Thursday, 20 February 2014

the ghats

Great sunrise over the Ganges at 7 am this morning.Such a wonderful surprise. Then a lazy morning reading Bonpo teachings, then lunch at a organic cafe we have found called aum cafe. We bought 4 tops between us for £22. Then a wander down along the Ghats where we had a conversation with a nice young man who wanted to practice his English. This evening we had a boat ride down to the cremation ghats which was interesting. Differing from Nepalese cremation the older son had to throw some ' meat' belonging to the cremated person into the Ganges. We were quite close when one decided to do it and we missed the splashing water by inches, um not sure about that one. There were dogs, cows and goats crawling amongst the cremations. The cows and Goats eat the flower offerings. Our guide told us that if the ' meat' was not thrown far enough the doggies finished it off. I have to say they all looked pretty fat!! Like Kathmandu, Varanasi cremations run 24/7 so that's a lot of ' meat'.
We finished up at the Arti ceremony, where every night 7 priests perform the evening ceremony to give thanks to Shiva and the goddess of the Ganges for the proceeding day. It was a lovely thing to witness. Then back to our hotel where a local businessman is holding a party and just along the ghats is a free concert of India music. We have to be ready for 6 am tomorrow morning for another boat ride to welcome dawn, so we are hoping the festivities end soon!! Met  4 other English travellers in the restaurant this evening, who were interesting but slightly pretentious, thus reminding us why we usually avoid getting into conversations. anyhow that's it for today, we are sitting on our private terrace and fireworks are going off all around us so tonight must be a special night. Have to say Nepal smells of incense and so far India smells of stale piss. Probably because everywhere you look the locals are slashing against the wall. I kid you not !!!

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