Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 5 and 6: Manali

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Banana pancakes. Bike touts. First real introduction to our soon-to-be-anthropomorphised modes of transport, and feel the excitement growing. We really are doing this. Find Anu Autoworks at the top of the hill, right next to a climbing shop. Svetlana gives us coffee and we talk bikes and routes and origins and destinies. More coffee and friendly bullshit.

The chilled out eponymous arrives. More friendly bullshit about bikes and routes and suddenly we're coming back 3 hours later to watch them service our bikes.

Bikes get serviced. Rob gets sick. We get bikes.

Collect in the morning.

It's on.

Morning. Rob sick. Rob siiiick. Huck and I get bikes and aim them in the direction of the still-closed Rhotung. Try to get bearings on big bikes that we haven't ridden.

Snow and vistas and tourists and tight tight tight corners. Bikes are good, as is confidence. Get to the snow line, still 30kms to the top and it's almost may. No Rhotung for us.

Descent. Hairpin. Car. Ice and water, a streak through the midpoint. HUck goes, water. I go, ice. I go over, onto my shoulder, leg under the bike. Accident. Bam. Carry on like nothing happened. Just a few more scrapes and scratches. Broken footpeg, bent crashbar, wounded pride and fractured confidence.

Later. more shaken than I think. Sore shoulder, leg, hip, elbow.

Later. Rob better. We roll out tomorrow. Nerves not helped by accident. Fuck it. Just go.

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