From the Tirthan Valley I took the bus back to the Kullu Valley, which again took a long time because so much of the road had broken away in places and it was so narrow in other places anyway that it always took so long for two large vehicles in particular to manoeuvre past each other. The first bus was quite full and unpleasantly had a very drunk man on board who did not smell good. In the morning. On a later trip there was another very drunk man – in fact I don’t recall having experienced anything like that before. Coincidence or more drunken bus passengers?
At the end of the bus ride, however, a little paradise was waiting for me: a 4-star accommodation in whose soft bed I was allowed to sink for 2 nights by invitation. Of course, that was such a joy after the trek! The accommodation belongs to the local travel agency partner, whom I used to get to know only briefly earlier and now a little more closely. This was very good, as the first impression was not the best (unfortunately there is not too much choice of agencies offering the whole of Himachal), but the second one now gave me a much better feeling of being similarly on the path of tourism. I also liked his accommodation very much, tastefully furnished, sparsely decorated, lots of natural materials and the staff was also extremely nice.
I had sometimes arranged for travellers to spend time in Himachal, but this time there was something special: an elderly couple who had already made many trips, especially to Ladakh. They like their local guide Sonam so much that they wanted him for this part of the trip as well. Even though Sonam doesn’t really know the area here, we trusted him to find his way around quite well – but of course it was better if he would come in advance and we would do some walking together. I’m also missing a few half-day/day hikes from my own experience that I can easily suggest. I had already seen a bit with the Jogini Falls and Jana, but that wasn’t enough.
On the first day, I was still alone and hiked to the Crystal Waterfall, which I could easily reach directly from the accommodation. The hike was nice, not so difficult, but unfortunately not so that it has any real highlights to offer. I find it most beautiful to look at the houses. In the Kullu Valley, I really like the combination of larger farmsteads and all the plants around them. The people here are still busy harvesting apples or drying apple slices. There is also a lot of wood being processed here, which makes for a good smell – especially the cedars, of course.
In front of the waterfall there is a beautiful plant-rich landscape that is good for picnics. At the waterfall, a good part of the slope had collapsed and also washed away the bridge. Anyway, you couldn’t get any closer. But it wasn’t spectacular anyway.
And then Sonam came from Ladakh. Our first hike took us to a round trip I did about 10 years ago and I thought it wouldn’t be bad to have another look at it myself. To say it in advance: great hike! One of the best here!
It starts in the village of Naggar, where I moved to. From there it goes around a mountain and then upwards.
Upwards is the village of Rumsu at 2,200 m, where there are many great houses and temple buildings with carvings. And 2 big mobile phone masts.
From Rumsu, we continued in an arc downwards to the Krishna Temple. The temple is estimated to be 1,000 years old. Naggar, by the way, is very popular with Russians, as Nicholas Roerich lived there until his death 1947, a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, scientist, traveller and philosopher. I had already visited his museum, which was well worth seeing. What I noticed more this time, however, were the Cyrillic characters, e.g. the “Shoes off” sign at the temple was also written in Cyrillic. And I often heard Russian among the tourist languages. In the room next to mine was a couple from Russia who had already lived there for 6 months and worked in the home office.
But back to the temple. There are relatively strict rules there. In the courtyard, local men were served food. They sat directly on one side of the temple and we were forbidden to walk around directly there during meal time. Only one man sat far away, but we did not find out why, i.e. whether he was higher or lower. You could look into the temple, but not go in. Instead, you could walk halfway around the valley to the temple (actually all the way, but not right now because of those eating men) and marvel at the statues and stone engravings.
On this hike, it is not super easy to find the way, as there are often quite a few turn-offs and not quite as many people to ask. But somehow you still manage quite well. What you don’t see in these pictures is that you have a great view of the Kullu valley, especially with the opposite mountain slopes. I didn’t take a nice picture of that. In any case, I find this hike a highlight in the Kullu Valley. In the meantime, Sonam has already been there with the clients and they liked it very much.
And what about other hikes? More about that in the next blog post!