Well, we made it. The ride was beautiful, and it only took about 7 hours. As soon as we got to Manali, we got a guesthouse and arranged to take a car tomorrow to Leh. The cool thing about this is although we are paying a little more money for the car, we have designed our own itinerary to get to Leh. So we will take 4 days to get there and see many cool things along the way. This is the 2nd highest altitude road in the world btw, topping out at 5360m (at Taglang-la pass) . The shared buses and jeeps that go to Leh just speed along and don’t stop for anything. One might as well fly there (in my opinion, anyway).
Manali is sweet, a little market town with cool cramped streets and lots of activity. We are staying up the hill in Old Manali, which is quieter.