Silly Boi - being in India doesnt stop me wanting to know what the next issue looks like!!!
Namaste from Varanasi, the holy city of the Ganges!
Still no USB ports on my computer so no pics yet...
The 18 hour train journey from Haridwar to Varanasi was hell. We had to catch a train in cattle-class for 4 hours, then change, and catch a semi-aircon sleeper train overnight the rest of the way.
All well and good? Dont forget my perpensity for picking up food-bourne bacteria! About an hour before we had to change trains I didnt feel so good.... In fact right before our train stop I needed to be sick, now! The train was jammed with people waiting for it to stop so they could get off as well and the temperature was sweltering. Both Fin and I were fully loaded with packs, and I couldnt push my way through the crowd....
The next thing I remember is coming to on a pile of little didis (aunties), and then vomiting up all over myself. All down the front of my shirt. Lots.
The crushed women helped me stand up, and by this stage people cleared around the door so I could stick my head out and continue vomiting. I had about 5 people (not including Fin) holding onto me so I wouldnt fall out, people patting my back. A couple of men moved right back so I could sit down. You forget that in the hustle-bustle, crowding and pushing, the Indian people are really an emotional and caring one.
We managed to get off and find ourselves in the arse-end of India. I dont think any westerners have been to this station before, its certainly not mentioned in the Lonely Planet. I'm trying to cover my vomit-stained clothing with my scarf and remain inconspicious - very hard with a crowd of about 10 people staring.
Fin became my super-hero - he carried both our giant packs and one of the day packs so I wouldnt have to. We couldnt find any toilets (that I could use) until we found the "Upper Class Ladies Waiting Room". Wait, I have an upper class ticket and I'm a lady!
It was airconditioned and thats all that was going for it. The toilets didnt flush, the showers didnt work but I managed to get myself reasonably clean, change and escape with a little old lady harrangueing me in Hindi the whole time.
We then went and found our platform and waited for the train. I spent most of this time kneeling on the platform, head over the edge heaving my guts up. I've never been so sick. I am also not scared of the dirt here anymore hehehe.
It was a relief to get on our train, we could lie down and try to get some sleep (with many toilet breaks) before we got to Varanasi.
And its not as bad here as people say, I expected more vicious touts and hard sell. Its taken me 2 days to feel semi-ok (with Fin force feeding me Gastrolyte) and i've since caught a cold. But at least i'm not throwing up!
Yesterday we went to Sarnath (a special Buddhist place) and saw the Boddhi tree that Buddha originally sat under and taught from. Well, its a tree from part of the originial.
We also saw some excavated ruins (umm, its ok to walk all over them here, not like stay-behind-the-ropes at home) and a Thai buddhist temple. We've hooked up with an American woman called Shera (i keep thinking princess of power and singing the He-Man song). She's just finished a 10 day trek in the Himalayas, and then told us she is 60 years old!!!! WTF, I would have said late 40s!
Anyway, we have breakfast together and went to Sarnath together as well.
Today is Diwali - the festival of lights. The Boi and I are gonna try and find a post office, and maybe do a little more shopping before the festivities begin.
Catch you all later, xxx Bex