The last day
24.01.2015 - 24.01.2015 20 °C
Varanasi, based on the banks of the Ganga, is the spiritual capital of India. It is often referred to as "the holy city of India". -
Woke to ding dong, woof woof, cough, bark, ding, Aliewinkeankbum - the Dawn chorus of varenasi. Temple bells, dogs all start as the sun rises over the Ganga:
One of the holly men who perform some of the ceremonies - And Yes I had to give him money to take his picture:
Hindus consider the waters of the Ganges to be both pure and purifying.
Not convinced may be next time.
The best way to see the river bank and all it had to offer is by boat - Thought I would have a quick go:
One of the big parts of Varanasi and a big money spinner is the cremation of bodies by the banks of the river. People bring bodies from all over India and the world to be cremated.
The bodies are placed on the funeral pyre:
Then a flame is brought down from the eternal fire and the straw is set on fire:
Within 3hrs the whole pyre is ashes. Some of that is taken back to the village.
On my walk back i passed a group of lads playing cricket:
A fine cover dive.
Off to the station for the sleeper to Delhi
My last day with Dhasmendre. He has been a great driver, guide and companion for the last 14 days. And he bought beer.
We said our good buys, he even went for a man hug. Either Dhasmendre had something in his eyes or he was welling up with emotion. When you spend so much time with someone and get on well it is hard to say good buy. He said "I must go now Sir." He departed quite quickly.
First class, "air conditioned", two birth carriage, who I was sharing with a random person. My roomy or should I say carriagey - Was a Indian marketing executive travailing back to Delhi. We chatted about work, family etc and played the well renowned game of your country my country, there are no losers just an exchange of cultural knowledge. I offered him whisky and chocolate digestives. Both gracefully received. Although he was tippling on his own Vodka and Tonic in a water bottle.
My arrival into Delhi - 3 hrs late.
The end of a fantastic trip -
We travelled 2450 miles went to 11 cities, numerous forts, museums and temples. I rode on elephants, camels, oxen. I learnt to cook japaties and veg curry. Everyday was something new and exciting to see and do. I ate Indian food for breakfast, lunch and supper every day.
Over the last 14 days, in this spiritual country, I have had plenty of time to think. In all that thinking nothing has chanegd, I am still me. I still love the things I love, if not more now. I still need the things that I need. What I have learnt that It's OK to be like that.
I have loved every moment of this trip it was fantastic and I will never do a trip on my own again. Where next? Oh yes skiing in March.