Tuesday, 26 August 2008
• Get rickshaw to the gnats: this was easy to do
• Get completely lost: how easy was that!
In Varanasi old town the widest lane don’t accommodate an auto rickshaw, which is why they are banished from the area. The lanes and alleyways twist and turn and within minutes I wasn’t able to tell which way the river lay…fantastic. The buildings (numbering many maharaja palaces on the waterfront) are all close together and tend to be 3 levels high. So that makes line of sight navigation difficult. Another problem of walking around this place are the cows. Sometimes they chew the cud standing across the lane blocking it, or if it’s a wide lane you have an 18 inch gap to squeeze pass. It’s always the cows behind to have to pass and they know how to kick like a mule, and then there are the street dogs…
My 1st full day here was definitely interesting. Although I did get severely castigated by a local family who I chatted to for 30 minutes for not being able to speak any Hindu.
So, after four months in India I feel that if I stayed any longer I would start to get frustrated by the place. That said after a couple of months in Nepal I can always come back into India for a while. I’ve still yet to see the Taj Mahal or ride on a camel in the desert.
Before lunch I went on a boat trip up and down the River Ganges. Most people and brochures recommend waking up early and getting on the water as the eastern sun rises over the horizon to bathe Varanasi n the golden mythical light of dawn. I on the other hand decided that 10am was the best time of the day. The main reasons were:
• I wasn’t getting out of bed that early
• The sky is overcast in the mornings right now
• If I want a picture of Varanasi at dawn I can easily find one on the internet
• I’ve got imaging software that can replicate the effect if I really wanted to, which I don’t