With Jesse recovering from his fever we are staying close to home walking to the internet café, the 3 little restaurants and yoga classes in our neighborhood. It feels almost like being at a resort since there are the same familiar faces of guests and workers every day.
There is a mix here of Indian, Tibetan, and Nepali workers and hotel owners and a mostly Israeli, French, and Indian tourists
although we did meet one couple from Canada. Our simple days run into each other punctuated by a few small adventures.
We took a hike toward some waterfalls... although we did not see any waterfalls we did run into a hilarious tribe of monkeys
and a dog that looked like he was wearing a sweater who accompanied us for most of the way. Another night Jesse and I went down to an Aarti ceremony held down by the river on a platform in front of an Ashram.
There were many young boy pilgrims in bright orange
with jingling beads at their feet fond of yelling "Bomb bomb bolley!" in the streets which means something like "yeah God," and many women pushing offerings of nuts and honey toward those closest to the front of the ceremony. The singing and chanting and clapping went on for over an hour as the group pushed in tighter and tighter toward the river. Eventually a lamp was lit up front and silver trays with a small piles of embers were passed back as well as several large cobra shaped genie lamps...it seemed everyone around us wanted to touch these and push the smoke from them into their hair and faces. The plates were passed around.
We moved closer to the water and were helped by the crowd to light our little leaf boat of jasmine, marigold, and rose petals with a stick of incence and candle
and set it in the water to be carried downstream with the others.
All of this was done in front of an enormous statue of Shiva, the destroyer,
one part of the Hindu Trinity (Brahma (creater), Vishnu (preserver), and Shiva (Destroyer)). This statue was white marble so that as the sun set the statue changed from white to pink to purple in hue. Very beautiful!
This leg of our journey has been restful and rejuvenating. We are ensconced in a tidy little guest house amongst a quiet little neighborhood high up on a bank overlooking the ganges and the communities along the river.