A few more hours exploring and then a lot more hours coming home

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November 5th 2017
Published: November 5th 2017
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On our last morning we were up early again, this time for another boat trip on the Ganges. It is still pretty hectic with many people coming to the river to do puja at sunrise - washing, praying and making offerings. We go up river past the dhobi ghats where the laundry is being done to the second crematory ghat which has the traditional fires as well as an electric crematorium. The buildings at each ghat seems to be have built by someone important from a different state so you can see the influence of all different parts of India and Nepal - and Britain - as we go past.

We drift down river as the sun comes up and get out just after the other crematory ghat which is less busy than last night. We walk back through the narrow streets as everyone is getting up and heading to the shrines, river, work or school. Our guide leaves us at the hotel and after breakfast I go exploring on my own. I make it out of the maze into the main street and walk back down to the river and spend an hour or so wandering, sitting and taking it all in before heading back to shower and pack. There are a few people hounding you to sell postcards or boat rides but I found if you are just sitting watching the world go by you are left alone - apart from families who want to take a photo of you!

Varanasi - Delhi - Singapore - Auckland was an uneventful albeit long trip. I got in a few movies including The Last Viceroy (very relevant), Pirates of the Caribbean (no relevance whatsoever) and The Promise - about the genocide of the Armenian people by the Turks in WWI, a piece of history I had never comprehended the scale of previously.

Don't ask me what the highlight has been - it has been one non stop highlight. There have been special moments, interestingly involving sunrises more often than not and some unexpected joys - the tie dying in Jodphur and the leopard sightings. The history and architecture is immense, the people are fantastic - friendly, funny and as fascinated by foreigners as we are by them. I had no yearnings to come home and could have kept the adventure going indefinitely.

Now, to plan the next trip...

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5th November 2017

The Final Hours
Thanks Gaynor. We have really enjoyed your blog. Looking forward to your next travelogue. Happy planning. G

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