Kafnu, Himachal Pradesh, India, 25th September 2016, 6:15 pm:
We took the 11:45 am bus (Bulbul Travels) from Rampur New Bus Stand to Kafnu. The bus stopped for lunch at Jeori. Abhishek and I got down and met our guide Mr. Prem Chand Negi, who had come from Kafnu to Jeori to pick up some essentials. He took us to a nearby restaurant where we ordered for some light snacks, for we had devoured Aloo Parathas at our standard Negi Dhaba at Narkanda. Prem Ji joined us for lunch soon.
My previous experience of travel in the private buses of Himachal had taught me to quickly eat food and get back on to the bus. The conductor normally searches for passengers but I’m not sure when they decide to leave with your bags but without you. With this thought in mind, I ate as fast as I could. I was done by the time Prem Ji started his lunch but I thought he might be a fast eater. Prem Ji peacefully finished his lunch and only when the guy at the counter started chit chatting while paying the bill that I could sense some urgency in Prem Ji’s tone. We walked back to the bus to find people still standing peacefully by the roadside. The bus finally started moving after another 10 minutes. Prem Ji had informed us that the bus would stop at Bhabhanagar but we didn’t anticipate it would be as long as it actually turned out to be. Prem Ji got down a few turns before Bhabhanagar to pick up Mutton (which Abhishek had expressed the desire to have for dinner tonight). We also got down to stretch our legs once more and saw the driver walk away down the road. In the meanwhile, Prem Ji returned, kept the Mutton in the bus and went off to pick up more things. He was energetically roaming all over the small market. And finally, after a 20 minute break, the bus started off again. At Wangtoo, we took a left turn across the bridge and started climbing up the typical hairpin infested mountain road. The condition of the road kept changing from tarmac to mud-and-rocks back to tarmac. The narrowness of the road is best experienced rather than me trying to explain how it was. At 4:40 pm, we reached Kafnu and started walking towards Prem Ji’s house cum Homestay. On the way, I got a nice view of the Bhabha Dam and Kafnu Market. We reached Prem Ji’s Homestay at 5:05 pm. And we were welcomed by a beautiful view of Yangpa village across the stream, with the sun playing with clouds on the ridge above. The sound of the Bhabha below is somewhat hypnotic. Prem Ji informed us a little while ago that the menu for dinner is Vegetable Soup, Mutton Curry, Rajma, roti and rice. And then sewai kheer for dessert. Oooooo… Time to sign off and start enjoying the evening ahead.