Lonavala – Pocketful of Sunshine

If we were meant to stay in one place we would have roots instead of feet – Rachel Wolchin

Since I started to like the idea of starting each post with a quote, I will stick to this for now. It has been more than three weeks that I moved to India and I settled in quite well – after such a short time I already feel like I saw so many new things, and I embraced every opportunity to add more, small new experiences to my stay here. I tried street food, Thali, different versions of Dal, Paneer, Panipuri, and whatever else I could find or my friends would offer me. I made my first own Indian chapatti, took a ride in a rickshaw, finally saw some camels on the street and learned how to drive my cute little scooter in the middle of the crazy traffic here (another post on the traffic here will follow for sure), got chased by street dogs, saw monkeys, rode a dromedary, spent time in the police station and made the officer there accidentally think that I wouldn’t understand English because I barely got any word of him, and so on and so on.

Also I took a small tour around parts of Pune with two good friends, ripped my new jeans while climbing through some fence and was rewarded with an amazing view down the Parvati Hill, plus my first Indian temples. After that we walked all the way to Saras Baug, a nice park, followed by the famous Osho Park, which is equipped with many small hidden spots where people are supposed to find a place to meditate peacefully. In effect, we started to count couples making out as some kind of a game, since nearly everyone there seems to practice what the sexguru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (“Osho”) once preached: Sex as a way to find enlightenment. 😉 (of course, we saw not really someone having sex there, and also “making out” in public is somewhat differently defined in India than in Germany or Europe in general)

The highlight so far has been our trip to Lohagad Fort and the Karla Caves – finally I started to explore the surroundings of Pune and moved around a bit! The latter refers to a complex of ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut cave shrines, which unfortunately didn’t quite meet our expectations, but I still think it was worth going there especially since we’ve been close by anyways. However, the main attraction was Lohagad Fort: Far away from the whole city traffic and noise we had a nice trek up the hill it is built on, coped with the humidity first and with the strong wind later, saw monkeys, took pictures and arrived finally at the top – this time rewarded with a beautiful view over hills and green grass. Sadly we missed out on the waterfalls, since there has not been enough rain before or during our trip (but well, Monsoon is coming soon enough anyways) – instead, I got the worst sunburn I ever had in my life. The ride in the car in combination with the questionable food we got on the way rose another challenge not everyone (including me) was quite able to deal with. In fact, this journey killed me, but I still found sleep with a smile on my face, but I guess such problems are just part of the deal when coming here. 😉

I am sure that more adventures are to come, the next step will be to decide on my travel plans during my stay here – I already feel like time is flying by way too fast, and I am still not able to choose between all the sights India has to offer. Plus I would prefer to find a travel buddy first, but that’s another story.

Bisous and lots of love,

Jana

PS: Because I’m happy… 🙂

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