We were looking forward to some hiking in and around the valley over the next few days but I bloody got sick didn’t I. So the next two days I didn’t venture very far from the cabin, though it was a pretty beautiful setting to sit around and recover. Except for the stairs up to get fed. We extended our stay a few more days and got to move into the better rooms up in the guesthouse once the other guests moved out. The accommodation was a lot nicer with a lovely balcony and table and chairs overlooking the valley. I lost count how many hours we spent just sitting out there enjoying the view. We could even see the snow capped peaks from our bed. Watching the weather change and the rains sweep through the valley to be followed by a clear sky and sunshine was breathtaking. Especially since we were safely under cover with a steaming cup of masala chai in our hands.
Once I was feeling better we went on some short hikes around the valley and surrounding apple and pear orchid. The scenery was really beautiful and the smell of pine in the air made you feel as if you were breathing in clear crisp air, which in India is sometimes hard to come by. We didn’t get to do the big hike up to one of the peaks as I didn’t have the energy just yet so will have to save that for next time we are here. We have already decided there will be a next time as we loved this place.
The extra days we spent up at the guesthouse were lovely as we were the only guests so we had the whole family to ourselves. This included Raju, his wife and two children, mother and his brother. The brother was getting married in October so his wife would also come and live with them. This got us talking about marriages with Raju and we expected him to have a bride picked for him as it was a small village but apparently that wasn’t the case for him and his brother.
The guesthouse was run by the boys with Raju the host and the two other boys the cooks. The wife and mother didn’t do anything towards the guesthouse but they were always out in the orchid cutting grass for the sheep, cow and her calf who lived under the house.
Another really foreign notion here that we can’t get out head around is the wishing for boy children in India. The poor old girls definitely play second fiddle. We talked to some guests who were from Delhi who had one girl and she said people constantly ask ‘Surely you are going to try for a boy next’. We met Raju’s cousin one morning and she told us with a look of embarrassment on her face that she had three girls and no boys. Some things in India are just really screwed up.
We could have stayed for several more days with Raju but he had guests coming and although we had the option to move down into the cabin again we decided to move on. It is very rare to experience such a beautiful place so untouched by tourism and I am glad we took the time to find it. S
Close up view of the mountain opposite ours. If you look really closely you can see a steep path leading up to a house. We watched kids go down in the morning to school and back up again in the afternoon. There were no fat people in this village that is for sure.
Road up to the guesthouse.
Walking up through the peach and apple trees to get a better view.
On another day we hiked along the path of the river. We passed some really quaint little villages along the way. These guys must get so isolated in winter. Raju told us that his guesthouse does not see sun for 2 months because they are positioned on the wrong side of the valley.
Found this guy pollinating all the wild flowers along the way. Obviously I took this shot as Tim was keeping his distance.
Another cute little village.
The river. When we arrived on the first day the water was crystal clear but after the rain got a little dirty.
Getting closer to the snowy peaks.
As we climbed higher we hit a beautiful little forest.
More river shots. I can’t stress enough how beautiful this valley was.
Main Street of Gushaini, the village directly underneath the guesthouse.
One of the locals. All the men wore these types of hats with different designs on them. I forgot to ask Raju if there was any significance to the designs or if they picked them purely on if they liked it.
Raju’s wife and the kids Dimple and Daniel. Apparently Dimple is a very common Indian name. In typical village life the kids were pretty good at entertaining themselves. Often giving us a heart attack when they pushed chairs up against the balcony banister and then proceeding to stand up on them all the while looking at us to see if they would get away with it. They figured out pretty quick we weren’t pushovers.