Walking past a climbing wall outside Kanteerava stadium my first day, I saw three women resting at the base – three Indian women, climbing! I talked to them for a bit, and they turned out to be two of the South Indian climbing champions, headed to nationals in Delhi next month. They were the first outgoing Indian women I’ve met yet, and it turned out that one of them was our guide for a day of bouldering south of the city later that week. Shanti was an amazing climber, fun to watch, harder to emulate, and always encouraging.
Having brought my shoes and pedals, I borrowed a bike to join Samim and Nilesh and Rohan for a ride at Nandi Hills – Sam rode there, caught up with us on the hill, and rode back to Bangalore while we took the car to the bottom of the hill to ride up and single-track down. Nellie really wants to develop the mountain biking in the area, so they negotiated with a local woman to figure out when and how ladders could be built to make a few too-rocky sections ridable.
Otherwise, spent my time running in the morning with Sriram and other new friends who recognized me on the path (nice to be overly conspicuous sometimes!), seeing a few sights, and wandering around my area of the city. One evening I got to be the trailing car for a ride to Nandi hills! Driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t bad, as I was following them at cycle speed to keep everyone from getting run over by traffic – exciting nonetheless.
Now back to Delhi for a cycle friend’s brother’s wedding – should be interesting, as I haven’t seen the whole Indian wedding scene yet. Meeting up for lunch with a client from this summer who was climbing Island Peak with Alpine Ascents in Nepal and is flying out of Delhi the same day I am. What a funny, tiny world! Still haven’t seen the Taj Mahal, let along Rajastan, Goa, Sikkim… I’ll have to come back.