Magical Mountain Climb



December 4, 2015
Today after breakfast took a long walk – 14, 723 steps according to my phone; the walk was not that long but the temperature was in the mid eighties – pretty hot for someone from Scotland and/or San Francisco. As we walked there were beautiful mountains all around and super clean air; hard to believe I’m only 45 kilometers from Pune. There was a guy at the resort who cycled from Pune and it took him 2 hours. We passed a couple of schools along the way and needless to say the kids wanted their photos taken.

December 5, 2015

This morning I got up early preparing to go back to Pune.
It has been a wonderful few days. The idea of a silent retreat has been appealing to me and it came to me in an unexpected way at Camp Temgarh.
I got back to the city and checked into the hotel. I got all my stuff in order in my room and hung out for a while. Several years ago I met two Ayurvedic Doctors through Pat Layton in San Francisco. I have been in touch with them on and off over the years and they actually live in Pune. Their names – Avinash and Bharati Lele. We were sitting in the hotel lobby when I told them about my lost glasses. Paul had sent me a pdf of my recent prescription and Avinash asked me to get the front desk to make a copy. We were getting ready to leave the hotel when Bharati noticed a man by the name of Dr. Kulkarni with whom she had gone to Medical School – well he happens to be an Ayurvedic Doctor and an Eye Doctor!! Synchronicity.
Went to dinner at Shravan with the Leles.
Very pleasant evening.

Temple Tripping

KriyaMcycleTemple2December 3, 2015
After a delicious breakfast this morning, one of the employees, Deepak, offered to take me to on a tour of the Kriya Yoga Temple. However, it involved getting on to the back of his motor cycle in my mini skirt and driving along a pretty rough road. Although I was not keen on the idea, I surrendered to the situation. We walked part of the way and the scenery is spectacular. The Kriya Yoga disciples were super friendly and invited me to several of their offerings. I was not in a position to accept as my tour guide is a worker at the resort where I am staying and he had to get back to his duties. The Temple is on 33 acres and the scenery around it is magnificent. On the way back we stopped to visit with Deepak’s brother and I got to meet his adorable niece.
We took a brief walk to another temple before getting back on the motor cycle to reach Temgarh for lunch.

Journey to Pune

November 27, 2015
Departed from San Francisco to Frankfurt – the first leg of my journey to Pune, India. For the first time I flew in the BIG plane – the A380. Although it accommodates over 500 passengers that seems to be where the big part ends. The space between the seats is as tight as any other aircraft – at least when you fly economy. It did seem to be a bit quieter, which was good.

November 28, 2015
Got to Frankfurt mid-day and spent that night in the Sheraton; very convenient – you go through automatic doors from the airport into the hotel. Relaxed there for the afternoon and had a decent night’s sleep.

November 29, 2015
Embarked on the next part of my trip – again in the BIG plane. This time I was upstairs in the Exit Row where I could stretch my legs and slept most of the flight. I had a good conversation with a woman who started her own fitness method and I think we will connect after I get back to the USA; rarely talk to anyone in a flight these days. I went through Immigration in Delhi using an Electronic Visa for the first time and the process went smoothly. I picked up my luggage and went through Customs there; ready to check in for Pune flight.

November 30, 2015
Arrived in Pune with all my possessions, except for my glasses; looking at it from the positive side, it’s better to loose a pair of glasses than a CONNECTION!!! All flights were on time and if anything, a little early. At Pune Airport I was picked up by my dear friends, Sunil and Shubhangi Shirodkar; went to their house and had a delicious breakfast and lunch prepared by master chef, Shubhangi. Sunil’s mother is 97 years old and is looking beautiful and getting around pretty well.
I then checked into the Marriott for one night.
That night there was some technical glitch with my email. I reflected on my first trips to Pune and how hard it was to keep in touch with friends and family at home. We used to give our loved ones aero grams with name and name and address of the hotel at which we were staying asking them to write to us immediately so that the letter would arrive before the month of study was over. Making a phone call involved spending a night at the front desk of the hotel trying to get through!!
Changed days. Paul managed to track down the problem and got me re-connected in time for my departure to the countryside.

December 15, 2015
I had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel with my friend and student Ceo Streeper from Hilo, HI. She was getting ready to leave after a month of study here and it was lovely to see her.
Then Sunil picked me up and we did a few errands in the city before leaving. One essential part of being here is to go to PNG – the best goldsmith in Pune according to my friends. I bought a beautiful necklace in exchange for some Rupees and the necklace I was wearing. Gold is like currency here – at least when you buy it pure with the special mark. I put it on immediately and have been wearing it ever since. Another necessity is a good supply of Himalayan spring water – at the same time picking up a bottle of Italian wine to share with my Pune friends when we got to the country. The place is called Camp Temghar and I would highly recommend it. It is 45 kilometers from Pune and you can breathe fresh air in a beautiful environment.
The rooms were spotless and after we settled in we had well prepared food and enjoyede eating outside.
That evening Sunil, Shubhangi and I sat and talked about the trials and tribulations of life and shared memories from our first meeting in 1983.