Very Nasty Varanasi
Trip Start Apr 06, 2009
55Trip End Jul 12, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The next morning we took a walk down the shopping center nearby, which we had been told had a Mac Donalds AND a Pizza Hut. We were delighted to find this was true, and we gorged ourselves on a Pizza Hut lunch and shopping before heading back to the hotel to freshen up and go for a swim. In the evening, a few of us decided to head down to the Ganges to check out what all the fuss was about. As I watched the young girls hand out lotus garlands and the many people pushing candles for loved ones out into the Ganges, I was overcome. I said a silent prayer and pushed a candle into the river in remembrance of Anita at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, and I was finally convinced of the beauty of India. Through all the bedlam and the mayhem, the stench and utter constant confusion of the locals, there is a peaceful and beautiful underside. I bought a flower garland and some bindis from a stall on the riverbank before heading back to the hotel for another nice sleep in an air conditioned room (Annette and Debby kindly let me share with them for the rest of our stay in Varanasi). The following morning we took a dawn boat ride onto the Ganges and again I was convinced of the peace underlying the hectic exterior of India. Watching all the Indians joyously bathe in the Mother Ganga early in the morning while the smoke from the cremation Ghats upstream drifted overhead was strange, but humbling.
Once again, the rest of the day was spent snoozing and swimming and wandering down to the shopping center for more Pizza Hut and Mac Donalds and shopping. Ruth, Annette and I also went down to the Post Office so I could post a package home and I was fascinated and delighted to find that they hand bind the parcels, and seal them with wax before posting. I was extremely impressed with my parcel when it was sent off.
We had been told that the next day would see us enter into Nepal. Granted, my impression of India has been coloured by the fact that we visited at the hottest and most uncomfortable time of year, adding more discomfort to an uncomfortable country. Nevertheless, I was impressed by the buzz and activity we found even in the smallest towns. By this point, we all knew the deal with border crossings so we were fairly skeptical as to the truth in this statement, but we went to sleep satisfied that the bedlam of India would be left to lie, at least until next time...