Well…I didn’t want to leave this time… but my visa was running out …..Canadians receive a 6 month tourist visa that starts the minute you get it…and are near impossible to extend, I’m told….
Before leaving, I booked a one week Ayurveda detox program called Paunchakarma at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute in Lonavalya….two hours south of Mumbai. My week there included two treatments/day…usually something involving alot of oil on my hair and body like massages, oil drips on the forehead (Shirodhara) , etc; plus yoga twice/day, 3 simple and delicious meals/day; and interesting talks in the evenings.
I came by overnight train from Goa to Mumbai, switched trains and headed two hours to Lonavalya, riding in Second Class Non-AC; all that travelling for the grand total of approximately five dollars!
The following week I went to Pune, a sizeable city four hours south of Mumbai. I had an appointment to see a dentist there; and had a couple of days before leaving India. As it happened, I was invited to stay at the Urban Ashram in a busy neighbourhood of central Pune. It is the spacious home of Sheetal and Khushmita; six years ago they opened their home for community gatherings with a spiritual focus.
Friends from home, David and Kathryn, were staying with Sheetal and Khushmita, having met them on their last Indian trip; that is how I received the invite to be there. While there, a workshop to build a cob oven and wall in their back yard was going on; and before leaving, a local artist was hanging her beautiful artwork for a show starting in a few days; she called her show a contemporary view of the god Shiva. Just to give an example of the many varied and interesting events hosted there.
I had found a cheap flight to Morocco from Mumbai…$177. cdn…with Saudi Arabia airlines…and it included a 12 hour wait at Jeddah airport…which passed quickly as it was my first time in that country and I did alot of people watching…a small price to pay for the very affordable ticket price.
Morocco is next…