Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Trek in Mumbai

Mumbai, the largest city in India, doesn't normally come to mind when one wants to go on a hike. But be surprised, there are beautiful mountains, part of the Western Ghats, that surround Mumbai. Lush green this time of year and even a waterfall or two.

I arrived last night into Mumbai after a two hour flight from Delhi. When I was at the airport in Delhi I was starving and decided to stop at McDonalds near my gate for a bite to eat. The spicy chicken burger is not like the one in the states, it's actually spicy here and will knock your socks off. It was actually quite good and the fries tasted like McDonald's fries. But it wasn't all good after that, my stomach was in pain for the rest of the day and night. Probably all that grease or something, just didn't settle right.

Passing through security was an adventure. I had to have one of my bags hand inspected, the security officer was asking questions about my nebulizer and all my asthma meds. He said I was too young and healthy looking to have all this. So I explained I was just a sick old man and needed my meds. Then he picked up one bottle and asked me about the natural remedy for asthma that I bought in India. He asked if it worked, I said it did, better than anything else in the bag. He put his hand out and demanded I give him some. I said no and as soon as it looked like he was going to take the whole bottle I changed my tune and have him two capsules. Only in India.

On the two hour flight with Jet Airways a hot lunch was actually served. Choice was a vegetarian dish or non-veg. I had the non-veg which consisted of dal (lentils), rice and chicken tikka with some flat bread. It was actually quite good. After lunch service was done and the trays picked up the flight attendants came through and gave everyone a nice chocolate and vanilla ice cream bar, finished off with a choice of coffee or tea. All in a two hour flight. Impressive.

After landing in Mumbai I got a pre-paid taxi and went to Navi Mumbai, the new part of Mumbai I think. It took over an hour to get there and once there I met my nephew Rohan. My cousin Rajiv and his family are building a new house and it's almost done. Next week there is a Hindu ceremony to bless the new house and in two weeks there will be a house warming party. I'm here for both I think. Anyway, Rajiv's current house is packed with people and far away so he put me up in a guest house for a few days. Last night I had the cooks bring me fried rice and chicken masala. Because of my tummy ache I only ate a couple bites of each but I have to say that while I don't particularly like mushrooms the mushroom soup was outstanding.

Today I met three nephews and two nieces and we went on a six hour hike through some of the mountains surrounding this part of Mumbai. Great views, even of the prison. Which to be honest, looked much better than I would have imagine an Indian prison to look like. At least from far away.

Our trek took us up some very steep hill sides that I think only goats previously have traversed. We did see a few goats on a neighboring trail but none on ours. It was a good hike and with the high humidity I perspired so much that when I returned to the guest house the guard thought I went swimming in my clothes.

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting and then I went off to my cousin's house for a good home cooked meal.

Tarang, the budding photographer

Rohan and Naman looking out over the valley

Mansi and Nikita

Naman and his sister Nikita

Six pairs of trekking feet

Nikita saw this small 2 inch caterpillar

Looking out over Navi Mumbai

Pondering the meaning of life

Rohan ready to wrestle but there are no takers

Prison just outside Mumbai

Climbing the steep goat trails

No comments:

Post a Comment