Ever since A and her hubby decided to move out of the city to indulge living in nature, I had self invited myself over for a vacation. They had zeroed in on Satkhol- a tiny hamlet above Ramgarh near Nanital in Uttarakhand. A is into permaculture and is trying to set up a horticulture project in the house she is living in there.
My vacation date was set to 30th July and off I went to catch the 6 am Kathgodam Shatabdi from the New Delhi railway station. It was a rain drenched day and I delighted in the sight of raindrops flinging themselves everywhere. So entranced was I with the sights that I gave up reading the book I was hooked into.
Five and a half hours later, I got off at Kathgodam station and was one of the few to do so. It seemed people had gotten off at other main stations on the route. I loved the clean environs of the platform even as I inhaled in the pure air, delighting in the green mountains all around.
The pre-booked cab driver awaited me to take me up to Satkhol which was another two hours drive away. Enroute I stopped at an eatery which A had recommended for a coffee stop. Pine wood and brick interiors greeted me even as I drooled at the baked goods in the display case. I picked up a couple of Quiche and brownies from the I♥cafe and then set out for the scenic drive up.
The drive was peppered with the gorgeous views of clouds rolling in everywhere even as the cool breeze made me pull out a stole to cover my neck and head. I was quite unprepared for the sight of the Bhimtal lake which was brimming with luscious clean water. Almost stopped for a dip there 😉
One thing about living in the mountains is that one needs to stock up on supplies whenever one steps out. The hilly terrain means one is deterred to pull out the car daily to drive for groceries. Home delivery is out of the question. So A had requested me to stop and get some daily needs stuff, which I happily did as it gave me an excuse to stretch out my legs.
Finally I reached my destination and couldnt stop counting the apple/pear/walnut trees that I could spot around. Neither could I stop gaping at the panoramic view of Almora spread out yonder. Everything felt fresh and clean even as my lungs worked hard to get used to the pure air.
My days began with Kimble waiting to hear me wake up to come and jump and greet me every morning – so much love had me in raptures. We would head out for morning walks if it wasnt raining or we weren’t feeling lazy – whichever came first!!
Other days were spent lazing in the garden with a book in hand and some delish breakfast cooked by my gracious hosts; who BTW are self-professed foodies. Not hollow claims as they also bake breads, make pizzas, whisk up amazing spanish omelette and what not.
Then there were all those drives up and around the hills while the rain pattered prettily on the windscreeN. Or the sun played hide and seek as we went around and over the mountains. Roads carpeted with rust red pine needles which are collected by the hill folks to use as fuel in their kitchen fires.
I don’t quite need to wax on about how gorgeous everything is in the lap of nature. Best part was the clean air – everything sparkled in the sunlight and visibility on a sunny day was amazing. I could hear the tiniest noise in the deep silence that’s so characteristic of the hills.
I read about 10-11 books while I was there and lazed to my heart’s content. I guess my instagram feed has most in envy as I posted daily about my life there. I had some crazy messages and comments 😉 I am tempted to do an Insta style post here soonest – what say?
I came back recharged and rejuvenated to the city life that has begun to seem drab and dull; I have started day dreaming about the possibility of moving there somewhere in the near future.
Tell me about the last vacation you took and where. If you have written a post about it, do drop the link for me to hop across and read it.
Read about some favourite vacations of mine in Kashmir travel diaries