20.00 Hours 22 March
I take a rick back to Agra Idgah but this time to the railway station. My ticket is confirmed but I do not have my Coach/Berth number so I go to the ticket office and the man goes on the railway internet site and gets my details for me. I am all sorted.
Now to wait for the train and wait I did. It’s over an hour late, but I find my berth and start to get sorted for the night. I chain and padlock my ruck to the underside of my seat and get my bedding from the attendant. Next stop is Agra fort and loads of backpackers get on here. All on our way to the Hindi centre of the universe Varanasi.
I sleep well and wake up at 6 and get some chai at one of the stations we stop at.
The train is 2.5 hours late and we arrive in Varanasi at 11.30. I had arranged a pick up and a; lad if there with a card with Mr Paul on it.
We go towards Varanasi. The rick stops and I have too walk the last 2k as
the lanes are top small for a rick.
Into the Ganpati Guest House which is very nice. A move up to 1000 rups a night gets you a flat screen TV (wall to wall Bollywood dancing) 2 bath towels, 2 soap, 2 toilet rolls
A go out for a walk. The lanes are so small and there are turns left and right every what seems 20 yards. I am lost and head towards the river and back to the guesthouse. That happens three more times that afternoon.
I go for something to eat on the rooftop after that come down to meet Mira from Utrecht in Holland and Kevin from Oregon in the US.
They are off to do a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges and invite me along. 05.45 In the morning it is so off to bed.
05.30 Hours Saturday 24 March
We walk along the Ghats and find the boat that Mira had booked. Kevin buys some small flowers in a leaf cup with a candle.
George Harrison was cremated in England and then his ashes were brought hers and scattered on the Mother Ganga. So I drop my
flowers and candle in the water for a fellow scouser and watch it float away.
Kevin spots a corpse in the river and takes the oars and rows over to it, the smell is stomach turning. Anyway that’s the way it is here. If they are not floating the river they are burning on the bank. And all around washing and bathing goes on.
Balau the boat owner rows over to the far side of the river and we get out. Kevin being that over forty free spirit decides it time to spark up a fat one and the day spiraled out of control from there.
WE walk for miles into the country and Kevin turns into the typical American tourist and takes pictures of kinds of village life.
Anyway after a long while we return to the boat. A boat on the river should cost for 3 and for the time we were in it a max of 600 rups. . Kevin decides he’s had a great time and gives the boat owner 500 rups. Mira does the same so I in for 500 as well
A good day to be a boat owner
on the Ganges.
We go back to the Ganpati for breakfast and it’s decided that we will go for a wander at lunchtime. We walk the gnats and have lunch somewhere Mira was at yesterday
We stop for a beer on the way back and sit about for hours listening to music and watching all life and death on the banks of the Ganges.
I say goodbye to Kevin as he is off to some tiger reserve in the morning, and tell Mira I will see her tomorrow
08.00 Hours Sunday 25 March
A nice slow day today after the madness of yesterday. Have a sit down and chill. This afternoon Mirs wants some company to go shopping so a stroll of the town it is.
PS: I do not know why , but I am not to sure I get this place. It was a bit like that in Bundi for other reasons and then Bundi grew on me and I had a goos stay. But Varanasi might be one place in India that remain closed for me!!!!!!
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