Day 1: 7th Sept 2015

Narrated by Saurav

Today was an uneventful day with our intentions being to reach Chandigarh and catch the bus for Manali. We had booked ourselves for the 4:15 PM Go Air flight from Mumbai to Chandigarh. Our flight started on time and we reached Chandigarh airport at 6:30 PM. From The airport, the ISBT Sector 43 bus stand is quiet far and we had an interesting moment bargaining with an auto rickshaw driver. We finally settled on INR 100 per person instead of INR 300 which he initially demanded. We had to share the rickshaw with a stranger, but that was alright. We had planned to make this a budget trip so “penny saved is penny earned”.

It took about an hour to reach the bus stand and then began the wait for boarding the bus. We had about an hour to kill, so we decided to sit in a restaurant and have something to eat. In the meanwhile I also called up my friend who stays in Chandigarh to check if we could meet. He said he will come over to the bus stand to meet me. Akshay ordered noodles and I ordered Dosa and frankly both the items were not that great to eat. We then ordered for tea and another disappointment – the tea was dip tea style. By this time my friend had also arrived, and it was fun catching up with him after so long. Finally the time came for us to board our bus and be on our way. For any buses moving out from Chandigarh ISBT sector 43, you have to pay a person INR 10 for loading your luggage in the bus, this is a union thing and there is no way out of it. Not to mention special instructions need to be given else they just throw the bags around. Even then they throw it, but nicely J

The bus as usual halted at the Haveli for dinner. Haveli has à la carte and thali systems and for people travelling in HRTC bus, they have discounts on thali. The food is very tasty and the quantity is more for one person to eat. Once the dinner was over, it was time to manage small naps between all the twists and turns the bus was going to take on its way to Manali.

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