The Road to Rishikesh, India: 02/10/2011
I swear I have so many stories for the short time I spent in India. This is just another session of sessions to add to my session of India travel sessions which are being foretold now before I forget, and or die of young age.
We just flew back into New Delhi from spending about a week in Northern Goa. This city as, like any other city on the planet, is population packed and filthy dirty. But all in all, it was what it was and that gave us the drive to try to exit this man-made-mess as quickly as possible. Chris was plotting the course and I was piloting the ship. We made some arrangement to catch the night bus into Rishikesh to visit one of India’s most popular city destination for those who are on Yoga journeys.
If you are a yuppie Yogi and got the cash to get away, you’re in luck for this is the Mecca to get your yoga on. Month-long extensive training camps behind high walls along the river banks will bring one with one with oneself. Plenty of advertisement on the internet for those not so secluded locations and villas. But for those who are not going there for yoga may want to follow the footpaths of a more entertaining approach. I did a bit of homework before I left and made it a point to update my iPhone & nano playlist with nothing but The Beatles tunes.
The good ol classic The Beatles! Their more famed “WHITE Album” -(youtube)- got its inspiration for when The Beatles took up to 4-6 months retreat and “meditated” in Rishikesh, India. So, with that in mind, I was well prepared for my walkabout with The Beatles gently weeping into my ears. Following down the possible path with which they walked to reach inspiration or an end.
Both are fair!
Before all that! We had 13 hours to kill! Shit! We already saw the high lights our first round in New Dehli plus we were pilled to the max. We didn’t want to stray too far from where our internal GPS had kept us. With a half clear level headed agreement between the two of us, we rented ourselves a 3-wheel tuk-tuk (aka rickshaw) driver to host us around the local area of town for an hour or so. Kill some time, see the signs. Be a good tourist which we did manage to get one good photo in.
We did get dropped off, and retrieved, with a quick visit at Hanuman Statue (story to come).
Like being in America or any other major developing city, we encountered peasants, street people, beggars, at each stop. An epidemic which we so kindly obliged, being a good white tourist, with 50 to 100 times with what any good local would donate.
“Damn it 50! Go on with your G-unit bad self !!!” “Dis nidda 50 CENT insisting on more..! THE BALLS! Thanks, 50! I know you filled for bank bankruptcy… But damn!!
Fucken P.I.M.P.! Take my money!“
With the money that I tip beforehand, the driver was very kind enough to drop us off where he found us on that little street corner in which we were to spend the remain 8 hours claiming.!
“MY CORNER BLOCK 50!
MINE BITCH! I SALE THESE ROCKS ALL DAY…
ON THIS BLOCK! MINE!”
I don’t think we moved off the stone corner sidewalk for the duration. Glued to the point of becoming one with the surround. What we witnessed was a sight that I will never forget. Makes me proud to be able to escape ‘this shit’ when I can. There is a love and hate being a tourist, a backpacker and traveling the world.
Love seeing the sights, hate seeing the people.
(the fight which broke out just shortly after this photo between the “taxi drivers” left us camera shy.)
Time for the bus. Our ticket agent gathered us up off the concert sidewalk and guided us to the stop down the street where it seems we made it just in time… For the giant white bus was already in motion and we had to scramble to jump through the open door only to discover there was not a single passenger aboard.
No surprise! We claimed our seats with delicate care with algebraic calculations. At that time we took another round of pills to secure we would have a good solid sleep while traveling. We didn’t want to be bothered with the rocking and shaking movements as the bus rocketed down the dirt road. Like cadets at boarding school, we swallowed with pride, snuggled into our sleeping bags, and stretched out across 3 comfortable seat adjacent to each other somewhere in the middle of the bus. We passed out with smiles on our faces and music in our ears for the complete dream-like experience. Preparing for an awaking in the morning.
( buses normally like this. normally…. just one wiper… our bus to the right)
!! My body gets slammed into the back of the chairs in front of me. I abruptly awoke from my pill-induced meditation! I have no idea if my eyes are open or closed. It’s pitch black. No lights anywhere. The front of the bus looks like the back of the bus.
I speak out to Chris. “Bro.!? Are you alright?”
It seems he was in the same condition as I, picking himself up off the floor. I could tell by the direction his voice was coming from. Tight little places. On the floor between the seats of a bus.
He replies! “Yeah, Bro. I’m Good!”
By that time we could hear the buses transmission slam into reverse and can feel its engagement on the axles, the push of the frame. We have motion ladies & gentlemen! The bus is back in business. The bus is in motions. All is good for us and the bus!
We both decided to climb back into the seat and return to our deep deep deep sleep. We obviously were not at our destination yet.!!
(Praise all the Buddas)
We finally awoke when we heard the driver’s voice BOOMING what only seem moments later.
” Wake up! You’re Here! Let’s GO!”
Like good little lads, we gathered our toys up off the floor, put away our belongings, and headed out the door to discover the blessed day. A bit bewildered about the event during the sleep….. Only moments later to discover the reason for our disturbance…
I really loved how professional our driver was. I turned back to him, reached into my pocket and pulled out a fist full of rupees.
Tipped his ass..!!
Give him thanks for getting us to our destination on time. Like a champ!!! At the wheel in the middle of the night, asleep or not.
We had our morning session of breakfast pills a bit of water followed by black market booze, accompanied by a bit of local grown Hindu Kush, and soaked up the Rishikesh sunlight. We were in India. Jessssss! What a deal in life.
So we got word of mouth from a female “tour guide” whom latched onto me instantly. Females and their misconstrued love for hot tattooed American boys.
She mentions that it was a ” bit of tradition for the shamans, and others that follow to perform penance* on the river banks of the Ganga river and not in it… Thrice daily.!“
More historical information about Rishikesh can be found Indian mirror.
There was a slight debate about this….. after the fact about the preference of penance. Hanging out in the cold ass Himalayan Mountain water was as close as I wanted to penance that day!
If ones ever make ready for travel to India and are in need of an epic adventure!…
Look me up!
It’s my job to be your buddy guide!
Without beers, unless you want that black market stuff!
I’ve got mad connections in Rishikesh!
*voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong.
I wish I took photos of the bruises that formed later in the trip.! Talking about penance.