After a busy week of meetings and field research, we decided to play the tourists again and take a trip outside of Mumbai and see some of the other sights the countryside has to offer. We that in mind, we packed up our car and headed for the hills with our favorite new driver. We headed to the mountain town of Lonavla near Mumbai known for its stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside and its chikki (an indian desert made of toffee, nuts, and sugar).

The drive up was mostly uneventful. It took about 2 hours to reach the town. When we got there, it was not exactly the peaceful mountain scene we had imagined. It was a busy town with crowded streets and about 30 chikki stores. We went into the busiest one and were given a variety of chikki samples. After making a few purchases, we had some lunch and drove out of town to the local hill station.

A hill station is more or less a place to go to look out over the surrounding countryside. It was very peaceful and refreshing at the hill station. The views were stunning and there was a nice cool wind blowing. It was the first time in two weeks that we had felt comfortable outside. We walked along the mountainside, took pictures and generally soaked up the amazing views.

On the way back, our driver decided to make it a bit exciting for us. There is nothing like trying to pass trucks going around a blind turn on a mountain switchback to really get the blood pumping. Thankfully we made it back with only a minor rear-ending of one car, which, according to our driver, is not really considered an accident at all in India.



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