Crashes, curries and confusion - Welcome to India!
Trip Start Oct 04, 2005
31Trip End Mar 13, 2006
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We always knew it would be tough here and we were right! We consider ourselves reasonably seasoned travelers but......Anyway I wil try to explain our first couple of days in this great place, India
The bus from Nepal to the border town was only 6-7 hours, we came across 4 crashes in that time 2 of which people were flung from motorbikes and a bus crash as well. We are told 1500 people die on the roads here every day. No wondor.
We caught a taxi with another couple of people to Goapur and decided to stay the night there and travel the next day
We took an uneventful train to Varanassi and thats were the madness began. On the way to the hotel we were passed by about 10 bodies on poles being taken to be burnt on the ganges banks. After much hassle we got into our hotel, and hid there for the night. We awoke and went for a boat ride down the Ganges to see all the people washing themselves in what must be the most unhealthy river in the world. We watched bodies being washed and then burnt, not all the bodies parts burn so the leftovers are chucked in the river. The whole process is amazing and is actually very nice and spiritual - but very strange to us
We spent the whole rest of the next day buying train tickets, we noticed a lady on the ground at the front of the busy station (As busy as waterloo), nobody was paying her any attention because she was dead! Our eyes were out of their skulls but this is a day in the life for locals in Varanassi. When we came back she was being loaded into a car. She would have been happy as she made it to Varanassi and will end up in the ganges.
On a brighter note - we had some fantastic curries!
We made a mistake and stayed out of the tourist area, the place is so hard to get around as the streets are so small. Its not the place you want to hunt for hotels as people will attach themselves to you and try to claim commision. The touts here are maddening. Anyway we did our time here and its time to head for the next port of call on the magic Indian train system -- Delhi.
Its been a hard start to the country but i think we are now ready for the next 3-4 months here. Looking forward to new years in Diu with Nick and Lindsey from London. Think of us at xmas - we wil be waking up on xmas morning on a train. All presents care of the Ahemedbad express 2361 thanks!