I suppose I over slept by waking at 0915 for a 1030 pickup. In all fairness, I was up blogging until 0200 – partly because I hadn’t written in over a week, and partly from excitement/anxiety/effects of chocolate. Again, I was 99% packed, which means there was a large 1% of odds and ends to squeeze into my already complaining bags.
At 0920 my guardian angel, Jitendra, food and beverage manager at the hotel, called to tell me my friends were looking for me to eat breakfast with. My new friends are a group of 14 from Singapore who arrived two days prior for a yoga retreat. I met them in town with my afore mentioned angel, squeezed into a tuk-tuk with some of them, was invited to join in their evening (advanced) Hatha yoga class (which went pretty well until the foot-behind-the-head part…). I enjoyed a laugh-filled dinner at their table, became hugging friends with 3, What’s App friends with 2, and lifelong friends with one (a social worker working in a home for abused teenage girls).
Goodbyes said all around, bags packed and stacked by the front desk, and then the waiting began. By the time I asked for my 3rd cup of coffee – a request received in disbelief by the staff – my taxi was half an hour late and the anxiety had set in. My G.A. stepped up once again, called the resort that was supposed to send the taxi, and ended up arranging one for me himself. I’m not sure who paid for it, but I didn’t!
Just last night I had read up on how to actually use the beautiful Mala that I had had made (and not just wear to look ‘spiritual’ or whatever), so I pulled it out and set to it. By about the 54th bead I had reined in the tears and by ‘god’ bead I was calm. So far, so good.
Leaving Rishikesh in the taxi, we were soon in the foothills of the grand Himalayan mountains. Almost as quickly, the road turned to dirt and gravel, winding up and around, honking the entire way as I unsuccessfully searched for a seatbelt. We passed many tent resorts along the way, none that I was hoping to be staying at. When we finally reached Nirvana River Resort, I knew this place was going to be special.
Registered and assigned to my wall tent, I was happy to see I was there before my roommate and quickly set to re-arranging the furniture (two cots and a wide wooden coffee table – didn’t tackle the wardrobe), and picked the bed closest to the electrical outlet – and bathroom. My roommate is a lovely German woman my age, and so far we are getting on famously.
The antidote to my challenging journey here was to change into my suitably modest bathing suit (burkini-esque) and join the few other yoginis in the river. Brisk, clear, mostly shallow with lovely deep pools, and in the toes of the Himalayas – day zero had just passed over into the blissful zone.