Sunday, June 3, 2007

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do..." When in Varanasi, the same rule applies...

After spending five nights in Varanasi and having recovered a bit from the stifling heat, I decided that it was time for me to make like a local and take a dip in the Ganges.
I had been thinking about it since I had arrived in Varanasi, especially after discovering just how clean the city appeared. I determined from the beginning, though, that if, indeed, I was going to cleanse myself in the Ganges that it would be an all or nothing deal, meaning, I would make like local and take a swim.
I had talked to Raj about it for a few days before I decided to go for it. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous, as the water isn't exactly up to Western standards, but I was confident that I would be fine and wanted to experience Varanasi for what it was and is... a holy city.
I came down from my room at the guest house fully equipped in my bathing suit, only to find that Raj was gone and had left earlier in the day to go visit family. That left me with "W," another fine man who also works at the guest house, as my companion. If you're gonna swim, you might as well have a partner, right?
What ensued was one of the best experiences of my trip and one of my highlights on this road called life.
(I will add more detail later... below are the photos of my fantastic experience, however. Would I recommend a dip in the Ganges despite the fantastic E Coli levels? ABSOLUTELY!)

Enjoying my first dip in the Ganges.

Having a good time-- tickled to death of where I am.

Taking a swim.

After taking a dunk.

A full view of the scene.

Chatting with the locals.


With the city in the background.

The locals play enjoying themselves and the refreshing water.

My friend "W".

"W" and I on the river bank.

Just meters away from where we swam (on the other side of the boat), water buffalo cool themselves.

An up-close shot of the water buffalo.

Above where the water buffalo bathe, the sewer water rages into the Ganges.

No comments: