Monday, August 22, 2005

Back to office grind after 3 magical days in dhanoulty.

India is full of beauty but the problem that we are just 500 million more of us to enjoy that.

Hence the tour started on a sore note as we arrived Kashmiri gate ISBT .

Boy, the station resembled Lahore railway station as on 14th August 1947. All jostling and pushing to catch elusive bus to dehradun and mussoorie. After mushy spate about"how planning would have helped" and general accusations of " not organized enough" with my partner, managed to get tickets to one of the JUNTA buses.

Horror of horrors that turned out to be the one which has raised floor due to back tyres. People familiar with UPSRTC busses can imagine the "leg space" if any. Coupled with it it was a three seater and the person sitting on extreme left had a pole to limit his body expense to the available seat only crimping us further. After 5 minutes the bus started and we felt like human but as poetic justice our JUNTA bus driver - taking the insult of driving a JUNTA bus to its heart, performed some really cool stunt and left even the venerable VOLVO behind and was the first bus to reach duration that morning at 4 am!!.

Imagine traveling 250 Km in 5.5 hour that too in middle of night and some really unsafe driving . it might look little slow but believe me it was FAST.

Managed to get the first bus to Mussoorie and then onwards Taxi to Dhanoulty. Finally at 7 reached dhanoulty. The morning sun was really beautiful and it reflected on really green fresh-from-rains country side. Rains have magical effects on mountain as if the whole mountains wrap themselves in green shawls( sorry for such lousy ones). The air was fresher and crispier. the taxi driver surprised us by putting on the ever dependable FM and airwaves were filled with kishore songs. Magical.

Rest three days were spent in simple routine Eat-sleep-wakeup-eat-sleep-roam and its combination.

Dhanoulty is really a one horse town- rest all are mare and are available for hire!!! The locals tried to temp us to various beautiful "points" but our lethargy got better of us and we just strolled on the "mall road" which is of princely 1 km!!

We managed to eat in all possible dhabas and eat whatever they have to offer. Chicken were fresh( after you order the waiter used to run to butcher shop nearby and gets it for you!!) curd tasty and spices manageable .Best part was none of the heavy dinner /lunch exceeded Rs 125 in spite of our indulgences.

All in all magical trip - more so for the company but more about it later.

CONCLUSION- Want to run from the concrete jungle-

  • Start running early - Friday night if possible
  • Book EVEN bus tickets - night journey in night busses break your back
  • Book GMVN hotel- cleaner and service is good- drawbacks - have to book it from New Delhi in advance- will not provide precise guidelines even to reach their own property.
  • Mobile does not work- so carry it only for listening to FM.
  • Dhanoulty town or GMVN guest house by quirk fate only receives two channels- ZEE SMILE AND AAJ TAK - so if you hate both AVOID the trip.
  • However if you want lazy morning, misty afternoon and magical evening and don't miss the hustle bustle of the city . HIGHLY recommended.

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