We've just got back from trekking with Charles in around Mount Abu, which was fantastic! It was a great trek, really off the beaten track, through the undergrowth and across rocky outcrops. It's much cooler up in the hills which was really pleasant. Charles pointed out really interesting things along the way: ancient shrines on the hillsides, peacock feathers, porcupine quills, bear droppings, praying mantis, bitter red berries called 'falsa' which we ate, and a kind of cactrus called 'punsia' (the sap from this is used in an ayurvedic remedy for arthritis). When we got to the top of the bit we were climbing the view was incredible - we were so high up it was like looking down from an aeroplane! We gathered tinder and Charles then made a fire and cooked up some masala chai, and we rested sipping tea and admiring the view - bliss! On the way back down he took us via a small camp by a cave where a nomadic woman was churning butter while her husband was away with the cows. It was really interesting to hear about the nomadic way they live.
Stu and Charles:
Looking out at the view (Ania in the foreground, Charles silhouetted on the left):
The trip lasted about three hours, and then on the drive back into town Charles took us by his favourite 'chaat' (snacks) stall, where we all ate fresh samosas, bhel puri (puffed rice, salad and spicy sauce) and pani puri (small puffs of thin pastry with a watery bean sauce) - totally delicious! The whole afternoon was really enjoyable and the trekking was the main reason we came to Mount Abu so I'm very pleased to say it has made the visit here worthwhile.