Varanasi - Too much for words

Trip Start Jan 28, 2007
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Trip End Mar 31, 2007


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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our plane left Delhi an hour late.  On arrival we found as promised a man standing outside with our name on a board.  The Schindia Guest House that I'd found and booked over the internet offered free pickup which was great as the gh is situated right on the ghats overlooking the Ganges river and so there are no access roads, just kilometres of winding lanes leading to the Ghats.  I'd read that this results in travellers on making their way towards the ghats thru this maze, being waylaid by offers of help to take them to their reserved GH only to finally find themselves at the wrong one (miles from where they should be)  That's why most of the GH offer free pickup, so they dont have their clients kidnapped and taken to a competitor.


Our room's view is amazing.  I'd splashed out before leaving home and reserved the best room in the GH for the huge cost of $A35 per night.  It is on the corner of the building and has windows and balcony on 2 sides directly looking out over the ghats and the Ganges.  Although the room is great we dont think much of the owner or staff which is a shame on our last place inIndia as usually staff in the places weve stayed have been great (hoping for the tips of course) But the guy here is arrogant and I had a blue with him 1/2 hour after arrival as we didnt have any toilet paper in our room and he wanted me to buy it off him (so India! - and us in the Deluxe room hahahaha) - I had 3 toilet rolls in my bag but again it was the principal (I won hee hee).  After drooling over the view which is one of the best Ive ever seen we decided to go for a walk along the ghats.

We had booked for 3 nights at Schindia (which is next to the burning ghat where they cremate up to 200 bodies a day with usually 6 woodpile fires going continuously)  We have to walk around the fires each time we want to go to the main ghat and after the first couple of times we made sure we didnt focus on the fires as for some reason they always leave the legs hanging out from the wood pile.


We found out yesterday when I rang to confirm our flight to Nepal that Indian Airlines has cancelled Wednesday flights. (tourist numbers are down due to the publicity about  ongoing Maoists problems - scared many off even though tourists are only involved if by accident).  This means another day in Varanasi but it is the most fascinating and beautiful place that it's no hardship - except we really cant stand the atmosphere at our GH - the guys a pig wo weve moved out this morning down to the main Ghat for one night stay at Alka GH.

The room is better and the view just as amazing and its onlyA$20 a night - should have stayed here all 4 nights - and the staff are so happy, smiley, talkative.. etc etc.. like all our past places so this is a much nicer place to have a final goodbye to India in.

As to Varanasi..... sorry but its too exhausting to even try and describe what it is like.... Ive tried in my head and its not possible.... so only fair for it to end up with my most used word for India on my travelpod AMAZING...... instead Im going to put lots of photos on this link instead.... and no photo comes close to showing what it really looks, sounds, smells like here..

Thank god this diary of India is finished!!!!!! - dont know if its burnt me out to start again for Nepal.  Ill definitely write it long hand as Ive found doing this has made me remember and enjoy things that I think I may have lost... all the little things that are the special ones... like that baby camel...... yep AMAZING INDIA
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Where I stayed
Schindia Guest House

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