Stephen's place in Matli, is a guest suite with a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom, nestled in a quiet neighbourhood in the village. The space is located amongst families who are Matli's ceremonial musicians, allowing guests the opportunity to experience a touch of authentic Gharwalli culture, if they should so chose.
The bedroom is furnished simply, two single beds with attached luggage drawers, an additional single bed which can function as a couch, and a bean bag. Alternatively, two of the single beds can be converted into a double, should you prefer that. The lighting in the room is warm yellow, including the option of a separate night light, and a table lamp placed on a bedside table. The ceiling fan is useful during late spring and summer (April - September). In Autumn, Winter and early Spring (October - March), it tends to look a little silly, perching silently up on the roof. A revolving hot air column is available during these cold months. For those who like to sing and play an instrument, and who PROMISE not to disturb neighbors with their undoubtedly amazing skills, a guitar and ukulele can be added into the room.
A narrow room separates the bedroom from the kitchen and bathroom, where a cupboard can be used to store or hang clothes. Clothes hangers are placed inside the cupboard. The refrigerator has a fresh tray of fruit which will include a selection of whatever is available, according to the season. A fresh carton of milk and water bottles are a part of the package. This is useful, for guests who check in late night, and who prefer their coffee, first thing in the morning, as it saves non-morning people the hassle of groggily stumbling towards a shop.
The kitchen has basic amenities, a gas stove, water filter, electric kettle, a sauce pan, frying pan, cooking vessels, electric kettle, alongside an assortment of plates, mugs, cutlery and cooking utensils. Instant coffee (Brew or Nescafe), Tea, Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Chilli powder and oil are included for those who may wish to cook.
Alternatively, one of Stephen's neighbours Prema, cooks, delicious rice and curry meals (veg and non-veg), which can be arranged on request. Prema's family grows a portion of their own food, and her husband Jung, may at times be willing to accommodate special requests for non-veg dishes, several of which he hunts himself. He is also an expert fisherman, for those who'd like to consider fresh fish caught from the river which runs through Matli.
Meals however, have to be pre-booked, or in the least the possibility of such discussed. It is not always possible for Prema and Jung to prepare meals, on request, after arrival.
The bathroom is pink tiled, with an Indian style lavatory and buckets for bathing. As is with typical Gharwalli design, the sink is not located in the bathroom, but just outside, in the narrow room separating the bedroom and kitchen. A large mirror is included in the bathroom, and next to the sink as well.
The guest-suite is directly in front of Stephen's house, which is a separate property on a slightly higher elevation. Guests are welcome to drop in for any assistance, to use the washing machine, explore his musical instruments, or just to hang out and and chit-chat.
A wide assortment of games and toys are available, on request. Several of these are suitable for young children, as well.
The neighbourhood is quiet, with pristine views of the mountains surrounding the valley. Early mornings and evenings are perfect for a walk, for which two great options are recommended. The first is a hike up the mountain which lies directly behind the space. The climb requires some effort, depending on levels of energy, and if you're lucky, you could even discover Dil Badhur's place, who along with his seven cows, lives in a self-made hut about an hour and a half up the mountain. A second easier option is across the road and through the fields down to the river. Bird song is lively and rich, especially early morning with representatives including the brown dipper, plumbeous redstart, spotted fork – tail and wagtails. Various swifts, skylarks, swallows, warblers, bulbuls, mynahs and other smaller birds add to the rich bird life in the neighbourhood and village. The sounds of chimes can be heard at regular intervals during the day, an offering of gentle tranquility, a non-intrusive sonic backdrop (unless very windy), complimenting bird song, the distant river, and even the still pre-dawn and post dusk silence. On most nights, millions upon millions of stars can be seen clearly from the terrace, a star gazers paradise. However, though this might be a tad difficult during the winter freeze from January to March.
Typ av rum
Eget hus/egen lgh
Typ av boende
Matli, Uttarakhand, Indien