Spiti Travelogue: Day 12

Devilish Delhi: Return to civilization

The next morning, we came to Manali with our Gypsy vans to catch the buses to Delhi. We bid adieu to our vans, and our drivers, Sonam and Mahinder. Our drivers had gained our tremendous respect in the past few days ever since we began our journey with them from Manali. Both were from Ladakh, Tibet. Sonam was an entertaining orator, and passengers in his van enjoyed long entertaining narratives of his trip to Goa and his experiences with other travelers. His cousin sister was the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest at the age of 17.

As drivers, they were top-notch. We felt safe and secure with their hands on the wheels. Driving in the rugged Lahaul and Spiti valleys needs courage, endurance, skill, patience, and wisdom. Few people would be able to do the job, and Sonam and Mahinder did it exceedingly well. We bid an emotional farewell to them at Manali while thanking them for everything.

We did not speak much on the bus. We were back in the crowds and back in civilization. It felt dreary. We reached Delhi and checked into hotel for the night. I called up a couple of cousins, and had long chats over the phone, before resting for the day.

Next: Day 13