It has been some days now since we have been writing here. Since Jaipur we have been in Pushkar and now we are in Rishikesh, arrived here yesterday. We are taking it really easy for some days now, not doing much. Rino was ill some days ago. Has had high fever (39,6°) and having no energy. We just were in the room and did nothing (Rino slept), Saturday we had to go with the night train (15½ hours!) to Haridwar. Rino felt better and we went to the train. The next morning in the train he had a fever again. Iris was worried and didn't want to go to Rishikesh before we had either seen a doctor or/and bought antibiotics. Haridwar is a bigger city than Rishikesh. In Haridwar we luckily could buy reliable antibiotics witch Rino now is using, started yesterday evening. We don't know exactly what he has, but it probably is a respiratory infection, Lonely Planet says 25% of travellers in India get this and he has been coughing a lot every evening.
Before we left Jaipur we visited Jantar Mantar, an astrologic observatory build by Jaipur founder Jai Singh in 1728. We were amazed by the gigantic sculptures that can tell everything about time, altitude and measuring positions of the stars. It was recommended to take a guide and so we did. After the visit to Jantar Mantar it was a 3 hours drive to Pushkar. A holy Hindu city, which surrounds a lake and lies in the middle of the mountains. It was a relieve to come in this city after the busy cities Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The prices of food, drinks and clothes were very cheap, the people were more relax and the shop owners were less pushy. We enjoyed some nice rooftop restaurants and experienced to do a Puja (prayer) at one of the gaths (a place where pilgrims bath and pray in the holy water). Unfortunately we could not visit any temples or take some trips because Rino got ill. In Pushkar our driver went back to Delhi and arranged a taxi to the train station, we were on our own again.
The taxi our driver arranged was a very crappy car that would have been rejected by the annual control 10 times in The Netherlands and Norway, but we got to the station alive luckily. Our coupe was an air-conditioned sleeping coupe with 8 beds. An Indian family slept on the other side of us and the person above us left the train in the middle of the night. Iris could sleep very well, but Rino unfortunately not because the bed was too small and halfway the night he got his fever again. Even though the train delayed 2 hours the complete journey wasn’t that bad. Everything is an adventure for us here!
So now we are in the famous yoga capital Rishikesh. Still have to discover most of it here, but luckily we still have 2 full days and 3 nights. It's a small city and we are up in a village in Swargashram between beautiful mountains and the river Ganges. It’s really a beautiful place and totally quiet and peaceful, only a lot of cows in all the narrow streets/allies here, sometimes so narrow that it’s hard to pass a pregnant cow! We are now in Narayana Kunj Hotel, we have chosen a bit more luxurious hotel because of Rino being ill (still costs less than €20 per night). It is a comfortable hotel with good AC, friendly staff members and nice hot water. We can take yoga classes in the hotel, 1½ to 2 hours for only 200 Rupiah (€3,33) for both. If Rino feels better we will try it.