24 October 2006

Sudden discoveries


Have you ever found yourself in a location you like so much but never planed to visit nor were aware of its existence just a couple of hours ago. Well. Let me introduce Raniketh to you. We visited it during our early October trip to the Uttaranchal region in the North of India. One hour by plan to Delhi, seven hours by train to Kadhodam, one night at the foothills, breakfast at 6 am and we are ready to board the jeep to hit the road for our final destination Kausani (which I will cover in my next post). We stand at the road side, jeeps come, drivers shout the destination, jeeps get full and they depart. No schedules, no receipts. That’s the way to travel in the mountains. After five minutes of waiting we learn that Kausani is not reachable directly thus we either have to change at either Alamora or Raniketh. Friendly appearance of the driver and smaller charge make it easy to decide and we embark on 3 hour journey. I found myself crammed in the back with 5 people occupying 4 seats. The jeep ascends bendy roads moving at 20 km an hour, driver continuously switches his attention between the brakes and the signal while I regret I was born or, at least, had breakfast that morning. Three hours of torture and we get off at Raniketh just to get the next jeep. However the day is young so we decide to explore the main street, get some water and depart in ten minutes. What one thought to be a short introduction turns out to be half a day stay enjoying mountain views, meeting people, playing with children, taking photos and just wandering around.
Ranikteh is a place where the density of population gets back to the standards we are used to. People are not spoiled by tourists and no one pays attention to the three wandering backpackers. As banks are closed we approach local jeweler to change some rupees into smaller notes. The result of this exercise is that we have the a new friend we spent one hour sipping tea and contemplating over the similarities of world religions with. The rest you will find in the photos by visiting this link

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