New Dehli to Rishikesh


My last day in Arangabad was mostly spent staring into open space, to the out side observer; but on the in side I was seeing the world in a new way, again due to heat exhaustion.  The world seemed to have clipping problems and a low-ish FPS (frames per second) of about 25; no one thing was the centre of my attention and everything was perfectly clear.  I have read some of Audus Huxleys Doors of Perception (I didn’t get a chance to finish before hols) and it sounds almost exactly the same a peyote cactus or to everyone else mescaline, an hallucinogenic drug… very strange, but luckily that did not last long.


  The 24 hour train was actually very good this time; there where no people sleeping on the floors; there where no people, trying to steal my bed; you only found the cold stares associated with any public transport, an oh yes cockroaches EVERYWHERE.  These where smart ones though, as they ran away if you tapped nearby; a cockroach exterminator guy went round, spraying no doubt, highly toxic stuff, while everyone sat happily breathing it in.



  Mike and Lorane sat with a really nice family, who where playing English word games most of the night.  We played Emperor again, and the family very kindly offered me a seat at the foot of their daughters bed. 


  The night was only a little scary because of the cockroaches, but I only saw one and tapped him away, that of course does not mean I have not eaten dozens of them in my sleep, as they looked for a warm place.  The only real incident on the train was a seller, who after being refused custom, muttered something about white people; I can only assume it was a racial slur, and every native seemed to think it was hilarious.


 The traffic in New Dehli is even more crazy than Mumbai, but the PR levels here are pretty low and you only get hassled every other minute as opposed to every minute, in the busy areas.  It is very dirty, but that is probably just the area we are staying in.  I have very little to say about the place, other than I liked Mumbai better.  We got on another train after staying their a night, and we are now in Rishikesh.


  Rishikesh (Luxman Jula) is stunning.  When we first got here, one of the first things we had to do was cross the Ganger River (Gangies) on a foot bridge, and silhouetted in the background of the night, where dozens of overlapping mountains, and a perfectly clear view of the stars.  In the light, all you can see is mountains, covered in lush forest.  Where we are staying, we have a very nice view of the Gangies and some rapids, which are regularly challenged by braver tourists (soon to be us).  There are dozens of monkeys here, but I almost don’t feel the need to say that, as it is so normal now.



  One of the first things we did when we got here, was to go for a wonder into the hills, to find a waterfall; we wondered a few KM along the roads, only to find half of one blocked by landslide! We worked our way around that, only to find an entire stretch of road covered in landslide, at which point we decided to head back, not because of falling rocks, but because of fast moving, collision course traffic; one of those fast movers picked us up, and dropped us back in town; the driver was probably 13 and very aggressive.


  We checked out an ashram, as was the plan, but the only one worth staying in was packed out with only one room for two available, and excess living in a hotel across the “road”, so we declined as we would not have the full experience.  The guys made me go to a flute lesson, which was painful as I am talent-less; I had to go for a traditional front-blow type flute, as I could not get the technique right for the side blowing ones; the guy put me outside because I sucked and was disrupting the other guys (I am guessing) but then I actually got the hang of it! Woot! The others bought theirs, but I didn’t see the point.   Mike had sitar lessons and is now a master, well he sounds good at least; hopefully we will upload a video soon.



  We did a Gangies river beach day, which was unique; Gangies sand is very hard and almsot does not want to move, anyway I got to dip my feet.




  We are doing yoga classes; the instructor guy is really cool, but teaches some very unsafe techniques i.e. exercises that hyperextend the neck, knees and back.  My self and Tom know not to do these, but I feel for the rest of the class.  I have not gone back for a lesson since writing the above as I do not feel it is safe instruction, plus he sells religion.


  We went white water rafting along the Gangies today! It was awesome.   There was about five rapids, each which their own names like the Rolla coaster etc.  I was so scared, but mainly of the journey there at 60km along sheer cliff faces, in the back of a jeep, with a boat over my head.  When we finally get into the water, we paddle about a bit to get the hang of it, then are immediately in a rapid! The guys actually said a prayer before it all kicked off (the guys being the instructors).  My self and Mike where sitting at the front, and every time we hit a rapid, I could ever see no water to push against beneath me or a wall of water wanting to take me.  We all got a chance to have a swim in the Gangies, half way through the trip and it was very cold.  I absolutely loved it and will be doing it again.  We are on the look out for a golf course now.  Oh yeah I grabbed a cow by the horn when he came at me (instinct), it got interesting.


  Tomorrow we are heading out again.  The time we have spent here has been great and it has allowed me the chance to get better J




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