India at Last

Date: 15/06/2007 | Author: Ella

We arrived in Delhi at 9.30 at night - it was 44 degrees. We stayed at the Master Paying Guest House. I really really wanted a cold shower but the water tank was on the roof in direct sunlight so I had no chance of cooling down. Luckily, we had an air conditioned room but it broke in the middle of the night so we had to boil in our sleep.
We woke up quite early and went to the train station. It was really busy and at one point a man told Dad that he needed to do something about our tickets. It didn't take us long to realise that the man who had taken dad away was trying to make us miss our train. When Dad finally came back we had to sprint to our platform.
We all felt a bit happier as we climbed in to our air conditioned train. Florence and I (as usual) drew and read.
When we got to Haridwar we felt cooler than when we were in Delhi because it is further north. We waited a while for the car that was supposed to pick us up. We were still waiting after an hour. Florence and I were getting bored and hot so Mum eventually found another car to drive us. A man said the car was big and had AC but when it arrived it was smaller than we expected and had no air conditioning! We were disappointed but accepted it because we needed to leave.
Mum didn't always trust the driver so she kept saying 'Rishikesh, are you sure this is the right way?' but the man didn't speak English very well so he didn't reply.
At one point I fell asleep and was woken by Mum saying 'He's taken us the wrong way - wake up'. When I woke up properly we lugged our bags out of the car and pulled them across to where we wanted to go. We crossed a pedestrian bridge and took another short taxi drive up to our hotel. Our hotel was called Peasants Cottage.
Our arrival in India (as you have probably guessed) was not a very welcoming one but it was good after coming to Rishikesh.
We took a rickshaw (an Indian version of a tuk tuk) to town. When we got there we saw loads of cows, they were just running around loose. Cows are worshipped here though so people don't get irritated if one walks through your picnic! After exploring Rishikesh we went to walk by the river Ganges. The Ganges is a holy river running through India, it comes from the Himalayas so is really cold. Some ladies offered us some little baskets with flowers and incense sticks for us to make a puja (offering or prayer). We lit them and set them off down the rapids in the Ganges. At one point I was exploring the steps leading down to the Ganges (ghats) and slipped and fell in the river. Obviously I didn't stay in long because it was freezing!
Lots of people come to Rishikesh to do yoga and we did it as well. Rishikesh is a busy, crazy town in a funny way. After Rishikesh we headed to Manali. It was a 2 day drive so we stopped in a town called Shimla, in a guest house called Little Inn. Little Inn was horrible.
Wow, what a mad way to arrive in India!

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