Cat Easterbrook

The adventure of India: The Sunday Telegraph travel writing competition

Below is a very short piece (150 words) I wrote that won first prize in a Sunday Telegraph travel writing competition <happy dance>.

Although it was a small competition it was still pretty exciting to win. So exciting I will treat myself to an exclamation mark (!)

The prize was a Dial a Flight voucher. I spoke to a lovely Dial a Flight man called Marco on Monday and he said I could spend the money on pretty much anything I wanted. This was a relief. I had thought it might only be valid for car hire in New Zealand or an Orlando theme park pass or something ultra-specific and not on my radar but something I doubtless would have tried to shoe-horn in regardless.

He asked if I’d had any thoughts about where I might go.

Yes. All the time. With wonderlust pumping through my veins it is rather hard not to, competition or no competition. But currently Indonesia, Myanmar and, as always, India, are calling.

One flight, taxi, bus and a ricocheting rickshaw later I found myself travel weary and on a swaying footbridge over the Ganges. I was not alone. A swirl of saris, spiritual seekers and opportunistic entrepreneurs were coursing around me, as the river flowed below and monkeys pickpocketed from above. The crossing only took five minutes but those five minutes expanded as my senses filled with new impressions of wide-eyed wonder and head-shaking bamboozlement. Ahhh Rishikesh. ‘Land of the wise’. And land of everything else too if this bridge was anything to go by. Beeping motorcycles and impassive cows joined the pedestrians, unperturbed by the intentions of engineers. In this holy city the journey across the Ganges is a commute for some, a pilgrimage for many. The mysterious and the mundane rub shoulders, or collide head on, and even the travel weary are jolted awake to the adventure that is India.