Rohtang Pass: Experience of a Lifetime! (Part 2 of a 3 part series)

A  year ago if you had told me I would be standing in a bus, at an elevation of 13,000 feet in the Himalya Mountains, trying to decide if it was safe to get off  and help push it out of the mud, I would have thought you were crazy!  Fast forward one year later and you might think I’m the crazy one! One thing is for sure, traveling up Rhotang Pass was the unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

Why it’s famous

Rohtang  Pass is about 51 kilometers from the hill station of Manali on the eastern Par Panjal Range of the Himalyas.  The roads are rough and steep with no guard rails. Typically only one car can fit at a time even though there is two way traffic.  It is such an adventure that the History Channel has featured it on Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Roads.  Major traffic jams are common due to accidents, poor road conditions and snow and ice. In fact it is only open from May to November.  

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Manali: Little Town of Big Surprises

We were super excited about our trip to Manali so we left Delhi around midnight on a Friday night. It was a holiday weekend and we were hoping to miss traffic, but we didn’t. Instead it took us five hours to get out of Delhi! Finally the roads cleared somewhere around daybreak and we welcomed the clearing air, blue skies and quaint villages, along with the first dawn of our nine day vacation. We drove through the cute towns of Mandi and Kullu where we stopped at a fruit stand for some fresh apples. I eventually took my turn at the wheel so Kirti could take some much deserved rest before navigating the steep winding roads of the Himalaya Mountains. Finally, 18.5 hours later, we arrived in Manali. Little did we know that Manali is a little town full of big surprises.

10 Fun Facts About India that will Blow Your Mind (or at the very least entertain you)

India really is a fascinating country! They call it incredible India for a reason, and here are 10 fun facts that emphasize just how incredible India truly is.

Weather

1.  It’s soooo dusty here and water is so precious that most people dust their cars instead of wash them.

2.  The monsoon season is from July to September and it can rain inches in just a couple of hours. Delhi typically gets about 75% of its annual rainfall during the monsoons. Other parts of India get 90% of their rain during that time.  

You Won’t Believe the Cause of Traffic Problems in India

So you think we have bad traffic jams in America huh?  Well, just like everything else, it depends on the basis of your comparison. Traffic in India can be some of the worst in the world, but there are different causes depending on whether you are in city or rural traffic.

In the city:  Probably the biggest factor leading to the awful traffic jams is the sheer number of vehicles on the road.  There are over 8 million vehicles per day on the roads in the greater Delhi area.  Many commuters take metro, ride share in a tuck tuck, or ride a bicycle, but the roads aren’t designed to handle the volume.  Many Indian workers commute over 2 hours each way without air conditioning and arrive to work already dirty and sweaty.  

7 Things That are Different Between Getting a Massage in the U.S and Getting One in India?

One of my favorite indulgences while living in India is getting a massage.  It only costs me $15 USD!  However, there are some significant differences between a massage in India and one in the U.S.

1. The first thing I noticed is that they give you disposable panties to wear. They look like a paper shower cap with leg holes. I guess they give them to you so you don’t get oil on your underwater.  They look funny but are adequate for the purpose.  

What I’m Looking Forward to Most About Being Home for the 4th of July

I’m so excited to be heading home for two weeks to enjoy America’s Independence Day with family and friends!  Here are the things I’m looking toward to most when I’m home.
1.  Time with my kids:  I can’t wait to sit around the bonfire with them on the beach and just chat about things, listen to them play their music and hear their laughter.  Time with family is very special and we often take it for granted.  

Real Estate Woes in India

I blogged in the past about renting a beautiful apartment in Gurgaon, but it unfortunately hasn’t been all roses. I’m currently in a big dispute with my landlord, and the situation is quickly escalating.

The problem is due to the high cost of my electricity bills.  My first bill was about 30,000 rupees, or about $450 USD.  Frankly I wasn’t all that surprised. My flat is about 2000 sq ft and  has 5 separate AC units. None of them work correctly. I also run an air purifier and there is a ceiling fan in every room. On top of this Indian homes are not insulated or very energy efficient. I have big gaps in the sliding glass doors where I can feel hot air pouring in. So, I assume these are all contributing factors to the high electric bills.  

The Ganga River

7 More Things That I Like About India

 

I realize I’m guilty of bitching about things over here so it’s high time I share some more things with you that I appreciate about India. There are many special things that I like about India, and here are my top seven.

Love

I know it’s corny, but I love my boyfriend, Kirti, very much. I never expected to find love in India. The best I hoped for was maybe a companion and a little fun. But four months into our relationship we are very much in love, in spite of significant cultural differences. He is adventurous, funny, smart, and compassionate.  Kirti has made a huge difference in my life and has made my adjustment to life in India much easier. I am thankful for him every day! I guess you never know when and where love might strike, so keep an open mind.

Road trips

There are so many cool places to visit over here!  From mountains to beaches to ancient forts and spectacular temples, it is all incredible!!  Plus it is very close to so many other countries that there are endless possibilities for vacations and it’s hard to narrow it down. Soon I hope to visit Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, maybe even Africa.