The area around Manali is a little like Colorado, with pine forests and gushing streams. The town is a little overrun with Indian tourists (who have a tendency to be somewhat boisterous), but we've managed to enjoy ourselves. Mostly we've spent the day hiking (like yesterday we hiked to two levels of a very tall waterfall and one level you could hike behind! :D ) and then in the evening, going to a restaurant (Mount View is one of the best I've ever been too!) and doing a little shopping. Yesterday I got a lovely wool shawl and a saree. I'll need a couple pieces of undergarments, but I hope to model it for you all, at least in a photo if I don't see you in person.
Today I am taking it easy. I have a little bit of a stomach ache and am feeling under the weather. Bret pointed out that it may not be anything I ate or drank, but my body finally reacting to the different diet. He said he had experienced something similar along those lines right at the two week mark. It's not debilitating -- I'll be able to travel on the bus tomorrow, I'm sure (though the movement of the bus won't be particularly pleasant, I'm sure) -- but it's a good excuse to take a break, stay near civilization (and a bathroom), and catch up on my journalling. I also finally had time to read the book I brought (see link to the right). It's a perfect book to read while in Asia, particularly India, where Buddhism, Hindu, and Muslim are all found.
One funny thing about India that I thought you'd find interesting is that because things written with the Roman alphabet are often written phonetically (so that place names will often vary), English words are often written phonetically as well. It is extremely common to see misspellings on shop fronts and in menus. You might select a breakfast item from a menu subcategory "Eegs" or have "Veg Sup". Certain creative spellers I know would enjoy that!
Tomorrow we leave for Chandigarh. Hope everything is going well for you guys!