India Adventure #4

Sun Dec 23

In the morning the tale was told of the rock climbing adventure from the previous evening. No one involved uttered the word “lost,” although others interpreted the details in such a way. We took the metro and then found a tuktuk to take us the expected fifteen minute drive to the gym. In typical fashion, the driver claimed to know where we were going, even though it was clear he did not. Thankfully, I had written down the full address and phone number, and he seemed to know the neighbourhood. When we got close, and asked a few pedestrians about the gym, it became clear we were in the wrong area altogether. To be fair, the address was not appropriately specific about the neighbourhood. When we soon go to the right general area, using google maps with Erez’s assistance, we established we were close. We drove around in a circle once and decided it best to disembark and walk through the alley. Then a few times up and down the street before a helpful pedestrian actually knew of the gym and its location. We had already once been to where it should have been (and was) but the address was wrong and there was absolutely no signage. Who would have guessed it was in the back and basement of the school with the long driveway?

The rock climbing gym experience went well. Once we had paid, the boys got their gear and were left to their own devices, as the one staff was busy with other duties and people. Erez and Zev tried bouldering and even climbed a five-storey route from a pit in the floor to to the top of the school chimney. The boys got some advice from local climbers for a few bouldering routes and enjoyed the interactions. I fell asleep on the hard mat in the cold gym for a while.

After conferring with on of the climbers for the best route to the nearest metro station, we set off on foot. It was not entirely clear if the “main street” where we turned was the correct one, so after a few minutes we asked directions. The station should have come relatively soon after the turn and we either missed the station, or the “main street” was further along. The gentleman thought we could not possibly walk to the station, as it was about three kilometres away. I doubted his assessment of our ability and distance and we set out to return to our premature turn and get back on track. About fifteen minutes later, we were at the station. Once we got back to the original road and continued along it, the “main street” became obvious as we met the Ring Road that encircles Delhi. We noted a few men urinating in the street, but no one bothered us.

After our last (sniff!) breakfast at the Spectra Restaurant, we met up with the rest of our group for the WE trip. Everyone was lovely, and we all hit it off right away. We could tell this was going to be a great trip already. We have one more family joining us tomorrow and they have three kids. The family from Detroit has a girl named India, who is the same age as Noam, and her Bat Mitzvah is the week before Noam’s. She is REALLY into rock climbing, so she fit right in with our boys.

We headed to the airport around ten to catch the one hour flight to Udaipur. Then we were picked up for a 2.5 hour car ride to Araveli Camp, the WE headquarters here in Rajasthan, right alongside the Aravalli Mountains. It is absolutely beautiful with pink hills in the distance. We were welcomed by the sound of a drum and tambourine, necklaces of marigolds and roses around our necks, and a red dot between our eyebrows. What a reception!

We were then shown to our “cottage” accommodations and had a scrumptious dinner made by the Chef, Ashant. He explained the meal to us in detail and the food was superb. The facilitators are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. We fell into our beds quite early as we were completely exhausted. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s activities.

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