Day 22–25. Manali or Cannabis Paradise
We left Tibetan India and came to the neighbouring state called Himachal Pradesh. It’s also high in mountains but lower than Ladakh. The views change from deserted to green one. The road we took is considered one of the “must see” and many tourists take it just for that. But, it’s a difficult and dangerous road. The pavement is just partially, in other places there is just mud, water and stones. It’s quite narrow, on some, especially in mountains, drivers have to pull their car to the edge to make possible both of them to go through.
Manali — one of the places in India where people like to go in summer. Because, there it’s not hot. And this is the place where foreigners like to come, but for some other reasons. Especially, Israelis youths can consider it as their 2nd home. In the hotel, cafes or on the street you can hear their speech. They gather in big groups, talk, discuss, smoke etc. And there are a lot of Israeli cusine, bars, restaurants. Locals respect them, because they are the only one who can drop the price to the cost level. Our guesthouse neighbour, Rob from UK, once came to us and happily said that he is going to Ladakh with a group of Israeli, and it costed him only 4,000 rupees. Well … we paid 1,500 only, his enthusiasm has vanished quickly. There are many Russians in Manali as well, and locals like them also. Because they are the only one who don’t bargain on price offered.
So, why foreigners like this place so much. Because there cannabis peacefully grows literally everywhere. The famous Parvati or Spiti valleys recently have developed in true hippie tourism centers. Young people go to villages in these valleys and enjoy beautiful nature with smoking. Moreover, there is a special village called Malana. There is no road there, you have to hike for few hours to reach it. The legend says they Malanese are decendents of Alexander the Great. The language they speak is understood by villagers only. They have their own believe and they don’t let foreigners even to touch their saint places. Moreover, when you buy something from them, they won’t take money from your hands. They ask you to drop them on the ground, then they pick them up. Also, they claim it it to be one of the oldest democracies of the world with a well-organized parliamentary system. There is an interesting documentary about them:
We found a very cozy hostel out of the main street, with spacious and clean room. The views where on the front mountain which was usually covered in clouds or fog. It’s a rainy season in Manali now. So, 3 days out of 4 it was raining. We were relaxing after our hectic trip before, recharging batteries for the next travel. Just few photos.