Last week new friends celebrated Jimmy’s birthday with us at The Beatles 60 Cafe. We watched the sun set from the balcony towering over the Ganga River. Night transformed the water into a shimmering mirror of temple lights and bustling river-side shops. The cafe lights dimmed; the atmosphere: relaxed. We had just finished our second week of yoga which had ended with a salt water detox. Eating out was frowned upon, but since it was Jimmy’s birthday, they let us.
The next day, Jimmy, Bayley, Zach, and I walked 3 km to Neer Waterfall. Hiking up the Himalayas in flip-flops, we were dripping in sweat by the time we got to the first waterfall. The cool water sent waves of relief down our spines as we took turns standing under the stream of falling water. As we continued to walk up, we saw more and more locals enjoying the day off like us. When we reached the top of the mountain, there was a man-made pool filled with Indian teens splashing about. After the waterfall, we all split up and I enjoyed the day off wandering around Laxman Jula. Having lunch at The Little Buddha Cafe, I ran into Jacinta and Baba!
On Tuesday, I died. I woke up feeling a bit off and then got worse progressively. After breakfast, I spent the day sweating and shivering in bed. I was taken to the hospital the next day by skinny ol Uncle G, via scooter. The sun blazed down relentlessly as I tried my best not to pass out as I held onto his bony shoulders. After 30 never-ending minutes we arrived and had to wait an hour just to see the doctor for less than 2 minutes. I picked up my little package of assorted drugs and got right back on the scooter. Blaring horns of relentless honkers pierced through my skull as I dreamt of being back on my bed curled up under the blankets. Thanks to Uncle G who got me back safely and told me what drugs to take, I was better by the end of the week.
A few days after arriving in Rishikesh, rafting was shut down because of it being the monsoon season. Needless to say, Bayley and I were excited to see adventure trucks driving by with giant rafts tied to their roofs as we walked to the Organic Cafe located by the school. They were able to open rafting for two more days because the rain has still yet to come. Zach, Bayley, Jimmy, a few other locals, and I paddled down the Ganga with big grinning faces. The first rapid–Initiation– sprayed us with icy cold water as our guide commanded us to row forward. Afterwards, we all jumped into the river and flowed along relaxing– toes hooked into the lifeline rimming the raft. It was the perfect way to spend the hot Sunday afternoon in Rishikesh.