Day 4 A so-called Rest Day in Manali

Up at 8 am in our flea bag hotel (finally found its proper name-The Solang Hotel). What to do? The rain continues, our 3rd or 4th day, I can't remember. Made some calls to the Organizers; they are working on a plan and asked us to sit tight.

Brant does a quick walk around town and is told by the locals that the bridge is no longer open to motor traffic, only pedestrians. River is rising so fast that officials are worried that pressure on the bridge's foundation will be washed away taking the bridge with it. Worse yet, the short uphill road (about 1 km) on the main hotel side of the river from the bridge to the landslide, is slowly slipping to the river.

I decided to have a look for myself, but first we needed to stop at a shop for tea and toast, with butter and sense panicking.

When I did get a look at the situation, it was worse than Brant described it. I became more worried about the short road from the bridge to the landslide, than the condition of the bridge itself. Boulders from the mountain above the road were falling on the road and the earth upon which the road was sitting was being eaten away by the river below. We were on this road last night, in our scramble to get to the proper hotel. Last night the road was approximately 25 feet wide; now it was about half that in width. Brant was worried that if we waited much longer, it would be physically impossible to reach the designated hotel, even by foot. We lightened our backpacks to a minimum by putting anything extraneous to the essentials. We accomplished this by off-loading anything in our backpacks that was not essential . We put that material back in the car and locked it. My backpack was still heavy (mostly because it was rain soaked), but it had what I needed to survive for 2-3 days.

And so we set off on foot to get to the Organizer's hotel across the raging river:

1. We hired a tuk tuk to take us to the bridge and even though it was now a pedestrian bridge only they allowed the tuk tuk to take us across the river....cost 500 rupees (about $7).

2. We started up the 1km walk uphill on the road that had partially washed out during the night. My pack got heavy so I found a strong young Indian lad to carry my pack to the landslide. Cost: 100 rupees (about $1.50).

3. The actual crossing of the landslide was short, but muddy and slippery. Brant helped with my pack and I slowly stumbled across getting my shoes, socks and pant legs pretty muddy.......remember, it is continuing to rain hard.

4. On the other side of the landslide we commandeered a gypsy cab who drove us up a steep hill to our proper hotel. Cost: 500 rupees (about $7).

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the price for last night’s flea-bag hotel; 1,200 rupees for two rooms with toilet (about $16.50 or $8.25 per room). And finally the tea and toast which we got on the Main Street; that cost 275 rupees (less than $4).

Our new home for at least the next two nights sits way up the mountain overlooking the river below. The Organizers are trying to consider alternatives, but communications are very difficult in the mountains. Even if we get around this particular landslide, are there more up mountain? Also, we hear rumors of ice and snow closing passes. In any event, we're safe for the moment and we'll see what tonight and tomorrow brings.