The Writing on the Wall

Varansi, from the Ganges

Flaky internet connections require me to keep doing tests to see if I can post pictures. This is me doing a test! Pat almost burst a blood vessel last night trying to get this to work, so I’m trying to work it out myself! He’s currently in bed with a sore tummy… ahhh bless poor bunny! Anyway, for those wanting maps were here

Varanasi – the city of life.

They bring their dead here, bath them in the Ganges before building funeral pyres at the burning ghats to cremate them. The wood is weighed prior to the cremation to calculate the cost of the ceremony. Different types of wood cost different amounts, sandal wood being the most expensive. You feel like you have travelled back in time, perhaps this is what medieval times would have been like. A million souls arrive here, ready to depart this world for whatever […]

Technical and other random stuff

For those who have asked i'm using a combination of blogger, random internet cafes and my smart phone to create this blog. Using blogger in an internet café with the co-operation of a generally confused internet wallah allows me to upload images from my camera. If you are doing anything in an internet café here that isn't "typing an email" you generally get an audience. In fact doing anything at all in India creates an audience. When taking a photo […]

Day 10 – train to Varanasi

We took the sleeper train overnight to Varanasi home of the Ganges and the most relgious city in India. The sleeper is a little bit like a mobile school trip dormitory. Six bunks arranged into three tiers. You are provided with sheets and blankets and after some crashing around trying to arrange your bed – there isn't much head room it has to be said when you are on the top bunk – you can make an attempt at sleep, […]

Notes from India – tolilet humour

A toilet in India does not have toilet paper. Instead there is a small table – approximately 6" x 4" and 2" high with a small plastic measuring jug on it sat next to the loo with a cold water tap situated above it. You fill the jug with water and, well, you can have a go at working out the rest yourself. Personally this is a skill I have been unable to master. The contortions required to pour said […]

Notes from the India – sleep

Sleeping in India, or rather preparing for sleep is a ritual in itself. There are many things to be done. The blankets on the bed (I currently have three, swiped over a period of days from the laundry cupboard) have to be arranged in the correct order to keep you nice and cosy throughout the night. You have to make sure you have some bottled water to hand, because you don't want to have to go roaming around in the […]

Notes from the India – being left handed

In India you basically wipe your backside with your left hand. It is therefore considered very bad manners to use the left to eat with or shake hands. This, as you can imagine is a tricky proposition if you happen to be left handed. I've taken to sitting on my left hand when eating to stop me using it. It's fair to say that my skills with my right are improving no end.

Day 11 – arrived in Varanasi

After our five hour delay we've rolled into Varanasi. Making a fairly easy job of dodging the touts at the station we've checked into the great Scindhia guest house, a fantastic place right on the banks of the ganges with views up and down the river. Today appears to be national kite flying day or some such like, so the skies are filled with dozens of brightly coloured hastily assembled kites. Ahhh ain't that pretty. The guest house rules say […]

Day, oh I don’t know what day it is….we’re travelling!

I'm currently sat in an Internet cafe in Agra (or perhaps we should call it Aggro) having been to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise. We're on a overnight sleeper tonight to Varanasi, and given the general chaos of India I suspect that will be an adventure in itself. Agra is one of those classic "famous monument' type of places. That is it attracts millions of tourists and about the same amount of touts, fake "guides" and assorted other dodgy […]


We had a fairly eventful journey getting here by taxi. We got a flat tyre on route and so the driver jumped out, flagged down a passing car who promptly turned round and drove off back up the dual carriageway the wrong way, leaving Pat and myself sat at the roadside. He returned 10 minutes later with a mechanic to do a hasty wheel change. Nice.   Arriving in the town we couldn't find a place to stay, but did […]

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