Category Archives: Snow Stories

Win Win Win chicks snowboard gear!

An amazing PRIZE from Now Rip This blog including Fyve Snowboard, Betty Rides clothing and Jacket from OOTZ.

Awesome prize pack ladies! Share, comment and LIKE to win!

GIRLS SURF SNOW

Want to win this cool ladies snowboard gear? This week’s Mother’s Day contest gives you an opportunity to do just that! Now Rip This want to inspire and encourage Mums to go snowboarding. So simply go to Now Rip This’s Facebook page and find this image. Then LIKE, COMMENT, and SHARE it on Facebook to enter for a chance to win. We’ll select one Fan at random on Mother’s Day (12/05/13).

You must be a Fan of Now Rip This to qualify.

Mother's Day comp

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What are your plans this Easter?

What will you do this Easter long weekend?

Are you in Melbourne or Victoria?

 

Why not head to one of my favourite places in Victoria, Dinner Plain. This beautiful suburb perched on the top of the Alpine Region has a quaint little village, friendly locals and Loads of Activities for Easter.

Read more about how they are coming back from the recent Summer Fire Threats and Rising in the spirit of Easter!

 

Rise to the High Country, its Easter!

Dinner Plain, Victoria: The Victorian Alps and surrounding communities have been feeling the heat over the last month with the Harrietville/Alpine fires threatening the region.  Rest assured that activities for the Easter weekend, from 29th -31st March 2013, are going full steam ahead, offering visitors to the region a weekend full of festivities and family fun!

After more than 30,000 HA of bush land being burnt, the communities of Harrietville, Dinner Plain, Mt Hotham, Swifts Creek and Omeo are looking forward to rising from the ashes. Although a worrying time, the worst is over, it’s business as usual.  In Dinner Plain the skies are blue and the air is clean and we’re excited for the planned Easter events, not only to raise our spirits but to provide a fun filled weekend for visitors to our village.

Easter at Dinner Plain

“We have stayed strong as a community and we are pleased to be hosting this wonderful family weekend” says Elaine Burridge, Dinner Plain resident.

The Easter weekend’s events include the annual inaugural Geebung Polo match.  Atop of the Polo match is an array of family and children’s activities across Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday.  Other activities you can expect to see over the weekend include:  North East Produce Exposure (featuring local wines, beer and local food produce), face painting, treasure hunts, geo cache, movie night, blue light disco, car boot sale, CFA fundraisers, there will even be a visit from Easter Bunny during our massive Easter Egg hunt on Sunday morning…. the list goes on. Our surrounding townships are also hosting the Swifts Creek Picnic Races and Omeo Rodeo.

Geebung Polo

“The Easter Weekend is a favorite here at Dinner Plain and we are thrilled to be hosting this event again in 2013 – it shows how our communities can work together, reunite and rise above adversity”, says Peter McKenna, Dinner Plain Advisory Committee.

This Easter, Dinner Plain is throwing out a big THANK YOU to the CFA, with funds raised from many of the activities over the weekend being donated to the CFA.

It’s Easter so it’s time for clean air, mountains and big open skies, so break out the RM Williams, it’s time to get your Polo on! All things family, fun and Easter!

For more information on the Easter Events and Geebung Polo, visit:

http://www.visitdinnerplain.com.au/Pages/Events___Activities.aspx, you can also join our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Dinner.Plain?fref=ts .

Easter Activities at Dinner Plain

 


2013 Range of Ladies Snowboards from fyve Snowboards & Skate

So excited to see the awesome guys at fyve designing a ladies range.

Three awesome styles to choose from with the only problem being…… I WANT THEM ALL!

 

final girls board for the 2013 range!

SUPER SOFT MELLOW REVERSE CAMBER “KELEIDOSCOPE”.

Sizes 140, 142, 145 & 147!

Kaleidescope from http://www.5fyve.com/

I’m loving the specs on The Daydream, the super soft is gonna make for a fun ride!

 

Our 2013 Ladies Daydream

SUPER SOFT FLEX ZERO CAMBER

140 142 145 147

The Daydream by http://www.5fyve.com

Our second and final artist colab board, done by Australian Artist Alex Lehours!

THE WOMENS ‘COLAB II’ ZERO CAMBER!

Available in sizes 140 142 145 and 147

www.alexlehours.com

The Colab II by http://www.5fyve.com

 

What would you go for – technical stats or is it all about the design for you?

 

 

The Australian Ski Season has just ended and I’m already dying to get back to test these beauties out.

Check out http://www.5fyve.com/ for more awesome gear!

 

 


Working at the snow for Mountain Dew

Finally I was given my absolute dream job! Promotions work at the snow for a weekend. Mountain Dew were the snow angels who blessed me with this opportunity and I had a great time and can’t believe I got paid to do what I love.

I caught the bus up from Melbourne on the Friday and was met in Mansfield by the team leader and our Jeep for the weekend. This is a much cheaper option for getting to Mt Buller if you can arrange it, the bus was just $22 with V-Line. Once up top we loaded up the Jeep with 1000’s of cans of Mountain Dew and then handed them out for the afternoon to people in the carpark. We were met with many “Thank you’s “and “You’re angels” as the tired snow bunnies were heading off the hill. Mountain Dew with its caffeine hit and great taste was certainly going to help them for the drive home.

The lovely team from the Marketing Department of  Mt Buller were a great help to us and I actually stayed in staff accommodation with some of the team. It was really wonderful and they took good care of me, taking me out for dinner and a round of darts on Friday night. Saturday night was the big event, the Cattleman’s Rail Jam, Sponsored by Burton, and I was lucky to be there for this awesome event and one of the biggest parties of the season. It was a great night and good to meet up with some guys from Burton, videographer and photographer Mic Simpson and see some of the Fyve team representing. I was lucky to be working with Jason Maxfield, Pro rider for Quiksilver, super nice guy and great rider.

 

Jason Maxfield with happy Mountain Dew recipients

I got to head out to the slopes Saturday and Sunday. Sadly Saturday morning was rainy, foggy and slushy – but Mt Buller has a tendency to grace us with these conditions. Being the keen bean snow bunny I am, I still put in a good few hours but called it a day around 11.30 as I had to head off for work in the afternoon. Sunday morning was 8cm of fresh snow and bluebird skies. I don’t think I’ve ever got dressed so quickly in my life! A couple of lovely runs first thing in the morning cruising around the mountain was a great way to start the day.

We met some great characters and the Mountain Dew was very well received with lots of “Extreme” comments. It was snowing for the Saturday and Sunday sessions but I had asked for snow, so my wishes were granted. It wasn’t bad at all and as you can see, we were well catered for with our wonderful uniforms.

Thanks Mountain Dew. It’s my pleasure to make snow bunnies happy at any mountain, any time. DO THE DEW!


Hotham Ride Day with Mint Tours and Lib Technologies

Whilst on a snow trip to Mt Hotham this past weekend, we were delighted to find that there was an exhibition and demonstration by a number of different ski and snowbard gear companies. Lib Technologies was one of them and I was fortunate enough to get to Demo  a board. This was the Hotham Ride Day, an event partnered with Mint Tours.

Trav from Lib Tech setting up the boards

The guys were super helpful and open to anyone trying out the gear. Just handover your baby board, my gorgeous Solomon Lush, and they removed my Burton bindings and placed them on the board of choice. Leave your I.D. as well, as if your board wasn’t enough security, and away you go. I took the Roxy, Banana Smoothie out for a spin for about an hour and came back with a huge grin on my face.

Setting up my Burton Bindings on the Roxy Banana Smoothie

The Roxy Banana Smoothie Banana Smoothie EC2:

XOXO AUD $699 NZ $799,  BANANA SMOOTHIE AUD $699 NZ $799

 

Check out more from Roxy at: http://www.roxyaustralia.com.au/  

https://www.facebook.com/roxy 

 

Review from Transworld Business and some questions answered about the production of the board.

2013 Roxy Banana Smoothie Snowboard Review

 From Evo and Megan:

This board was 146cm, 3cm shorter than what I usually ride, and prime for free riding. Not so much a park board, this is good for thoise who wanna play around in the snow and have good manouverabilty in a variety of conditions. I’ve started to open my eyes to a new board and it was awesome to get the opportunity to test one out for a solid amount of time, without having to hire a board that’s been used over and over.

For more information on Lib Technologies:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/libtech

http://www.lib-tech.com/

Check out the website and contact the guys to learn more about their range.

Trav having a great day and setting up my board

Thanks again for the great experience.

Learn more about Mint Tours:

Mint Tours is a specialist snowboarding holidays and snow travel agency with a difference. We aim to offer a true locals perspective for snowboarders and skiers visiting the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island and the powder regions of Japan, Canada and beyond.

Tamie is frothin over the olly pop she tried and loving the Hotham Ride Day from Mint Tours

Photo: Tamie from Now Rip This

See more at Explorer Girls


chicks with stix – Freestyle riding sessions

Chicks with stix is an awesome organisation of girls promoting snow sports for women. These gutsy girls are getting together to show support for girls who wanna progress their riding and try something a bit different.

 

 

 

Hotham, Buller, Baw Baw, Thredbo and Perisher. Make sure to catch the girls!

 

Chicks with Stix is a grass-roots organisation that was founded in 2010 in Australia and our aim is to provide much needed encouragement and opportunities for girls who ski and snowboard to help them improve their skills in bumps, freeride, slopestyle and big mountain.

Chicks with Stix run FREE ski and board sessions throughout the Australian Alps with Australia’s most experienced female freestyle coaches. !
Girls in the CwS program have an opportunity to watch, learn and improve their skills, in a safe and non-threatening environment.
We provide an outlet for self-expression, social connection, self esteem and fitness. And we have some serious fun at the same time!
Over the coming years our plan is for CwS to be a feeder into the Olympic and FIS World Cup pathway and to help channel girls into that, if that’s where they want to go. Either way, we are looking forward to seeing you at the next CwS freeride session at a mountain near you!
 
CONTACT

 


Skiing in Kashmir – Videos and Blogs

Explore the World
06/06/2012

 

Skiing the Himalayas; Gulmarg

Skiing in India is not a well known activity and when I announced to people I would be doing this it was met by surprise. The largest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas towers above North India and thus there is skiing.

 

Gulmarg, Mt Apphawat, is a “ski resort” that has been established for more than 10 years, with a gondola for the past 6 years. This area is not well known as it is actually not a ski resort as we know it to be. It’s a back country heaven! If you come here expecting easy ski in/ ski out slopes, you are kidding yourself. And even with a large amount of reading and research, it’s difficult to prepare yourself for a mountain of this size and terrain variety.

 

 

Never have I seen snow so fresh, mountains so wide, and so much ski-able terrain. Above tree line in the alpine region on the sharp peaks and deep bowls or below tree line amongst the grand pine trees, you will be kept busy with many runs. Not for the beginner this area, however there are areas in the lower grounds with smaller slopes and T-bars for those ready to dabble in skiing. As an international skier, I would not fly all this way if I were not intermediate to highly experienced.

 

Information is difficult to find and often vague. You really have to be specific in your search terms and trying to put a package or trip together yourself can be difficult. You need to think about transfers, hotels, guides (this is avalanche country and it’s strongly recommended), equipment transfer, avalanche packs and beacon training, food, lift passes and navigating the terrain. I went with a Ski tour company and I am so happy with the decision!

Ski Himalaya (www.skihimalaya.com) is a full tour operational company specifically for Gulmarg. Australia Peter Robinson has been running this business since 2002 and has a lot of experience with foreigners visiting Gulmarg. Peter partnered with Kashmir Powder cats, guides and touring company. Together they arranged my pick up from Srinagar airport, transfer to Heevan Resort (the hotel they organized for me which included breakfast and dinner), ski hire and avalanche equipment hire, A guide each of the 6 days I’m there and transfers in and around Gulmarg and Tangmarg when skiing and then back to Srinagar. Also they helped to organize my last night in Srinagar at a lovely house boat on Dal Lake and then return to airport the following morning.

 

Peter was great in regard to communication and I only booked with the company after numerous emails had gone back and forth. He made sure I would be competent for the terrain and they had the facilities to cater to my stay. He arranged all of these details and payment was made in Australian dollars well before attending. Learn more about Peter and how he startedSki Himalaya .

When I arrived I was met by the wonderful Mushtarq, driver extraordinaire. He is a safe and competent driver. He was very sweet in answering all my questions about what we saw on the way and gave me updates on what we were seeing  and which areas we were passing through which was great. He ws my driver throughout the 6 days and on one day picked me and my guide up after our run through Babarashi and took us to Tangmarg to check out the village, he then drove me and the rest of our group back up the hill in tricky conditions and even assisted other cars who were blocked. Mushtarq made me feel safe at all times and kept me well informed, all you want in a driver.

 

Bashir is the main man on the ground in Srinagar and is partners with Peter from Australia. Bahsir called me when I arrived, met with me the following day and arranged my trip back to Srinigar. He was always happy to receive a call and helped where he could in giving information and checking my stay was comfortable. Kindly Peter had told him I was a special guest and must be taken care of so he took this to heart and even met me in Srinagar on the way to the airport. His care and attention is appreciated and the communication lines between the guides, himself and the drivers is very effective and prompt, this is always good in these higher risk areas.

The star of the show however is Fayez Sheikh, head guide of Powder Cats and my personal guide for the predominant amount of the week. Fayez goes over and above to ensure the safety and enjoyment of his guests at all times. He assesses your ability, takes you on runs to suit you but also challenges you. Most importantly, first thing in the morning he checks your avalanche beacons and on one afternoon early in the trip he and another guide went through Avalanche search and digging procedure with us. No matter what time of the morning or evening, Fayez will be there for you. He is easy to talk to, fun and caring. He took care of me as a friend and I trusted him 100% with my life – when in avalanche situations, you must trust those around you. Spend at least one day of your trip with Fayez as he is the man! A brilliant skier and a wonderful human being.

To ensure your trip is safe and to have less worries, I would go with Ski Himalaya as a guiding and touring company for your ski trip.  Especially for your first trip. Do your research, read up as much as possible, and eliminate as many risk factors as possible – best way to do this is with this package.

 

 

 

Enjoy the snow, be safe and remember to check in with Gulmarg snow safety for weather reports and terrain information daily. www.gulmargsnowsafety.com

 

So much powder

Please also see my previous blog about Ski Himalaya which has information on an average week at Gulmarg. More posts to come re accommodation, activities and my daily experiences of skiing in Gulmarg, Kashmir. 

See more on http://www.explorergirls.com

www.ExplorerGirls.com / Lovellyinc  (words & photos)
Video: Cassie De Colling / Natureel
Other blogs by ExplorerGirls:
Tamie Wexler – Gulmarg 

Cilantro is fine dining

Cilantro is most commonly known as a herb, the spanish name for corriander. However, Cilantro is for me now the definition of fine dining after an incredible dinner at the fabulous Cilantro restaurant in Dinner Plain, Victoria. A stunning menu and exceptional service has put this restaurant amongst one of my best holiday dining experiences. Mediterranean in flavour and Australian in hospitality- Que bueno es Cilantro!

I had heard that Cilantro was a must when visiting in Dinner Plain and as we wanted the true weekend break and snow experience, a night out enjoying a good meal was on the cards. What we got – was above and beyond expectations.

Walk through the red curtains into a warm light of overhead chandaliers and a fireplace radiating through the room. The charming host and manager, Josh, greets his guests in a way that makes you feel as if you’ve been friends for years. Escorted to our table and quickly presented with one of the most important things, the wine list. I flipped straight to the cocktails and chose from the many delicious concoctions.The Ranga: Cointreau, Stones Ginger Wine, Pernod, spiced sugar syrup, dry ginger, lime, tarragon – was divine! We were given a constant flow of the best tasting tap water in Australia (fresh from the mountain springs) and it was time to view the menu.

My suggestion when browsing the menu is to listen to your experienced waiter. We were overwhelmed by the delicious delicacies listed before us and we were yet to hear the specials. Of the 4 specials that were then suggested to us we took 3 and followed with 2 more selections.The menu is made to share and it is encouraged that you enjoy the dining experience together. This is my favourite way to eat and it certainly brought the 3 at my table together.

First to come out were the Oysters with lemon sorbet,  a match made in heaven. A rainbow of flavour was created in my mouth and I was transported to a summer evening with the freshness of the oysters and lemons. I loved the creativty of this dish. And this was only number 1.

Tasmanian Pacific oysters with dolin vermouth jelly & preserved lemon sorbet

We were quickly presented with the special, Charcoaled Prawns. Forgive me for not remembering the full description – I was sold at Jumbo Prawns. There was nothing left on the plate as the entire prawn could be devoured.

Hot chorizo, made in the restaurant, presented on potato foam. Another special and it did not disappoint. So much flavour packed into this dish.

Chargrilled baby octopus salad came out next and was a flavour fusion – this was another one that was sold to us at first mention and on there being only a few left for the evening.

Octopus

The ultimate and pivotal point of the meal, the arrival of the 14 hour slow cooked beef cheeks. We could smell this dish from the kitchen and eagerly anticipated its presence at the table. We admired, we enjoyed, we were wowed! This was the dish of the night and a must when visiting Cilantro.

Beef cheek slow cooked for 14 hours in bay leaf, pedro ximenez, cumin & currants with manchego potato mash & fresh horseradish

This was the end of our first order and it was certainly not enough. We had major food envy of the diners next to us enjoying many more specialties and quickly asked for help in choosing our next dishes. We followed with the Half baby chicken, stuffed with pine mushrooms, served with corn puree, spanish radish & pancetta crisps – oh my goodness! This was perfect to share and just an incredible melt in your mouth moment.

Half baby chicken, stuffed with pine mushrooms, served with corn puree, spanish radish & pancetta crisps

After seeing the couple next to us oder the Croquettas of smoked eel & leek with lemon and harrisa sauce, we had to have them. I love croquettas after having them made by a peruvian mother of a friend – I didn’t think they got much better. Fine dining croquettas are just delicious – and I’d usually not be a fan of eel, but now I’ll be paying attention.

Croquettas of smoked eel & leek with lemon and harrisa sauce

A few more cocktails for me including the surprise cocktail of mango and passionfruit caprioska, a fresh end to the meal.

Mango & Passionfruit: Capiaroska Finlandia Vodka, Mohala Mango liquor, passionfruit, lime, sugar

We couldn’t however resist the gourmet desserts on offer, again seeing them on the table next to us and smelling the rich chocolate waft over sealed the deal. Chocolate ganache pudding with prune & armagnac ice cream & brandy snap. We shared this between three of us and if anything could come between friends, this would! We had to refrain from licking the plate and were absolutely satisfied with this conclusion to the meal.

Chocolate ganache pudding with prune & armagnac ice cream & brandy snap

Cilantro is an intimate, warm and lively restaurant situated in the charming village of Dinner Plain in Victorias Snow fields. 15 minutes down the hill from Mt Hotham is the picturesque and friendly village with a comforting atmosphere.

My compliments sincerely go to the chef, Tim Griffiths, who is  a true master. The food combinations he has created using quality Australian priduce to make a delicious mediterranean flavour and experience is art. My only complaint Tim, I could only enjoy so many things on that menu in one night. This means of course – I will be back.

You can rest assured you will be well taken care of by the delightful Josh who will ensure that you not only eat the most delicious dishes in the country, but that you truly enjoy yourself. Attention to detail, genuine care for guests and some phenomenal cocktails from the master cocktail maker. This team is unbeatable.

I’m thrilled to say I will be back to Mt Hotham for a ski trip in 2 short weekends time and we have already made our reservation for Saturday night when the incredible Jimmy Campbell from Movida Restaurant in Melbourne joins this stellar cast.

I won’t be giving a rating in stars or a number out of ten, I don’t think these measures will do this place justice. Instead I leave you with two quotes from my fellow diners:

“I am actually wowed – and I’m fussy when it comes to fine dining.”

“This was actually the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. I’m so excited to come back to the snow in two weeks and I’m not sure if i’m more excited for the snow or the food!!”

Hasta luego Cilantro.

(Until next time.)

To learn more about Cilantro or make a booking, Contact:

CONTACT INFORMATION: 
Jodi & Tim
Big Muster Drive, Dinner Plain VIC 3898
PO Box 24, Dinner Plain VIC 3898
T: (03) 5159 6799
E: info@cilantro.com.au
W: http://www.cilantro.com.au 

 

Click HERE to view a map


The Canning Cup 2012

Thrilled to share with you a great event for a wonderful cause up at Mt Hotham this year. The Canning Cup is an annual Football game held at Omeo to raise money for the research of Motor Neurone disease and the Omeo Hospital.

Check out details on Facebook or below.

For all those who love the snow, this is a weekend not to be missed.

Friday, 27 July 2012

15:30

  • The Canning Cup will have its much anticipated return on Friday the 27th of July! This year will be bigger and better than last years event with an evening of comedy on & off the field, fundraising, past footy greats, live music, (not so) light refreshments and a bunch of “has beens” chasing a ball around a freezing omeo football ground.
    This event is for a cause that means so much to the people of Omeo, Hotham and Dinner Plain. We are raising as much as we can collectively give for the research of Motor Neurone disease and the Omeo Hospital.

    Although the girls did a great job running lots of drinks and supporting the team last year, WE WANT YOU! If you are interested in playing in the 1st netball match between the Omeo Netball Team and the Mountin’ Women, contact Lauren Anstey {Netball player manager}.

    Boys, I know it was hard going down by a few points last year, but with a game and a few extra kgs under the belt, we’ll win back the cup! I have a feeling that we could probably have 2nds this year but because we should all be in the 2nds, not everyone will get a start. An extensive bench is a must for a match of this significance. If you’re interested in playing contact Josh Thomas {DPs Ricky Nixon- Football player manager}

    A player registration fee of $50 {which is entirely donated to the cause} will get you a seat on the bus, your jumper or bib for the evening, a spot on the team, a dvd of last years match and the cherished medal for your trophy cabinet. DVDs are will also be available for purchase at the match.
    Anyone that feels like getting involved with sponsorship, donations or promotion of this event will be greatly appreciated.

    Remember this is an evening of fun, games, comedy, community spirit and it doesn’t matter who wins… As long as we win!


Lunch with a Kashmir Family

It’s an honour an a privilege to be invited to someones home and I was blessed to be invited to meet the family of my guide, Fayez Sheikh, from my Gulmarg snow trip.

A short drive down the hill from Gulmarg is the village of Tangmarg where we stopped before I went back to Srinagar. The car dropped me to Tangmarg and I was met by my dear friend Fayez and taken to buy chocolates for his kids ( I always like to give a gift.) we then drove a short 5 minutes and he played my song of the trip “Chamak Challo”. We stopped the car on a road near his house as we would walk through the snow to his house as it’s not safe for cars in winter.

 

On route to his house through beautiful snow covered trees and over a small river, we saw 2 of his other houses where in each one of his 4 brothers stays. Fayez has 6 siblings, 3 brothers and 3 sisters!! We then arrived at a tall 3 storey house – Fayez is a proud man.

 

The living room

Made of what I could see to be timber and then some form of cement, we walked up 2 sets of stairs and into a large sitting room with beautiful carpet laid on the floor and rich red kashmiri cushions. There were lovely curtains draped over the windows and the room has a warm atmosphere. Soon after we were joined by 3 year old girl, Nida, and 2 year old boy, Arif, with Fayez youngest sister, just 1 year younger than me. Amazing to see this skier and guide who has led me through dangerous terrain all week sitting  on carpeted floor with his 2 babies under his arms – so sweet.

 

Little Miss 3

I gifted the kids a chocolate and cookies packet each and they quickly got into the chocolate with glee. So cute- they peered at me curiously and munched on their chocolate- looking so sweet in their traditional wool capes.

 

 

 

The hospitality of Kashmiri’s is second to none and I was brought a big thick blanket by Fayez wife Ruksena, and his brother and sister in law. They also brought me the traditional coal basket (link to other blog on coal baskets) to warm my feet under the rug. The women greeted me by shaking my hand and kissing my hand, it’s so sweet and such an honour. We took a hot milk drink ( get name) and cookies and some delicious kashmiri sweets.

Kashmiri sweets

 

After the snacks I had the great honour of meeting Fayez mother, I had remained sitting under the rug til this point but when she entered the room I rushed to meet her and  made a Namaste hand pose and dipped my head, she took me in her arms and hugged me tight once on each shoulder, but a long and strong embrace. I felt  tears welling up and also felt the love of a mother – nothing compares to the hug of a mother and I felt so warm and nurtured. She took my face in her hands and kissed my forehead before leading me to sit under the rug and she sat next to me holding my hands. We had photos (unfortunately some came blurry) and then I showed her pictures of my family and also of her son Fayez skiing. We couldn’t understand each other but I thoroughly enjoyed her company. My driver Mushtarq was also now in the room and was helping translate.

We had a traditional Kashmiri meal and to Fayez’s delight I ate with my right hand only. We had naan, rice, paneer in red sauce, mutton shish kebab, chicken meat balls in a cream butter sauce and a chicken drumstick. It was really tasty food as always home cooked food is and only there was too much. It was so wonderful.

 

After lunch I kept warm with the 2 kids jumping on my lap and taking photos. The beautiful three year old perched up on my knees as I laid on my back and we played photo posing. She then started to pat my hair hahah. She was fascinated by the colour and kept stroking it. So sweet. Her little brother came over soon after and gave me such joy with his funny faces and warm face- we laughed so much all together.

 

Mushtarq announced it was time to go and I felt so sad. I’d had such a nice day and really felt part of the family. We took one big family shot and then hugs and kisses all round. I really felt close to tears, also would have to say bye to my friend from the week Fayez. We waved goodbye as I walked out into the snow and Fayez took my arm to lead me to the car. He checked with me that I would stay in touch and I would return – I promised I will – and in my heart I know it’s true. I got in the car and waved out the window and shook my hand whilst shouting “chamak challo”.

 

Fayez and his gorgeous sweethearts

How lucky I am to have such visits and to be so blessed to be included as one of the family. If someone ever invites you to their home to enjoy a meal and to be part of the family, do yourself a favour and go. Home stays in countries such as India are second to none and one of the most humbling and heart warming experiences one can have.

Playing around with cutie Arif


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