Rishikesh is a nice enough place

It’s got clean air which smells of flowers during the balmy nights, a clean cold river you can swim in (even if the current is strong enough to have drowned a european tourist in front of his wife and child a couple of days ago) and really pretty scenic hills through which the river runs.

It’s got temples, ashrams, holy men in orange wearing dreads, yoga schools (of varying types and quality) for falangs and cheap guest-houses. It’s got some really nice cafes and I’ve even managed to find one which not only serves eggs but also a tuna sandwich, not bad for a town which is pretty much completely non-egg eating vegetarians with narry a fried chicken to be found.

SG and I have even found ourselves a large one-bedroom apartment with a separate furnished living room, a balcony looking out over the Ganga and a sort of a kitchen area (although unfortunately without a fridge). It’s got hot water that works and is quiet. All this for the princely sum of 350 rupees a night – just under AUD$10.

So, we’ve really found a comfortable place to hang out in, eat well and get healthy, especially from that last bout of sickness in Delhi for SG and a really bad chest infection I somehow contracted in Rishikesh just a few days ago.

It all sounds good on paper but I’m finding myself really restless and discontented. There’s not really a lot of new things to do in Rishikesh now that I’ve been here a couple of weeks and the novelty has worn off along with the initial jolt of excitement that comes from arriving at such a pretty place. All that’s left is a realisation that Rishikesh is not Melbourne and does not have any my friends in it.

The afternoons during which it gets hot and sleepy feels even emptier than it should. Morning yoga has finished, breakfast and lunch are over and the evening yoga session has not yet started. Sitting around and reading is an option, talking to other falang in restaurants is one too and the internet cafes are at least air-conditioned. But all of those activities are pretty empty really, pretty lacking in substance when all I want is to be sitting in the Edinburgh gardens with my friends having an early autumnal picnic.

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