From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

May 29, 2012 at 12:41

There is no real bus stand in Gangotri and it depends on the traffic if the bus even makes it all the way to town. Some people told me that their bus did stop 2 km outside of the town and they had to walk the rest of the way. To much traffic. Well i had a good nights sleep and a nice breakfast at the hotel. The sun was out and clear blue sky – the right time to leave this place. Had to wait 40 minutes till the taxi is full. Including driver it should carry 11 people – but of course they stuffed 14 into it and some of the bags as well. Due to the non existent cooperation of Indian drivers on the road the first 15 km took more than 2.5 hours. There is a spot on the side where one could stop and let the bus that comes pass – but noooo – why?? They go all the way in front of the bus and that is it. The next drivers see this and they do not stop so that the car could back up – noooo lets get really close to the car so nothing moves any more. Than it is a blasting horns all over and the bus conductor gets out and loud shouting and after a long time there might be movement again.
Situations like this call for a full iPod with enough juice to last till the end of the day, some water and a more or less good seat in the front to enjoy the show!

The trip down took 4 hours longer than expected and i had to walk to the next taxi stand as my taxi did not go there. The plan was Risikesh which is close and 230 rp away but there was a taxi to Deradun for only 200 rp – great!

And i had the seat in the back for myself the whole trip! In Deradun the car did stop at 22.30 in the middle of nowhere but with the help of the friendly locals that pointed me to the right direction i did found a local bus taxi that put me in front of my hotel for the night. Cheers people of the North!

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

Ready for the tourist hunt

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

For a few kilometer the taxi did follow the road toward Risikesh but than it took a right into the mountains again. Most of the time on dirt roads we followed the winding road up and down the mountains.

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

The landscape with all the terraces did remind me a bit on the bus ride to Banaue in the Phillipines

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

Highway Rest Stop

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

The Taxi

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

From the Gangotri Taxi Stand to Deradun

In the lobby of my hotel. The room was much better and i could negotiate it down from 600 to 400 rp – even at 23.10 in the night

From Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier

May 28, 2012 at 12:18

After 2 lazy days with a lot of sleep it was time to go up to the Gaumukh Glacier. Did meet a nice couple from Spain and we started to move at 6 am.

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Did watch him eat for a while

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

After 4 hours we reached the base camp Bhojbasa at 3790 meter.

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

If only this was Nepal it would have been a nice place to spend a few days even. But there was a tent for us and instead of selling a big thermos of tea you get a tiny cup and that is it. Lunch? Everybody ran away – only from 12.00 till 13.00 and so on. Well – it was a clear night and it did start to snow a bit. After dinner i was happy to move to my mattress for some sleep. Again two blankets over the sleeping bag and all the cloths i did bring got me worm enough for the night.
The next morning i did wait for the sun to reach over the mountains for the tent before i got out of my warm nest. There was ice in the water buckets so it was below freezing up there. After another tiny cup of tea and a very small bowl of sweat rice (breakfast they called it) i was on the way to the source of the Ganges.

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gaumukh Glacier – the Cow’s Mouth

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

There is a little old Zadu in the middle of the picture on the path – his cloths are almost the same color as the rocks so not easy to see. He did the trip bare foot – wtf!

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

Gangotri to Gaumukh Glacier 2012

It was only 5 km from the base camp up to the source and than 19 km down to Gangotri but i really was happy to be back in the afternoon. A cold shower and some food later it was time to sleep – a few days in cars and buses before the next destination: Dharamsala.

From Frankfurt to Gangotri

May 27, 2012 at 08:18

Did start my trip as so many with a visit at Alexandras place in Frankfurt. She did get some Rose Apple wine for me and we had a nice evening. The next morning i did not have to get up very early in the morning to get to the FRA – nice. Thanks Alex!
The guy at the Emirates biz class check in re booked me on a emergency exit seat – India – here i come.
Got to DEL at 2.50 am. Sure enough the bag took forever and a day to come out of the airport gut. Next ATM, sort of a breakfast and a big coffee with 2 shoots of espresso to keep me going till the sun was up.
Than the Bus to Kashmir Gate which starts very convenient from the airport. The bus stand is a mess as they did start to renovate it and somehow stopped in the middle. Looks like after the war now – great. Did find my bus company and was guided to the bus. Sleeper all the way to Risikesh. 10.30 we did start the trip. Did get to Risikesh at 20.30 – got my ticket to Gangotri and took a room opposite of the bus stand. Did get some credit for the phone and some needed zzzzzz’s.
5.30 am the bus left the bus stand and it was off to Gangotri. A nice ride with mountains mountains and mountains on the left and on the right. Did get to the village at 21.50 – a bit longer than i expected. The next room was waiting and more zzzzz’s as well. From the 45 plus degrees it was a pleasant change up here. It was so pleasant that i had to use the two blankets on top of my sleeping bag to be war enough.

Gangotri is a remote setting at an altitude of 3042m. The temple was constructed in the 18th century by a Gorkha commander. Nearby is the rock on which Shiva is said to have received the Ganga in his matted locks. From the early morning to late at night the devotees flock to the temple and take a bath in the ice cold river. Some more of a cat wash – some a ritual shower and some a kind of dive into the water.
Did find a nice cafe – the only one that had one (1!!) table outside to sit on the river just across of the action. On the other side the water action and upstream on the right the majestic snow covered mountains.

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012

Gangotri 2012