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Day 1 and Goa trip

I flew into Pune today after spending a few days in Arambol Goa - the last time I visited this area was 1996 and I vaguely remembered swimming in a fresh water lake close to the beach and sitting slathered in mud playing backgammon on a little island. I do love a lake swim, even over and above the ocean and I also wanted to challenge myself to go somewhere new, rather than the known and comfortable place I normally stay in Patnem, South Goa.

I booked myself a seafront room which was lovely - a balcony overlooking a private beach to practice yoga with the sound of the waves in the background and a cooling ocean breeze to keep the mozzies away. Of course, what the description didn't mention was the super-loud continuous and repetitive techno music, designed to draw in the lucrative but arrogant and inconsiderate tourists that dominate this part of Goa. Thankfully I managed to negotiate a peace treaty with the owner where he agreed to keep the music off during the day while I was practicing and I agreed not to go insane. So far so good.

I was disappointed to find that the pristine lake of nearly 30 years ago, had now been commoditized and monetised - consequently it's natural beauty was somewhat diminished by the trash trapped in the undergrowth around the edges. I could hardly bear to look and stayed away for a couple of days, until it suddenly dawned on me that I could simply clean it up myself. I took bags and spent a happy half hour clearing up the trash and was heartened to find that rather than being scorned by the onlookers, a couple of other people actually joined in - in no time at all we were done and I could swim and yoga to my hearts content and enjoy watching the egrets and iridescent green kingfishers flitting around the palms in the sunshine - exactly what I'd hoped for.

And so to Pune. A short flight later found me navigating my way through the streets of Pune with an OLA driver (no pre-paid taxi available, time are a-changing). I tried to explain to the driver that I needed to charge my phone as it contained the exact location of the as yet unkown apartment I would be staying in. A panicked look revealed that he did not speak English so I typed into Google translate and pressed the button for it to read out loud in Marathi and we shared a laugh over the sheer brilliance of this technology.