India days 29-33: high season hostel life + favorite activities in Manali + day trip to Sissu

Hey friends, happy Friday!! These past few days have been quite eventful as the hostel is finally in high season. Until now, it’s just been me, Chetan, and a few guests here and there as we’ve been ramping up for the summer season. But after our Kasol trip last weekend, the floodgates opened as several friends from Kasol came to Manali to stay with us at Wrong Address. On top of that, we’re newly live on the booking sites, so we’ve been at near capacity the last few days. 🙂

And so, my volunteering gig has shifted from computer-based projects to guest interactions which I absolutely love. This past week was filled with repeating my favorite sites in Manali, but this time with our guests and in more of a guide role – showing them around town, going on hikes, introducing my favorite eateries, and more. It actually feels weird saying I was a “guide” because I didn’t see it as a job and it was not a formal thing – I felt like I was just hanging out with friends and showing them around. 🙂

One day, I brought some guests around our village and the Hadimba Devi Temple. There’s always a lot of action there as it’s the place to experience authentic Himachal living.

Casually walking a baby sheep. 😉

Nasogi Village

Then, we walked around New Manali. I brought them to my favorite eatery, Super Bake (I go there every other day) – it was a HUGE hit and spread like wildfire among the other guests. We took some pictures on Mall Road – one of the guests is a professional filmmaker and took some fantastic shots.

Manali Mall Road

Then, we visited the Tibetan Monastery – one of the places highlighting the Tibetan influences of this region in India.

Tibetan monestary

Love all the roses blooming around town – they are everywhere!

roses in India

Another day, I brought a guest-turned-friend, Febin, on my favorite hike of Manali. It was a challenging hike, so I don’t do it very often, and I was glad to have a buddy this time.

Our hike was a blast as we matched each other’s pace and chatted away the entire time.

Lion Rock hike

Spotted some wild horses.

wild horses on hike in Manali

The next day, Febin and I decided to do a little road trip. We rented a scooter and drove up the mountain to two remote towns close to each other called Sissu and Koksar (~1 hour from Manali). I visited Koksar on my first days here by car, but it was a completely experience on the motorbike. I appreciated the scenery much more as I didn’t have to worry about getting car sick. 😛

We went through Atal Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world. It was kind of trippy on the scooter.

Atal tunnel

The scenery was similar to last time, with close-ups of the snowy mountains and large rock formations. The only difference was there was a lot more life in the mountains – last time, it was a winter dessert, but there were wildflowers and grass everywhere this time. I couldn’t believe how much changed in 3 weeks! Despite these changes, we still got to see snow, which was especially exciting for Febin as it was his first time experiencing snow.

Koksar in summer
Scooter through Himachal Pradesh

While I went to Koksar before, Sissu was new for me. Overall, it had similar scenery to Koksar but was slightly less epic. Nevertheless, the best part was the journey through the mountains versus the actual destinations.

Breakfast in Sissu

The highlight of Sissu was hiking to Sissu Waterfall. It was a ~20-minute hike from the base, but SUPER steep. The waterfall did not disappoint. The rapidly melting snow created a long, strong waterfall from the top of the mountain; it was one of the better ones I’ve seen on this trip.

Sissu waterfall

After these adventures during the day, we had bonfires/parties at the hostel at night. I love finally having more guests here as our hostel is lit with life. 🙂

bonfire

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! ❤


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