I left my mountain hideaway around midday, so I had a fantastic view as I worked my way slowly back down to the small villages below. Eventually, I could see Tosh back across the valley and the river Parvati winding its way back up towards the high mountains in the distance. I knew this would be my last real look at these incredible views for a while and I felt a real sense of sadness as I turned my back on this special place and headed over the Dam again towards Barshani.
The lower I go back down the valley the less and less the snow has settled and it is possible to get a lift back down to my next destination.
I am staying in Manikaran further down towards Kasol on my way out of the Valley. It is a famous pilgrimage town for both Sikhs and Hindus with multiple temples and religious sites. What Manikaran is really famous for is its hot springs. Believed to have restorative powers people come from all over India to bathe in the many hot baths here. The water can be so hot here that you can boil rice in it!!
It’s a nice little town to explore for a day with narrow alleyways and cosy tea houses dotted amongst the colourful shops selling all kinds of tourist trinkets. I was a little sad to see so much plastic in the River here especially as we were so far up the valley still and really on the edge of civilisation but still modern habits and waste management issues have had a terrible impact on the beauty of the place.
After a night in a fairly dodgy guest house and a bad night’s sleep; my first in weeks, I catch the bus back down the valley to Kasol for the last time. I need to send the seeds I have collected back home. I also catch up on some work as well as getting laundry done before I leave for Delhi. So, I spent my last night in the mountains back at the PanjTara in Kasol and spent a wonderful night with some of the new friends I have met over the last month here. As I sit and listen to stories of the good old days and the laughs of the people gathered around I again have the feeling that I am really going to miss this place and it won’t be long until I will be back again.