Rishikesh – where the kayak adventure begins

A bridge of the River Ganges

Our kayak adventure begins in Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. We took the 6:45am Dehradun Shatabdi train from New Delhi to Haridwar. We had seats in A/C Chair Car carriage and enjoyed a selection of treats throughout the journey which put the UK to shame. We got a bottle of water and a mango juice followed by tea and biscuits and an Indian breakfast with veg patty and bread. What a treat! We arrived in Haridwar relaxed (Jess even had a power nap) and with a full tummy.

Rishikesh train station

After that, we took a local bus for 40p each up to Rishikesh and a tuk tuk took us the final leg. All in all, we arrived here in less than 8 hours from the capital. It was a smooth journey despite it pouring with rain and we welcomed the cool air.

Rishikesh is a town that has become very popular and famous for yoga training and adventure sports, so quite a fitting place to start the trip.

We left the UK with only a kayak and no paddles due to luggage restrictions. Looking back, it would have been cheaper and easier to pay for extra luggage than haggle for our new ones. But knowing that Rishikesh was a place for adventure sports, we knew we’d be able to pick some up. Plus it’s all part of the fun. We spent a couple of hours looking about for two paddles; there were two shops selling them. We tried to get some second hand ones with no success. We ended up with a pair just like the ones back home and are chuffed to bits with the new gear.

Successfully purchased our new paddles

Whilst sourcing the paddles and doing some shopping around we stumbled across Red Chilli Adventure. They are an adventure tour agency who were so helpful and gave us some invaluable local knowledge and guidance about the River. We’ll be camping along the way and coming up against dams and a constantly changing river flow so their information was really useful for the first stretch of the river that we’ll face.

Over the next day or two, we’ll be planning what food to take. Rishikesh is definitely the best place for that. Having an abundance of Westerners who fill the town there is a good range of imported products from home that are available to us, including Nairns oat cakes and Lindt chocolate. Saying that, we are keeping things simple and will be eating spaghetti and rice flavoured with herbs and spices, biscuits, nuts, raisins and a tub of peanut butter!

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