India with Judson 2017 travel blog

Arti, or puja, on the ghat

Crossing the Ganges by boat


Gateway to one ghat

Sivananda emporium


Thanks to Jud and his media savvy with Google maps updating every 30 seconds, we saved an hour and a half driving the 200 kilometres from our LeRoi Hotel at Jim Corbett Park to Rishikesh. After 5 1/2 hours we arrived at our Hill Top Swiss Hotel in the mountains just a few km past the townsite. Tractors hauling sugar cane go about 5 km/hour, and cows about -1km/hour, so this is good timing people! Getting stuck behind them over and over again can be time consuming.

We are perched on the side of the mountain as the name suggests, and there seem to be lots of tourists, both Indian and white. Crazy, narrow, uphill, curved lane squeezed between a 20 foot brick wall on one side and an open drain on the other. Hoping no vehicles are coming the opposite direction. Turns out there are about five Swiss hotels squished together, and ours is at the very top. We need help with the luggage, as the car can't make it up the last 100 meters

We zipped back into town by 3 pm to explore the shrines and markets. We took a boat across the Ganges rather than walk the pedestrian bridge to reach the hub of activity. 10 rupees each (20 cents), catching the last one back across to our car, at 5:30, as the sun was setting.

We picked up a few small gifts, walked the ghats along the rivers edge, and poked around some ashrams and temples. Lots of cows, bulls, dogs, and swamis along the narrow passages.

Once again we invited our driver to eat with us, and he was less reluctant to order some real food, this time. Around India you sometimes run into German Bakeries. There was one in Kovalum Beach, remember the one at the Jaiselmere Fort in the desert Sharon?, and one here where we bought both peanut and some coconut cookies. After a month of no comfort food, they taste mighty delicious.

We will try to visit the Sivananda Ashram tomorrow, not far from where we are staying, on our way Haridwar, and ultimately Delhi.

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