Oh Hello Water Buffalo

Last week, I had the opportunity to take a mini vacation with my love and his band mates to a little town called Igatpuri, located just over 100km outside of Mumbai. Igatpuri is a picturesque little hill station in the Nashik District of Maharashtra. It was so perfect to get away from Mumbai for a couple days and escape to the silence and simplicity of rural India.

The road trip there in the back of a Mahindra Thar SUV was both exciting and relaxing at the same time. There’s something magical about open road, the sunset at your back, and the thought of spending time out in the country that is enough to recalibrate your inner compass. (Excuse the blurry photos below. They were taken out of a very shaky moving vehicle.)

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Photography has always been sort of a latent curiosity. More recently though, I’ve decided to dabble and explore. So phone camera in hand, I venture out in search of inspiration at every turn, on every corner, behind every door, and through every window (and I mean that quite literally, as you will see below).

Off-roading into the hills of Igatpuri was a dusty experience but one that I won’t quickly forget. We parked the vehicle and decided to trek higher up. Trekking isn’t what I would normally consider “hiking” in North America, which usually happens along a cleared off trail. Here, there was no “trail” except the one we were making up as we made our way across the hillside (think: the final scene of The Sound of Music except maybe not as epic). Breathe in too deeply and you’ll get a lung full of dust. But it was worth it because the view on top was breathtaking. (Get it? Lung full of dust, breathtaking? But seriously, it was beautiful.)

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After trekking up into the hills, we went for the swim in the lake. So, the “lake” looks pristine in these pictures, but it was actually quite muddy. But the whole crew of us jumped in anyway and swam the better part of the afternoon away. I have to admit that I was a bit grossed out by how murky the water was, the little insects around, and all of the tiny water snails and other creatures at the bottom. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, the water was too hazy to see anything below the surface. But the murky water wasn’t the most disturbing part. Not long after we decided to call it a day and dry off, we saw a herd of water buffalo wade in to bathe, in what looked like something straight out of National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. (I didn’t take any pictures of the water buffalo, but I did take some of the cows grazing in the area.)

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I was thoroughly unnerved at the thought that I had basically gone swimming with water buffalo. In fact, I was equal parts disgusted and fascinated. I have to say though, I was also proud of myself for not chickening out. It was good times. And I took an extra careful shower immediately afterwards. Best part? I now have another wild story for the books.

So much more happened in our two days away than I have written about here. But it was fun to share a glimpse of it. Grace and peace everybody! Go forth and embrace life!

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P.S. Creative Sabbath, and follow my travels on Instagram!

© Copyright Benita Grace Joy 2016

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