Published: January 13th 2006December 30th 2005
I discovered a couple of reasons why the room was so cheap. One is that the main road is by no means the quietest thoroughfare in the world, at any time of the night. The proximity of the railway station doesn't help matters either. And the hot water system is another one to add to the collection - you can't run the hot and cold water at the same time (the hot water slows to a drip if you do), so you have to half-fill your bucket with hot water, then moderate the temperature with the cold. Naturally it took a visit to the front desk to have this explained.
I also found out, painfully, that my new contact lens cleaning solution doesn't work in quite the same way as the product I buy at home. Though you can clean, deproteinase, and soak a lens in the solution, you can't then put the lens straight into your eye - you need to rinse it in clean water first. I should perhaps have realised this by the way the stuff foamed up when I was cleaning the lenses, but I assumed it would function in the same way that I'm used to. Within seconds of inserting one of the lenses, my eye was streaming like crazy, so much so that I had difficulty getting the lens out, and it remained red and half-closed for the next hour or so. This is actually going to be annoying while travelling, as I normally like to take my lenses out if I'm going to have a nap on the bus/train - now, however, it will be a palaver putting them back in, as I'll have to find water from somewhere to rinse off the soaking solution.
Unfortunately whatever delights exist in Haridwar will forever remain hidden from me, as I had my first decent dose of Shiva's Squitters, with dinner in Rishikesh being the likely culprit. Things had clearly been brewing overnight, and mid-morning the floodgates opened. My stomach became a No Stopping zone. I stayed in bed for the rest of the day, with regular visits to the toilet and occasional bouts of slumber.
By evening, I was feeling very weak but had to leave my sick-bed to get some small sustenance for my impending overnight train journey. A competing need was that my toilet roll had been decimated and needed replenishing. I ended up getting some Fruit Tellas and a packet of Bourbon biscuits, clearly going for things I'd like the taste of rather than things that might assist my recovery, plus a super-long (though still only 2-ply) toilet roll.
By this point, my stomach was completely empty, so I wasn't too concerned about any catastrophes while travelling. However just standing at the station for 25 minutes nearly made me pass out, and I was glad to finally flop onto my berth and head off to the land of Nod.
No photos unfortunately.