India - Part Nine

It was our last night's camping so it was very sad, the spot we were camping in was beautiful, next to a river and in the middle of a steep valley either side. The girls in the group went for a little wander, and for a climb on the rocks (huge boulders left from the ice age everywhere!) Then we played a little badminton (as you do when you're in India) then it was bed, the feeling was a mixture of sadness as it was our last day of cycling, and relief, as it was our last day of cycling, and by this points everyone had very sore bums!

Today was a big day, 80km to be exact! We were finally heading to Manali. We had lots of big farewell hugs with the staff, we had grown pretty close with them and they had looked after us so well. I was in the van for the uphill part of the day as the road, well it wasn't even road! And the ol' ribs were still giving me some grief. The ascent was to Rohtang Pass 13,051 ft, it was covered in clouds at the top, strangest thing to be actually in a cloud. The the road was awful, just an actual mud slide, complete chaos of cars and trucks stuck in mud, and on a single track road. In the typically Indian way, there was a huge lack of organisation and rush! and of course....cows and sheep everywhere. The landscape coming down the pass changed so dramatically and quickly. Barren rock was replaced with lush fir and maple trees. It was very emotional cycling the 30km or so into Manali, I had tears in my eyes, as the whole experience had just dawned on me, I felt so proud of not only myself, but the other guys we cycled with, and what we had achieved. It was a huge moment, that I realise no one will ever be able to take away from me. Manali as expected was beautiful, it is the holiday spot for Indian's who like to ski and snowboard!

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So the cycling was over, but I was starting a new adventure in India :)