We caught a Kingfisher flight to Varanasi. When we landed at the airport it was 44 degrees C. When you do the math that is about 110 F. It was HOT walking across the tarmac to get to the terminal. India is having a heat wave-it is 10 C hotter than normal.
We got to the hotel in late afternoon and then went down to the Ganges. We took the bus part way but in the narrow streets with all the people, bikes, cows, dogs, etc we needed to transfer to rickshaws. We went to the Ghats, the steps going down the banks to the holy river. The Ganges is very impressive even with the low water level. We got on a wooden boat and went down stream to see the bodies being burned at the crematorium.
While going back up the river we lit candles with flowers set on leaves to float in the water for memories and good wishes. I lit a candle for my cousin and all of us who loved her. Thousands of people were crowded by the river to see the nightly ceremony to thank the river for giving life. We watched to monks from the water and went back on shore as the ceremony was ending. Once more the sights, sounds and smells put me on sensory overload.
We had not eaten for quite awhile so on our return we had some pizza while watching cricket in the lounge. Cricket is huge in India. Two more cities have just bought licenses to start a team for 370 million dollars each!