One reason I copy and paste the relevant portion of our Easy Tours of India itinerary into the blog each day, is that it theoretically should make blog posting faster - just add pictures. That implies that I will not feel compelled to ramble on with my own semi-relevant musings, as I am doing here. The Reader can see how well that is working out.
"Feb 8: Varanasi. Early morning boat cruise on the river Ganges - duration about two hours — The best time to visit the Ghats is dawn when pilgrims take their morning dlp. The most famous Ghat is the Dasadwamedh Ghat from where we begin this tour. Enjoy the boat ride while looking out for the people on the Ghats — the women bathing discreetly in their sarees, the young men displaying prowess in yogic postures & the Brahmln priests offering prayers. Return back to your hotel to freshen up after the visit. Late morning — you are at leisure to walk along the ghats. This is good time to interact with the pilgrims and Sadhus."
Another reason for including the itinerary descriptions is that offers an opportunity to compare the "demo" to the "implementation". First let me state that we have been very happy with "Easy Tours of India" thus far. Their facilitators have been met us every step of the trip to help navigate airports and hotels, their guides have been universally knowledgeable, helpful, and personable. No glitches yet in either the hotel or travel arrangements. That said, I cannot help but be amused at the description yesterday and today Of a "boat cruise" on the Ganges. The "cruise" is comprised of our guide Sigrid, me and our guide Dharum being rowed along the waterfront in a leaky skiff (I think the boat is called a "nhaw" in Hindi).
No complaints - since it is just us, we control the "cruise" navigation and duration, including some extracurricular activities. The rowing seems appropriate as it evokes legends of the River Styx, when we somberly approach the cremations on the ghat.
Enough rambling - a selection of pics from a remarkable morning on Mother Ganga, watching pilgrims wash their sins away in the river and celebrate the gift of a another day: