Mount Abu, a hill station in Ragastan

April 8, 2010

John came to stay and we took the chance to go on a road trip. Main aim was to head for the hills, anywhere it might be a bit cooler than the desert plains of Gujarat (temperatures having hovered around 43 degrees for more than a week!). It was such a relief to escape the city for a few days and breathe some cooler, clean air. Mount Abu is very touristy (think Margate in the hills), once used by the British as a sanatorium, now filled with honeymooners and wealthy Gujaratis crossing the border in search a permitted alcohol, but for us it was curious to experience a typical Indian resort town, see Indians at leisure and experience the countryside.

Pleasure boats and a temple on Lake Naki

View across the mountains

There were little temples dotted all through the hills, flags fluttering in the wind, and the flame trees were in bloom, creating some dramatic scenery. The view from up high, down onto the plains below was spectacular.

Flame tree

John at Sunset point

Oh and we had great fun playing with some very cheeky monkeys!

Hill top monkeys

Posing

Went for a ‘safari walk’ with a guide, up through the hills. Actually the walk was not more than an hour and we had to coax the guide to go further (get the impression walking is not an Indian past-time, there were even carts to pull you up short hills); however the quiet of the ancient bush was beautiful, especially after so long in the central city.

Mount Abu landscape

Really loved the old Banyan trees, often made into shrines.

Wild flowers

Rare, irrigated land around a small village

It was lovely to come across a small village. Very sleepy. Wandered around undisturbed and the people we did come across were friendly. They lead such hard lives! Did see a farming family; two brothers and their families all living in one small stone room surrounded by a few fields, some cows and a glorious mango tree.

Beautiful village women

Washing

Dried cow dung store

Village temple

Shy boy

Village kitchen and cook

Makes me realise how little is needed to live. Such a cliché, but hey, tis true. Big throw out coming up!

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