The routes were all so familiar to us by now. Get down at Dehradun and wait for our pick up to the base camp of the trek.
This time Bhim and I had decided to reach Dehradun a day before the pick up. The whole routine of taking a train and being there on the D day for the pick up was tiring plus we hadn’t seen anything of Dehradun besides the station and we truly wanted a bed to sleep on before we started off camping.
Bhim had already reached the hotel while I was en route from the airport. And bingo! my buddy opened the door with a grin saying this is it! We are finally here!
As I looked at the room, we seemed to fill the entire room just by standing inside! Wait a minute! where was that awesome room I took a shower in when I was here last time with my Har ki Dun mates, Saish and Tejas?? Well, wrong room booking by me and too late to upgrade as the tiny hotel was fully booked.
We decided to get out and started calling our Dehradun friends for a little cafe we could hang out at? All roads lead to Rome and in Dehradun’s case, it was Rajpur road.
Yep, any restaurant/cafe/bar/anything you wanted lead to Rajpur road. Finally we got a cafe name from Bhim’s friend and headed out. The name was Cafe Orchard.
Little did we know that this cafe would take us out of the city, 12 kms to be precise. and as we got down and looked around, there was no cafe in sight and all locals. Two big South Indians starkly standing out as usual 🙂
Bhim even wondered if we could get a cab back to the hotel at night but being the crazy ones we are, we tossed that thought aside and asked around, and after a few lanes, sure enough tucked somewhere in a nondescript corner was this beautiful cafe and full of people!
We settled in and got ourselves some junk food to eat, perhaps our last before we headed back to Roti, Rajmas and Dals on our trek.
I still remember that evening vividly as we poured our hearts out, where we were in our lives, our past, our present and reminiscing our crazy adventure in Darma Valley – and yep I have written on that too,so if you wanna scroll back, by all means do give it a try 🙂
By that time we wanted to have only two things, Beer and Chilli Paneer! The latter was haunting us and we could have hung out there if not for the No booze. We had to get out now and it was already past 7.30 pm. We passed by a live band playing groovy classic English songs and got out on the road and thought Where to Next?
So like typical yuppies we got out our phones and checked for bars that served Beer and Chilli Paneer! I remember Bhim saying, we are such nutcases, couldn’t we have searched while we were chilling in the cafe?? Here we are in the middle of nowhere standing and checking 🙂
Finally we found one closer in the city, Ambrosia Bar & Restaurant and sure enough we walked in, ordered beer and got down to eating Paneer listening to ‘Spa Music’, yup a bar that had Zen music for your frayed nerves! What a contrast as we got drinking and laughing 🙂
Since Bhim and I had a done a few treks with Indiahikes we were wondering about the trek group. Bhim never joined any whatsapp group which Indiahikes sends beforehand to get to know each other.I had joined a few weeks before and was nonplussed at the silence of the group. There was not even a peep out of them. Not even a day before the pick up.
All we hoped was that the group should be good, hopefully no assholes or jerks (am frank here!) and we should have a great time.
Honestly for me, Har ki Dun trek had the best group of all time. I mean the best, where everyone were tight as ever from the start till the end so I lowered my expectations on this one. One can’t expect the same kind of chemistry right? One has to get real about it.
As we retired for the night in the hotel, we saw a handsome big Saint Bernard dog outside our window on the opposite terrace looking out and barking away. Bhim gave out a gruff growl attracting the handsome bugger’s attention and slowly we turned in for the night.
Tomorrow would be the pick up to the base camp and tomorrow would be the day to meet the rest of the characters!