After a wonderful day in Agra, we were feeling great. We even discussed the fact we were adjusting to the time difference. I guess 3 cups of Masala Tea took its toll that night. My mom and I were not able to sleep and we knew we had an 11 hrs drive to Rishikesh.
We started our drive at 6:30 am. Our driver suggested we started early to avoid traffic. Specially since we had to go to Delhi then Rishikesh.
I mentioned to our driver we wanted to stop at the same restaurant/shop we stopped on our way to Agra. I wanted to buy a book I saw there and use their clean bathrooms (something we had to plan way ahead of time). I am so excited about my book that I cannot wait to read it. Unfortunately I cannot read in the car since I get car sick. I forgot to mention that I am so grateful I brought my motion sickness pills with me. I think I would have been in trouble otherwise. Between the many cars honking, sudden stops, avoiding cows, motorcycles etc, I would have lost my stomach many times.
We were so tired from our lack of sleep the night before that it was hard to keep our eyes open, however, the quality of our cat naps were not the greatest.
On our way the driver mentioned many facts and places that are well known. We went through Haridwar a holy city where many people go to pray, bathe in the Ganges, etc.
We made it to Rishikesh in 10 hrs. We barely stopped to use bathrooms, eat or anything else (something I had to brag to my husband about). We were ready to make it there.
Once we arrive, we are greated like royalty once again. I really love my travel agent. He hooked us up really well. The hotel here is not high quality like the other two but it is clean and we a/c, so we cannot complain.
After getting settled, we went to the restaurant to eat. Pankaj, came to pick us up to go to the other side of the river to witness the Ganga Arti.
Pankaj and another guy came on 2 motor bikes, so my mom and I got on the scooters and rode. I cannot help to laugh at the thought that my mom and I were riding on a scooter in India. That is really funny.
Pankaj, took us to his office were we met his dad and had some ginger, honey and lemon tea for us. After talking to us and making sure we are happy and well taken care of, he introduces us to the organizer of the Ganga Arti. Even though we were late to have a good spot for the ceremony, he took us around a way were we actually walk on the Ganga river and he asked people to move to make room for us right at the front.
The statue of Lord Shiva on the Ganga is beautiful. Lookibg at it immediatly makes you feel peaceful. The sun was setting so the light shinning on the statue and the background on the sky was a reminder of why I am here. This was a moment were gratitude, peace and the beauty surrounded me filled my heart. Om Namah Shivaya!
After the ceremony, we did a little shopping for some mala beads and then rode on the scooter to get back to the hotel for a good night sleep.
Today we are getting an ayurvedic massage and transferring to the hotel where we will meet our yoga group.