Sunday, 11 November 2012

Bye Bye Rishikesh!

Sunday 11th Nov:

Today was my last day in Rishikesh, so the morning was just spent packing, checking out and a bit of interneting. We went down to our usual breakfast spot at Bhandari and I had one last Nutella pancake as I wasn’t sure when I’d be getting another one on my trip. We made friends with the goat who’d just wandered in, I named her Nutella, and fed both her and Lucy the dog our leftovers and also some masala chai and sugar, which they both loved. I went and had heena on my other hand and Sam had a massage, and then we went for lunch. 

3pm rolled around and it was time to go to Haridwar, which is where I needed to get my train from. Sam, Arne and David decided they wanted to come too, to see the Ganga Aarti from the Har-Ki-Puri Ghat, a famous ghat where pilgrims come from all over India to pray, float candles and flowers down the river, and bathe. So we caught a rickshaw into main Rishikesh town and went to about 5 buses until we found the one to Haridwar. It was the dirtiest, most cramped bus ever which took a horrible dirt track to Haridwar and through a national park so we were bouncing around like jack-in-a-boxes. I actually at times thought I would fall out of the window as it was so low down. 

We were dropped off by the station, took a rickshaw to my hotel, which was a skanky place but was only staying the one night so it was bearable. Then we went down to Hari-Ki-Puri Ghat for the sunset ceremony. It involved a lot of praying, chanting and lighting fires. The crowds by the river were massive, we could see when it’s the pilgrim season how easy it was for people to be killed in stampedes. 

We then took a walk through an immensely crowded night market, which I swear was never-ending! Encountered a cycle-rickshaw pile up – amusing watching them trying to get past each other in a street full of people, which was barely big enough to fit a motorcycle down. Went for a meal at Big Ben restaurant and then it was time to walk back to my hotel and say goodbye to Sam, Arne and David, which was strange as they’d become really good friends. Leaving Rishikesh was kind of like leaving home as it felt so normal and we’d gotten into a daily routine there. Plus knowing I was leaving it to head back to dirty, smelly Delhi was not pleasant. 

Whilst walking back after sorting out the internet to skype my rentals and Linzie, I literally had a firecracker thrown down at me on the street from the window above. Bloody Diwali! Stayed up skyping until midnight and then tried to sleep – which didn’t happen as it was an Indian family hotel. So they all had their doors open, with tv’s blaring, babies crying, and shouting instead of talking, until 3am. GRRR.

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