Machel & Renee, my Trinidad friends I'd be saying good-bye to sharing chai at the Ganga
Machel & Renee, my Trinidad friends I’d be saying good-bye to sharing chai at the Ganga
We drove back to Rishikesh today which took at least seven hours even though we left at 6am.  We hit traffic, had lunch and also stopped a bit back at the auspicious juncture at the Ganga.  Our driver was waiting for us just as planned and got us back to the ashram safe and sound.  We split the cost of hiring him which was 4,0000 rupees each — just $61 for a 14-hour road trip AND four nights waiting for us.  The dollar sure does go a LONG way!

After an afternoon nap I didn’t even know my body needed, the four of us ventured out together one last time to take a walk to Lakshman Jhula, the other suspension bridge about 30 minutes away and in an area of Rishikesh best known for shopping.  It is populated with an array of shops for clothing, jewelry, singing bowls, scarves, deities, mala beads, books, music, ayurveda massage, plus lots of cafes overlooking the Ganga, tons of places to take yoga class and much more.  There is no lack of tourists ever in this part of town.

The Trinidad couple got their shopping on as they were heading home in a couple days, while I just peeked around at what would become my nearby stomping ground for the following week.  We enjoyed a yummy dinner together at the German Bakery, one of many places in the area with Wifi that served an array of Western food.  That was something I would come to appreciate fairly quickly since Indian food was ending up thankfully not nearly as spicy as I’d been afraid it would be — but also not what I’d feel like eating morning, noon and night. Coming from the States, I have been accustomed to choice being a welcome and expected thing.

Tashi and I enjoyed one last night together chatting before I quickly fell into deep sleep.  Machel had hired a tabla player to do one last recording session that evening before taking off but I just didn’t have the energy in me to listen after all our travels. Dreamland beckoned more as my travel posee had plans to leave for Delhi by 6am the next day and I wanted to wake up and see them off.

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