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Published: October 17th 2017
Nerdy PA sitting next to cool dude
After a great nights sleep we wake up feeling refreshed and ready for our next adventure. Breakfast is a huge buffet of all kinds of food but as we are in India we stick to the Indian food. Essentially I eat a full blown Indian dinner for breakfast with three types of curry and fried chapatis. All very tasty and the fatty within loves it, much better than eggs and bacon.
We are flying to Dehradun today and decide we will take the metro instead of a cab as we have been told that the traffic will be bad and it could take over 2 hours to get there. So we start our mini adventure with a short moto rickshaw ride to the metro from the hotel, we get into one and he crosses two lanes of traffic to take us over the road, only to tell us to get out and get into another. We have asked him the price and we believe he says 15 rupees which is nothing but its not far so it could be the price. We then proceed to do exactly the same as the first rickshaw and we cross back over
Cows cows everywhere, not a drop of milk to drink
the two lanes of traffic and we are right back where we started. I am thinking ok were we outside of the metro the whole time? This might be some sort of comedy routine but no we are taken to the metro station and the driver uses all lanes not caring if he is going in the right direction with the traffic or not. As we get out Shenton gives him 20 rupees but he says no its 50. We say that his friend told us it was 15 and think he is trying to rip us off, for what though, a whole 20 pence! Then we realise that perhaps we were told 50, as the accent is very thick, A bit like the 2 of us trying to navigate our way around.
The metro station is large clean and new looking, very impressive and it only costs 50 rupees for us to get to the airport. The metro is fast and nothing like the crammed underground in London, with grey sallow faces staring straight ahead. Maybe its the time of day but I am really impressed and we will definitely be taking the metro back to
Bridge over the Ganges
the hotel when we fly back to Delhi. The metro only goes to terminal 3 so we have to take a shuttle bus over to terminal 1 for domestic flights, this time its hot, smelly and uncomfortable but its only a short ride before we arrive at the airport.
Security is key again and we are checked on entry to the airport, then again within the airport. Security lines are split between men and women (i can see a recurring theme here) and Shenton is through really quickly but for some reason the women's queue is taking ages. The women are going behind a curtain and I don’t know what is happening inside but it is taking a while for each one. Eventually its my turn and I realise its a very long security search with a very long wand. The woman also uses her body to rub up against me as she is using her long wand, I am not sure if thats part of the service or she just likes doing this, whatever keeps you happy at work I suppose!
The airport is full of western shops and restaurants including a KFC,
Costa Coffee and a Joost bar! You could almost not be in India apart from the music playing in the background. We board the flight and its such a short flight that before we know it we are landing again. The pollution has been replaced by rolling mountains of green and you can feel the difference in the air as soon as we step off the flight.
Thanks to Amit our driver is waiting for us with a sign this time it has Amit’s name written on it and he seems slightly confused when we come over to him but he takes us anyway. The road loops and snakes around the mountains up and down with various recent looking landslides visible along the way. It doesn’t seem to bother our driver who has the power of his horn which he uses like an invisibility cloak, he overtakes the biggest trucks on blind bends not caring what is approaching as he has his trusty horn blowing. Along the way we see alot of wildlife, lots of different types of monkeys, some of which look like the barbary apes of Gibraltar and others that have black faces and white
fur. There are numerous cows wandering aimlessly about, they are the only thing that slows our driver down, when he comes across them, which can be with them laying right in the road, he allows them to cross in front of us when needed. Very content looking cows. We also see one stray little piglet running away from a roadside restaurant and I think that the special for today may no longer involve pork. Run piggy run.
We pass through Rishikesh which is not what i expected, i knew it was a yoga haven but it seems every other building is either a retreat or yoga centre, maybe one too many yogis…..we are staying 26km outside of here and we keep bimbling along as the Ganges flows below the road and sparkles a lovely blue green. Such a contrast to Delhi and the mayhem there.
We arrive at Atalia Ganga and feel that this is going to be an amazing experience. The hotel is a series of cottages scaling up the mountainside and surrounded by nature and wildlife. We are overlooking the Ganges and our room is serene and peaceful where we can lay on the bed and
look out over the mountain view. We are welcomed with a green drink of mint and spicy herb water. The advice of don’t drink any drinks that you haven’t poured yourself rings in my ears but it smells good and Shenton has already downed his, so what the hell, whats the worse that can happen! We are asked to choose our activities apparently we can do two activities a day, good job we both did so much planning before we came here and researched the hotel, as neither of us realised this was included:-) Today we are going straight out on the Kayaks after a quick lunch which ends up being a huge feast, I really think the fat girl is going to get out of me soon enough with the amount I am eating…..
We are taken off by bus, a short trip and walk down through the trees to the “beach “ on the side of the Ganges. The sand is soft and off white and the Ganges looks incredibly beautiful swirling and ebbing down from the mountains, we walk over and put our feet in, Shenton says its refreshing, hmm you say refreshing I say bloody
freezing! We are taken on the kayaks and paddle upstream for a while before the river takes us floating back down again we are in a valley and its wonderfully peaceful and the air is so amazingly clear and fresh, you can see why this is such a spiritual place, with this majestic river flowing through. I hear Shenton’s guide ask him if he wants to jump in and then I hear the splash as he jumps in. I am asked the same thing but I prefer to stay warm as we have no towels with us. Back on the beach they have hot tea and coffee waiting for us.
Back to the hotel and its almost time for dinner but not before canapés by the open fire pit first the canapés are enough to feed us after lunch but it doesn’t stop us eating a huge dinner.
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