My friend being an avid traveller and having been living in Delhi for a while, knew much about Himachal and surrounding region. We discussed places to go to and things to do over rest of the day, and he gave me reference of a jeep driver in Manali, which was to be of much use to us later in the journey.
That night, I boarded the bus from ISBT(inter-state bus terminus) heading towards Shimla. We took the Delhi Metro to ISBT and I was pretty impressed by it. We were infact getting late for my bus, and when I reached ISBT, the bus was almost ready to leave. The conductor said – “I was just waiting for you.. we are ready to leave!” and hurried me into the bus. And in the hurry, I dropped my woolen cap somewhere, which I realized later.
The woolen cap was meant to be just one of the many things that I was to loose or forget during the journey. When I started from home in the morning, I had forgotten to take a memory card which I had bought only for the sake of Himachal journey. Luckily I did not find the need for that, but many things were lost on the way which were of much more use. The monkey cap was not one of them, as we never had a single cold day anywhere during our journey! A shawl was another thing I had forgotten to pack, and I ended up buying a woolen shawl and a cap in Shimla. Both of them remained packed and unused through the journey.
The next thing to go amiss was my goggles. We were trekking somewhere in Manali and I had left behind my Goggles case when we had stopped near a stream. An hour down the line, I was wondering where did I miss it, and my friend told me that he had picked it up. We stopped, I picked up the case from him and put my (expensive)goggles inside, and as we kept talking, left it there itself on the ground and moved on! With high hopes, we even returned to the spot next morning and it was already taken.
The next thing was my hat, a very nice and useful one that I had purchased in Corbett. Being a bit sensitive to heat and sun, a hat and goggles were my important accessories, and only the hat had remained right now. I have no idea what happened to it or where did I loose it, but the next morning when I was looking out for it all around in my bags it was nowhere to be found. I spend a good 15 minutes searching all around for it, resulting in no good.
Having known that I can’t manage without Goggles and a hat, I purchased a pair of cheap glasses and a locally made hat, which served me well through the journey. The glasses, I finally gave to our driver, but the hat still remains with me today, and will probably never get used again.
So it was memory card, woolen cap, shawl, goggles and hat so far. I announced it all to my friend and we decided to remain doubly careful for rest of the journey. So until almost end of the journey, things were fine and everything was safe with us. My friend was so alert that he even picked up a hankey I had forgotten behind one day! But at the end of the journey, it was the turn of my lonely planet guidebook. Despite searching the whole jeep for anything leftover, the book had hidden itself somewhere and escaped being picked up. But this is one thing that eventually got back to me. Our good man driver couriered it back to me a month down the line!
+ Continued at : The first morning in Himachal