Internet connectivity has been spotty at best. I am up in the foothills, and apparently everybody has the same idea at different parts of the day, clogging up all the available bandwidth. Nobody here has satellite connections, and it seems like there is enough demand that a cafe with five computers could make a killing. Capitalistic endeavors aside I have been having an amazing past week here in Rishikesh. I tried to put up a post several days ago, alas, I was unsuccessful.
I met a local guy named Dhanni, and he and I have been trapsing around the area seeing the best of what's around. One day I rented a bicycle as he already had one, and we made our way several kilometers up the road then treked into the hills a couple kilometers with much climbing to see a waterfall. Wow, it was pristine, and the water was fine. I was ready to dive in the moment I saw it, the combination of high altitude, bright sun, and drenching sweat prepared me for the crystal water; although, wisely, he suggested it would be better for the health to cool off first in the shade. Yea, so he was right, but I got that amazing dip in the water! Never too cold, not at least to get in and out... Still, if I could have gills, I would take them. Since that's not going to happen, I'll take my opportunities to enjoy a nice swim.
Then, two days back we rented a jeep and headed up into the hills with the intended destination of Kanjapuri. It is a temple atop the tallest foothill in the area here. From there we watched an amazing sunset, and I also got my first glimpse of the Himalayas. On our way up we stopped in a village to do some walking and sightseeing. As we were on a particular hill I noticed some schoolkids playing what appeared to be soccer, and I asked Dhanni if we could go take a look. We headed down to the school. We were warmly received by the principal and some teachers. As was customary they offered us tea, and it just so happens they had Jelabees there. Jelabees are by far and away my favorite Indian sweet. It is a pastry like dough that is fried in oil then the result is rolled in a sugary syrupy creation. The result is bliss. That's the best for the sugar lover in me.
I thought my time here would be spent doing some yoga, but that is not the way that it has gone. Dhanni introduced me to some members of his village yesterday and we enjoyed some really amazing dishes since he invited me to dinner. His village is highly functional and the people are all quite warm towards each other. Especially when everyone is watching cricket. The Assie's were beating up on the Indians last night. I didn't go back to see the conclusion after dinner because I needed rest, but google News just confirmed my suspicions, India was beaten (not that I have loyaties). Cricket has been fascinating to learn about, and I actually enjoy watching the sport.