So we have reached our final destination in India - Varanasi, the home of the ganges. We got into the station around 11 and was greeted by another driver, some small fella with a dodgy tash, still, he was all smiles :) He took us to our hotel and left us to sort out or things before taking us to see some temples. Varanasi seems to be a place that has many different religions, from what I can remember I think its about 75% Hindu and the rest Buddist, Muslim and Christian. The guide (that also joined us in our car) took us to see a few differant temples around the town. This guy was very proud of his town and really wanted to show us everything. If we are honest, right now we just wanted to give the temples a miss and go chill, we have seen soooo many temples over the past 2 weeks the enthusiasm is quite low and the lack of interest wasnt much better either.
Today (Tuesday september 30th) we had a bost ride on the ganges at 6am. Now for you people out there that have never heard of the ganges, let me explain (very briefly of course). This particular stretch of river is very holy to the people of this town, when we heard this we thought "oh know not another Pushkar chanting session", but that wasnt the case. The river itself though is classed as septic, actually classed as septic!!! People get cremated here and the remains are tipped into the river, but as our boat guy told us today, if the person who died is pregnant, a child, a leprosy sufferer or someone with a snake bite then they DONT get burned, you get thrown into the river as you are. So picture the scene, we roll up to one of the Ghats (steps down to river) ready to get onto our boat, and what do we see? People BATHING, SWIMMING, WASHING TEETH, PRAYING and generally having a good old time in the water, in the bloody water!! It made me (Daniel) gag I know that, how do these people not get ill from this? Our boat ride was nice, the current in the water was very very strong so at some points we just got taken along by the it and the guy paddling just sat back and chilled. The ride lasted for about an hour or so, it was definitely worth doing but the whole people in the water thing was isane.
Currently we are updating things online (alas this blog) and just getting ready to leave tomorrow morning for the India - Nepal border, we spend one night there then head into Nepal and upto Katmandhu, Nepal here we come.
D & S