There are a lot of monasteries around the Mahabodhi Temple donated by countries all over the world. There are thousands of pilgrims again from all over India and the world. We are definitely in the minority and people just come over to talk to us. Or if they can't speak English they just stare. I get a lot of looks because of the red colour of my hair and my blue eyes. If they can speak English they will comment on them. It's funny as we stick out like sore thumbs and they are amazed that we should be into Buddhism. Inside the complexes it is very peaceful. Outside it's a different matter. There are beggars everywhere, young and old and some terribly disabled. We give money to some but it's impossible to give to all as there are so many. The ricksaw drivers hassle you constantly, rather like the Taxi drivers in Bali. They see you refuse one then come straight over and ask you again. It starts to get rather annoying. I feel we should get T shirts saying 'thank you but we would rather walk'.
There are a lot of stalls, all selling garish souvenirs and mostly all have the same stuff. But there are also stalls selling old Tibetan artifacts. I found a real thighbone Chod trumpet, embossed with turquoise and coral. Just like the one I saw in Goa. It's like the Universe keeps presenting them to me, is it trying to tell me to devote time to Chod practice ? It was beautiful if rather grim. We looked at it but I decided I would stick to the lovely metal one given to me by Chhewang as I will always treasure that. Then we found some really old Mala's- Tibetan prayer beads. We bought one made of Amber and each bead is embossed with Turquoise and Coral, it's beautiful and as soon as I picked it up I knew it had been loved and cherished. I am so pleased to be the next owner and I will cherish it also for the time it is with me.
So tomorrow we leave here for Delhi then home on Wednesday. This has been a fantastic journey once again. The Universe has opened its doors for us and we have enjoyed every minute. From being with the Tibetans around the Stupa to the madness that was Varanasi, to the peacefulness of the temples here in Bodgaya. Time seemed to stand still. Now it's catching up with us once again and soon we shall return to our normal lives. But I would like to think that a little of all the places we have visited shall stay with us.