Its an old one but I would try to remember as much as I could. It was Oct 2, 2004 and was a national holiday. Good news was that it was falling on a saturday (see how much +ive person I am) so me and Smita decided to head north. One of our old friends (now married, pun intended) Vijayant Kohli (you might have seen him on TV playing Chhupa Rustam on Star Plus) was the man behind the mission.
Smita was in her first trimster and we wanted to do an easy one, which means better roads and a comfy place. After some non-eventful discussion, we decided to check out ‘The Parkwoods – Shoghi’, a small hill side resort with not too many tents, some small adventure games and hopefully a wonderful weather and serene silent views.
After some googling, we figured out that some ‘caravan tours’ are sort of their only booking agents. After speaking over phone to Miss Ranjana (not so pleasant) and their insistence of getting some advance amount, we were not too happy but then our travel have so far taught us to not worry too much on these things. So we sent Vijayant to do the booking at their Kalaki ji office and negotiate tariff and he came as a winner warrior nicely settling for 1K odd a day per person with complementary breakfast and lunch. So finally it was myself, Smita, Vijayant and Henry (a recent friend who had time and shared interest in travel and traveled with us to many destination during 2003-2005)
We started early morning and were off to NH1. If you leave Delhi by 5 on a saturday then there is a fair chance of hitting that famous ‘Delhi Lahor Bus’. It usually catches up with you when you are somewhere in Panipat / Kurukshetra and passes you quick courtesy the escort police vans. Anway, coming back at the route, its pretty simple
Delhi -> Hop on to NH1 -> Sonipat -> Panipat -> Kurukshetra -> Ambala.
From Ambala, take the left exit towards Chandigarh. Now you on NH21 which is
not as smooth and as quick as NH1 but pretty good. Its a single road so be careful. After about a drive of 1 hour, you read Zirakpur, take right exit towards Shimla.
Zirapur -> kalka -> Parwaano -> Dharampur
Beyond Dhrampur, keep an eye for a board which says ‘Shoghi – 2 KMs’. This is about 18 KM before Shimla and for Shimla you would see lots of milestones so back calculate. Once you reach Shoghi, take a left exit and drive for another 2 KMs and you should see some signage for the Park Wood Resort.
There was some local conference kinds going so it was definitely not quiet but once that was over, it was simply serene. The tents are pretty big with attached loos, hot running water and actual wrought-iron double beds. They do not have a very big property so you really do not have the luxury of large meadows and you would need to careful in the evenings so watch your step.
A very interesting thing about their tents is that its half on ground and half hanging in air, supported by bamboos and being held by ropes n all. Its done to get more space in front of the tent, if you look carefully in the loo, you can actually feel air coming from under, but not at all scary though a little adventurous for first few hours.
There is a dining area and they have a TV and a DVD player, some board games like scabble, pictionary etc to kill time. In dininig area, there is a machan kind of thing (not rock stable but ok) where 4-6 peole can sit-n-eat.
What to do
Well, take walks, enjoy beauty. They got ‘hammocks’, quite a few of them, to just lounge around and while away. In the back of the resort, there is a small adventure drill created with ropeways and swings and like sort. We found that safe but not too sure for kids.
There is a small course of Croquet as well, Its a stupid game where you hammer a cork ball to pass through small minature goal-posts, time kill and more time kill.
Shimla is pretty close by and so are the towns of Chail and Kasauli.
We had a very short trip, just two days including travel so we were back on Oct 3rd, Sunday. As I write so many times, a weekend well spent.
For booking and more details look at http://www.park-woods.com/