After what I awarded with the prize to worst trip in any transport that I have ever had in my entire life (and winning with an overwhelming difference, I have to say), the bus took around 14 hours to leave us in Rishikesh. Capital of the Yoga. The city spread around the clean Ganges.
The night had been long, I had bruises and my body was aching. We only wanted to have it easy to find a place to stay, we walked around a bit and found a fantastic place with views to the Ganges. This is it. We stay, we say to Akash, our guest. After the horrible ride we got the previous night, we only wanted a shower, a good breakfast and maybe a quiet walk somewhere. But this is India, and when we asked him how to get tickets for a train when there was a huge waiting list for tickets, he quickly offered to go to the station with us. Ok, perfect! Give us 5 min to leave a few things in the room and there we go! When he offered to take us, we were more than happy as that would save us the rickshaw back to the station. And then we saw what he meant: He is taking his motorbike and us in the motorbike. Well, it can’t be worst than our bus last night. Surely the three of us in the motorbike, in chaotic India, without helmet, is actually safer. And what can I say!? Incredible experience going around rickshaws, cows and we almost run over a woman. But Indian people have definitely more reflex than us by far. And we got to the train station to confirm the tickets were gone and by then we only wanted to have some breakfast. So, he decided to take us to his house, where we met his family: his grandmother, his mother, his brother and his father, who showed up with his belly naked and with orange clothes. I suppose he was a guru. The mother gave us chai and some kind of sandwich bread with veggies inside all fried in some dough. Oh, and dessert, or some kind of sweets made with almond or caramel, or something that tasted like heaven because I ate 4 and I am not even embarrassed. And back to the motorbike for the third time after such a lovely experience to get back to the guest house and take a shower and become a person. Because India is like that: it gives you a very hard time and then it gives you 100 enjoyable moments.
The day just went on and we ended up in the Ganga Aarti ceremony, where people gather around a Ghat to perform a ritual of Fire and Water and pray to the Ganga Mother or the Ganges. After many chants and some fire, people make an offer to the Ganges, which consists of flowers, incense and a light. It’s beautiful to see how it gets dark while the fire grows with the Ganges in the background. The river just flows continuously with strength and its width makes it look powerful and dangerous. No wonder why the culture pays so much attention to this river. When I look at it, I can only picture in my head old settlements and how the river was meaning the life for them, as Ganga Mother provides with most of the things they need. I felt the energy of the place, there is some force implicit in this current of water.
The rest of the stay in this city has been quiet and relaxing. I got the chance to practise some yoga, of course. It went quite well, although the end was too relaxing and relaxation time in the morning can only end in one way for me: falling sleep. I tried hard and did not. I ended up thinking about how cool it would be to get a yoga trainer teacher course (which is offered everywhere here) and get have to have a job or your own company and then introduce an hour of yoga every Monday for all employees. You know, to help with the Monday blues. And also because it helps a lot with the posture and to stretch the muscles. By the time my class finished I could feel myself one centimetre longer!
There has been some time to start practising hena on myself! For some reason.
Our visit to the Ashram where the Beatles stayed and composed most of his White Album was quite disappointing. Not much to mention there but a lovely walk in the forest. But the streets of our area were quite lively with some festival going on during the weekend and music could be heard at all times. It was mostly the same song all over again and again, where I could only discern the sound: Hare Krishna.
Anyways, after these relaxing two and a half days, we just took a shared rickshaw with another 10 more people and now we are ready to take a 17 hours train from Haridwar to Varanasi. Which means we also have to get to Haridwar somehow and with the so common Indian delays looks like we’ll end up in a 24 hours journey. I am buying food and water and making sure I have a good book to read. That’s all you can do!