How do I describe everything? First of all, people are EVERYWHERE- comin' out of the woodwork! I make eye contact with many..awkward. Along one bridge, I see the worst suffering I've seen yet- a man lying down, completely emaciated so that you could see the bone is his legs sticking out, the flies swarming around him like a piece of meat. And people just walk past like he's a bump in the road.
Sadhus are walking around with their oranges robes and pails for money. I look into the eyes on one sadhu and feel my heart stop- his eyes are so fierce!!! I think he just penetrated my soul...
The Ganges snakes it's way along the route to Rishi, while loads of people walk on the side of the road in the slow traffic that inches up the hill. We get out and switch rickshaws. Auto #2
The road to Rishi is green- for once. There are village centers along the way but I mostly remember seeing jungle-like forests and dense vegetation. We spot a few monkeys along the way. A motorbike with two guys on it keeps up with us steadily, trying to get our attention and yell things at us. I am in a friendly mood so I wave to EVERYONE who happens to look/stare at me. Most respond with a smile and a wave, others not so much.
An hour later, we pull into Rishikesh, only to switch rickshaws at the bus station. Auto #3
We sit with a small family, so there's about 8 of us in a 5 person auto as we head north.
Halfway up the hill, our rickshaw dies...on to Auto #4. Best part is that it is so packed, Hannah has to stand with her ass out the window to make room. Boy, did we have a laugh and a couple of jokes about that.
Up a big hill lands us in Lakshmandu, a quiet village north of Rishi. The Ganges is far down below, with green forested hills shooting up all around us. We are dropped at the bottom of a random lane, which we climb up and up to a path leading to the "Bist Mountain View Guest Cottage". Amanda says we were meant to find this place, and something leads us there. We are followed by a sweet old street dog who doesnt leave our side. I forget what we name her!
Our "hotel manager" is this really chill Indian dude with an eyebrow piercing and a calm voice.
Rooms are only 200 rps a night!