Monday, April 11, 2016

SECURITY - Remove Temptation

SRF/YSS Pilgrimage to India Oct. 25 - Nov. 18, 2016

(Still time to join. Closing date June 30, 2016)

A Facebook friend suggested that people should travel with a folding knife and use it to cut holes in their used plastic water bottles. This would prevent anyone from refilling that bottle and selling it again - like we see in the movies. It seemed like a good idea to pass along.

Continuing with the idea that if you remove temptation, people will do the right thing. Here is one of my favorite tips to help insure your security.

With all the TSA security we have now, it seems like luggage locks are a thing of the past. But I say "No, they are not. Bring them along anyway." Use them to lock your luggage securely when you leave that luggage in a hotel, or while traveling overland or by train. Put all your valuables into your luggage and keep it locked while you are out of the room. 

Take a load off your worrying mind and use Luggage Locks while you travel.

Ganges river at Varanasi. Photo by Martha Rather.
"Fortunate are the People who
Reside on the banks of ganga."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fresh, Clean Drinking WATER

SRF/YSS Pilgrimage to India Oct. 25 - Nov. 18, 2016

The first thing a person should be concerned about when traveling to India is - Fresh, Clean Drinking Water! If you promise to forget those jokes from movies about how bad the water is in India, you will find that there is plenty of good drinking water there. You just have to stay alert and remember to be careful. Whether you travel with me or by yourself, here are a few tips that can help anybody.
Sunset on the Ganges in Rishikesh. Photo by Martha Rather.
1. Drink bottled water only. It is cheap in India.
2. Use bottled water to brush your teeth. 
3. Use bottled water to rise your toothbrush.
4. Eat only fruit that has been peeled. A good restaurant will serve food that way.
5. No lettuce. Sorry. It cannot be peeled and too lumpy to wash properly.
6. Tea and coffee and milk are boiled. Totally safe.
7. Showers are safe. Lounging in a hot bath is considered potentially dangerous.
8. Bottled soft drinks are safe, although sugary which has it's own danger.
9. Hotels are very strict and have their own water filtration systems for cooking.
10. The YSS ashrams have very good water filtration systems. They have places where you can fill your drinking bottle with chilled, filtered water.

Disclaimer #1: People can still get sick on bad water or food in India. I have heard of people getting sick even at the YSS ashrams. If you feel you are being offered dangerous food or water, just stop and think about it. It is okay to refuse. Be careful.

Disclaimer #2: Neither I nor any of the people who have traveled with me has gotten sick on ashram filtered water. However, some have gotten sick by sneaking out to fruit markets and eating unwashed food when I was not around to stop them.  At least they could have washed the fruit with filtered water, or bought fruit that could be peeled. 

Bottom Line: Use bottled water for everything - drinking, brushing teeth, and rinsing toothbrush. If in doubt, ask somebody.
Ganges with ceremonial flowers. Photo by Martha Rather