We lazed out of the bed with heavy eyes of course after ditching the early morning taxi driver who was supposed to pick us at 5 AM to take us to be lured by the sunrise view. At 10 AM as the sun soared higher, we were all set to embark on our almost 7 hours journey to Lachen for our overnight homestay.
Nevertheless, by 10 which was the designated time by the travel agent, we reached the taxi stand only not to find any other passenger but ourselves.
Anyways, we were relieved as it made room for us to have breakfast. enjoying early morning delicious Maggie along with bread-omelet and tea at a dhaba. In fact, the first sight of the dhaba astounded us (though going forward we got used to the sight). Be it a dhaba or a hut or a restaurant, there were ‘bottles’ on display everywhere, bottles of wine, local wine, local beer, imported liquor and what not!
We were packed in an SUV with seven other passengers. Having received instructions on the basic food we would be getting and non-usage of mineral water bottles, the engine of the car roared. The sight of numerous cyclists with their helmets on, pedaling up and down hill was an awesome sight. The first halt came after almost two hours drive and the site to be seen was a lazy waterfall.
We freshened up (for Rs10 per head) and jammed ourselves on the car seats. Thankfully, the driver had a decent playlist of Bollywood songs. Another 2 hours and we halted on a roadside place for lunch. We occupied a table while the cool breeze refreshed us.
The aroma of food tingled our tastebuds. While the non-vegetarians had the liberty of fish curry and rice, vegetarians like me had to settle for bland yellow dal with rice. Thankfully there was ‘aalu bhujia’ and mixed pickle to help me gulp down the meal. A bar of dairy milk each (I chose to ignore the calorie section) came to rescue.
Well, the journey resumed and we landed at our destination after long 9 hours of journey almost around 20.30 hours. The place was a cozy little home-stay, called RC’s, with comfortable beds and bright orange coloured walls which indeed helped freshen up our tired bodies. We were greeted with hot cups of tea which we gulped down with our pack of biscuits. RCs homestay is owned by Mr Rinzing and his wife Pema and the hosts are highly warm and courteous.
The spirit to explore, pulled us out of the home-stay to explore the neighourhood may be for some steaming hot momos. We pulled ourselves out to feel the cold air under the starry sky. Just next door we could read a list of items served with did include momos. Right from the door we could see men and women gossiping the sipping the local wine. After a second of hitch, we did slip in and inquired about the eatables available but only to be disappointed. All that was available was a variety of drinks, again imported, Indian and local.
Having lingered around for a while, we moved back to our abode for the night. Within half an hour we headed to the little basement for dinner laid down on stretched tables with low sofas. The setting, despite being a low-cost affair, was tastefully done. More so, the people were genuine and amiable who served with full devotion. While the non-vegetarians were delighted with chicken curry, potato sabji and rice, me-the vegetarian had to settle for the yellow dal, rice and pickle. The day ended with the promise to wake up at 5 with the sunrise with hope to take a shower and leave by 6.