This is my last day in the Himalayas. I haven’t done much work at all. Mainly because there was no internet and we had a lot of trouble with phones so I could not do a lot of work. And I think that was a really good excuse.
In this Himalayan retreat, we’ve been staying in a beautiful bed-and-breakfast our homestay inn kind of place. It’s not quite a hotel and you’re really well looked after here and we have absolutely gorgeous gourmet food, beautiful rooms and we’re staying right up in Himalayas away from the noise of the bazaar. It’s really cool over here. I’ve had a complete break. I’ve read some books and we’ve walked have done a lot of walking, taking a lot of photographs and of course we’ve eaten a lot.
It’s about 7:30 in the morning. I did not get up to watch the sunrise, because that was a bit of a disaster yesterday. I missed it by 5 or 10 minutes. Anyway that gives me an excuse to come back because I haven’t had any sunrise photographs.
We’re on the side of the ridge facing the Doons, the Doons are the plateaus where the plains start climbing up to the Himalayas. and the Himalayas are on the other side of this Ridge that’s where you can see the snow peaks. To do that I have to sort of get out of bed walk around a ridge, negotiate several vicious dogs. Well they’re mostly not vicious but they kind of follow you around expecting food. And of course, troops of monkeys because they come in from the forests as there isn’t much food in the remnants of forest.
I’m staying at La Villa Bethany. It’s an old cottage which has been done up with a lot of imagination and a lot of dreams. This is Sunita’s dream. Sunita is the hotelier from Bombay who has now bought or leased its place and done it up. This is a really good place to write a book because you can get a room which is a hobbit room. It’s completely done up for hobbits – of a larger size. It’s got the round doors and all the memorabilia in it as if it’s just waiting for Gandalf.
There’s another room which is a log cabin – that is the Sunita’s husband’s, Amardeep’s dream. To me it was a Heidi cabin. Heidi, the book, like Heidi’s grandfather’s cabin up in the Alps. But Amardeep’s dream is to have an Uncle Tom’s cabin. All the rooms are pretty well set up, it’s a simple but comfortable. It’s warm inside because we have heaters.
Sunita has set up this place to be solar passive. There is solar lighting and solar hot water, I think we do have a generator. It’s got Wi-Fi, they capture all their own water and reuse all their own water as well so its a sustainable showpiece. All the toiletries are locally made. All organic made by local women or men using local ingredients.
Also all the staff are locals who are employed here. Its hard to find employment here. Rich people build or restore these ridiculously expensive holiday houses and leave them empty. There’s no real jobs for people, maybe a little bit of building work here and there, and taxi work in the season.
So it’s heartening to see that Sunita is building a sustainable business. If you come and stay here you would be supporting the local economy which is exactly what I like to do. Even with White magic tours (who we did the Sandakphu trek with) supports the local economy by hiring local guides, local porter’s and local ponies.
But it’s time now for us to head down to the plains and from the pure air of the mountains and go back to reality. I’ve had a complete reboot I may not even remember my password!
I haven’t been able to do what I intended to do which was to blog and write my book but sometimes your plans don’t work out quite the right way but perhaps that’s what was supposed to happen.
I have had a complete reboot. I have been sick as well so my mind has been pretty foggy but I’m experiencing a bit of clarity now what I want to do in the new year and I’m looking forward to getting my creative pursuits back on line.
Thanks for being part of my Himalayan journey.