September 9, 2012
Again woke up late. It was still drizzling outside, so I was in for another lazy day. Went to the bus stand and booked a ticket to Dharamshala for the night from Manali. Andreas was joining me on the trip. He had no itinerary in place, and was exploring all the places he could. I also booked my bus ticket from Dharamshala to Shimla for the next night.
We had a late brunch in a small cafe near the hotel, and lazed around the cafe for a long time. The weather cleared up, and at around 3:00 PM, decided to go give Paragliding a try. Andreas wasn’t interested in gliding, but he said he would give me company, so we got into an auto and reached the spot.
We had to take a Gondola (Cable Car) to reach the top of the mountain from where the gliding began. There were two levels of gliding, but because of the weather, the second level (longer ride) was closed for the day. Including the Gondola ride up, the operators were quoting a price of 1000 (500 for the Gondola and 500 for Paragliding), but I managed to negotiate it for 800 bucks. Andreas decided to just take the Gondola ride to the second level and walk down the hill.
The Gondola ride was good, and after about 20 minutes, I got down at the first level while Andreas continued the ride up. I was asked to wait for a while before my turn came, so walked around the place, took some selfies and ate Maggi at the small cafe. I was walked down through the jungle to the spot from where the gliding started, and after putting on the gear, I was flying along side the operator.
Honestly, I expected the ride to be spectacular, but it wasn’t. The view wasn’t anything great, and I had already seen landscapes which were much more beautiful in my journey so far.
After reaching the bottom, Andreas and I walked around a bit before heading back to town in the same auto. Our bus to Dharamshala was scheduled to leave at 7:10 PM, and so, soon after reaching the room, we had a quick bite and started our walk to the bus stand.
The bus was more or less empty with just 5 passengers. Andreas found a Swiss girl for company, while I dozed off pretty soon through the bumpy ride.