13.04.2013 - 13.04.2013
On Saturday, March 30, we wasted our day doing nothing, and decided to leave Manali, for Now. Our problem was this; we were now four people and one bike. Shmulik and I came on the bike, from Kasol, now that we're heading back, we need to split up from David and Tsach, only for the ride. We decided to leave early the next morning, Tsach and David, by local bus, Shmulik and I on the bike, the same way we came, only in daylight this time. the ride was smooth, easy and uneventful. The weather couldn't be better for a short ride like this. On the way back to Kasol, I got hungry, so we stopped to eat in a local dhaba. A dhaba serves local Indian food and drinks, and is usually very cheap and satisfying to eat in. Before the last leg to Kasol, we sat in the middle of a busy street, my bike parked within eyesight, and we just relaxed in the warm sun, after already two hours of rough riding. On the way, Shmulik took out his portable speakers we charged beforehand, and we listened to music the whole way back. We arrived in Kasol sometime in the afternoon, and immediately started to look for a guest house, only this time with access for a bike. We found a very quiet guest house called The Green House, and apparently, the owners here is the cousin of the owner in the guest house we were staying in before we left for Manali, good thing we were in good relations with that family, then.
After we settled down in a room, we went out to eat something, so we grabbed our things and went to take the bike. Somehow, since we landed in the room, I had a flat tire, with no clue as to how this happened. We arrived from Manali, started to look for a place to stay, and we passed through several places, before settling down, and the tires were fine. Now we were stuck, we couldn't risk damaging the wheel on the way to a mechanic. So we decided to leave it for now, go eat, and ask the mechanics if anyone would do the work, and for how much.
Since the seder Pesach, Shmulik has been living on beans and water, he can't eat anything else here, because he used to be religious, and still has some leftovers from it. The only place around this part of the world that serves kosher dishes, other than the Habad house, is a local restaurant run by an Israeli couple. There, we met David and Tsach, and they told us that we overtook their bus at some point, but we couldn't hear them calling for us because of the wind, then, while we rested and ate at the dhaba place, they saw us again through the window. On both occasions they called for us but we didn't hear, and they tell us that all the Indians thought they were crazy for just shouting with no apparent reason on a public bus.
After catching up on some road stories each pair had from the ride over, we started talking about our next move.
Around Kasol are dozens of small villages; villages aimed solely toward Indian tourism, to villages that produce their own drug. Our aim was more specific, toward a small village, by the name of Rasol (pronounced "Rashol"). We asked our guest house manager, Amarajh, some questions about how to get there, and how far away it was. Kasol is about 1500 meters above sea level, Rasol is 2700 meters, meaning we need to climb by foot. We ended our day by resting earlier than usual, because of the ride back from Manali. The climb to Rasol should take around two hours, depending on the weather, we will see when we'll start the climb.
Early the next morning, Shmulik and I rolled, pushed, shoved and fought the bike to the mechanic who agreed to do the work for me, and replace the tire. We carried it to the other end of Kasol, and left the bike at the shop. We went to town to get a few things, and also found David and Tsach in some shop. We talked more about Rasol, and found out some more details, like what to take, what to see up there and what to do. We decided to rest one more night, buy some things and make the climb the next morning, because it was raining for two days, but the sky was clearing toward sun set, and if it holds until the morning, we go.
Later that evening I went back to the bike shop, to get my bike back, finding the mechanic in the middle of pumping air in to the tire, and putting it back in place. I had to argue about the price he wanted, becsuse at first he said one fix price, but then, when the work was done, he suddenly said the price didn't include work time. I didn't like that, so I argued and gave him only what he asked for in the beginning, and left the place. Not going back there anymore. After everything was said and done, the four of us planned for an early start to climb to Rasol.
We all woke up, packed everything we needed for two-three days, and took all we didn't need, in to town for safe keeping. Then, we ate in our local dhaba, gathered some strength, and began our ascent. To get to the trail leading up, we needed to cross the same bridge we cross for the hot spring, just across from town, on the other bank. I took everything I brought with me to India, carrying everything in my muchilla, weighing over 20 kg. The route to Rasol is one narrow, steep path, and no vehicle can drive up it. No car, motorcycle, bus, lorry, bicycle or even roller blades can make it up there, only people and animals who walk all the way up. Because of this, Rasol is more expensive than Kasol is. From what we've heard from locals we asked, porters have to carry goods up there, two-three times per day. This makes even toilet paper more expensive than in most places, almost double the price for the same item, in Kasol.
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