to steal the morning sun rays and the ghost-town sort of a look of the valley…the first cup of Tea…the way the river dances when it pours…the way the words of a book make sense…the sparkling lakes, the majestic mountains, the tricky roads…every second acting like a reminder of the self being alive…for me this is what ordinary feels like… finding something truly important in an ordinary minute…
“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
With this, let me pen down the memories of a 9 day and 1500 kms journey. Here’s a map (especially made by Pooja) that charts our route.
We took a Volvo from Vidhan Sabha metro station, Delhi. A decent dinner stop, a flat tyre that took an hour to fix and the driver’s obsession with the movie Befikre which he kept playing on loop…it was the beginning of one heck of a ride!
There was major traffic Kullu onwards because of the construction of the 4-lane and it took us about 15 hours to reach Manali. We quickly freshened-up at the guest house… This was day 1 of our trip and we had decided to stay the night at Jispa. We had booked our trip with none other than Black Sheep Motto Adventures in Manali. Their office is on the main road in Vashisht Chowk near Panchayat Bhawan and there is this amazing Tibetan café, called Tibetan Phuntsok right next to it. The Mutton Chowmein here mixed with a lil bit of red chilli sauce is to die for!
Over the years, Black Sheep Motto Adventures (you can follow them on Instagram too) has become our trusted travel partners. The people here are super talented and act as the guardians in the hills. From ensuring safety to all the travel nitty-gritties, they manage it like a boss! They had designed the trip’s itinerary keeping our choices, whims and fantasies in mind and it was better than what we had expected!
And here are some quirky personality statements of the group. We, for the most part were tripping on these dialogues throughout!
You can read rest of the trip details here: