Well the journey to Pune took 33 hours, which actually wasn't so bad because it included 2 nights. When we got there all the local trains had been canceled, which we later found out was because someone had a set off a bomb on one of the lines. So instead we had to faff around trying to get a bus, which was a big hassle. Anyway we finally made it to the town of Lonavala where the paragliding school is. It's actually just someones house, but he has a couple of pretty good live in cook/cleaners, so we've been eating good Indian food everyday, plus a couple of decent BBQs. All food and accommodation is free too, which is nice. All the instructors and staff are really nice, and there are always people from all over India and the world turning up. Last night an English guy arrived, he had driven from England over three and a half months on bio-fuel.
Paragliding is a pretty nice experience, and the views are amazing. The first couple of days are pretty hard work because you're not actually gliding, you're learning how to control the glider on the ground. This involves running down hills and then carrying all your equipment back up, all day.
During the lunch before my first actual flight I developed diarrhea. Realizing that you have to run off a 250ft cliff with diarrhea is much more scary than running off a 250ft cliff. I thought it might be like the RAF bombing Dresden all over again, but instead it was brilliant. There were amazing views, and it is very relaxing. Once you get good at it it is quite a lazy sport.
Also, I am persevering with my beard. I got lost a few days ago, and while I was waiting for directions from a group of guys, one of them asked if I was a Muslim. I don't think he was too impressed when I said I was a Christian, but they still got me home alright.
I'm going down south next, through the hill country down to the very tip of India, and then I'll be coming back up the west coast. So hopefully I'll find some nice beaches. And then I reckon I'll do the 2nd stage of my paragliding course. Anyway hope all is well back home, have a good time.