So our practice continues to go well, Aaron has moved on past Supta kurmasana and is now essentially completing the entire primary series. I am still stuck in Marichyasana D, and continue to get closer to binding in the pose. It'll be a while, but I'm hopeful I may bind at least before our time here is up.
After a led class at the end of our week, while drinking some coconuts with other students, we were invited to breakfast at a place called Anokhi Garden Cafe. We'd walked past this place almost every day, but never bothered to go in. Big mistake. This cafe is perfect. It has a French/European style breakfast menu, with amazing fruit salads, oatmeals, crepes, quiche etc. The dining area is in a small garden in the shade, with ground level tables and cushions to sit on.
They serve masala coffee, which I instantly became ridiculously addicted to. It's coffee flavored with cinnamon cardamom and ginger. I highly recommend trying it out. Here's the way it's made at the restaurant.
-Boil 50/50 water and milk in a pot, stirring, on medium - medium-high so the milk doesn't burn.
-Add ground coffee, crushed cardamom pods (about 1 per cup of fluid), a little fresh ginger and half of a cinnamon stick.
-Reduce the heat and stir.
-After about 3-4 minutes, strain and serve.
I've been told it can be made in a coffee machine by simply adding a little ground cinnamon and ground or crushed cardamom, but I'd recommend trying it the real way first.
As well as the coffee they have the best fruit salad I've ever had. Called Flora's fruit salad. It has watermelon, papaya, banana, pineapple, date pieces, raisins, pomegranate seeds, shredded coconut and your choice of mint or basil. Fresh papaya and pomegranate might be hard to find depending on your location, but I believe the papaya could be replaced by a nice mango or peach (maybe both!), and cherries could make due for the pomegranate. If you can find all the ingredients, you HAVE to try this fruit salad out!
So, needless to say we've been forgoing our hotel breakfasts for Anokhi garden on occasion since.
During our first breakfast at Anokhi, an American couple mentioned going to a pool later that day. Having heard about a pool in the area we asked them for details and found out there was a pool at Hotel Regalis, just a few minutes rickshaw ride away. Their description made it sound nice, so we made plans to head down later that day.
A few hours later we arrived at the hotel. This was the nicest area we'd been in India so far. As good if not better than some of the fancier hotels I've been to in Canada. Once inside we speak to a man at the desk, pay the entry fee to the pool (250 rupees each, $5) and make our way downstairs.
Walking into the pool area was one of the most beautiful sights we could have wished for; A nice big blue pool surrounded by reclining chairs in the sunlight, with rows of palm trees as the backdrop.... Heaven. You have to come early (which we weren't) to get one of the reclining chairs. The alternative, almost better yet, is for us to place our towels down on a nice flat grassy area in the sun. Laying out, we start by soaking in the sun before going for a swim. Here it takes only a few seconds before the sun's heat encompasses your body. When feeling too hot, the pool is nice and cool. The perfect temperature to jump in and feel refreshed.
Hours melt away while poolside. Before we know it, 4 hours have passed and we have to make our way back to Gokulam to grab food and get ready to sleep before practice the next day.