28th February – Panchgani

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I think last night can safely join my top twenty worst night’s sleep EVER poll. Somehow ended up with no AC though I’d booked it, so it was stinking hot and by the time I worked out I could remove the duvet and just sleep under the cover, my neighbours decided it was time to party. Eventually worked out I could drown out the noise of their music by switching the ceiling fan on and managed to fall asleep for the last few hours. Hard to stay grumpy for long though in such a lovely environment and felt much better for a practice in Jenny’s air conditioned room before a pre breakfast swim.

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Enjoyed a morning chilling out by the pool and reflecting on our month in Pune. It has been such a worthwhile experience and I look forward to returning soon. Although it is hard leaving mDSCF3381y family, it has a lot of positives on both sides. I am mother to four girls and I hope that by continuing to live my life and follow my dreams, that I give them permission to do the same in the future. I return strong, positive and in a state of robust good health which brings fresh energy into the family – it’s going to be a tough few months; as one daughter does her finals, the next sits her A Levels and the third her GCSE’s. As always when I go away, their bond with their dad strengthens and blossoms and he gets to enjoy complete autonomy for a month. These trips to Pune are expensive and this year I was lucky enough to receive a bursary from Avon Iyengar Yoga Association. They have committed to awarding a bursary to one of their members for 2017 and 2018 too – it’s a simple process to join and members enjoy discounts on workshops too, the next one being Firooza Ali. More info about joining and bursary applications here.

Any remnants of my bad mood faded as the manager offered a free upgrade to a valley view suite with balcony, giving us much more space to practice in the morning. We spent the afternoon visiting some of the nearby tourist spots and sampling some local produce. When you buy strawberries here they offer you choice of sweet or sour (no brainer even for someone with a ‘sour tooth’ like me).

 

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We visited Table Top; a flat, dusty expanse of rock  with views all around, where most people will rent a horse to take a tour. It didn’t have a great feel to it, that sort of tired, overdone tourist trail and some of the horses didn’t look as though they were having a great time either. We opted instead to go on foot and took our time meandering around, giving the monkeys a wide berth. I imagine on a clear day the views are stunning, but it was incredibly hazy today and we even felt a few drops of rain. From there we headed to Mapro Gardens – but this too was disappointing, more of a glorified restaurant and garden centre than the peaceful shady environment we’d been hoping for. I would come to Panchgani again, but August to November are probably the time to come if you want to visit the waterfalls and viewing points. Tomorrow we risk the bus trip to Pune and fingers crossed it will get us safely back in time for our final class of the month, Abhi’s intermediate.

The Table Top Experience

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