Friday, 12 November 2010

4. Varanasi - Sarnath and Tickets and Luggage ... oh my.

Today was one of those days that runs away with you and before you know it your in bed wondering what happened to the day?

We decided to try somewhere else for breakfast and wandered to Main ghat. After getting quiet lost for over and hour, we headed back to try the dolphin restaurant. The dolphin was not only mentioned in the lonely planet but it was just down from our backpacker. Sunil had said it was expensive and we decided we were happy to lash out on breakfast. It turned out to only be serving continental breakfast, which in not what either of us felt like. (who wants a dodgy continental breakfast while overlooking the ganges? It just doesn't quite fit)

I was curious to see how I would go with breakfast on this trip seeing that I am such a muesli and OJ girl. But so far it hasn't been a problem. For some reason when sitting in these exotic places my tummy can happily handle curries and breads for breakfast. Some of the yummiest meals we have had have been at breakfast. After striking out again on trying somewhere different for breakfast, we headed back to Alka for our usual. Paratha with Subji (dry vege curry) and curd and a large pot of masala tea. Ahhh.

We then went into the man who was sorting out our train and plane tickets. He had told us the day before to meet him at 11am. We waited for ages and he finally arrived to a bunch of travellers sitting on his door step each thinking their need was the greatest.

Finally we had our tickets in our hand. What we didn't have was enough baggage space for the bits and pieces Trish had bought. So we made a mad dash with Sunil to the nearest bag shop and then off to find and auto rickshaw to take us to Sarnath.

Sarnath was one of the top places to visit for me on this trip. Not only is it the birthplace of Buddha (or Buddhism) but it's where dad spends most of his time when he is in India. Unfortunately the days had flown so fast and it had taken at least two whole days to feel ready to leave Varanasi and try and navigate our way anywhere that we are now feeling like we are rushing it in before we leave.

The rickshaw driver got us to the temple in Sarnath no problem. Getting us to the school/cafe where dad and Inges friends Rajan, Sukhdev and their kids Daisy and Rosy were was a different story. After reaching Sarnath it took about an hour to locate them thanks to a few sets of bad directions from locals and a my phone deciding that right then was a good time to stop working.

Once we finally arrived we were both greeted like long lost family. We were shown around the school and asked to take photos to show Brother/Uncle John. They gave me gift to give to dad and also presented Trish and I with a small gift. I had asked dad if I should take anything to give them but we both forgot to factor in Diwali. We had a cup of chai and a delicious roll that Sukhdev called a Spinach spring roll but was actually an eggy pancake wrapped around a spicy spinach and paneer mixture and served with a green chilli sauce. It was one of my top three dishes since we left Australia.

Because of our time delay both with the train tickets and finding Buddha Smile School, we only got to spend about an hour with Rajan and her family. But with lots of hugs and promises to come back soon Trish and I jumped into our waiting rickshaw for a slightly terrifying night ride home.

Today felt rushed, I guess that it's the same way the last day in Kathmandu felt. Rushing to do the last bits before you leave. Wanting nothing left on your 'to do' list. The problem is there is always more to do, more to see of every place.

We leave Varanasi at 1130am tomorrow and yes just like Kathmandu, I'm wondering how quickly can I come back.

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