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Published: February 5th 2008
I pulled myself away from palolem beach, from Katarina and Faarta, good food and good times, but if i didn't i would of stayed so i had to move on. I think it is a form of quicksand in palolem, makes it hard to leave.
After a 16 hour bus ride out of goa into the maharashtra state i arrived in Arangahbad. The bus driver was nuts and overtook on blind bends, no one else seemed to mind as they where all laughing at this awful bad acting bollywood movie, i was more concerned with imminent death than a bad 80's B movie indian style.
Arangabad is a bustling city near the ellora and ajanta caves. the city is hectic, pollution and poor hygeiene rules the land here. On arrival i came down with bad tummy issues, this involved sweats, sleeping and digesting nothing for more than 20 seconds maximum. 80% of foreigners get ill within the first 2 weeks in india, i was hoping i was in the other 20% - not to be. Still, being ill i got to finish watching and reading some stuff.
Being the only white person in town i was ever popular and
i really stood out heheh, i should charge 10 rupees each for my photo.
I tried to book a sleeper train to varanassi for a few days time but it is all booked up for a week, one of the problems of being in a country of a billion people i guess :- Then it wasn't all booked up, and then i needed my passport etc etc...if only i knew what the wobbly head meant...sigh.
I went to ellora 40km away, this is a world heritage site, and was breathtaking. the worlds largest monolithic sculptures are here, and over 200,000 tons of rock where moved by man. ellora is 34 buddhist and hindu caves that date back to 250bc. Some of them where truly awesome, i got there at sunrise to avoid the hoards.
On the way back i got a shared jeep, with 16 of us in the jeep (seriously) the police stopped us and carted the driver away, other passengers got out and started walking off. I asked what was going on, an indian replied "the law only allows 11 people"...i started pissing myself laughing. Apparanty the fine was £3.22 for the driver. During sunset i
took in the "fake Taj Mahal", the son of the maker of the original built this in the 1600's and i got myself a fan club of 3 6 year old girls during my visit. On the way back lots of teenage cricketers dropped their game and chased my rikshaw just to say hello, this was good as it took my eyes away from frantic mopeds, smoke and again, imminent death.
Next day i went 100km north to the 25 Ajanta caves (after finalising my entry to fort knox...er getting my train ticket which involved going on the back of a motorbike thro the city), this site was found by a british hunting party in the 1800's and again was breathtaking. Many buddhist shrines, halls and monastries from BC. I met 2 danish girls who i protected from the pervy indians who stared and took photos of them, they kindly told me of a cheap hotel in Jolgoan and we weet out for a meal in the evening to shared stories. I got some great rare crystals in anjana for about 20p each :-)
in the morning me and the danish girls went to the market for some
green coconuts and pomegranetes, on the way was a backstreet cricket game, i stepped up to bat in front of quite a crowd, queue an onside drive for 4 followed by a square leg full swing for 6 :-) - happy days....a photo of this is on its way soon....good back foot technique too i hasten to add, and against a left handed medium spin on a poor dusty wicket. heheh.
in the afternoon i got my 26 hour train to varanassi, it had triple bunks and was so funny. every 10 seconds a new crazy person would be selling something, singing, begging or something. some transvestites got on with real moustaches asking for money, i could not stop laughing. People gave them more money than a blind girl with 1 arm - unreal. The doors are open so you can sit and watch the scenery which is cool and when i awoke the carriage had about 80,000 people in it, you could not move a limb. In the afternoon a young kiddie (a branham class) told me if i gave him some money i would goto heaven as he is a branham and he is holy and no
one else on the carriage could. he really believed it too bless him. I think i need to know a bit more about this caste system before i unleash my brewing thoughts. £4 for a train ride like that....priceless. once may b enough tho. You could write a book on the things you see out of the window / hole / bars.
1000km over with and after getting surrounded by 20 rikshaw drivers, a walk around a crazy moped stricken labyrinth in the old town, i found a traverllers guesthouse with a rooftop restaurant looking over the ganges in Varanassi, i got chatting to a guy from San Fran, we talked about how western girls get stared at so much and he was actually hanging out with the same danish girls 2000km away 2 weeks ago. just what are the odds of that in a land of a billion kiddies.
The indians are all very friendly, very innocent (neive almost), they wipe their bums with their hands, dont wash too often but obsessively comb their hair, use mobiles as tho they are a toy and wobble their heads. Many are busted up and/or poverty stricken but
there is a sense of purity and respect about the indians, but without the british help with the trains i dread to think where they would be as a nation (thats not to say all the british did do here was good tho).
I keep finding myself haggling over 5 and 10 rupees, which is only 10-15p but i can't help it. This guy on a cycle rikshaw took me 2 miles thro traffic with all my bags for 30p and i felt guilty.
right, bollox to it, i am not moving from this place for at least a week. down time needed and time to find a nice relaxing yoga pratcitse and to actually unpack.
ps does anyone know how to sync tblog updates with the facebook application? :-/ more bugs in that application than in my last bed...only just.
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