From Juhu a bus load of us elders (I guess you could say) journeyed to the Shayadri Mountains, one of three major ranges in India. We ventured to a secluded place at the summit of a hill station - The Ram Sukh Resort in Mahabaleshwar where we were to chill for three days.
Juhu was our place of business, discussion, and strategic planning. This resort was to be a place to relax with a non-compulsory program. It's a first. Yet it is understood that sadhana or the minimum requirement of japa chanting was still standard.
After an interesting zig-zag ride with tight curbs on a windy trail our bus could go no further due to lack of ample maneuvering space. Conveyance by car took us to the entrance of the resort, a full-vegetarian heaven-on-earth tourist trap. The rear parking lot has a sign attached to it which reads "HORN NOT OKAY PLEASE." Not all motorists read the message. As I made my way with luggage to the Solitarie Building for accommodation, a person insisted on tooting.
We lunched with Bhanu Swami (a Japanese Canadian monk), Bhakti Purusottam Swami from Bengal, and Madhusevata (a guru from Italy). Then it was American-born Kavichandra Swami and I who took to a mediocre-rough trail after lunch. When Kavichandra was young he was like a Tarzan in spirit. At the outskirts of his Minniapolis family house were woods galore and he trained himself to move with speed through the forest.
Our guide was Dominique Saunders from Madhya Pradesh and he let us know that we should expect wild buffalo, wild boar, deer, and monkeys along our trail of numerous Ayurveda herbs and trees. We spotted monkeys who appeared to want privacy as we watched them springing from tree to tree. Deer hoof-prints were on the foot path but no trace otherwise. Wild boars made their mark with turned-over soil which happens to be richly red. And as for the wild buffalo - yes, footprints were there. One nonchalant foot placement by Kavichandra happened to not clear a fresh patty on the forest trail. I'm sure Tarzan stepped in a lot of this stuff in his time.
Fascinating was the presence of volcanic rock in addition to a splendorous view of the Krishna Valley that is spring fed, fueling one of India's sacred rivers that goes by the same name - Krishna. We happened to be near its source.
In December of 1976 our guru, Srila Prabhupada, came to Mahabaleshwar. Unfortunately the journey to and fro created motion-sickness.
May the Source be with you!