Rishikesh is a world famous yoga and general chill-out centre (even the Beatles spent time here), so it seems fitting to add a massage and yoga to the list of trip activities. Now, the massages you get in Thailand are the kind you’re probably aware of, having your muscles pummelled and rubbed leaving you hopefully in less pain than when you started. The Indians have a different idea of what a massage is, starting of with what can only be described as a warm butter rub down, followed by some privacy invading spreading of the butter, and then an odd sand bath to get you clean again. I think Caroline went through the same thing, but the whole massage subject was never spoken of again.
Yoga, on the other hand was quite enjoyable, and to think some people consider this exercise. We were even relieved of the responsibility of deciding when to breathe, as the instructor tells you when! There was a lot of sitting, and pulling your legs into weird positions, with the instructor constantly asking if I was ok (maybe he thought it would actually be too much exercise for me…), and then finished off by a lie down. So relaxing was this lie down and chant, that I swear it’s the closest I’ve been to consciously falling asleep.
Two showers later, and still smelling of that weird butter, we wandered off to the northern parts of Rishikesh, to see if the peddlers of tat had anything worthy of filling our bags with. Satisfied with a couple of back scratchers, we crossed yet another monkey-lined bridge, and explored.