From Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Apr 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Sue and Partap's Farmhouse

Flag of India  , Maharashtra,
Thursday, January 28, 2010

We left the yacht club at 6am to miss the traffic and make a good start for Mahabaleshwar.  Most of the luggage strapped on the top and the five of us with Sue and her driver Stanley. It is lovely getting up early and not being cold - The drive goes by surprisingly easily with a couple of stops along the way - we stop at a little restaurant by the road side and have dhosa’s which are delicious pancakes with spicy potatoes inside and sauces to dip them in to - they are very much a south indian dish and are delicious. After we are off the main trunk road we stop at a silk farm to watch the process of the silk pods being boiled and then the silk unravelled from the pods and spun on to large reels. It was good fun seeing all the mulberry trees that they feed on and the childen liked the pods being broken open to see the two worms inside. I’m sure a few of the pods will still be somewhere in the bottom of my bag when I get back to England.

Its so fantastic to reach the farm which is incredibly peaceful and has the most amazing view of the hills opposite and all around. The temperature is perfect since it is warm but with a lovely breeze. Cheeki who is an 18 month German Shepherd pup is in the kennel and desparate to meet us - we have to try and encourage Patch and Jake not to excite him which works to a certain extent and he calms down and gets used to them very quickly. It is so quiet here and after lunch Sue goes for a rest and manages to get the children working on some pictures. We get a little peace although it is punctuated with can we get up now, can we play games e.t.c

Patch, Jake and Phoebe dig up potatoes for supper and pick the last of the gladioli and some broccoli and courgettes. It is really lovely to have fresh veg that is not cooked in spices so that you can just taste the vegetable itself. We all walk around the farm and look at the amazing views as the sun starts to go down and the light goes more golden. Before the children go to sleep we listened to Partap’s ‘home songs’ which he has written for Tara’s son Zen (his grandson) and for events such as a family wedding which he hasn’t been able to go to because he has emphysemia and has to be on oxygen all the time. It was lovely having some calm time altogether, Jake was asleep in no time and Patrick was singing Numrita’s song. It’s so lovely to be with family and not to be in a guest house about to move on - we have got two full days here, two half days and three nights, if the children would write their journals without complaining and making a huge fuss it would make such a difference, I feel so let down by the fuss they are making about doing them - they of course totally forget the fact that they are missing school and this is all they are asked to do instead of school work.

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