We are a close-knit family. Me and my sister, our parents, our parents-in-law, and our uncle. And at least once a year we try to head out together. The task of finalising the destination, researching and booking a stay option, and even planning the itinerary, invariably falls on my shoulders. While initially it was simple enough - there were many unexplored places nearby and most of us were physically fit - it has become a little challenging over the years. In such a scenario there are some trips that one remembers simply because it was so convenient for everyone. Our trip to Dhanaulti was one such trip.
My father hasn't been keeping well for the past few years, and the problem with most good resorts in the hills is that they aren't elderly friendly. Rooms are mostly located at multiple levels and at times the vehicle isn't able to reach the reception and one has to walk down a steep slope to reach the resort. And yet ever since we started travelling, which feels like centuries ago, we have been unable to resist the charms of the hills. So in the year 2014, I found myself trying to search for a resort in Dhanaulti where papa would be able to have as much fun as we would.
I chanced upon the Green Forest Resorts. The staff appeared very accommodating. They assured me that papa will not have any problems reaching the property and even the rooms. Moreover, the resort also offered an option to book a cottage with three rooms so we could all be together always. They offered a good deal, and we finalized our trip. When I look back now, the stay was just average. We had planned a trip to Tehri dam, but that proved to be a waste of time. We went for a forest walk and that was fun, but papa couldn't walk much so it was not as exciting for him. The service at the resort was average too. But all was still not lost.
The location of the resort more than made up for everything. It was overlooking a lush green valley and had an apple orchard of its own that we could explore. My nephew had too much fun here looking at how apples actually grew. Dense clouds were frequent visitors and we often found ourselves suddenly surrounded by plain, undisturbed whiteness. And to top it all, the fun of staying together and the fact that papa just had to walk a few steps to see a beautiful valley and just a few more to be able to eat with family, just made it all worth it.
The fact that we had to drive through dense deodar forests to get to the resort and on our way back was the added bonus. I can still remember the fragrance of pines and deodars. I kept my window open despite the cold wind to be able to savour it.
When I look back today, I am able to vividly recall the clouds playing hide and seek and the sweet fragrance of deodars more than anything else. I guess this is the lingering memory of Dhanaulti and probably this will be etched in my mind forever.
I would request you to follow these things when traveling -
- Manage your waste well and don’t litter
- Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
- Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
- Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
- Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite