lake canoeing

Go Figure my unplanned Weekend Respite

Sattal, the joy of seven lakes. I was blessed to have witnessed the splendour of nature with the view of the silent lake with chirping of migratory birds which rush to these foothills to take respite from the harsh Himalayan cold.

So what scratches your brain cells? What tickles your mind? Why don’t you make a list? The usual questions I ask myself every week. I have a strong feeling, today will be different.

This usually happens when my ten year old niece is around. I see her write diary entry as her summer holiday assignment, she wonders if she could be easily playing Final Fantasy or kick her buddy’s bottom in Virtual Tennis, Federer Vs. Federer. But she chooses to write, write away her day as she would want it to be.

So here I am writing this post, getting inspired from my Niece.

Travel diary

Any person would be open to an underwhelming response of lakes and mountains and the green lush gardens but what i received was largely unexpected.I shouldn’t have snapped to my judgement to dismiss this not so known little obscure hill station named Sattal near Nainital when my office colleague went on about in his morning rant. How this place had given him a small potion of Gatorade, without actually consuming one. As he mentioned the majestic views and the refreshing and rejuvenating break he experience near this Kumaon village, I would usually scorn at the idea of that person is facing the lack of adrenaline or any sense of adventure.

But to my surprise, I ended up doing something completely out of character. I decided to take out few days out of my scheduled life for myself, so here we go.

Ten things to do on a spontaneous Weekend Getaway.

1. Wake up and call your boss that you won’t be able to make it for the Friday meeting, due to some serious burn out you are facing. Be out there brutally honest and say it “if I have to continue working for you, I need to not see your face for the next three days at least.’

2. Pack the essentials and pick up the same old whiny friend of yours who always complained of not spending enough time with them and hit the road.

3. Sattal, they say the place surrounded by the seven lakes. On your way, do stop at the Dhaba to gorge on the sumptuous Aloo Paratha and take a moment to laugh at the irony of commencing this sojourn with a plateful of calories.

Lake view : Weekend Getaway

4. Remember to know all the names, Purna Tal, Ram Tal, Sita Tal, Laxman Tal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Sukh Tal, Garud Tal and its origin from the Hindu Mythology. Otherwise it would be embarrassing to not know where you are taking your Canoe at.

5. Arrive at the Cottage to relax and then head to the Walking trails of the Sattal Oak Forest and hit the Subhashdhara springs, the pristine water is just too tempting to not take a dive at the nature’s pool of water. This water soaked pleasure amidst Oak and Pine trees wilderness is a must.

Nature’s pool of water : Weekend Getaway

6. Camp out at the Cottage’s precipice with Fresh Barbeque while listening to the lake, miss terribly Delhi traffic soon to be heard again while to take inspiration from the silence of the mist laden hills.

Camping : barbeque by riverside : Weekend Getaway

7. Marvel at the splendour of nature and go crazy with your kindle and catch up on the ebooks you bought a month ago with the view of the migratory birds which rush to the foothills to take respite from the harsh Himalayan cold.

8. Do indulge in local wines and folklore from the hotel staff and buy dinner to this traveller on his exotic travel quest to India, it works as an interesting anecdote for any family feast, as an icebreaker.

9. Collect (buy) Souvenirs from the Nandadevi fair is one deeply celebrated fairs in Sattal. To see many local dialects being exchanged in melody of Kumaoni and Garhwali lyrics, is a sure delight.This culture exchange is a refreshing change from the corporate clockwork you are privy to.

10. Since I went in September, I would love to see how the place is in extreme winters. Plan a longer hiatus from work to enjoy the place to yourself.

I was surprised to hear these many words from boss “The force is strong with this one”. Stealing right from Star Wars, I understand it’s important to have that alone time to do the things you want to do or to have the pleasure of doing nothing. To meet new people you would have never met, to buy a meal to a fellow traveller and exchange more than pleasantries.

The cherry on top being, I received a postcard from Glasgow, UK completely unexpected on a Summer afternoon with a shaken handwritten note with gratitude, Mountains are calling.


About Devyani Lal

Devyani is a post graduate of Apparel Design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (2013). Furthermore, an adroit Textile Designer, post her under graduate study at the National Institute of Fashion Technology. With an extensive appetite for experiences with travel, people, places and culture with the right ingredients of humanities, Devyani is the Principal Designer at Bainjani Media Solutions, writing stories and designs experiences visually for a living. She is a Lover of the written word illustrates for merriment or to vent, ardent music fanatic and cinema aficionado.

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