Sinhgad and Kothaligad

Last weekend was more than should happen in just one weekend. The result, a huge headache that lasted for 3 days, a stomach problem where I actually submitted to taking medicine, and an amazing time with all of my friends which made it all worth it. On Friday we were supposed to watch a movie at Maite’s house. Maite is from Brazil and is studying ayurvedic medicine and who came to our group via the capoeira group in Mumbai where he sister is studying. We needed a cable to hook up her computer to her TV. This was a huge task and 3 people were involved, none of whom were able to get the correct chord that would make it work. We did end up with a lot of chords lying around and then didn’t end up starting the movie until past midnight. While some slept, some watched. We chatted afterwards and it quickly became 4am, wherein we decided to take a trip to Sinhgad, a peak in Pune that has a great view, especially for sunrise. We took a 45 minute car ride, 5 of us stuffed into one tiny car and walked up the green path to the “windy point.” The view was amazing. We were in and above clouds. It hasn’t really rained this rainy season but things were still green. It was beautiful, quiet, spacious and peaceful. Sometimes, even if it’s at 5am before the sun completely rises, you really need these things in your life. These things aren’t readily available in Pune. It’s crowded and based on my cussing at cars when they honk I’ve developed quite a tongue because the honking and noise comes so often. Exhausted both mentally and physically, it was a nice hour long vacation. We had breakfast up there as well. The dahi (yogurt) came in little ceramic cups. It’s a specialty for Sinhgad and was yummy; as well as the bhakri (like chapatti but thicker and with stuff inside).
We made our way down the hill, running into two people I know, one from dance and one from running (which I’ve somehow completely avoided for the past month or so). Pune is quite small. We packed in the car; I slept. And we went home to sleep. The job for Saturday was to find a place to print t-shirts and a place to hold our batizado (capoeira event). After a night of non sleep this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. I don’t think it’s an easy task in general. From about 2:00 to 9:00 we weren’t from store to space looking to no avail. Finally we found one place for t-shirts but with complications, and a space. Even more exhausted we went home to prepare for our Sunday trek to Kothaligad in Karjat.
Kothaligad is supposed to be a great trek, not too easy, not too hard. We were under the impression it was a two hour drive away. That two hours really meant a little over four. Manoj drove the nice car, and I drove his. It was fun; I get a sense of pride when I can say that I can drive a car here. It’s on the left side of the road, the driver sits on the right side of the car and, most importantly, it’s a stick shift. Of coursed we stopped along the way, were silly and crazy in the car with games that involved red cars, like we have punch buggy games in the US.
It was hot, really hot and humid. We hoped for some rain to break the heat but the most we got was a little spit from the clouds or some covering from trees. The hike was easy most of the way but rocky. We’re a great group of friends who found anything amusing. I can’t say I know how many times we stopped for nimbupani (lemon water where you can put either sugar, salt, or both, with a little masala). The views from every stopping point were beautiful. I’m not sure how it got so green, but it was. It was the trip out of the city that I think everyone needed. At the top there was a fort with huge stairs. It reminded me of Tikal and Qirigua in Guatemala. The rest at the top involved snacks of biscuits, channa (the small chickpeas), chikki, the last of our water, cookies, and other random snacks. The decent was much easier than the climb, especially because we veered a little bit off of the path for the climb up and took a longer and more difficult detour than necessary.
We reserved lunch at the mini I don’t know what you would call it at the start of the trek. It’s like a small shop but with tables outside and apparently a kitchen inside. The food was great but at that point a headache that lasted until today began to fester. I became useless and the only thing I could do was grab my head and close my eyes. We made it back, even as it began to rain – yes, almost a month late the rains have started, but only barely.
There are many other things to talk about, but I think two posts for one day is quite enough.

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