Almost Kasauli (Sanawar, Dharampur), Himachal Pradesh

Kasauli hills
Sanawar, Kasauli
In case you are wondering why this article is called Almost Kasauli, it is because we made a plan to visit Kasauli, but instead, landed up in Sanawar, 6 kms away from Kasauli. And the reason we landed in Sanawar was because no hotel in Kasauli was ready to accommodate group of 35 plus members in a short notice and the only place we found suitable and available at that point of time was camping in Sanawar at Sanawar Nature Camp.

Well, Kasauli or somewhere else, it hardly matters! What matters most is the company of people around you, its never really the destination that's fun, but people around you and this trip proved that. 

This is my blog, this is my story and I can clearly be the Hero of my own story, but I am not, not in this one. The story is about all other members who joined for the trip and acted as heroes, superheroes/superwomen in fact. There were several things that did not go as per the plan, but none of the members cribbed, as a matter of fact they all came together to help/ accommodate, have fun and share as Power of One. More on this later....

So we all were excited and left for Kasauli Sanawar on a Friday evening directly from the office in a rented bus. We were 35 plus members so it was definitely a fun ride all the way. I cannot even recall a single moment when there was silence in the bus. Everyone was in a different zone all together, dancing, singing, drinking and making fun of whoever we could get hold of. We crossed Delhi border and then stopped at Sukhdev, Murthal for a quick break at 8 in the evening where few people grabbed some snacks and famous paranthas with butter. As we moved, the fun continued and the next stop was Dana Pani, Karnal for dinner. We reached there at 10 in the night and after we stuffed our tummies, we left at 11pm for our journey ahead.

Finally, we reached Sanawar at 3 in the morning. Excitement grew every moment as we entered the camps area but didn't last for long as we got to know how prepared were the camp organizers were for arrival of our group. Even basic amenities were lacking in the camps which were promised to us post so many follow ups with them before and while booking. The beds were dirty, toilet papers were missing and moreover rooms were insufficient to accommodate 35 plus member group. I cursed myself and there was a sudden burst of anger on the camp organizer as I called him! Well, it was my mistake that I trusted on the organizer so much so I had to take the ownership. This is where the superheroes of our story jump in. Almost everyone came to the rescue and acted as a team to get everyone settled. Soon, we all had rooms, bed sheets were changed, mineral water was supplied and were promised best service by the camp organizer, well damage was already done though. I felt bit relaxed as everyone got settled while I still did not have any room for myself. I placed my bags wherever I could find place sat outside waiting with few other members for few colleagues who were coming by their own. 

Night Photo
Night Photography
It was 4:30 in the morning and I tried my hand on night photography and having fun with few other members outside the cottage, what we called "Kutiya (cottage) Number 6". At 5am, the car arrived and colleagues walked in with booze in their hands. We started with Beer and then after few drinks we started playing cricket which did not turn out to be a good decision for few (injuries, body aches etc later).

It was already 7 in the morning and instead of going to sleep, we went for trekking. Carrying my camera along, I was bit hesitant to climb as I could afford myself falling off, but not the camera. Well, I did climb with all the push from the colleagues along. At the top of the mountain, the view was magnificent. Sunrise and the beauty of greenery all around was really spectacular. After spending few minutes up there and photo shoots, we came down slipping over dry grass while I held on tightly to my precious. 

As we reached back to the camp, it was 8am and the breakfast was still not ready (7am was the agreed time for breakfast with the camp organizer). Me and few other who were awake and never slept throughout, were really hungry so we went to the nearest town, two kilometers down the hill to grab some snacks, pakoras and Paranthas. By the time we were back, breakfast was still not ready, it was 8:30am and by this time, few more people were up after their sleep or naps. 

At 9am, they served us the breakfast and post that I went to sleep while most of the members were up by that time. I slept for half an hour as I got the bed when people woke up. This is the only half an hour where I got to sleep in the whole trip. I woke up as I heard noises of people leaving for rappling (an adventure sport). I woke up and got ready and by that time almost everyone had left. I tried to look out for other members who were in the camp and luckily found few. While we waited for others to return, we had tea and second round of breakfast and Snap-chat photo-shoot.

The afternoon was spent having beer and relaxing in the shed at the edge of the hill. We had lunch while people started to return from rappling and then much needed coffee to wake ourselves up. 

By his time we had to go for zipping also known as Flying fox. I was damn sleepy but since everyone was interested, glad I went along and yes, it was fun!!

We returned back to our camp and sat outside one of the cottages, played music and sang along. The sunlight on the face was so relaxing and the wind that blew our hair was really a rejuvenating experience. We were literally doing nothing, yet it was so much fun. Well, good company is all you need to have fun.

It was 6 in the evening and few members decided to go on trekking. Without sleep, I almost had no energy so instead I went down to Dharampur (2 kms down). I carried my camera and did some photography on the way.

As everyone returned back to the camp, it was Party time!!! There were snacks, booze and few games. We all started playing Musical chair and then danced and everyone showed their moves. The atmosphere was quite enchanting because of all the people around enjoying and having fun.

At 10 in the night, dinner was served (while I got it packed for me and a friend as we were not hungry) and people were singing and dancing after having dinner. I don't know whether it was booze talking or they genuinely had energy. Soon after dinner and singing, we went for Night Trekking. We were holding torches and went to the 'not so long trek' which goes up to a cemetery where there are graves of 213 children. We paid respect to the dead and returned back to our camps. Later we had a round table conference where every person was brought in lime light was asked to do something special. People sang, acted told fun stuff about themselves and we got to know their hidden talent as well. I never knew we had a national level shooter, a gold medalist swimmer, a girl who is cricket champion amongst us... Whoa! Respect!

It was already midnight and we had to leave at 5 in the morning back to our home so most of the people went to sleep. Me with some other members returned back to the cottage and decided not to sleep. Few people took a nap in between while I took bath at 3:30am and got ready for our journey back home.

By 4:30am, almost everyone was ready and whosoever was not, we dragged them out of their beds so we can leave on time. At last we managed to leave at 5am sharp and as we left, I dozed off and woke up at 8am when we reached Haveli for Breakfast at Karnal. Post breakfast we left and reached Delhi in the afternoon.

Though it was not a perfect trip, but lot of good stuff happened. Before the trip, I knew everyone, but after the trip, I can definitely say that I made some really good friends! Despite all the hiccups, people had super fun and that what matters and is life all about!

Salute to all the superheroes/superwomen for making it to the trip and being together as a team throughout!


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