The first minute we passed the border between Nepal and India we noticed that India is louder, dirtier, more crowded .. simply more intense than anything we have ever experienced before.

We landed after 11 hours of traveling in buses and cars in Gurakhpur and we actually had a tough time finding a clean spot. There were filth, dirt and insects everywhere .. the cheesiest part was definitely when a full size cockroach ended up in our friends plate and drowned, the waiter was called and he just simply removed it without a word .. a daily occasion perhaps??

After a horrible night we boarded the first train out of there and landed in Varnasi which is a very religious and sacred city where the river Ganges is the main attraction.

We managed to find a very nice guesthouse for 10 USD per night even with a garden and we kind of needed it since the rest of Varanasi is pretty dirty. I will not argue about different ways of managing a country but it is truly amazing that people can live in such filth. You do see a lot of crippling, sick people and people with infections etc. We are very careful

On the positive side .. there are also a load of those .. are the Ghats and the positive energy in people, and of course Ganges. The mother river. Everything evolves around it .. people swim in it, people are burned at the shore and then spread as ashes into it etc etc. Right now there is a big festival and we saw the spectacle last night (from a boat) where loads of people gathered and played hypnotic music while huge statues where brought down to the river and then dipped into it during prayers .. fascinating! Intense is the word 🙂

We will stay another two days here and then head west and soon head to Dehli and Rishikesh. A friend who shared the first day with us told us that if you survive the first week you will be fine .. we are doing that now