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Adventure Tourism in Binsar

Binsar is not a place geared for frenetic activity. There are some nice walks you can go on, even a ten-km day trip, but with the kids around the best we could hope for was to do the leisurely 2-km walk to zero point.

We spent Sunday doing nothing much. I don't know about the kids, but I was still recovering from the harrowing drive up.

On Monday, we lazed around on the fabulous terrace, enjoyed the fabulous sunshine, the fabulous views, and the fabulous food.

On Tuesday, we moaned about the weather being overcast, the sunshine being weak, the views being obscured, and the food being monotonous.

On Tuesday evening, there was thunder and lightening, and the invertor gave way (due to the lightening, they said) and we had a candlelight dinner and were packed off to bed amidst a short but businesslike spell of rain.

On Wednesday, we woke to steady rainfall, which suddenly and magically turned into snow. It snowed all day and we began to wonder whether it would keep it up the next day or not, and whether, if it did, we'd be able to get out on Friday morning. Meanwhile, we moaned about the cold and the challenges of keeping two young kids occupied indoors for the whole day. I would have let them go out and play, if only they'd had sufficiently warm and weatherproof clothes, including boots and gloves.

On Wednesday evening, the snowfall stopped, and the sky cleared up and the moon and stars came out. With everything white, it was beautiful. We stopped moaning about the cold, and even enjoyed the monotonous dinner.

On Thursday the weather was clear and the snow began to melt. By late afternoon, it was all gone. The kids were tramping around in the wet and having a whale of a time.

On Tuesday morning, we had ventured towards zero point with the kids in tow. We didn't quite make it, because the kids got tired and hungry and cranky and we had to carry them back to the rest house for lunch. On Thursday afternoon, I set out after lunch, leaving Amit to keep an eye on the sleeping twins. A mere half an hour later, I could proudly say that at least one member of our expedition had made it to the peak - that is, to zero point. It wasn't a great achievement, there was only a bit of a tower there and a good view. The path was easy - a four-wheel-drive vehicle could have made it. Still, it was a nice little outing, especially with all the clumps of melting snow that slid off the trees all around me, missing me by a hair's breadth many times and landing with a soft, soggy "plonk" on the forest floor.

And on Friday, after a leisurely breakfast, and just around when lunch was being served and smelling most appetizing, we left.

I had been dreading the drive down, with the memory of the drive up still deeply etched into my consciousness, but it wasn't bad at all. As none of us had had lunch, there wasn't much in the stomach to come up, and apparently there was just enough to stay down. The kids fell asleep soon after we started and stayed asleep nearly until we reached, with very few, short breaks for retching. I could almost enjoy the scenery.

Looking back, it was a great trip. Everything that could have gone wrong didn't. Nobody fell sick, nobody got lost, and on the whole a good time was had by all, with the exception of that traumatic 3-hour drive up to Binsar. Given all the disarray of travel, specially when you throw together two long train journeys, a long-ish car ride, twins, a remote hill station with limited electricity and uncertain weather... and altogether a two-week stint away from the comforts of home, I'd have to say this trip was a resounding success. We all returned home overflowing with high spirits... and several shades darker than we were when we left.

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Copyright 2008 Amit and Anamika Mukherjee. All rights reserved.