The Call of the Mountains, Brezza Breezing through Uttarakhand - Solo

nikhil2877

Active Member
Lovely log. Do give details about the tariffs in the hotel at Munsyari too.
The Pinewood guest house. The place is right adjacent to KMVN's TRH, with a narrow lane in between that goes down to the bus stand. The owners stay right below the guest house and were gentle and responsive. Didn't face any problems as such and the view from the rooms are perfect, overlooking the range.

For 3 nights with breakfast and dinner (and tea), I was charged somewhere around 6200.
 

nikhil2877

Active Member
Right, its June and I left this in Jan. Between all these days, several incidents have happened we all know and it has been very frustrating as sitting ducks to the ongoing trauma in the pandemic. All this is calling for another visit to the calm and serine mountains.

What better, by resuming the post and reliving the moments.

Here it goes from where I left. Reached Munsyari on 28th and it was a lazy morning of 29th with bright sun shining. Bread egg and tea as breakfast was refreshing and energizing. Went on with the plan to visit Thamri Kund as the last time I missed it. Met Prakash (local guide), who guided me and my family to the Kalamuni trek 6 years back. It was nice to re-connect !!

Thamri kund was partially frozen and the trek was mostly on snow. It was a wonderful experience and not so tough trek even with 2-3 feet of snow at some places.

Returned in the evening to relish some local mutton curry near the bus stand. The food place is probably the most frequented in Munsyari. Trying to recall the name.

29th came at and end and the next day I had nothing planned and that's the best part of it. Amidst the snow mountains, no plan is the right plan !!

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That's Prakash, my guide and old friend in Munsyari

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Didn't dare a walk on it, although Prakash said its hard enough and the stone pellets I threw didn't break in. Better be dry !!

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nikhil2877

Active Member
30th Dec 2019 was even more lazy :)… had nothing to do, post breakfast, thought of driving to the hot water springs at Madkot. There was road construction enroute and it was dusty, as if I had returned to the NCR...Thankfully it was the case till the diversion for Lilam, post it the roads were narrow but clean and smooth.

Madkot is a pretty small hamlet by the river Goriganga and the hot water springs can be given a miss. It was a mess really, with locals bathing in the hot springs and you cannot even go near with all the women and men in their scanty bathing suits. Realizing, I quickly diverted to the river banks and enjoyed watching the rapids blasting water as it hits the rocky beds beneath.

Nothing more to see, went back to Musyari, again to relish the mutton curry (wasn't done the day before ;)). Prakash was there and wanted me to come by his place for dinner. It was getting overcast and I thought I should be better off in the hotel, since I had a long journey to cover the next day to Kausani !!

On the way to Madkot
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This is end of the flowing hot water spring. You can see, it can be given a miss. The riverside was better and inspiring.

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Nothing to write much about the day, but it was a perfect outing with no specific achievements, but eye-soothing views all around... Reached Munsyari by 3 and had lunch and then retired in the hotel. It was going to get rough as clouds started to gather. Prediction was for snow on the new year eve and subsequent days.

I thought of staying another evening, but had already booked in Kausani through some folks that I met in Kaaphal hills Choukori. Also, post snow, one may not be sure of how long it would take to clear roads. Better off at Kausani for new year !!
 

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nikhil2877

Active Member
Last day of 2019

Started off in time and surprisingly clouds had cleared and sun was shining as it had all through. Early morning drive was slippery due to morning freeze and caught a glimpse of fox enjoying a meal, probably a kill. Past Kalamuni forest and the Hanuman temple, valley opens up and the drive was scenic all through.

Took the diversion to Kapkot just before Tejam alongside Ramganga river and made a stop over in between for a quick lunch, thanks to my portable Hans stove. This drive was probably the best drive of my journey, no traffic, clear skies, ample sceneries, riverside almost all through the journey, and plenty of places to stop, relax and absorb nature.

Probably was the longest as well in the hills, 170kms. Started around 930 AM and reached Kausani at around 7 with darkness taking over !!

Once at Kapkot, it was memory rekindling from the Solo trek for Pindari in 2016. Reached Bageshwar and it was not so difficult crossing over. Due to frequent stops and my lunch and tea sessions by the roadside, it was almost getting dark when I reached Baijnath !!. Baijnath to Kausani was rough due to bad roads.

My stay was already arranged, through a co-traveler I met in Kaaphal hills. This gentleman "Ram", specializes in project consulting in tourism/travel. The place I stayed was his project to provide them with advises on how to set up better for tourists. The place was comfortable and was indeed pleasant. Its few KMs before Kausani town.

During the stay, I went around to the tea gardens, which were close by and to the TRH. The KMVN property is absolutely well positioned and seems to be luxurious. Not sure if that was just a perception it built but I certainly felt like coming back next time and staying there.

Overall, Kausani is a quiet place and there's not much around, except some views from the KMVN site and a drive to waterfall (Rudrahar) and Someshwar. I drove to Someshwar and found that place bustling with business and locals. Got my car washed and cleaned and returned in the evening.

Munsyari-> Kausani pics and some local pics in Kausani.

Right before Kalamuni park gate, foxes were at feast. This one kept guard while others were enjoying
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Crossing Ramganga past diversion to Kapkot at Tejam. The roads were all good and avoided Thal, Choukori busy route.

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Post noon, halted around a bend and unboxed the cooking essentials !! Culinary skills on the mountain.
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With steaming pulao, drove further to find a suitable dining place :)
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The pulao tasted better because of the stage really.
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As I neared Kapkot, I realized that the sun would set before I hit Kausani. Refrained from all stopovers for photos and tea thereon and reached non-stop to the stay just before Kausani. Ram guided me to the place, which I had went past due to the night fall.

New year Dinner was served around bornfire, that went till midnight. Parties across some hotels around continued through the night, but I was done with the long drive and slept post midnight !!

The next day was set for aimless wandering around Kausani. Not much to write and claim !! Brezza had a nice shower and cleaning at Someshwar, some 10kms south of Kausani.

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Neat and Clean boy !!
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Views from top, near KMVN
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Local tea Gardens
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There were shops around tea gardens and I bought some Thyme, Rosemary and Peppermint. All excellent in quality and aroma. Worth buying from there.

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That's it. Kausani was given a day and it was the plan before hitting the roads next day driving into Garhwal, where I had spent some months around Rudraprayag. Plan was simple, another long drive in the hills from Kumaon to Garhwal with 3 night stay at Khirsu, a place I liked when I was in Rudraprayag. It was time for GMVN stay.

Before that, Ram provided me with local thali, which was tasty but really heavy, especially the dal that is grounded and cooked (forgot the name). but it was nice of him to have given me this compliment.

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nikhil2877

Active Member
Towards the last leg: Kumaon to Garhwal

Kausani to Khirsu, my next stop, was another longish drive 180km and it was bit longer because of the road conditions mostly.

Woke up a bit late as it was raining Jan 2 morning and forecast was for snow and rain around both Kumaon and Garhwal. Ram suggested me to take an alternate route from Dwarahat as Gwaldam road was messy. Start was late and it was for sure that I wouldn't be at Khirsu before sunset, but I knew that region well so it wasn't much of a scare.

On the way from Kausani to Dwarahat, google always forced the Gwaldam route and I obliged, simply because it was overcast and raining. Better be on the major route when in such conditions. Chances are less of one getting stuck and supplies are forthcoming. Returned after driving 10kms or so and wasted like an half hour. Nonethless, drove continuously past Baijnath towards Gwaldam going through rough under construction road. At many places had to stop for debris collectors and JCB moving for clearing landslide either cause by rains or at time from the blast to widen the road. It was not so good feeling to see the mountains being scrapped and bleed. Past Gwaldam there were patches of good road though, but never was it like smooth sailing all through Rudraprayag.

Past Rudraprayag it was getting dark and just before Srinagar took the diversion into forest for Dewalgarh Temple, which furthers into Bughani and Khirsu, avoiding Srinagar.

It was raining intermittently all through and reached GMVN Khirsu around 8 PM. Had spoken to the manager from Kausani and had booked the stay. As expected, the place was all by myself, with one family staying in the huts. I was given the room in the main premise, which was spacious and comfy.

Tea and the dinner was served by the nice staff and they never disappointed me during the stay.

Stayed for three nights and mostly walked and relaxed soaking in the sun, which came out shining from next day. Data connection was perfect (4G) and I enjoyed the sun, listening to the songs and writing in the blog from there itself !! The journey was coming to an end, but I was absolutely satisfied with the solo sojourn in the hills.

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Reaching Rudraprayag
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The next morning, clear skies and amazing views of and from GMVN Khirsu. Its a 1 day drive from Delhi, I would say that much better place if you are only looking for some relaxing time with family/friends or on your own !!
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The huts were inviting, but the manager suggested that it wouldn't let you sleep if it rains in the night, due to the metal roof !!
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GMVN Khirsu was perfect closing sentence in this story for me. Enjoyed every bit of time there and then on 5th, started for home. Took the route from Pauri-Satpuli-Dugadda-Kotdwara-Khatauli, all the way till Ghaziabad where I took the EPE highway for Faridabad.

Reached around 9PM and it was a perfect drive with no issues in between. As usual the sun faded in the planes but I was fully refreshed and energized to take on the real life that lay ahead !!

All in all, thoroughly enjoyed the journey in the rustic hills of Uttarakhand. Will try to do something similar next time, with family !!

Thanks !!
 

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shahronakm

Active Member
Fantastic solo trip report. Loved the narration & the pictures. Reminds me of my trip to Uttarakhand way back in 2005. It was a 20 days trip mainly Kumaon (Nainital, Corbett, Binsar, Pitthorgarh, Munsiyari, Chaukori, Kausani & little bit of Garhwal (Auli & Rishikesh). Time to go back again.
 

Theloststory

Well-Known Member
What a beautiful journey. I loved that photo of the breeze, door open, standing in the crisp sun on a chilly day. Made me nostalgic about my own trips.

Also noticed how the landscape is getting degraded. Old tall trees no long there, the ground looks beaten...
 
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