Hot Days in Gujarat

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mandvi-collage.jpg
Mandvi Beach Resort - hot, windy and dry like a desert with an ocean next door.

After hillhacks and trekking in the mountains, we decided to visit some friends in different places around India before heading to Bangalore. I'll say this was the least good part of the trip, but reviewing the photos and recalling the moments, it was never actually bad. I had expectations that weren't met so the period is framed by those expectations. 

Our short stay in Ahmedabad was hotel bound. It was just too hot to be outdoors much. I didn't get any sense of connection in Ahmedabad; no expansion of our social circle or feeling that we ought to return. I'd hoped to...I am not even sure. Meet some people? Do some sightseeing? Instead, we hung out with a friend who came over to the hotel with his portable WiFi. He also made sure we ate all the best Gujarati street foods - fried pav bhaji, butter buns with jam and cheese, ice cream and pineapple sandwiches with grated cheese on top. There's a famous dairy, Amal, in the city and everything is coated with cheese and butter. We also had some delicious Gujarati thali - basically a buffet that comes to your table in a flurry of service. The jaggery-sweetened curries and gravies were delicious. 

Another unmet expectation: fish. We took an overnight bus (which broke down somewhere outside Gandhidam so ended up being three buses) to Mandvi beach so that I could satisfy a seafood craving but Gujarat is so vegetarian that fish and meat never appeared on any menu. The beach resort where we stayed was quiet and lovely in its off season. It was relentlessly windy and hot so we enjoyed the comforts of our air conditioned luxury tent and took short walks on the beach. We played Mastermind, chess, and tried to film the WHD Dance. After constantly being with friends and groups, this was three days of time alone with Tod and it was delightful, even if there was no fish. 

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