Friday, June 17, 2011


Adrienne and I spent the last ten days in Rishikesh, a beautiful valley city situated on the cleaner part of the Ganges River. Why so long in the same city, you wonder? Well, we met great local people who showed us the highlights in and around Rishikesh. But first, let me introduce you to the inhabitants of Rishikesh: Hindu pilgrims, tourists, cows and monkeys! But do not be fooled by these adorable chimps . They aren't as harmless as they look. The other day I was walking up the stairs to our hostel room when I turned a corner and found five monkeys staring me down with evil eyes that said "take one step closer to us and our food and we'll clobber you"... as if I had invaded their territory! I froze and without thinking returned the stare. Bad move. Just when I feared they were going to attack I heard Adrienne yell from our room "Dayna! watch out for evil monkeys!!" Ade opened the door and I bolted for the room. Safe at last! Dayna-1, Rhesus-0. But this score has changed since that incident. The greatest words of wisdom we received while planning this trip was not to look the monkeys in the eyes. But curiosity overpowered sensibility and more than once we had to run for our lives!

On the topic of animals I should note that despite the distractingly cute (and dangerous) monkeys the cows have still not lost their novelty. We think it's hilarious when a cow decides to mosey on down to the rickety pedestrian bridge (which is the only way to cross the river into the neighbourhood where we were staying) and take a nap in the middle of the bridge, and stop all foot traffic! Also, on the topic of cows, I'll take this opportunity to restate that Adrienne was headbutted by a cow!

Anyways, enough about monkeys and cows and onto our adventures in Rishikesh. We made friends with locals who were kind enough to show us around. We went on a short hike to a beautiful waterfall just outside of Rishikesh. This short hike turned out to be merely a stroll in the park in comparison to our following activity: a four day hike! We followed the pilgrims' route through the mountains and finally reached a 3500 year old Shiva Temple. What an amazing experience to observe and partake in Hindu rituals that have taken place on top of that mountain for thousands of years! After relaxing on the mountain for a bit, drinking tea and chatting with a nice Indian family, we began what should have been a five hour drive back to Rishikesh. It ended up taking nearly twelve hours because of all the traffic jams and detours caused by mudslides.

Back in Rishikesh, we decided to stay a few more days as the city offers so many great activities. We went rafting on the Ganges, slept at a campsight, and then Adrienne did the ultimate sport- bunjy jumping! I was watching from a distance, shaking with fear as Adrienne voluntarily jumped off an 85 meter cliff! When I asked her how it was, she shrugged and replied "not that bad". I think I was more scared watching her jump than she was jumping!

Anyways, we are now approaching the last few days of our trip and are packing in as much India as possible before our flight Monday night. So, now were off to do some yoga!  

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