When was the last time you traveled with 24 people for over 17 hours straight, 3 bus rides 2 planes a total of 3290 kilometres. Yesterday was my first. We had 7 hours to travel from Rishikesh to Delhi airport to catch our first flight to Kerala. Our guide Abajee was in such a panic about reaching our destination on time so he insisted “no toilet breaks”. Try telling that to 24 foreign journalists. He then suggested perhaps no drinking of water on a 48 degree Delhi day.
My 23 fellow guests on the trip are a delight. Most are Journalists, travel writers and travel agents all looking for that right angel to start their story. For many it's been their first experience of India. There is Susan, the fashion writer from Ireland, who came down with a kidney infection on the 3 day. She's good now. I was in the hotel kitchen cooking up corn silk for her, works a dream. Monick from Holland writes for a tour company, as blonde as a Viking, who each time she steps off the bus is swarmed by the locals for selfies. Denise from Germany is a full time blogger who had her birthday whilst in the air at midnight last night. We all took turns in singing happy birthday to her in our local language.
This is certainly not the yogi holiday tourist camp. It's a journalist boot camp. Their spirits are so high and infectious I'm often lost in their world of observation and reporting good and bad – sukha and dukkha. It’s quite the contrast of the yogi world of observation without judgement. It's now day 7. We arrived into our hotel last night at 1.30am. Exhausted.
Today we begin at the Sivananda Ashram for yoga with a class at 9 am. Our final instructions for the night - " please be on the bus 7am sharp! It's now 6.45am. I'd better go as herding 24 others takes some time and toilet breaks.