Varanasi, Ganga and sunburn
Varanasi Travel Blog› entry 24 of 26 › view all entries
Yesterday was awesome! We rented bikes and cycled (with KAtie and Jen) down to the Ganga and then went across in a little boat to a fort. It's so nice to cycle about, nice breeze, and not as scary as I thought it'd be! Looked around the fort - saw lots of guns, decomposing animal skins and cool old american cars! Also managed to get in as an indian (much cheaper) becuase we told them that we'd been teaching here which was cool! Got a little bit sunburnt from cycling in the midday sun - but not to worry, i've learnt my lesson and will dose up on sun lotion from now on! In the evening we went on a boat trip down the Ganga, organised by our hotel and free!! We saw the 2 burning ghats (one wood one electricity) learnt about the 5people who can be chucked in to the Ganga without being burnt (pregnant women + children + holy men because they're pure, leoprasy sufferers because it's a sign of g-d and people bitten by a cobra becuase of the g-ds having snakes) we also saw a wedding boat, swimming lessons, an ashram, the sunset and were even taken to the other side of the ganga (there's nothing there because it gets covered in water when the monsoon comes) where we saw several decomposing bodies and many skeletons which was quite bizaar and a little gross! In the evening we jammed at the hotel, did some washing and had dinner - very chilled!
Mental place! We get soo lost in all the alleyways around the ghats, and I have no concept of which way is which, but it's all good because people are helpful and tell you which was to go! There are also loads of cows and goats everywhere, which is really nice, if a little scary when you have to squide past a horned cow in a tiny alleyway - but we've not been attacked yet! There is a lot of rubbish and cow poop everywhere, but it's not worse than anywhere else we've been in India really =) and people don't hassle you too much - not as much as I'd have expected! Also we've not really come across many beggars, which is a surprise, though maybe that's becuase it's not tourist season at the moment - who knows, i'm not complaining! There are loads of monkeys though, which is a little scary because they're viscious! They're all along the roof tops, and they make a super loud noice on the tin roof above the hotel resturaunt! Not had a bad experience yet though, which is something, though plenty of the kids up in Gayabari got bitten/scratched by them - so I'm still going to keep my distance! I've also realise that I really like goats - not sure why but there's something majestical about the way they move and how they look.
It's much nicer than Khajuraho, which just felt like a tourist town, and a little too small. Varanasi has a bit more life and functions independently of tourism - people have jobs and do their daily thing regardless of whether you're there or not!
Today we're off to Delhi to meet up with Katie and Jen again and we're there until the 6th, then we go to Bodgaya for a night and then back to Kolkata to fly to Thailand on the 10th!! Can't wait! Will be super sad to leave India though, it's really started to feel like home =( WE're travelling in sleeper class which will be fun - so far we've only been in AC but I think we have top bunks in sleeper so hopefully we wont get people trying to sleep on the ends of our beds too much, but you never know!