Share on Pinterest

Quite frankly, two weeks of nothing but (delicious but) similar vegetables served up with nothing but the same slices of bread makes you tiresome fast. The food we ate at our homestay in Setrawa was "tasty," but when we left we needed a bit of a break from Indian food. And then we got sick. Legitimately Indian-style Delhi Belly sick. And during that escapade we had no desire to eat Indian food. No. Desire....

Varanasi is a strange mixture of haunting beauty and desperate aggravation. It's a holy city, sprawled out along a sacred river. A river people use to both wash their dirty laundry and wash away their sins. People bathe there. Cows bathe there. The dead are burned there. Daily, we'd witness the cremation rituals held at one of the ghats. They were hard to ignore. Dead bodies wrapped in white cloth, wrapped again in colorful fabrics with sparkling gold trim, were paraded through town on a wooden ladder accompanied by chanting and sometimes drums. Once at the river the bodies would...