After arriving in Devprayag the previous evening in continued to pour with rain the rest of the night. The drive here in the elements on the the high and unstable roads had been a bit nerve wracking (plus I was still recovering from Jhala) and I was looking forward to getting a hotel and the weather improving for the next morning, thankfully it did
Devprayag on first impressions seemed to be a bit of a one horse town. There was no denying that the scenery was spectacular but apart from this there seemed to be not much else going on in terms of hotels, restaurants etc.
Myself and the driver found what seemed to be the only main hotel in town and enquired about the rooms, it modelled itself as a bit of a ‘luxury’ river side hotel and while the rooms where large it certainly was grubby. Thier cheapest room was priced at 3,800 rupees which for India is a lot (I usually pay around 500 tops), I told him I wouldn’t pay this and after he got his calculator out and tapped away he announced that magically he could do me a price of 1,050 (we seemed to have the fact it looked like we were the only people who would be staying there working in our favour, like I said the whole town seemed to be pretty much deserted).
After dinner with the driver (I paid, he’d earned it on those roads) I got to my room ready for an early wake up to photograph the following morning. The room did have the luxury of a T.V which I’d been without since I’d arrived. It had cable film channels and I watched ‘Bridget Jones Diary’, it even happened to be Valentines day – it was the perfect night in!
The rain continued to pour and I went to sleep with the sound of a firework display going off and echoing round the valley (which contained the only road cut into the mountainside and was also prone to landslides – only in India)
The next morning was thankfully dry and clear, I met the driver downstairs at 8 a.m and we drove up to the top of the valley and I went to work shooting. One thing I noticed was the difference in the rivers, the Bhagirathi which I had been following from further North seemed a lot lighter colour and much faster flowing than the Alaknanda.
After photographing the view over the town and river from the top of the valley I went down into the town via the suspension bridge that crosses the Bhagirathi. There are lots of these suspension bridges in this part of the world and being someone that does suffer from vertigo I’ll be glad to see the back of them to be honest, I can’t get used to crossing these at all.
The houses of the town that were on the hillside were painted in pastel colours and wouldn’t have looked out of place in Southern Europe. It was a pleasant place to visit but to be honest by this time with all the driving on these dangerous mountain roads and taking chances with the weather conditions my nerves were beginning to fray and I was looking forward to getting South. I finished up for the day and jumped back into the car for the drive to Rishikesh which quite thankfully was uneventful.