Luckily, the night before the big Linda event there was a concert in Rishikesh of some very famous Indian singers
and musicians so we all went along to listen to that in a new Spiritual studies centre. The performance tent was lit by chandeliers and there were many speeches but finally the music started with sitars, tablas,
harmonium and an instrument which looked like an autoharp without the chord bars and some great traditional classical singing. What a treat!
On my birthday morning I was woken up with a cup of tea made by Steve and
then Anne came in laden with presents from her the rest of my family in UK. This included the waterproofing for my jacket, some face cream to try and ward off those ever increasing wrinkles, and an MP3. Frank had bought
me a Tiger T-shirt to make up for us not seeing one!
The hill station of Mussoorie is only about 80kms from here but the normal travelling time is about 2 1/2hrs. Anne, Frank and I went up in a taxi which was an
interesting experience,( a taxi being one up on the dodging chain) and the others all came on their various bikes.
The hotel had a lovely sunny south facing terrace which we sat on and had a beer (or three)!!!
Whoopee! After all these months without one it sure tasted good.
Another German overlander, Ingo, arrived and told us of his experience being robbed by 5 machete wielding men while he was camped in some nearby woods.
He has his bike, his passport and his life so it’s not so bad.
At 2500 meters, it began to get cool at sunset
so we all adjourned to put on our glad rags and met in the dining room for a great meal with beer (Indian) and wine (Aus and Californian)and later coffee with rum(Indian) and Franks home made schnapps(German) The
Birthday cake, imported from UK had trick candles on it so I wasted a lot of breath trying to blow them out, much to everyones amusement.
All had to christen my MP3 by saying a few words in their own
language and Chris and Elke sang a song, they had written, to the tune of Wild Rover.
I’ve been a wild traveller for manys a year
And I’ve spent all my money on motorbikes and gear
But now that I’m sixty but still young in mind
I’ll always be travelling with joy and delight
And it’s now, yeah, ever
Now, yeah, ever and more
I will play the wild traveller for ever and more.
Some people just ask me
When will you retire
But riding my bike still puts me on fire
And if I stop riding my whistle I’ll play
Then all of the people just ask me to stay
I throw this big party
For all of us here
And I’ve spent all my money on whisky and beer
Well, what can I say? They also gave me a traditional Pakistani percussion instrument which will be packed with the lagerphone
and can double as a sword if I have the same problem as Ingo.
We made a toast to Faraway Friends and wished you were all there, though you would have had to bring more supplies.
So, it was a relatively small
gathering, but of the highest quality, and we enjoyed ourselves. We were all very subdued the next day, not being used to the alcohol, you understand. Those that stayed on spent the night in a very much more down market
hotel and went our separate ways the next day.
Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes by email and cards and I wonder where I will be for my 70th?????
My first new experience on being 60 was to go
white water rafting on the Ganges with Frank. Great stuff and I wasn’t even seasick. Too busy paddling and trying to stay in the dinghy.
Now Frank has gone back to Germany and the others are on the road again so I am
staying for a few more days with Anne, Steve and Trupti and gradually getting the bike and my gear organized for the next leg of the journey, which has yet to be decided.
Steve is a very capable tabla player. Indian
drum rhythms are mostly very different from Celtic diddle de dees but, amazingly, we have been able to make a few tunes coincide and that has been fun. Also I have been to a couple of Yoga classes and found out just how
un-supple I am. May even get into the meditation and have a massage before I leave this special place.
I have sent some fotos to Heiner which he will put up on the site soon so keep an eye on it.
Thanks to everyone on this leg of the trip
Love and peace