We settled on a cottage style option. Since we were checking in on a Friday, when the weekend hasn't officially begun, we got a good offer. 5300/- for 2 nights, all meals for 2 pax inclusive of taxes and GST. Our room was a pretty standalone cottage with a wooden-flooring bathroom. The compound looked like a mist-wrapped courtyard of a dilapidated haveli. Wide tree trunks with age-worn branches weighed down by living roots surrounded the always empty children's park. The mini rides looked forlorn like the abandoned amusement park from Chernobyl. Still, there was a cold and excitement emanating from that atmosphere.
We were itching to strip our wet clothes and slink into something dry and crisp. But to our dismay, we discovered all our belongings were soaking wet. Aicks! We forgot to pack our dry stuff in at least two layers of plastic wrap to keep them dry. Boom! Now live in wet and damp for the rest of your stay because hear me out, it is impossible to dry anything in that rain. Everything, as it is, is damp, wet and cold. I sent a couple of clothes to a local iron-man but whatever came back was no better. So I dropped the idea of getting dry then and there and embraced the rains fully.
Both mom and I were very tired with the wet walk, so we wolfed down our lunch and promptly wrap ourselves in blankets. We spent the rest of the evening drinking tea and taking an early dinner. For a brief period sometime in the late evening, we sneaked out for a walk. The mysterious streetlights, playful doggos confused with cold and wisps of mist mixing with the darkness lend the scene an incredible depth. We tried to soak all that in, looking eagerly over our shoulders for any spirit following us to complete this nightly exploration of a rainy evening. Nah! I think all were busy looking for the last bit of warmth here and there.
My mom is an early riser and she practically woke me up squealing with joy. Apparently, the fog is licking our doors. She was literally on cloud nine after stepping out of the cottage. Which is a good sign because I need her to be energetic for the sightseeing walks that we have to do eventually that day. Don't for a minute think the cloud dispersed and clear sky winked at us. Nada! All like the day before.
Chomp chomp chomp and we chow down our breakfast of egg-toasts. Donning our walking shoes we set out for the sightseeing. Sightseeing comprises of a lot of vantage points with gorgeous valley views. With the kind of mists that we had that day, our expectations were already slim. Rather we decided to enjoy a fog-filled forest walk!
Wild trails, thick with trees and muddy pools of rainwater, undulating road, passing ponies, smiling strangers, and unpredictable monkeys - it was another day filled with a blissful walk. There is no pollution, no jostling on the sidewalk, no purposeful tread of a morning jogger. Here you're free to explore, stop, breath deeply. The only caution you've to exercise is being mindful of your step. You can easily slip on the pony-poop!
We went to Charlottes Lake. The lake wasn't visible but the small dam was. Since we did ample detour during our leisurely lake walk, our half-day was gone and we chose to go back to our hotel for lunch. Going to Echo Point or Sunset Point didn't mean much because of the visibility issue.