Wander over to the Reserve Forest Sanctuary. A naturalist-guided hike will allow you to fully enjoy the myriad of rare wildflowers. Hiking will leave you with an appetite worthy of Pen’s delightful hamper. Spend the afternoon visiting the hamlets around. The leisurely pace of our little villages will charm you. Come back by early evening and sit by the fire for a bit, share a bottle of wine, if you’d like. Tell us what you’d like to eat and post dinner, have a steaming mug of coffee under a canopy of brilliant stars.
Hop on our mountain bikes, three km up a meandering country road to Mashobra market, an often photographed spot. Ride up the road to the main market; load up on the yummy Chai that every tea stall sells, with rusk. Visit Gables Estate and its heritage bungalows seeped in history. The same road will take you to Naldehra for a ride with views that will leave you spellbound.
Bike up to the fork that leads to Kufri and Mashobra and take the road leading to Kufri today, after breakfast. Ride past shy streams and reluctant flowers, past waving villagers and bewildered cattle. Head to Dak Bangla and marvel at the structure. Stop at a place – any place – that catches your fancy, and revel in a solitary picnic lunch packed by the ever enthusiastic Pen! Spring signals the opening of garden shops and greenhouses. Once done with lunch, rest a bit, and then ride past a field of wild lupines and head back to Khanabadosh, just in time to catch heavenly sunset views, a glass of bubbly and inventively fresh cuisine.
A round or two at the spectacular Naldehra golf course is definitely on the cards today and will be a particular treat in spring, when the shades of green seem infinite. Naldehra is a lovely mature course and will inspire your game with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy lunch between nines at the course, at one of the many small eateries. They may not be fancy, but boy! they can cook!! 18 holes should leave you with an appetite worthy of a hearty meal back home at Khanabadosh.
A visit to Mashobra is incomplete without time spent hiking up to Shali Tibba. Take a look at the section on ‘ The Trails’ to know more about the hike. The shops that are sprinkled throughout the small villages that you’ll cross, are a delight. Grab a second breakfast of Tea and parathas at any small tea stall for a truly local experience. Once atop the peak, the 360 degree views will leave you stunned. The drive back to Khanabadosh will transport you right back into Pen’s kitchen for an eclectic array of dining choices graciously served in a cozy home environment.
Birdwatchers are in heaven here as the spring migration swells the bird population–15 species sighted in one morning. Bike/walk up the road that leads to the Dak Bangla and spot the Red billed Blue Magpies. Watch for the eagles that nest on the high points along the route. Listen for the Blue whistling thrush’s call as they fly overhead each morning and evening. Lunch at one of the local small eateries or tell Pen in advance and he’ll happily pack you a small picnic hamper. Hunt the forests for ‘Gucchi’, a wild edible mushroom or ‘Lingdu’, baby fern. Bring them back and watch/learn how they come back to life under Pen’s watchful eye. On your penultimate night with us, sit under the stars, get tired of counting shooting stars, and feel blessed. Tuck into your warm cozy bed, and let the cicadas outside, (that sometimes get mistaken for high tension wires!!), serenade you to sleep.
Savor the view one last time over breakfast. Say goodbye, we’ll welcome you back before you leave! But don’t panic, there is one last stop in Mashobra on the way back. Craignano, a settlement of few, makes for a gradual easing back into the world of stop and go lights! The enticement here is the world’s highest Water Lift and the abundance of gorgeous wild flowers.