What Do You Call A Goat In A Wooly Jumper?

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
Trip End Sep 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Yogi Lodge

Flag of India  , Uttar Pradesh,
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The journey to Varanasi was hair raising. The direct road from Kathmandu to the Indian border was blocked by The Maoists, so we took a 5 hour detour through Pokhara. We arrived at the border 2 hours before our train was due to depart Gorakhpur for Varanasi. It was 20:30 and once we crossed the border we were mobbed by touts trying to con us into to any deal they could. We eventually found a taxi and set off at high speed to get the train. An hour and a half later we arrived at Gorakhpur train station and got on the train 5 mins before departure. We left our finger nails in the taxi!
After a quick nap on the train we arrived in Varanasi at 4:30 in the morning. It was raining so we got a tuc-tuc to the area where our preferred guesthouses were located. We had a 10 minute walk through winding alleyways covered in all sorts of slimy stuff before we reached the guesthouse we had in mind. The concierge looked suspiciously like a cow and was relieving herself in the doorway. We walked a bit further and found The Yogi Lodge. A little haven of cleanliness in a maze of shit.
After checking in we went for stroll around the streets and along the ghats. By lunchtime the sun was shining. The ghats along the river are used for all sorts of activities, including bathing, washing and cremations. We spent the rest of the day wandering around in a daze after a long journey the day before.
Varanasi certainly has a lot of character and characters. It feels and looks like a time warp. The morning prayers waking us in the morning before sunrise. The smells as we walked around the city, some really good and some really bad. The ghats were a very tranquil place to walk at sunset and the evening Arati ceremony was very impressive.

A good place to begin our second lap of India.
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