India solo

Back in Delhi - Monday, November 19, 2001

I got back from Rishikesh last evening after spending 7 hours in a very confined space on a local bus. However it wasn't too bad since I had a travel companion for a change, Eric a really funny Canadian guy, was also heading to Delhi, so we arranged to go together. We passed most of the time listening to mp3's. We also made a futile attempt to play Abalone, but after one bump in the road, all the balls got all jumbled up, so we dropped that idea :)

We got into Delhi about 6 pm. We then spent some minutes inhaling exhaust from the hundreds of buses passing by while we tried to find a rickshaw that didn't try to rip us off.

In the end I think we just took one that ripped us off anyway, but really when you look at it its not that much money afterall. Eric was going to Pahar Ganj, so I shared the rickshaw with him till there. From there I walked up to Connought Place where I found another rickshaw who actually knew where South Extension, the place I live in at the moment, was. It is pretty far from the centre, so not everyone knows where it is. Even if they say they know they don't. I have had quite a few trips where we have been going in circles for 20 minutes with the driver asking about 31 different people where South Extention is.

Rishikesh was a really great place, although full of Israelis (if I hadn't known better I could just as well have been in Israel. (ah...I just got some birthday cake...mmmm..Im in Sonal's office and one of the women here has her birthday today and they made a surprise party - nice :)

Well, about the Israelis. The first night in Rishikesh I think i ended up in the Jewish Quarter or something, everyone was speaking Hebrew around me. So the next morning I moved guesthouse and although there were still a lot of Israelis I could hear other tongues (not that I have anything against them, but they are usually in big groups and it can make you feel a little excluded if you are not extremely outgoing). I did talk to a few really nice Israelistoo though, its just a bit easier to approach people when they are alone or in smaller groups.

I also met Eric, from Canada and Kaz from New Zealand. One day we went for a hike up through a valley, following a stream. It was really beautiful and peaceful, but the hike was very steep and it was extremely hot. After a couple of hours I was completely knackered. So we basically sat down in the middle of this steep path. My energy level was 0 and I was about to overheat. So Eric ran (!?) (yes, that did make me feel very out of shape!) further up the path to see if there was anywhere where the hill might flatten into a valley, but it didn't seem to, instead the path just suddenly stopped. So since we appeared to be a bit off track we sat down had som water and nuts before we headed back down again.

It was a very good hike and it was great to see more than just the centre of Laxman Jhoola. I also strolled up along the Ganges a few times. There are some good, sandy beaches along there. I didn't take a dip though, damn, I regret not doing that! At least now I got a good reason to come back here!