As soon as the last days of the Monsoon finished nurturing the earth, we, CueBies, embarked on a journey into the depths of the mountains. Filled with excitement, joy and lovely songs, the road carried us once more to an untamed jewel in the heart of the Himalayas – a delicious slice of heaven you might say.
The shanti retreat in the lap of paradise
Neatly tucked away in a valley split by a gentle river, over two mountain tops and past a belt of flowering cacti, quietly sits Hail Himalayas – a shanti retreat in the lap of paradise.
As we descended in the valley, we felt peace and silence slowly taking a hold of us. The ankle-twisting trail abruptly ended with a sign hugging a small wooden bridge – “Welcome to Hail Himalayas” it said. We knew then we have reached our destination.
One by one we crossed the sturdy bridge; and as we did, it felt like we were leaving this world and entering one anew, full of mystery and adventure.
It felt as if we were in a timeless bubble. With closed eyes and our ears tuned to the soothing sounds around us, it was as if we surrendered to nature’s finest hour – smooth running water, birds chirping, gentle wind. I think everybody wished that the weekend break could be extended to a week’s retreat.
In this small village resort – guarded by the soothing river on one side and by a mountain top on the other, we were greeted by genuine smiles and friendly inhabitants.
As we settled down and took some rest after the long strenuous road, in the background, the personnel was gearing up for a day full of excitement. Energy replenished, we undertook a series of fire trials from the adrenaline pumping zipline, to the entangling ring walk and from the long Burma bridge crossing over the rocky river to the mischievous rock climbing wall. An astounding feat of stamina, focus and determination.
Words won’t make justice to our feelings, to our emotions and to our happiness as we explored the campsite.
Tired, yet happy we went to a peaceful sleep, smiling.
Two waterfalls and a chicaning river
As the sun broke the silence of the night, we caught whiff of a watery breeze. We splashed our sleepy faces with the icy cold mountain water and tummy filled, we embarked on a journey across the valley.
The trail took us up from the camp, to an eagle eye view of what lay in wait… it circumvented the valley, it went up and then down; and up again. Bewitched by the beauty of the valley, it felt we reached the falls in mere moments.
Behind overgrowth and bushes, from a solitary cave, insurgent, drumming sounds stir up the jungle. As you hone in towards the source of the sound, pleasant cooling drops of water engulf you. The second you are soaking wet, you’ve reached Cave Falls – an unexplored jewel of the Himalayas. Majestic. Roaring. The water slices a path across the stones, clinging on any moss it can find, catching a more and more speed as it cuts through the obstacles between its birth and its freedom.
Looking back, the trail continues to a place of wonder. Atop of a small ridge, a dormant temple watches over the other side of the valley. Guided by the presence of the temple and the thunders of water, we reached the wild, untamed Shiva Falls – a gorgeous 40 feet drop of free falling water. As we descended, barefooted on the narrow, steep and slippery slope to the waterfall’s feet, we were standing speechless in the wake of this marvelous giant. Carefully dodging the rapids, we climbed up to the small shrine from where you could see the water taking its course through the mountains.
As we reached the sunbathed camp, the valley’s spell vanished into thin air. Now, only memories to cherish and a few photos to immortalize our voyage as one – CueBlocks – remain to tell the story of our heroic feat.
Once we got back in office, we light up some Campfire Cologne – it’s like incense, except it smells like a real campfire – and together we put the story of our adventure on paper…