Whenever you run into a pessimist claiming "It can't get any worse", you'll find three optimisits correcting - "Oh, yes it can. The journey to Delhi and further up to Manali belonged to the optimists. After reaching Delhi really early, we managed to find the travel agent and camp there for most of the day. Despite the rise in temperature and the associated philosophical discussions (of the psuedointellectual variety), we managed to pass time very easily.
The bus ride wasn't very comfortable. I find it difficult to find proper leg room in a good bus and this was beyond awful with the couple in front (quote un-quote) making it a little harder than normal. Eventually, I was sleeping on the aisle of the bus (does somebody remember the return from calicut ?). But the first views of Himachal Pradesh was of a peaceful, green and unpleasantly hilly (opinions of non-bus travellers differ). The weather was amazing, with a bright blue cloudless sky and bright sunshine.
After reaching manali, we were able to get in touch with the others (who were already in Leh). And finally in the evening, in an attempt to get used to the altitude, we took a long walk to the river Beas and then up till the Hidimba temple. The weather had turned a bit chilly, but we didn't mind it so much.
Finally, nearly at midnight, we all turned in to sleep. The car to Leh would pick us up sometime around two in the night.--
It gets better, but only after getting a lot worse.