Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

Walking to Gau Mukh – the source of the holy River Ganges

In 2008 I returned to India to revisit some people and places I’d met on my 2000-mile walk along the holy River Ganges in 1983-84.

Reaching the source of the river in 1984, the end of my seven months walk, was certainly a special time; I felt and still feel a special bond with the river, and was therefore very keen to revisit the mouth of the glacier above Gangotri in 2008. Unfortunately the area was officially closed when I reach Gangotri, the pilgrimage centre well below the glacier. I knew I’d never receive permission to go up to Gau Mukh, so I waited until 3 am then tiptoed past the sleeping guards at the locked gates and hurried up the rocky path by the light of the moon.

Temple at Gangotri. The glacier once reached the foot of the temple steps

Temple at Gangotri. The glacier once reached the foot of the temple steps

Himalayan peaks at the source of the river Ganges

Himalayan peaks at the source of the river Ganges

The path is narrow, rocky and, in places, treacherous.

The path is narrow, rocky and, in places, treacherous.

Ganga 2008 388

Gau Mukh - the Cow's Mouth - source of the holy Ganges

Gau Mukh – the Cow’s Mouth – source of the holy Ganges

Taking a dip in the frigid meltwater of the glacier in 1984

Taking a dip in the frigid meltwater of the glacier in 1984

Paddling in the pink meltwater in 2008

Paddling in the pink meltwater in 2008

Locked gates outside Gangotri

Locked gates outside Gangotri

Temple at Gangotri. The glacier once reached the foot of the temple steps

Temple at Gangotri. The glacier once reached the foot of the temple steps

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