"The last week has been one of the most fascinating, enjoyable, fulfilling ones of my cricketing life. We feel fully refreshed," said Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist.
He was not talking about the two back-to-back wins at Dharamsala or his stunning hundred. He was more excited
Cricket fans celebrate before the start of the IPL-4 match between Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab in Dharamsala.
about the good time he has had in this hill town.
This IPL, thanks to its conservative organisers, has been quiet in terms of off-the-field activities. But come the last of the Dharamsala matches, even the silent types have turned gregarious, party lovers.
The Kings XI players are having a ball, and so are the visiting team players.
When not practicing, days are spent exploring the beautiful locales of the hilly town. McLeodganj and surrounding areas are the hot spots while the Mc'LLo pub is the favourite watering hole.
"I am a firm believer that you have to acknowledge a win. We have had good celebrations after the wins," said Gilchrist.
It is learnt the parties at Mc'LLo are well attended by the players. It's where the Australian contingent in the Kings XI unwinds.
"The best party was after Kings XI's first win here against Delhi Daredevils. The Royal Challengers Bangalore team had also landed and joined in," said a regular at Mc'LLos who was present at all the parties.
"The players just didn't want to call it quit and danced away the night. They left around 4 am. Chris Gayle was the life of the party. He is a superb dancer and was on the floor non-stop. Virat Kohli is a cool dancer too. The Indian star was the cynosure of all the cheergirls.
"In terms of energy it was the most lively party. All the heavyweights were there - Preity Zinta - who danced away the night, Siddharth Mallya, Mohit Burman," said the Mc'LLos regular.
Such is the beauty of the place, many return again and again. "Definitely I am going to bring my family here for a holiday," said Gilchrist.
The one player who would regret his team not playing here would be Brett Lee. "When he came here last season, as a Kings XI player, even though he was staying some 30 kms away, he would reach McLeodganj in the morning, and play his guitar all day," said Mc'LLos restaurant's Pankaj Chadha.