Our flight was overnight and took 10 hours. We were both tired when we arrived at Mumbai airport. I just can't sleep on a flight so I read, played games and watched a film. We still had a 4 hour drive to Pune, our destination. This is when we slept. There is nothing like a car ride to help you fall asleep. I woke as we entered the city of Pune and could not believe the totally chaotic traffic. Over the holiday we got used to it and in fact enjoyed the trips out we made.
Our holiday accommodation was Sangam the world guide centre. It was very peaceful. This is the centre from the front with Lucy showing her appreciation.
There was a swimming pool and most days we made time for a swim. Our favourite was to swim in the dark with the pool lights on. About 10 p.m. was a great time and we would usually be the only people in the pool.
The grounds were well cared for and very pretty. There was some topiary. I didn't get any photos of the elephant topiary.
These palms seem to go on for ever. You felt very small standing next to them.
There was this quiet secluded quiet garden with chairs and tables. A perfect place for reading and relaxation.
Leading from the main central area this path lead through gardens to the camp site. As we were visiting in the monsoon season the campsite was not in use.
We had gone to Sangam as a reconnaissance visit with a view to taking our Ranger group in two years time. The only time we can get the two weeks holiday is in August and this is usually at the end of the monsoon season. This year the rains started late and were very heavy with severe flooding. In fact they had the worse floods for 50 years this year but that didn't stop our enjoyment. It did mean that some of the visits got changed as some of the bridges were closed in the city due to the floods and the local river was so high the water entered the back of the grounds and caused some flooding on the camp site. There was no risk to the main buildings and during our second week the flood waters went down. However whilst we were there Mumbai airport was completely closed for a few days due to the floods. The rain did help to keep the temperature at a comfortable level between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius. When the rains started the temperature went down a little, when they stopped the humidity and temperature went up. Lucy and I found we loved swimming when it was raining as the rain was warm.
There was this decorated building on site. This is the water tower and when it wasn't raining you could climb the metal ladder to the top to see the views. Lucy and I didn't do this as they tended to arrange this for the morning, before breakfast and we preferred to stay in bed a little longer.
On the first day of the programme there was a welcome ceremony. Guides the world over love ceremonies and this one was fun. The ceremony involved the flags of the countries the participants and staff were from. We also had to light a candle, receive a Hindi blessing and flowers to welcome us. Afterwards there were a lot of photos and Lucy and I had ours taken doing our 'unit lunge'. Don't ask as it's something the girls came up with and it's become part of their traditions.
Following Hindi tradition shoes were left at the door of this building. This suited me as I spend a lot of time barefoot at home and I have been known to take my shoes off at work. These ladies were some of the staff and volunteers at the centre. These ladies were from all parts of the world, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Australia, Burundi and UK to name a few.
It made a lovely start to the programme. The Rangers who were there with their leaders went to bed at about half 10 and the adults sat around chatting and drinking tea and coffee. Lucy and I headed to our room as we were tired but I managed to read a chapter of my book before we turned out the light. Although I'd taken some hand stitching with me I'd forgotten to check there was a needle so I couldn't do any stitching .
I'll tell you about the next few days activity tomorrow and also what sewing I've been up to. I'm hoping the temperature will drop tonight as it's been so hot the last few nights it's been difficult to sleep.