We had a long weekend of three days and wanted to utilize it. As it was raining heavily we canceled our plan of going to Lansdowne which is at more altitude and settled for Rishikesh instead.
On Saturday(i.e.20th August)we started off at 6.45 a.m in the morning. We estimated that it will take approximately 5 hours to reach Rishikesh as it is 230km. away.As it was almost 7 in the morning and was Saturday so there was traffic snarls here and there because of the school buses mostly . From Ghaziabad border we took NH 58. Some stretch @ Modinagar had good road condition and traffic was comparatively less. We had a smooth drive on this stretch.
We were enjoying our drive but then in between Modinagar and Meerut we found traffic was at stand still. We began to move @ snails pace.There was total chaos on the road.We were not bothered about the reason for the jam but were more bothered how long will it take to move out of the congestion. Then we noted that with instructions of some local people many of the vehicles were taking a narrow road which was on the right hand side.We decided to try our luck too.
The road eventually became a gali(a narrow lane). We moved almost thro’ the courtyards of taujis(uncles) and taijis(aunties).The kids were too happy to see so many cars moving thro’ there galis.Then the galis lead to almost a divider- like-road in between the fields which was worsened by the heavy rainfall. We were behind a Innova and that “Leader car”(as my daughter called it) provided us with confidence.
We moved thro’ Bajra and sugarcane fields. At one point we thought of stopping our car and having fresh sugarcane from the field but then we had to deprive ourselves from such an opportunity cause it may not please the cars which were behind us…because it won’t leave any space for them to move ahead.
Finally we were on the main road and in about 5 mins. we were on the Meerut bypass.On the Meerut bypass there was a food plaza which had Nirula’s and Coffee Cafe’ Day. We halted there and went to the CCD.As they did not have any snacks we took coffee from there and went to the Nirula’s.The Nirula’s was moderately crowded and took them nearly 20 mins. to serve our sandwich and french fries. The food was not too good.The only good thing about such complexes is that they have well maintained, clean washroom.
After about taking a break of 40 mins. we started off.
We reached Muzzafarnagar bypass.
After the bypass ends two-way road starts and it is really very difficult to drive on that stretch.The stretch consumes a lot of energy and time. Besides the road is also not in very good condition.
Nothing eventful happened and we reached Haridwar. We passed over Har-ki-Pauri and as always Haridwar was over crowded.
We reached Muni-Ki-Reti at Rishikesh at about 1p.m. We planned for Muni-Ki-Reti because we were planning to stay in tent by the rivers.We stayed at such a swiss tent about 2 years ago by the river and thoroughly enjoyed it.
But then we realized to our dismay that due to rainy season all the camps on riverside are closed.We were informed that every year from July to September these camps are closed. The concerned people informed us that most of the camps were flooded few days back due to the heavy rainfall.
We were really confused and couldn’t decide what to do. The only alternative we could think of was to stay at a hotel @ Muni-ki-Reti by the Ganges which we hated to do cause it was so crowded.
Then we saw a ray of hope as one of the agents called Chitra tours and travels said they will contact the people at the site and will inform us.
We thought of taking a lunch break cause you cannot take good decisions when ur stomach is empty. So we took our lunch at “Brunch” and preferred an Indian veg. thali. The food was really tasty and less spicy.The manager took lot of care of his customers.Good food and the people @ the restaurant lightened our mood. We came back and waited for sometime as they were not able to confirm even after 30 mins..Then @ about 3p.m we got the confirmation that we will be able to stay at their bamboo cottages.
The site was about 20 kms. from Muni-ki-Reti. Our guide put a backpack in our car and we were told that it contained the raw material that they will cook for us. We were quite horrified thinking about the amount of raw material that it may contain. But we were really happy that at least we are getting a place to stay which we preferred.
At Shivpuri a truss bridge which is known as Brahmpuri – Garurchatti Bridge is being constructed which will cut short the distance between Rishikesh city and the other parts of Rishikesh.We had to wait on the bridge for nearly 10 mins. as painting work was going on.
Then we again started winding up the mountain. On one side Hyule which is a tributary of Ganges and on the other dark green slope of the mountain.
Finally we reached our destination.The camp was at Mohan chatti on the side of river Hyule which is a tributary of river Ganga.
We parked our car in a field as was instructed where three cows looked at us with amazement, maybe they were happy to see guests after a long time because of the flood.
Just as we stepped out of the car, I could inhale the wild smell that filled the air.I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with as much fresh air as possible.
It was sooooo green and fresh.