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

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