Ganges & Ganga Aarti

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January 26th 2018
Published: July 6th 2018
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Rishikesh beachRishikesh beachRishikesh beach

How lush is that sky tho..

1st Dec

Ohhhh.. Its actually really sad to check out of this place, being ill, it was perfect to chill and regain my strength.. haha.. Bloody Delhi Belly!! URGHHHH!!

But today is the first day I've woke up feeling good 😊 Yess!!

I don't know how, but I've gained four bags.. All this stuff I've been buying and being in Sunny's car, means I'm not carrying anything, maybe I'm not packing properly either, coz i know its going straight in the boot of the car.. gona have to sort this out soon :o

Stocked up on mandarins (they're life btw) and set off to Rishikesh 😊 Should only take about 3 hours but coz the roads are so windy it takes longer.

We've arranged to meet Geraldine there, who Sunny has travelled with and I've actually met her in Pushkar.

Pulled up to Bonfire backpackers, again we've booked here for the parking.. But the only parking is for bloody scooters.. Hmmmm.. Heeeere weeee goooo againnnn.

Sunny got chatting to a guy, who was staying next door in.. Into The Unknown, who said there's parking inside, he'd pretend its his car, so we
Laxman JhulaLaxman JhulaLaxman Jhula

Get off me bridge..
can park in there.. Nice one mate!!

Parked up, Sunny checked the place out too and said matey is paying half the price for his dorm, so we may even consider moving in the next couple days.

Finally checked in to bonfire and we're in the same dorm as Geraldine, it's quite a small dorm, with no window.. Haha, bloody hell, I'm not gona be waking up that's for sure. Met Noel, he's from Ireland, he is sharing the dorm too.

Checked the hostel out, it's quite big, with communal area downstairs and a roof terrace to chill, which is great.

So, me and Sunny have accumulated soooo much washing its ridiculous, matey at reception said we can use the washing machine in the kitchen, we jus need to buy some soap powder.. Omgggg.. Yessss!!

Honestly the feeling you get when you get your washing done is something else.. Hahaha and perfect we can do it ourselves in an actual machine, saves us a bit of money too!!

Went upstairs to find this washing machine.. And there it was, a proper old school 80's machine, I jus assumed this is what they have here
Ganga Aarti CeremonyGanga Aarti CeremonyGanga Aarti Ceremony

The most incredible night
in India.. Then realised they don't when Sunny said.. What the fuck is this thing.. Hahahha.. It was a twin tub, but the top had broken off, so we could see whoever's clothes inside swirling around in dark murky water.. Sunny again said.. What the fuck is that in there.. Someone's clothes is being washed in sewage water.. Omg.. Me and him were crying with laughter, he said he isn't washing his clothes in that.. i said I doubt it's sewage water, probably all the shit that's come from someone's clothes, he was adamant it was sewage water.. Black and white clothes in together.. Fucked!! Both still crying at this washing machine.. Hahahaha. He's the funniest when he swears!!

So took our bags of washing back to our room.. Haha. He thinks its hilarious that I'm carrying my washing around in a pan masala storage bag.. haha.

Turns out the clothes in there is Geraldine's.. Sunny said to her.. Your clothes are fucked.. Hahahaha.. She rushed to check on them!!

We had drinks on the roof with everyone, playing jenga, but every time you pulled out a block, it had a truth question on it.. Hahaha, bloody hell!! Met Larisaa who was from Oz, really nice lady.. Fun night.

Here in Rishikesh, you basically can't get any alcohol, so, certain people go out and pay the police off, so what you can buy from people is limited, like two beers each, but the beer here is 8 bloody percent.. Gosh!!

2nd Dec

We headed out for a walk, Geraldine is a keen hiker, which is good, decided we'd check out some waterfalls but walk them.

Walking the road, with the view of the Ganges between the trees.

Stopped off for some sugarcane juice, never had it before. Matey pushing big bundles of sugarcane through this cranky machine, it was soooo loud.. Haha, then adding lemon and mint to it, it was actually quite delicious, but super sweet, not something I'd drink a lot of thoough to be honest.

Headed towards the steep hilly cliffs, this was the way to the waterfall, climbing up, really lush view.. Sweating.. Yeeaahh.. We came to the first waterfall pool.

There was a family swimming in there, Luke got right in.. Wish I wore something to swim in, would of been lush to
Kunjapuri Devi MandirKunjapuri Devi MandirKunjapuri Devi Mandir

One hour drive up the mountain for this epic view :)
have a little dunk right now.

Dried off then headed up further through the trees to another pool, so random, there were a couple plastic table and chairs in the shallow part of the water and some man cooking up omelettes.. Hahahaha.

We headed up further to the highest pool, lush, chilled up there, with a chai made by a man from his little chai stand.

Walked back down and decided to stop and have an omelette and drink in the lower pool, I was starving!! It was so random, sat there with my leggings rolled up, no shoes on, in the shallow bit of the waterfall eating an Omelette.. Haha, not something you'd do every day.. Haha.

Couldn't be bothered to go to the other waterfall today, jus wanted to get back and have some food really.

Walking back, we joked about hitchhiking, me and Luke put our hand out and a man actually stopped for us, so all jumped in his car.. Getton!!

About a ten minute walk from us, you come to some little windy streets, with shops and cafes. Checked out the Beatles cafe first, but wasn't really feeling it, so went into Tat cafe, which has incredible views of the Ganges, It really is a beautiful place. Ordered in food.. Delicious pea and mush curry, pumpkin curry.. Yuuuum!!

The owner is proper sound and he has the cutest dog everrrr, it's like a little teddy, so tiny, but will grow to be a proper beast, it's an Himalayan/Tibetan mastiff.

Got ready to head out for the Ganga Aarti ceremony.. Every evening at 6pm it's time for Ganga Aarti to be preformed, it's only in three holy cities, which are Haridwar, Varanasi and here in Rishikesh, so feel really lucky to be here and able to experience it. It's a very powerful and uplifting spiritual ritual that uses fire as an offering, in the form of a lit lamp and small diya with a candle and flowers that's floated down the river. The offering is made to the Goddess Ganga.

Wow what an incredible vibe here, loads of people standing on the tiered steps, even though there were crowds of people, it felt very calm. This is how I imagined India to be.

The ceremony started, the music was incredible, so mesmerising, it sent you off into a proper trance.

Probably one of my favourite evening so far India, I literally can't get the music out of my head. Walking out, getting blessed, lol.

Seen quite a few people begging here, which is sad 😞 guys doing the most incredible henna and doing it really fast and thin too. Really want some done, but we are a little bit far from where we're staying, so I'd have to walk around barefoot, which isn't ideal, so gona try and find somewhere closer.

3rd Dec

We checked out of bonfire today to Into the unknown, next door. The dorm is so much better, we have a four bed dorm, which is bigger, a window and we have balcony too.

Headed out to Shambala cafe, which is jus down from Tat cafe.. Wow it's so lush in here, all low tables with cushions, super chilled and full view of the Ganges from anywhere you sit. You can see people white water rafting, seems to be a thing to do here.

Had the set breakfast, you get loads, omelette, hash brown potatoes, fruit, juice and coffee. Yuuuuuum!!

The shops around here are basically same same but different, we pass one with the cutest girl who says hiiii to us and waving.. lurring us in, I ended up buying some nose rings from her Mum, they're all very sweet. Bought really cool hand drawn picture from a small shop of Lord Shiva and Wife Parvati.

Walked down to the Ganges, it has these white sand banks everywhere, chilled down there for a while, having a little paddle in the water and chucking it up over myself.. Suppose to be lucky for you.. We'll see aye 😊

Got back and done my washing and hung it out on the balcony to dry. Sunny still needs to do his.. Hahaha.

It was Noel's last Night, so went to tat cafe for food.. Bonfire crew.. Haha.

Matey who owns it was telling us about a specific monkey who comes in once a week on the same day, he used to go into the kitchen and steel food and if anyone tries to stop him, he'd slap them in the face. So now, when he comes in, he stands there and they give him bread and banana, then he goes away.. Hahaha.. Oh my gosh, how scary, but funny at the same time. Monkey's are ruthless!!

We'd been given some charas, so after my food, I ordered some garlic cheese nann and sprinkled it on there. We got back to the hostel and got absolutely wrecked.. Sunny was the funniest.. Geraldine said.. Sunny are you alright, Coz you don't look alright.. He said.. I am fine Geraldine, I am floating.. Hahahaha, honestly we were in stitches, we spent the night laughing at each other, it was hilarious.. What noooow! Hahaha.. Then sunny wanted pizza, so rang a delivery place, bare in mind it was about midnight.. He asked for pizza and they asked where the location was.. He said 'Into the wild' which sent us into stitches again, Coz we were staying in 'Into the unknown'

We couldn't stop laughing, so he said he'd call back, sorted himself out, rang back and said can he order pizza, they then said.. Sorry kitchen closed.. Hahaha, literally the funniest moment!! Fuck sake, think its time for bed.. hahaha!!

4th Dec

Larissa had henna done by one of the daughters in the shop down from Shambala cafe, the shop with the
Neer Garh WaterfallNeer Garh WaterfallNeer Garh Waterfall

Little dip in the first pool..
cute girl, so i decided to get it done. The Mum is very sweet, she rang her daughter and she said she could come down in 10 minutes, so me and Luke sat with the Mum on the floor of her shop eating monkey nuts.

She turned up, must be about 20, i said i didn't have anything in mind, so do what she wanted, she got a design up on her phone and started to draw. Ok so you can tell she wasn't very experienced, but it turned out fine.

Went and chilled in Shambala all day, love this place 😊 Some matey who is staying in our hostel came in and sat with us.. Banging on about how he's helping them do up the hostel, he basically staying there for free along with a couple other and doing some art work.. He's slow as fuck, totally taking the piss out of the place if you ask me :/

Sunny finally started on his washing.. But the bey obviously has never hand washed anything in his life.. Me and Geraldine explained he needed to put the soap powder in the hot water bucket, put the clothes in one by one and give it a good hand scrub.. So he put his jeans in.. Then saying 'Fuck this shit' hahahaha.. Pulling them out, dripping wet and went to hang them out!! We were like.. What you doing, you need to squeeze them out thoroughly, else they wont dry and will smell of damp. He then asked if he could dry them with my hairdryer.. hahahaha.. Noooo Way!! So Geraldine helped him squeeze all the water out and hung them on the balcony. He laughed and said 'fuck this shit' hahahaha.. Omgggg, crying!! I think he's gona find someone to do it for him.

I literally jus look at him and laugh my head off, then he says.. 'What now' and we're in fit of giggles.. hahahaha!!

Sorted out some beers with the hostel, 2 each.. Getton!! But the 8% kingfishers, at least if its only two beers its strong ones.

Sat up on the roof, it was soooo cold up there, so we took our blankets up, Geraldine looking like some homeless women, we've picked up.. haha.

We met a Raul, he was from Delhi, who was visiting friends here in Rishikesh, they're in the army, i won a bet with him, a beer.. hahaha. One extra for me 😊

Raul went off to get food and asked if we wanted anything, but none of us did, until we got back into the room.. Corrrr we really want pizza.. hahaha.. Here we go again!! So messaged him, he said he could only bring back dal fry and rice, because it was to late now.. Ok that will do i said.

We were a little bit tipsy in the room and he came back, the dal was in a plastic bag, i opened it and it somehow flipped out of the bag.. All over me and all over the floor, it looked like i had shit all over the floor.. Fuck sake.. hahahaha.. Not what you wana be cleaning up at this time.. hahaha!!

5th Dec

Took a big walk around Rishikesh today, going over the other bridge, Luke having a idea of jumping off the bridge to swim, but nahhhh, it was quite high and fuck that!! Got stopped by some guy, who was basically tryna get us to join up to some meditation thing, non of us wanted to, he had us all in the street, with our eyes closed, saying Nee-Taaaa, over and over again, it was actually quite funny, then wanted to film us giving a review on how we felt after saying it, but non of us felt anything, so he said, can you jus say something.. Luke was like 'nahhhh..I'm not gona lie mate'.. hahaha.. Snappy!!

Bought a really nice blanket, cream, blue, spotty 😊 The shopping you could do here, they have everything, all fake north face jackets, so cheap, but i'd be buying it and carrying it in my backpack, i really cant buy anything else, i have waaaay to much already!!

Chilled in a cafe, by the steps, but had to shut the window, coz the monkeys were running all up beside it, thought they might come in and steal our stuff.

So the girl who did my henna is basically training at college with hair and beauty, so me and Geraldine thought we'd treat ourselves and get our nails done by her. There are so many places to get massage and nails done, but the family are so sweet, we thought we'd let her do
Crew :) Crew :) Crew :)

Neer Garh Waterfall.. Top pool
it, so went to meet her at her Mums shop at 5pm.

The shop was closed, so waited outside. She came and said we had to go to her house, which is about 20 minute walk from here, so she led the way.. Passing back where we're staying, up a small hill from the main street, to a small road, which led to her house. Little bricked houses along a dusty, muddy road, cows, chickens and kids running about, it was getting dark, people starring at us as we were walking along.. haha.

Her Mum isn't well, so her Dad has driven her by scooter to the hospital, which is about an hour away, bless. We walked through the door and was greeted by two of her Sisters and the younger one who always says hiiiiii and waves, shes very sweet, looks like butter wouldn't melt.. haha.

The house was cute, there was a bed in the living room, where their Dad sleeps, the walls were stone, but painted different colours and a set of stairs, we said is there an upstairs but it was stairs to go onto the roof.

One sister was in the
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Second pool, omelette stop
kitchen cooking dinner and the others were in the bedroom, where we were told go go and sit on some small stools, she then put our hands/arms in a bucket of water for about 20 minutes, this will help soften the cuticles.. I pulled my hands/arms out of the bucket and they were yellow.. WTF, I looked at Geraldine and we laughed.. like wtf is wrong with my arms, why they yellow, it was turmeric, good for the skin apparently.. haha!

The young girl, who we thought was sweet, well she was a right little Missy.. Proper sassy, singing, prancing around, proper grilling Geraldine, funny to see a different sign to her.

She filed my nails, but not thorough, you know, then chose a colour to have, there wasn't many colours to choose from, literally like 4, so i chose the black, we both weren't overly happy with the result as she wasn't great with getting Geraldine's cuticles off. Geraldine had to do it herself, but giving her advice, for next time.

But it was a really lovely experience coming to their house and seeing their normal family life.. We paid her 300 rupees.

Her Mum and Dad came back, her Mum is so lovely, such a lovely little family. I'd love to get her address and send her some hairdressing stuff and nail varnish, think that would be really sweet.

We were there for about 3 hours, headed back out, it was dark, sort of wouldn't like to be in around here on my own.. haha. We were starving, so stopped of to grab food quickly. Got back to the hostel and everyone was wondering where we had got to.. haha.

Luke and Sunny had got the beers in.. Getton!! Then we went next door to bonfire to see if they had any for sale.. haha, so ended up with 5 each 😊

Sat around the fire down stairs, nice vibe, loads of us there, music on, Matty playing the drum 😊

6th Dec

Well.. Well.. Well.. I've woke with the worst hangover I've ever had in my life.. Urghhhhhh!!!! Everyone got scooters and went to the Beatles Ashram today. I literally couldn't move out of bed, so stayed put!! Gutted!!

They came back and said how cool the place was, with loads of artwork everywhere.. Ohhhh 😞 😞 Bloody Kingfisher!!!!

7th Dec

It was the evening and we decided to go out for some food, to the hole in the wall, gathered everyone, Luke was upstairs, so went to ask him if he wanted to come, he didn't, but said.. 'Omgggg, did you feel that, it felt like bed and wall had moved' i looked and him and laughed.. 'i really don't know what you're on a bout mate' and left.. Geraldine came down and he had said the same to her.. We laughed and was like 'wtf he on about'.. hahaha, then walked up the hill, to loads of locals all stood out on the path, wrapped up in coats and blankets.. One man coming towards me.. 'Mam Mam.. Ok.. Ok' waving his arms.. 'Yeh im fine' but feeling confused why everyone is stood here.. 'Earthquake Earthquake' he said.. Ohhhh fuck really, so that's what Luke had felt.

We spoke to the guy for a bit, then he went on to say.. Mam.. Selfie with my wife.. hahahaha.. So they're all out here coz of this earthquake and he's there asking me to have a selfie with his wife.. So comical.. Selfie is life!!

Literally didn't hear or feel a thing.. Had food and got back to Luke to tell him about it.. How mental!! Never experienced an earthquake before, this was about 20.30 and was 5.5 Magnitude.

8th Dec

We may be leaving tomorrow, so headed out down to the Ganges for a swim.. Gotta have a swim in it before we leave right!!

Walking down the steep roads, through the lanes, then you come out to some river banks, the sand is so fine and white, went to find a nice spot to chill.

The water is proper pearly blue/green.. Its lush 😊 Got out of our clothes and got straight in.. Fuuuuck Meeee it was freeeezzzzing!! But once you're in its not so bad, quite refreshing. Chucking it up all over us.. Getting blessed.. hahhaha. Sunny wouldn't get in, said it was to cold.. hahahaha!!

The sun was shining, the clouds were insane, like cotton wool balls all in the sky, looked amazing!! Me and Geraldine trying to capture an air jump with my gopro 😊

The Brazil guy from bonfire turned up, with a girl, they were sipping whiskey and then swam.

Chilled here for a good couple hours then headed back, passing a load of stray dogs, so bought some biscuits from this little stand and fed them 😊

In the eve, the girl who was with the Brazil guy started hanging out with Sunny and a couple others from our hostel, i think Sunny fancies her.. haha..

9th Dec

We haven't left today, so decided to rent some scooters and head up the mountains. There was about ten of us going.. Driving up the hill of the hostel, passing the Brazilian, who was painting the bonfire sign outside the hostel. Ronja was on the back of Sunny's scoot.. hahaha.. Bet he thought wtf is she doing on there with him, was really funny!!

Well ten ended up being four of us, dunno how but everyone disappeared, me Luke sunny and Ronja stopped to fuel up, no one else did, the German guy Jonathan, well, he was hilarious on his scoot, he's never driven one before, so i reckon when we turned left he got scared and carried straight on, so me and luke drove down to try and find him, but
Ganga Aarti Ceremony Ganga Aarti Ceremony Ganga Aarti Ceremony

The most incredible night
no luck, the others didn't even have any fuel, so dunno where they've got to.. hahaha.

Enough hanging about, us four headed off to the mountain.. Driving through very rural parts, winding around and around the mountain, it became freezing. About an hours drive and we came to the top. Parked up and walked up the steps to the very top of the mountain to Kunjapuri Devi Temple.. Woooow the views up here were insane, full 360 view of the Himalayas, it was a beaut.

Bloody monkeys up there running around though. We headed back down the steps, sat and had a snack, there were a couple dogs there, play fighting with each other and keeping the bloody monkeys away!!

10th Dec

We haven't left again.. haha, i swear Sunny fancies Ronja and the other girl, so he keeps wanting to stay longer.. haha. Me and Geraldine keep joking about it to him, but he says he doesn't.

Time is pushing on now for us to get down south. The plan was, coz we're meeting Alice and Troy for Christmas, we were gona head back down with Sunny in the car, back through to
Ganga Aarti Ceremony Ganga Aarti Ceremony Ganga Aarti Ceremony

The most incredible night
Delhi, Pushkar, then Mumbai, then from there take the train or bus down to Goa. So if we don't leave with him tomorrow, we'll have to sort out some other way, would really like a weeks sun before meeting Al and Troy first too 😊 So thinking of going back to Om beach for a few days.

Chilled in Shambala for the day, some guy from Oz sat with us, he started playing a drum, at first he was quite sound, telling us about the didgeridoo's he makes, but after a while got really patronising and really full of himself, then was burping and farting so loud, it was quite embarrassing :/ Matty from our hostel came in and i waved him to come over, saying to matey he plays the drum too, he was so patronising towards Matty, i bet he wished i never called him over.. haha. I jus cant believe how this man was acting and talking, kind of wish he would jus leave, but he stayed there for ages!!

Found out that Omar S and Marcellus Pitman (literally two of my fav djs) were only playing for boiler room in Delhi last night.. Omgggg,
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The most incredible night
missed out on that one didn't we!!

Additional photos below
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Ganga Aarti Ceremony Ganga Aarti Ceremony
Ganga Aarti Ceremony

The most incredible night
Ganga Aarti CeremonyGanga Aarti Ceremony
Ganga Aarti Ceremony

The most incredible night
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The most incredible night

Shambala Cafe
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Gange views

Shambala cafe
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Laxman Jhula

Little fucks!!
Tat CafeTat Cafe
Tat Cafe

Bonfire crew :)

7th July 2018

Glad you are feeling better
Being sick on the road is never good. Love the ceremonies.

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