Dadu Aur Madak

Dehra Dun & Haridwar
Dehra Dun was an important stop because besides having an Enfield dealership it was a good place to top up our Rupees. Dehra Dun has a  whole cluster of ATMs that were close to our hotel. Our hotel catered to businessmen and was really quite comfortable. Besides it was obvious that I needed another few days off of my feet. Also, Dehra Dun had a Pizza Hut not more than a block from our hotel. YUM! It is funny how places where we would never eat at home will excite you like schoolchildren when you are half a world away. We stayed away from the meat toppings though. Their pepperoni is made from lamb. Same is true of McDonalds burgers. There was one of them in Dehra Dun too. We did have a McSomething made with chicken that was palateable. What the hell, we had to try it. Another thing that they had was both a Barista and a Cafe Coffee Day, India's two coffee chains. They are found only in big cities, and they have been our Mecca.

Dehra Dun has a pretty vibrant market. It was not so much that I felt up to walking around as that I was really getting sick of sitting in hotel rooms. Here I found some nice dates, with a much smaller, but equally curious group of onlookers. After three days we were on our way again. Just southeast of Dehra Dun are the towns of Risikesh and Haridwar. Both are very sacred sites along the Ganges. Rishikesh is more of a "New Age" type vibe, and it is regarded as the yoga capitol of the world. Dozens of ashrams offer living arrangements that include instruction. It was only breakfast time when we got there, so after a bite to eat and a look around we pushed on to Haridwar.

In Haridwar, we took a cable car up to the Mansa Devi temple. Besides the religious experience (we got our first forehead blessing from a holy man at the top), it provides an awesome view of the town below and the Ganges river in the background. We decided to walk the one-and-a-half kilometers down. That night we filmed at the Ganga Aarti ceremony (river worship) that happens at sunset each night. They light offerings and set them afloat on the river. Unfortunately no photos. The faithful also take ritual baths at the ghats (steps that go directly down into the water). I might mention that this is also done in Rishikesh a few miles upstream which is also home to a leper colony.