April 22, 2009

New day and I try my hand at something new!!!

The wilderness has always attracted me. I would love to get lost in the wild. Today is the 4th day of my trip and I have decided to go for a nature trail. The hotel had arranged for a naturalist to accompany me. I needed one as I didn't know my way around and I didn't even know which way the trail was!!! Anyways I and Sameer set out for the trail, which was started from the hotel.
This nature trail was called "Oaks and Orchards Trail". Oaks because the trail consisted a lot of Oaks trees and Orchards because there was a old house named "Orchards House" located on the trail map. The trail was part through forest area and part through civilization. The forest area was great to walk in. The quietness of the surrounding was attractive for a city dweller like me. Sameer had great knowledge of the area and was a great guide to have. He told me about the forest area, he showed the summer retreat of the President of India, the house which Priyanka Gandhi was building, fun part of growing up in Shimla and also fable stories. It was from him I came to know a belief among local school kids and lady bugs. He said that school kids believed that if you touch a lady bug and she flies across your entire hand then you will get good grades in exams. It reminded me of all the stories we believed in as kids so that we could get good marks in exams.
I saw the effects of development in the area. I saw a clear picture of how the mountains are losing its soil and how vegetation was lost in the name of development of humans.I truly believe that mankind has to find a way to live in harmony with nature if he truly wants to build a great civilization.
People of these hilly regions are always healthy. One of the reasons his the way the houses are situated. Unlike in our cities, the houses are situated on the hills, starting from the valley and moving upwards. To go to work or even for daily activities, they all walk up the hills to the main town area. That means you don't need to have any gyms there. You need to exercise, just walk up to the market to get bread. Sameer told me that the best thing about Himachal Pradesh is that almost all the cities and villages are connected by road of some kind. That meant you can access the houses on foot, car or bus.
I had a great time on the nature trail. I had the nature to make me feel uplifted and had good company to pass time. I didnot even know when the trail ended and I reached back on the hotel.
After lunch, I decided to try my hand at Archery. The hotel has arranged the set up in its own compound. Sameer gave me the basic lesson of Archery and I was set to go. I hit some shots on the paper and some even in the sand. Archery requires patience, strength and concentration and it comes only with lots of practice. I did hit the bulls eye a few times and overall it was great fun.I tried my hand at the gamr of Croquet after Archery. This was new for me. I had never heard of this game, leave alone playing it. But guess what, it was real fun!!! I scored 23, 18, 18 in my 3 times that I played the game. I would love to go back and once again play the game.
End of another adventorous day. Look forward to another exciting day tomm!!!

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