After returning back from a well anticipated trip to India, I realized what an impact this country had left on me.  The second I got off the plane back home, I immediately noticed the luxuries that we all take for granted.  I also noticed that we actually drive pretty well here in Miami.  We stay in our lanes, we don’t have pedestrians crossing at every opportunity in the middle of the road…no elephants, cows, or monkeys intercepting you at intersections.  What a crazy place…but amazing in so many aspects.

I started off in Delhi.  Instead of doing the whole tourist bus thing, I decided to wing it and so I hired a local taxi driver to take me where I wanted to go.  I warned him that it would be a lot of driving for a couple weeks.  He agreed on the price and off we went.  We became friends and before I knew it he was teaching me how to drive, which by the way I do not recommend attempting.  It was great having my own guide and he recommended some great small villages to visit.  I really got a taste of India this way.

After an amazing journey, my driver and I went our separate ways and I hopped on a train to the city of Varanasi.  The train itself was an experience.  In India it’s customary to pile as many people on a train that is humanly possible.  And I was one of them…the only tourist on this train.  Twelve hours and an aching back later, I finally arrived in Varanasi.  I went straight to bed to get enough rest for my pre-dawn trip on the Ganges River the next day.

The Ganges River attracts thousands of pilgrims who come down every morning to pray and bathe with the water from the river which is considered holy.  The best way to experience this daily event is to go by canoe along the banks of the river and catch the early morning light as the villagers descend upon the steps.  Here is where the colors of India come to life!  Upon reaching the end of the stretch where the villagers gathered, I returned back to where I started and took it all in once again.  A full cultural experience before the sun even rises.