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In their own words...

This is the account of a dear and senior colleague and his wife. They visited a week ago..







Persistent luring by Amiya, persuading hesitant Manju and generous offer of pickup and drop by Pankaj in his brand new Tata Safari took 4 of us to the wonderland of Uttarakhand hills for a 3 nights stay with Kailashji and family in their QR Homestay.

Journeys both ways were a bit longish but made easy by comfortable vehicle, good company with Amiya showering Gyan all the way and excellent food joints on the way.

The tiredness of the 12hours long journey quickly vanished with a very hospitable welcome and sipping hot cups of tea in the forecourt of the Homestay at village Ganoli overlooking the vast valley of Kumaon Hills. Dinner was sumptuous, served under moonlight with lights of Ranikhet and several small hamlets shining across the valley. The bed was extremely comfortable.



Sunrise was early at 5.30am and after several cups of hot tea went out for morning walk on the winding road from Ganoli towards Surkheti.



Post breakfast, I had the opportunity to see Amiya at work attending to scores of patients with mental health issues from far and near villages at Camp Kumaon of Manas Foundation.

Trip to Amiya's Forest Cabin at Qurai was finalized with initial trepidation, walking on the narrow mountain trail was exciting but fraught with danger, but reaching there was exhilarating and breathtaking.



The support team collected the firewood, lit up the fire, served tea and then cooked and served delicious lunch partly served on the leaves collected and cleaned in front of us. It was just amazing.



Return journey was delayed on account of rain, thunderstorm and hailstorm. But the wait was rewarded by the motley group huddled in the dark lit room (No Electricity) and entertained by the bhajans sung in folk local folk tunes by the ladies in the support team.

Next day, morning walk took us to the highest point in the area called Vidiu where a Dhuni and Meditation Room is located in a vast Bugyal - a meadow surrounded by a 360 degree view of the mountain range across the valley. Sunrise view of the distant mountain range was not possible because of the haze.



After visiting Mrityunjaya Temple in the town of Dwarahat about 16kms away, a repeat visit to Vidiu at sunset was mesmerizing and a treat for ameteur photographers in us.



Night was relaxing and next day, early in the morning, we were given a warm send off by Kailashji and his support team of Shamu and Soni.

IN NUTSHELL, IF ONE UNDERSTANDS THE CONCEPT OF HOMESTAY IN UNEXPLORED AREAS, A FEW DAYS STAY AT QR HOMESTAY IS ABUNDANTLY REWARDING IN TERMS LOCATION, FACILITIES, TRAILS AND LOCAL CUISINE.

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