21.03.2012 - 22.03.2012 18 °C
Our journey to Kullu was short (less than 2 hours!!) and simple and we were soon checked in to one of the few hotels in town. Compared to the calmness of Dharamsala and the beautiful views at Manali, Kullu has very little to offer a tourist save a couple of small temples. Luckily we weren’t there to be tourists, we were there to meet with Virender (a.k.a. Viru), one of the ‘boys’ from the orphanage in Jibhi which Ffion worked in 7 years ago. Viru and his brother Raku were two of the most enthusiastic people Ffion’s group of volunteers from Atlantic College encountered at the 5 schools and orphanages they worked at and Ffion has kept in touch with Raku and, through the wonders of facebook, has also been in contact with Viru for the last few years. Viru took us to a traditional sweet shop and we sampled a few of their milky, nutty (rather sickly) delicacies whilst he told us about his new life working for the Home Guard in Kullu. We were both pleased to hear that he was doing so well for himself, having come from such an unprivileged background, and really hope he’s able to fulfill his dream of getting a place in the police force in the near future. Viru had obviously told all of his friends that he was expecting foreign guests as many people popped into the sweet shop to look at us and to check if Viru had been telling the truth about having friends from other countries! After the sweets we were taken to meet Viru’s friend Tarun who conveniently has a house next to the local snooker hall. We chatted about our lives and professions over takeaway momos (Tibetan dumplings), went for a short walk to see the town’s brown playing field and then played a match of snooker; team Tarun and Viru easily beat the two of us. Although we didn’t spend long in Kullu we had a lovely time and were very grateful to everyone we met for being so generous and open. The next day we were up early to get back on the buses to our most remote destination in India.