Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Juneo trip

Back from a wonderful trip to the hills with my family. To the place that I grew up, the place where my dreams and hopes took shape, the place that will always remain dear to me, the place that I can picture in my mind, in every season, from every direction, and to the place where now I will have new memories to share with my family.

Juneo in Himachal Pradesh is not one of the most beautiful places in the world, the road leading to it is always in some form of disrepair, there's not much to do there in forms of modern entertainment, but lots to do in the outdoors, from birdwatching, hiking, fishing, camping and anything else outdoors.

It was a really hectic weekend and since we left Bombay, we haven't spent even 24 hrs in a single place. We left Bombay on friday afternoon, spent the evening in Delhi and then all 6 of us took the early morning Shatabdi to Chandigarh, reaching there at 11am, going to my parents place to pick up the food and supplies for our stay in Juneo. We left Chandigarh at 1210, with me driving the Scorpio, which is a really great vehicle to drive, and headed to Giani's dhaba in Dharampur for a late lunch.

From Giani's we headed to Solan and took the Rajgarh road, past the Horticulture University at Oachghat, down to cross the Giri river and up again to reach Juneo at 410pm, just as it was getting cold and dark. After unloading the car, we walked a bit near the orchard and packing shed and then headed back indoors to have some tea and light the fire.

As it was Diwali, we played a few rounds of cards, lit some firecrackers and had a good meal although it was not traditional festival fare. After a chilly and foggy morning, mostly spent indoors, we headed to Kasauli after lunch, stopping off at Dharampur for some hot chocolate fudge at Hot Millions. In Kasauli we stayed at The Kasauil Club, a cute and quaint old institution established in 1880. After some nice hot tea and cheese toast, we played some snooker and pool and then settled for a while at the bar. Dinner was continental fare, but below our expectations, and a bit of an anticlimax.

For breakfast the next morning we tried Alasia on the Lower Mall, which wasn't too bad at all, and gave us enoungh energy to walk back up on the steep slopes to the Club. We finished all formalities of checking out and then headed to my old school, The Lawrence School Sanawar for a quick round. Everything was nice and shiny, polished and prepared for Founders that took place a couple of weeks back. We parked in BD Quad and walked up to see the Chapel and the War Memorials, before heading back to Chandigarh for a late lunch at Noodle Bar, ice cream at Aroma's and then the evening Shatabdi to Delhi, reaching home at 11pm. At 415 this morning we headed to the airport to come back to Bombay.

Although since friday evening we didn't stay even 24 hours in any single place, we somehow managed to pack in a lot of stuff, fun and of course food in the three days we were away, building lots of memories and fun times to look back on.

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