Friday, January 20, 2012

Trekking in Mumbai

After five days in Varanasi I took a direct flight to Mumbai (Bombay) where I stayed with my cousin Rajiv, his wife Poonam and their two sons Rohan and Tarang. Here I spent another five days or so and had an outstanding time, so different than the rest of my visit in India. But more on that in another post. It's 2am and I can't sleep so I thought I would do a quick upload of photos.

One morning Rohan and Tarang invited me to go trekking up one of the mountains in Mumbai. With nothing else on my plate for the day I said 'sure' and off we went. It took us an hour by train to reach our starting point where we first took the road about two kilometers up a nice mountain. Then as we saw a trail off to our left side I asked where it went and the boys said they didn't know, so I said 'let's find out'. And that we did. A few kilometers along the trail and we found ourselves on a cliff overlooking the entire city of Mumbai, Magical. Then off again we went fighting our way through brush and rock. About two hours later we stumbled upon a very small village of about 10 homes. We made our way through the village to the other side with the intention of finding our way back to the road, but then I suggested we turn around and head back into the village. I'm glad we did, it turned out to be a great photo opportunity with people that at first were very shy, but they quickly opened up. When I first pulled out my camera the children ran and hid, some peering out through windows. After a few pictures the children completely changed, each trying to show off for me. It was pretty fun.

An hour later we were back in the brush and as we got closer to the road the brush kept getting denser and denser. At one point I was wondering if we would stumble across a cobra, we never did. After we finally made it to the road the three of us kept walking up hill to the summit for another view over Mumbai. It too was pretty nice. And at the summit there was a pretty large get together, lots of people and they all were holding a plate of chicken, rice, beans, salad and more. After trekking for four hours I was really hungry! So I walked in and was immediately stopped by the gate person who said this was a private party. That's never stopped me before! So I asked a man that was standing close by what was going on, he told me it was  a private party for some organization that I don't remember. I asked if it was possible to buy a plate of food and he walked me to the person in charge. I told her I came all the way from America to have lunch with her (while batting my eyes) and she smiled. And she offered us a plate.

But then my nephews decided they weren't hungry, after all this flirting to get us free food! So off to hiking again, but only for another 30 minutes.

Now it was time to head back, and it was a very long walk back to the train station and I had someplace to be in the evening. It was a pretty remote area so there were no taxis or rickshaws, but at least it was a downhill walk. But we didn't walk too far, we ended up hitching a ride with two guys wearing a lot of bling driving a fancy car. They took us all the way back to the house! It was a great day, and here's a few photos of the village.

Village House, clothes drying on the roof

Jumping rope (actually it's a piece of wire)

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