Sure Could Use a Beer-Joshimath, India

We had arrived in Joshimath for the second time in the last few days and after hours of hiking and another frightening long drive we were in desperate need of a beer. Though the district of Uttarakhand is officially alcohol free due to the number of religious sites and pilgrimages we did find that all the larger towns had an underground trade. Our driver who even though being of the Muslim faith had no issue with us partaking a drink or two. He would head out with one of our daypacks and sometime later would return with a clanking of beers bottles . That evening driving to the center of town he stopped the car and jumped out and dashed between two buildings. A few minutes later he came back with two large bottles of beer stashed in our pack. After heading back to our room, saying thanks and a farewell until the next morning, we sat down and quickly finished off our beverages. It didn’t take too much convincing that we needed another so we walked to the location where we had seen our friend procure our beer. Between two buildings was a narrow steep set of stairs that were lined with men silently waiting their turn. Slowly, step by step, we moved closer toward a door with a small window. When it was our turn we bent down to the opening and asked for two beers. The man on the other side of the opening took our rupees and handed the bottles through the hole which we quickly put inside our pack. A line of thirsty men waited patiently behind us as we headed up the stairs and back to our room for another luke warm brew.