Saturday, 1 June 2013

Wanderlust May 2013 – Lansdowne – Day 1

I was still trying to grab time to blog about our last trip when Mr. hubby announced he wanted another one. A recent family wedding & some other pending issues had me totally exhausted so when he proposed Lansdowne, it seemed like a welcome relief!
Didi had gone to Lansdowne a couple of years ago & had been in awe of the old British architecture, especially the Garhwal rifles mess. Lansdowne therefore, had been pending for quite some time.

With our bags packed in a jiffy, we left the hot and humid Delhi in the morning. I was excited to catch up on the McDonald’s breakfast menu on the Drive in near Khatauli. Mr. hubby had asked me to look for the route to Bijnor from Khatauli however,  a miss and we ended up taking the bylane adjacent to new Cheetal Grand restaurant. It was finally the server at the Mc Donald’s drive in who guided us about the right route (I had been looking for Bijnor on the signboards whereas we were to reach Jansad first & then take the highway to Bijnor).

I was expecting Bijnor to be just another small town but the pleasant drive there was a treat for my greenery hungry eyes. A well irrigated place, with a huge “Madhya Ganga canal” strategically routed through the fields, Bijnor is a place with quite roads and lots of greenery around. The sight near the canal barrage was simply awesome & if the place had the option of camping, we wouldn’t have mind a detour. Few minutes after we crossed Najibabad, I was delighted to see a huge (and I mean pretty huge) sugar mill. I could see the huge conveyor belt & some machines & was told the place was Mawana (from where my daily chai gets the Mawana sugar!).

Whenever we visit the hills (which is almost all our trips), I behave like an elated child on spotting the first set of hills after the plains. My reaction on seeing the mountains on the horizon en route Kotdwar was no different. Lansdowne was a few kilometers now!
My excitement soon turned into concern as the actual route after we took the route to Lansdowne. Britishers are known for their superior architecture & planning however, this time around, they had missed on the basic infrastructure. The roads are very narrow & Mr. Hubby, who had been driving non stop from Delhi now seemed tired. We have been on the worst of hilly routes but this route was one of its  kind. Narrow roads, steep, blind turns at every few metres (I would recommend taking a driver unless of course you don’t mind the frequent clutch & break like my Mr. Hubby).

I was waiting to get away from the heat. A signboard read “the first view of Lansdowne”. “But it is still hot!” I cribbed. “we have to go atleast 300-350 km away from Delhi in the hills to beat the heat, so chill baby”, Mr. Hubby at his consoling best again!

Lansdowne welcomed us with a Cant board toll, lot of old time fauji buildings & the best of all – numerous pine trees. We reached the main market – Gandhi Chowk. All the resorts we had tried to book came on our way, except the one we had actually booked – Jungle resort. I was getting cranky now with my empty stomach, heat & a strong nature’s call. The locals in sadar bazaar showed us a blue overhead tank & asked us to take the “bad route” from there. The bad road had already irritated us & when I saw the “real” secluded bad route, I prayed God for both of us & our Skoda Rapid.

Till about a few metres enroute Dhuri, we could see one or two jawans however after that the civilization just disappeared. Two tired & hungry souls on a bad route that was taking them nowhere! The route got worse with every turn but we had no option – there was no space on the narrow road to even take a U – turn. Finally after 3 km of that torturous terrain, he sign board read “Jungle Resort retreat Anand”. I wished for decent accommodation & clean loos as there was no way back now.

Seems God heard me. The resort was full of Pine trees (just like they used to show in the 90s movie songs) & had numerous cottages & a swimming pool. It was still hot so when I asked the staff why aren’t there any AC’s in the cottages, he smiled & said “spend few hours here & you won’t miss the AC. We decided to head to the pool to beat the heat. However, the pool had been occupied by numerous noisy kids & their parents. Belly dance of the pot bellied father to the shrieks of the bachha party – I hadn’t expected this after a tiring journey! But that’s hospitality – guest expectations exceeded, though on the wrong side!
Jungle Resort, Dhuri, Lansdowne

With kids occupying pool, there was nothing much to do. So I just lazed around the remaining day on the Hammock, while Mr. Hubby was glued to his Trip Advisor app to plan for the next day.
Read about day II of the trip here
Hills covered with Pine trees
Lovely Blooms
Sadar Bazaar

1 comment:

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