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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 29 Apr 2007

Location: Varanasi, India

MapHello All! I haven't written in a few days but here it goes! I am currently in Varanasi. It is one of the most important cities in all of India. It is one of the seven sacred cities. This city is important because of the river Ganga (Ganges). It is a important pilgramage sight for the Hindu people. It is also a sacred place to die. All life happens around the river. Everyday I wake up between 5am-6am to either boat or walk along the river. It has been worth it everytime. In India there is NO privacy. They bath in the river, brush their teeth, shave, get hair cuts, do their laundry, bathe their animals etc. etc. I have seen people peeing and shitting everywhere in India. Even after three month it is hard to get use to! The river is less than clean. Their sewage runs directly into the river. YUCK!!! I have decided to hand wash my clothes here because the idea of them being washed in the river kind of turns my stomach. To my surprise it doesn't stink! I have even seem people drinking from it! UGH! There are also tons and tons of tauts trying to sell me things and Buba's trying to bless me and my family for the right price of course! On the other hand it is also amazing all the things I see and children that just want to walk with me and hold my hand! Behind the river are these tiny little winding roads lined with shops. The roads are to narrow for cars but are still full of cows, dogs, motorcyles, bicycles, people, and vendors of all sorts of things. Fortunately it is shaded and is really the only place other than my room that I can handle during the 44 degree days! My room is small but exceptionally clean and has an incredible view of the river. There are cities in India that have really moved me in ways I never thought I could be touched! I feel these cities like Varanasi and Omkareshwar and the Golden Temple in my soul! I am not a religous or a spiritual person but I think in India it is hard not to be just a little of both! I have been here for five days and haven't really done much. I haven't shopped or read my book but I have spent hours walking along the river just watching life go by! A life that is sooooo different from my own that I cannot help but stare. Never fear they stare right back at me all day all the time!! Tomorrow I have chosen to fly to Kathmandu instead of taking an 18-20 hr train/bus journey! It is the first time in 4 months of travel that I have chosen the easy way out! My brother and I, if all goes well should meet at the baggage pick up because our planes arrive 15minutes apart. The next 21 days should be a real adventure for both of us! Nepal has been on the top of my wish list for more than 10 yrs and I am sure it will meet all my expectations! Himalayas here we come!!! Hope you are all well! Hugs and kisses! Love, T