Sunday, July 20, 2014

India (14) Haridwar

Mum and I now remember this day with a slight shudder. We left Delhi with our driver, Shankar to make our way to Haridwar. Truth be told, I was really looking forward to this trip. We were doing some kind of pilgrimage and planned to do the 7pm prayer at the Ganges River.

The 7hr drive was nerve-wrecking. It honestly felt like our driver was just unleashed to cause HAVOC. He seemed to be so impatient. He overtook on oncoming traffic, where at one point, I thought - "it's over...". OMG!

Long story short - he was unable to understand or communicate in English and didn't even know the hotel we were staying at. When we finally reached SRS Lakshya Hotel, it was just about an hour or so before we were going to partake in the "aarti".

When Shankar picked us up, it didn't seem like he knew where we were going. He turned into a car park and looked back at us, expecting us to leave the car. 

"Where's the aarti?" we asked. He said it was two minutes away and that we'd have to walk there. We were promptly on the phone with our tour operator, Shamsher who spoke to Shankar on our behalf. Mum and I refused to leave the car.

"I'll be fine if I don't do the aarti," said mum.

We couldn't fathom that Shankar wanted us to leave the car - walk alone to goodness knows where and then...make our way back. In the dark. NO WAY!

"Uncle, please take us back to the hotel," I asked. It was getting late, we were already stressed out from the drive to Hardiwar and...I was trying to convince myself that this wasn't meant to be.

One the drive back to the hotel, I suggested to mum that we skip the following day in Rishikesh and go back to Delhi. Once we were got back to the hotel, we made arrangements with the hotel to check in a day earlier. Of course this was over and above our tour price and would need to be paid separately. No problem!

The next morning we left at 8am. Back to Delhi. The drive was just as bad, but we asked Shankar to "calm down, please!" 

We couldn't have been more excited to see our hotel again. Next stop: Spa for a massage!

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