Dodgy buses, water bombs and white water rafting
Trip Start Jan 29, 2010
23Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
OSG Guest House
I know it's been a long time between drinks. but here we go:
I decided on Friday to go to Rishikesh that night. Rishikesh is a town in Utterakhand, and is famous for its beauty, its Ahrams, Yoga and the fact that the Beatles lived there for some time.
As all trains and tourist buses were booked (due to the upcoming festival of Holi), I decided to catch a local Indian bus. The quality of the bus can be inferred from a single fact: the 6 hour journey cost me the equivalent of $3. Further, there was not a single white person at the depot. Thus, the bus was dirty, rickety, and crowded. Nevertheless, I did arrive safe and sound (albeit at 3am), and I did make friends with some fellow friendly Indian passengers which included the guy next to me who, halfway through the trip, opened up the bus for someone to throw in a heavy parcel which he put under our seat
Rishikesh has thus far lived up to its expectations. The place is absolutely stunning. Between the high green mountains runs the holy river Ganges which is surrounded by Ashrams. I decided to go White Water Rafting as soon as I arrived. Although the rapids were perhaps a little weak, it was nevertheless a beautiful experience. At one time I got out of the raft, lay on my back (I was wearing a safety jacket), and just gazed into the almost infinite mountainous surroundings. I also made friends with the guys on my raft who, coincidentally, are all young lawyers.
Later in the evening I went with these 'dudes' to listen to a Puja - according to the dudes this a ceremony venerating the Gods. But this Puja was Buddhist, so I'm not sure if description is accurate.
Today I decided to go to Haridwar, Utterakhand's holiest city. Thousands of pilgrims come here to bathe in the holy Ganges. I met a fellow from Norway and another from Denmark there, and we toured the place together. Little did we realise however, that Holi is often celebrated before its designated day (Monday). Thus, we were attacked by swarms of youths throwing water bombs and paint at us. We bought some powder and water bombs in an attempt to put up a fight, but alas three white boys is no comparison to hundreds of natives who know the terrain much better (as was demonstrated in the Vietnam War).