Bonjourno my lovlies!
Well, it has been a while since updating the blog, and I have about ten minutes left on my internet connection so I am gonna hopefully whizz through it.
We left you in Lumbini which was a very drab border town. From here we got a very rickity jeep that took us through the border. Our passport checker was an old man on a table half way down this street, just after no mans land after Nepal - I kid you not. We didn't even get out of the jeep, Baroo took our passports, and this man didn't even bother checking us!
After the 'formalities' it was on the road for another two hours. There was a slight traffic jam at the border so we went the adventure route, which took us through different villages and VERY bumpy roads/dusty lanes, dodging chickens, dogs and cows. At one point we were bonnet to bonnet with another jeep because both of the drivers refused to move for the other one... that was interesting! The locals all came over and were staring into the jeep.
We finally got to the train station, after hundreds of stares from the residents of the small town. The odd stare I don't mind, but it is getting slightly beyond a joke - yesterday on the train a guy was 'slyly' taking photos of me and Marjolein whilst waiting to get off, I was getting so mad, but it's something I have to get used to here. People are obsessed with our white skin (which is very slowly getting tanned) and therefore they stare when they see us. An old woman tried touching my hand today whilst walking into a shop- I've never felt so famous before! Ha!
Anyway, back to the story. From the train station we jumped on a train to Varanasi, which claims to be the oldest city in the world. It was certainly old, with a lot of Ghats, from what I rememebr I think there were over 80. We booked into our hotel, where Chris and I had a very large room, it was practically a suite! Then we took a stroll around the markets and the Ganges, trying to ignore the stares and hawkers. We grabbed some lunch and watched the cricket game on the side of the ganges (Chris really enjoyed this bit, I just took a lot of photos of everyone around me).
In the evening we had a lovely boat ride along the ganges with musicians and a tour guide. The Ganges has over 1.5 million bacteria in it, and the safe amount is 500 to bathe in... you can only imagine whow disgusting the colour is, and the smells that come from it! At one point we saw people bathing in it, next to a bloated dead water buffalo! The river is sacred, therefore they will wash in it no matter what.
We also watched a cremation happen here, which happens 24/7, because hindus (and infact a lot of other religions) come to burn their dead here as it is so sacred. It was certainly interesting to watch.
On the river we also watched a hindu ceremony which was very interesting, loud and colourful. We took a sunrise trip around the ganges the next morning which was beautiful, and we also saw laughing yoga! Whilst in Varanasi we also had an indian Mcdonalds, which was actually quite tasty!
From here we got on a sleeper train and arrived in Orchha the next morning.
Orchha was much quieter than the other town we have visited. It has 6 palaces, and we visited one that took 22 years to build and was used for one night! The detail was beautiful, I can't believe that it was used for just one day! We also visited a hindu temple and saw a cermony there which was really good to watch. We also took a cooking class and I've had henna done on my arm which I love!
Which finally takes us to Agra where we currently are. We got up very early to see the beautiful Taj Mahal, Pictures do not do this building justice, it is fantastic! I took far too many photos here! I love the love story behind the building as well- it adds to its magic! Afterwards we visited the fort and a carpet makers- which surprisingly was really good!
Jumping on a train to Jaipur tonight and having two days there, which is exciting to stay in a place for more than a day! I can't believe its nearly been two weeks!
Love to you all, and keep me updated with the goss!
Tally and Chris (he doesn't care so much for the goss :) )